69 of the week's best Android app and game sales
Thanks to events like the Steam sale, you'll find discounts across many storefronts, including the Play Store, and so even though Steam's summer sale is over, we still have a large group of the best Android games and best Android apps on sale for the weekend, including Bad North and My Child Lebensborn, not to mention a sweet discount on Cubasis 3, an excellent DAW for those of you into music creation. As always, I've highlighted all of the interesting titles in bold in order to make discovery easier. So without further ado, here are the best temporarily free and on-sale apps and games for the weekend.
Capture and organize your notes like a pro
Nothing beats the convenience of jotting down quick thoughts whenever they happen, and a note-taking app on your phone is the perfect place to put them. Whether you are looking for a simple note-taking app to replace your sticky notes or an advanced solution with better organization for meeting details, voice recordings, and an interesting article from the web, we've got you covered with the eight best note-taking apps for your phone.
Protection where you need it most
Protecting your passwords is an important part of existing online, especially your master passwords. Once one of these is leaked, you'll have to move on to something brand new, which is certainly an inconvenience. This is why so many people use password managers, especially their mobile apps, and with a wide selection out there, whether you require a free version or something a little more robust, it's hard to choose which password manager to go with. This is why Android Police has put together a password manager roundup to highlight the best Android apps out there, no matter your needs. So put aside your hacker fears; today's roundup offers some of the most intuitive and worthwhile password managers around.
The KakaoTalk messaging app has over 100M downloads, and it's stuck in update limbo
Google has long been wishy-washy about billing rules in the Play Store, but it announced strengthened enforcement in 2020. Not all developers were pleased with the changes, which forbade bypassing the Google Pay system. Epic filed (another) lawsuit, and lawmakers in South Korea passed an in-app payment law known colloquially as the "anti-Google law." It's being put to the test now that the rules have gone into effect. According to local reports, the popular KakaoTalk app is unable to submit updates because includes a link to its website for payments rather than integrating with the Play Store payment platform.
Dealing with the portals to your love life is its own beast
Selena Gomez, one of the great philosophers of our time, once said that the heart wants what it wants. Of course, the head is a different beast altogether, and it's got a lot of priorities to juggle, but finding love is certainly in there somepalce. In the era of the internet, that means dating apps. They're topsy-turvy places because what or, rather, who you get out of these apps may not match up with the effort you put in. Sometimes, that effort also includes a good sum of money. Now, I'm no Dear Abby, but I think it's worth taking the time to figure out some principles to using these services before you try and find your next friend, bedmate, or life partner.
Plus, a smattering of foldable improvements
While Google offers a perfectly serviceable Android browser in the form of Chrome, Samsung's browser has a surprising number of fans. There's a new beta release of this app today (v18), and Samsung has called out a few notable improvements. Chief among them is the new text extraction tool, foldable tweaks, and a more advanced form of tracker blocking.
Don't forget about dear ol' dad and make sure to reserve a table with one of these mobile apps
Trust us, your dad is tired of getting a tie and socks for Father's Day. Unless you're planning on getting him a new grill or that expensive Portal to stay in touch, your pops is probably looking forward to a bit of quality time with the family more than anything else. After all, when was the last time you called to congratulate him on putting up that new fence?
Why use words when you can reply with a custom emoji
Emoji, stickers, and memes have become a language of their own, but sometimes what’s on offer isn’t enough. You have to get in there and craft your own. There are a few ways to do this. Gboard’s Emoji Kitchen lets you mix different emojis together. You can also create a custom cartoon avatar of yourself using Bitmoji. WhatsApp made it possible to create your own custom stickers in its web and desktop versions, but it's still not possible within the mobile app. The other option is to put those drawing skills to use on your mobile device. This guide walks you through turning your illustrations into WhatsApp stickers using the Sticker Maker app.
A running list of the best Android apps available today
Over the years, we've seen many quality apps released on the Play Store, and so we here at Android Police have decided to round up our favorites, the best of the best, the absolute standouts that are clutch for everyday use. So much like our best Android games roundup, today's app list covers everything you'd need to hit the ground running as a new user, and we haven't forgotten our longtime readers either, as we've also included a few lesser-known apps too.
