22 Free Best Android Apps That You Must Have [By Category]

Srivishnu Ramakrishnan

One of the greatest strengths of Android is its apps. There are thousands of apps available in the Google Play Store. We have compiled a list of free and best Android apps that you must have on your Android device for a seamless experience.

Android as an ecosystem has come a long way; in terms of both design and functionality. We all remember how Gingerbread looked and now, we have the beautiful material design language. I still remember, back then, Google Play Store used to be called as Android Market. Good old days. With Android, Android Market has also evolved in terms of usability and the number of apps it has got to offer.

With thousands and thousands of apps available in the Google Play Store, it could get quite cumbersome to find the best apps. It’s like trying to find a needle in the haystack. In this comprehensive guide, we have come up with a list of best Android apps that every user must take advantage of, to experience Android at it’s best.

Best Android Apps

Finding the best apps could be harder given the total number of apps available in the Google Play Store. Especially, when you are new to the Android ecosystem, it could get even harder. That is the reason why we have decided to pick the best apps in each category to make your life a little easier!

The list is quite a big one, we have written a detailed coverage in the next part of the article. But, if you like to cut down to the chase, use the below table to download the best apps in each category. Simply click on the app name to download the particular app from Google Play Store. Neat, ain’t it?
Category App
Launcher Nova Launcher
Messaging Textra
Keyboard Gboard
Gallery Simple Gallery
Browser Google Chrome
Music Player Musicolet
Video Player MX Player
Notes Google Keep
Productibity Evernote
Photo Editing Snapseed
Media Backup Google Photos
File Manager MiXplorer
File Sharing SHAREit
Instant Messaging WhatsApp
Video Calling Google Duo
News Google News
Office WPS Office + PDF
Cloud Storage Google Drive
Navigation Google Maps
Scanner CamScanner
Remote Control Unified Remote
RSS Reader Feedly

Nova Launcher

Android is all about customization. Unlike iOS, which does not let users use an alternate way to organize their apps in the home screen, Android has a lot of homescreen replacements aka Android Launchers available in the Google Play Store. More often than not, the default launcher that comes preinstalled with your Android device does not let you customize much. But fret not, for custom Android Launchers are to the rescue. Nova Launcher is one of the best, if not the best, Android Launcher out there right now. Even though there is a premium version, the free version of the app is pretty solid and offers a ton of customization such as changing icon packs, choosing app layouts, organizing apps into a folder, etc.


Just like the stock Android Launcher, the stock messaging app is no good either. Sure, they have gotten better in the recent times, but they are nowhere near custom messaging clients that we find on the Google Play Store. Textra is one such app which offers tons of customizations and functionalities. The app is beautifully designed by following the Material Design Guidelines and you can customize almost every single aspect of the app.

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Every manufacturer has their own version of Keyboard built in with their devices. More often than not, those keyboards are horrible, ugly, and slow. If you are looking for a simple, beautiful and feature-rich keyboard app, then look no further than Gboard. There were times when you had to install keyboards like Swiftkey to get a great experience, but, times have changed.

Simple Gallery

The stock gallery app that comes preinstalled with any Android device is feature rich, no doubt about that. For example, in recent years, Samsung Gallery app has improved quite a bit. It has a lot of features built right in. But if you want none of that extra stuff and just want a fast, clean gallery app – Simple Gallery is the one you are looking for. There are no ads and the app is extremely lightweight.

Google Chrome

Most of the times, you might get the Google Chrome pre-installed on your device along with the browser made by your device’s manufacturer. But if not, you must absolutely get it from Google Play Store right away. The app offers an option to sign-in to your Google account. What you browse in one device can be synced across multiple devices and platforms. Google keeps the browser constantly updated and secure.



Musicolet is a relatively new player in the game but it has gained quite a bit fo fan following for itself in a short period of time. The app has a 4.7 Star Rating with more than 31,000+ ratings in total; that has got to mean something, right? The app is very feature-rich and is absolutely free of cost; not even Ads, that’s right! The app comes with a built-in equalizer, Folder browsing option, Sleep timer, Earphone controls and several other nifty little options!

MX Player

All right, I am just gonna go ahead an say it out loud – the Android video player that comes with the device sucks. It’s no good. If you want a beautifully designed video player that plays literally any video format you throw at it, go ahead and download MX Player. It is the best in the business. VLC Player may be the best in Desktop OS, but MX Player beats every other video player in Android hands down.

Google Keep

Google Keep is the light-weight, beautifully designed note-taking app from Google. The app comes in handy when you want to take quick notes or make a list for grocery shopping or just want to quickly save a link. The app also comes with a sync functionality. There is also a desktop client for the app which comes in handy when needed! The app syncs across multiple devices and platforms seamlessly!


Evernote is hands-down, the best productivity app available in the Google Play Store. It is like Google Keep on steroids! You can use this app for advanced note-taking. Such as when you want to save a picture inside a note or when you want to save credit card information and stuff like that. The app comes with passcode/fingerprint functionality to help protect your confidential/private information. There is also a desktop client with which you can access all the data in any browser. The app also comes with a corss device/platform sync functionality.

