The Google Play Store is filled with millions of apps, but not all of them are created equal. There are certain apps that everyone should have or, at the very least, try. Apple’s App Store still has a lead when it comes to getting the latest and greatest apps first, but Google’s store has come a long, long way from its humble beginnings.
There are so many apps for so many different situations, that choosing just 50 to call essential is almost impossible. In fact, this list has more than 50 apps on it, when you include all the alternative options for apps like Spotify or Weather Timeline. But, if you’re setting up a new device or looking for more apps to add to your drawer, start here.
These are the 50 essential Android apps.
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1. Android Auto (Free): Previously, Android Auto was only useful to those with cars that had infotainment systems supporting the service. But an update this summer will let anyone use the features through their phone. For safety on the road, it's a no-brainer.
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2. Android Pay (Free): Given the increasing availability of mobile payments, Android Pay is a must-have for any Android user, save for those using one of Samsung's latest devices.
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3. Any.do (Free): There are a plethora of apps designed to keep you on task for Android, but Any.do is the best. It's lightweight and puts all the focus where it should be: your ever-growing to-do list.
Others: Todoist, Google Keep
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4. Google Camera (Free): Chances are your phone, particularly if it's from LG or Samsung, has a great camera app already installed. But, if you want an app that's focused on simplicity, Google Camera is the best choice. What it lacks in features, it makes up with usability and great specialty photo modes like panorama and photosphere. Google Camera offers some of the best stitching in these modes, leading to great photos.
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5. Camscanner (Free): Scanners, often attached to the worst pieces of technology in existence (printers) generally offer a less-than-ideal user experience. Strip away the frustration by using your phone. Camscanner offers a great design, solid feature set and makes importing documents into digital form a breeze.
Others: Tiny Scanner
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6. Google Chrome (Free): There are numerous browsers on the Google Play Store, but Google's own remains the top choice thanks to its syncing with other versions of Chrome. If you're using it on your desktop, you should be using it on your phone.
Others: Dolphin Browser, Opera
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7. Google Docs (Free): The chances that you'll use your phone for serious word processing is slim, but if you do, Google Docs is the best choice. It is extremely simple, which is exactly what you want from a compact word processor, syncs well with other devices, is widely used and has an offline mode for those instances you're without cell reception.
Others: Microsoft Word
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8. Google Drive (Free): Having all your documents easily accessible is an absolute necessity in today's world. Google Drive is a great option for making sure everything you need is right at your fingertips. It works across platforms and devices, syncs (expectedly) well with other Google services and also works as a great tool for teams to get projects done together.
Others: Dropbox, Slack (for team collaboration)
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9. Eat24 (Free): Eat24 makes finding, and getting, food as simple as possible. It allows users to find nearby restaurants that will deliver to their location and place an order, streamlining the process immensely.
Others: GrubHub, UberEATS
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10. ESPN (Free): For an avid sports fan, ESPN is an easy choice. The app has seen significant improvement over the last several years and now offers a slick design and, generally, speedy performance. For keeping tabs on your favorite sports and teams, ESPN is the app to download.
Others: theScore, Bleacher Report Team Stream