You'll finally be able to use bold and italic text
Google is known for keeping things simple with its apps, and it's exactly what makes them so darn usable — take Google Chrome for example, which is the world's most popular browser despite obviously not being too big on features. But while it's clear that this formula works well often enough, it's problematic at other times. In the case of Google Keep, something as basic as text formatting has been lacking despite the app being out for almost a decade — and even with nearly every other competitor offering the same. But as a new report now shows, that's set to change really soon.
What's your favorite off-the-wall app?
One of the best things about Android is that it's an open platform where anyone can publish an app on the Play Store or even on their own site; anyone and everyone can sideload an APK. Independent app developers can freely experiment with ideas that might not appear on competing platforms like iOS, which is why Android Police has rounded up a handful of quality apps that suit this category, something of a sister article to our best Android apps roundup.
Become engrossed in your next great read with one of these e-reader apps
Finding the right e-book reader app (otherwise known as an eReader) to suit your preferences can be a challenge. There are so many types of e-books, different file formats to consider, and varieties of book types that make the experience complicated.
We're playing catch-up here, but better late than never
Samsung's custom browser app is an alternative to Chrome, which many people use simply because it's pre-loaded on their Samsung phones. But anyone can download Samsung Internet, and you might want to check out the latest version if you're the private type, peeking out at the web from behind your VPN. The v17 release includes privacy and functional improvements, like some tweaks for Samsung's AI-powered Smart Anti Tracking and long-overdue Web Authentication support. It has been in beta, but the stable software is now live.
If you're tired of Gmail, there are plenty of other great options available
Gmail may be the most convenient email app, but there are plenty of alternatives. Choosing an email app is a very personal decision; it can be hard to figure out which email app makes the most sense for managing your messages.
Get all the stats you didn't know you needed
There comes a time when last year's Spotify Wrapped just isn't enough to satisfy your craving for stats anymore. While it is pretty great to discover your overall listening stats, you don't have to wait until the end of each year to check out your listening trends. You can see where you stand at any time if you know where to look. We've rounded up all the ways you can see your Spotify stats on Android and desktop, including fun third-party apps and websites.
Never trust a game that tries to install an app
Google’s rules have long held that the Play Store will not distribute third-party app stores, but no policy has ever taken a strict position forbidding apps from installing APKs, as long as users give consent and malware isn’t involved. However, that’s about to change as a new rule takes aim at this capability and limits it to a fairly narrow group of apps.
Beginners will have no trouble pushing paint around in it either
The iPad and Procreate tend to come to mind when people think of digital art. But what if you've picked up one of the best Android tablets on the market, eager to create your next masterpiece on that? One painting app for Android that stands out above the rest is Infinite Painter. It gives a high-quality drawing experience with a minimalist interface that makes it easy for beginners to use. For advanced users though, there's a wealth of tools that make this a complete painting studio.
Keeping abandonware off your phone
There was a time when we reported obsessively on the number of apps in the Play Store, but that was mostly before it was even called the "Play Store." After all these years, there are more apps than you could ever need—so many, in fact, that we can honestly do without the older ones. Security has been a major feature of recent Android updates, but those abandoned apps don't support all the new requirements. Later this year, Google is taking steps to ensure that the apps of yesteryear don't negatively impact your security.
Great, just what we needed
Spotify made a low-key acquisition last year, picking up a podcast discovery platform called Podz for just shy of $50 million. Thankfully, the name is gone, but the technology from Podz powers a new UI test rolling out to some Spotify users. The toolbar now has a button that launches a TikTok-style feed of podcasts that could help you find your next pod-binge. Or if this change upsets you, there are other music services out there.
Two years ago, Google launched an amazing Android app that helps people who might feel isolated from the world by paralysis or incapacitating conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to communicate in a relatively normal way. The app is called Look to Speak, and it utilizes a phone's front-facing camera to follow a user's eyes as they move from left to right, picking from a list of words and phrases that the phone then reads aloud via text-to-speech. On Sunday night, Google ran a moving ad for Look to Speak during the 2022 Academy Awards.