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Snapseed is the best, light-weight, no-nonsense photo editor available on the Google Play Store. The app is very feature-rich and is made by Google itself. The app rocks a great design and makes the whole photo editing process a total breeze. There are basic photo editors such as brightness, Saturation, highlights, etc. There are also some advanced options such as healing tool and a bunch of predefined filters as well.

Google Photos

If this one doesn’t come pre-installed with your device, then you must definitely go ahead and download it right away. Google Photos is not your average photo gallery, no sir. It is much, much more. One of the biggest reason to use this app is that it offers unlimited photo storage (up to 16 megapixel, which is more than enough for most people!). The app automatically creates animations, videos, albums, stories from your uploaded photos. It even reminds you of older photos based on date.


MiXplorer is another great free app which is too good to be free! The stock file explorer that comes with the device will not offer much functionality out of the box. The app offers a lot of customization options by which you can tweak the way the app looks and feels. Support of most compressed file formats, ebook reader options, advanced search functionalities is some of its key features.


Gone are the days of infrared and Bluetooth file transfers. Now, you can use the Wireless hotspot technology in Android to make lightning-fast file transfers from one device to another. You can transfer a 1GB file in a matter of less than 2 or 3 minutes. While there are many such apps which provides this functionality, SHAREit still remains the king in this space.


Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, there is no way you have never heard of WhatsApp. It has over 1 billion active users and almost anyone who owns a smartphone will have a WhatsApp account. The userbase alone makes it the winner in instant messaging space. It is the only app that you will ever need for instant messaging!

Google Duo

Even though WhatsApp or even Skype offers video calling functionality, Google duo makes the whole experience even more awesome. Especially in lower connections, Google Duo performs really, really well when compared to its competitors. Google Duo is the highest quality one-to-one video calling app. It’s simple, reliable and works on both iOS and Android phones. Simple interface, cross-platform availability, awesome call quality in low-speed connections are the key features of the app.

Google News

If you like to read the news on the go, then Google News is the app you are looking for. Sure, there are thousands of other news apps available from various established publishers in the Google Play Store, but, none are as curated and as clean as Google News. Google News pulls the data from various online publications and presents them to the user in a beautiful way. The news is curated under different categories for user’s convenience. Google has recently cracked down on fake news sites and hence you can rest assured that the Google News will offer news from legit well-known sources.

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WPS Office

WPS Office is your one-stop solution for all your office needs. WPS Office is the smallest size (less than 35MB) and all-in-one complete free office suite on Android mobile and tablets, integrates all office word processor functions: Word, PDF, Presentation, Spreadsheet, Memo and Docs Scanner in one application, and fully compatible with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Doc and Adobe PDF format. It also comes with a free PDF Reader, PDF Converter, and PDF Editor. Supported File Formats: doc, docx, wpt, dotm, docm, dot, dotx / xls, xlsx, xlt, xltx, csv, xml , et, ett / PDF / ppt, pot, dps, dpt, pptx, potx, ppsx / txt / log, lrc, c, cpp, h, asm, s, java, asp, bat, bas, prg, cmd, Zip. A total of 51 languages and all file formats are supported.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a secure and safe place to store all your files. The beauty of Google Driver is that it puts all your files within reach from any smartphone, tablet, or computer. Files in Drive – like your videos, photos, and documents – are backed up safely so you can rest assured that they are never lost. Once there, you can easily invite others to view, edit, or leave comments on any of your files or folders.

Google Maps

Google Maps is a must-have apps for anyone and everyone who uses an Android device. Google Maps is by far the most accurate and detailed mapping tech available on the universe. Sure, there are apps such as Nokia Here WeGo but nothing even comes close to Google Maps in terms of functionality and user-friendliness.


CamScanner helps you scan, store, sync and collaborate on various contents across smartphones, iPads, tablets, and computers. You can quickly digitize the document, optimize the scan quality, extract text from image, AirPrint and Fax Documents, Secure important documents, etc.

Unified Remote Full

The one-and-only remote control app for your computer. This app turns your Android smartphone into a WiFi/Bluetooth universal remote control for Windows PC, Mac and Linux. Preloaded with support for 90+ programs including mouse & keyboard, media players, presentations, screen mirroring, power control, file manager, terminal, and much more.


Your central place to organize, read, and share the information you need to stay ahead of the next big trend in your industry. With Feedly, you can easily organize all your publications, blogs, YouTube channels, and more in one place and consume and share more efficiently. No more zig-zagging. All the content comes to you in one place, in a clean and easy-to-read format.

What Are Your Picks?

So, above were our picks for the must-have Android apps that everyone should have on their Android for a seamless experience. With thousands and thousands of apps in every single category, we are pretty sure that there are more than one great app in any particular category. The apps we have given here are chosen based on user ratings, number of downloads, and the value they offer the user.

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