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.

So if you're itching to see what tops AP's best apps list, you've come to the right place. Enjoy!

Google Maps

Let's start off easy with Google Maps. It's an app that I'm sure most of us have used and are familiar with, but that doesn't discount the usefulness of this listing. Google Maps is a staple, not to mention the go-to map software for mobile devices, and for a good reason, this is still one of the best maps and navigation software currently available.

Google Maps is an excellent app for hunting down food to eat, gas stations to stop at, and you can even review the places you've visited. Plus, the navigation aspect is sublime. While I know people love Waze, there's no denying that Google Maps is used by more people, allowing its crowd-sourced content to continually grow at a much faster clip than any other mapping software out there. So whether you're looking for a rideshare, the closest biking path, or simply want to know how long of a walk it is to the grocery store, Google Maps is more than likely the place you'll be looking for this info.


If you happen to eat out a lot for dating and family outings and often find yourself making reservations, OpenTable is absolutely indispensable to securing a table with ease. Plus, if you're an avid foodie, then OpenTable is also a great discovery app for uncovering some of the better eats in your area. Add on top user reviews, and you have a perfect app to uncover not only good eats that are well-reviewed but also a perfect app for securing your table on the day you prefer.

Best of all, OpenTable is free to use and doesn't contain any in-app purchases to muddy up the experience. What you see is what you get, and what you get is a quality app for restaurant discovery and booking. What's not to like?

Duolingo: language lessons

Learning a new language is challenging, but there are plenty of apps that can help with this, with Duolingo as a standout that covers 35+ languages through easily-digestible bite-sized lessons. Essentially, the company gamified learning new languages, and unsurprisingly this method helps to keep users motivated. You can even track your own progress to ensure you are hitting your goals.

Keep in mind if you choose to use the app for free, the content is limited. There is an optional subscription that's $6.99 a month, and the first 14-days with full access are free, so you can check everything out before going out of pocket. So if you have the urge to learn a new language or simply want to pick up a few helpful phrases for your next trip, Duolingo is certainly handy in a pinch, thanks to its accessible lessons.

Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard

One of the great things about Android is its versatility: you can use third-party tools to replace some of your core components, such as your software keyboard. So if you're not a fan of Gboard, or would like to simply test an option many Android users consider to be better, then Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard may be what you're looking for.

SwiftKey is a full-featured software keyboard, now owned by Microsoft, bringing to the table excellent swipe-based input. Like many software keyboard apps, this release learns from your typing, so ideally, its predictions get better the more you use it.

Sync for reddit (Pro)

There are many Reddit apps out there, some have come and gone, and others have stuck around. Sync for reddit is one of the mainstays, it's been around for years, with active development the entire time, and it's my personal go-to Reddit app. It's easily themeable, suits phones and tablets alike, and you can even browse Reddit when its servers are having issues, which seems to be pretty often in the last few years.

Like all Reddit apps, issues can pop up, but at least the dev is responsive, so you know these issues won't stick around for too long. Sync for reddit is already ten years old, but it's still popular because it's reliable.

Tor Browser: Official, Private, & Secure

The Tor Browser is a privacy tool, a browser that blocks trackers and fingerprinting while also offering encryption. It's also a handy tool to get around any sites your ISP or country block, much like a VPN. Best of all, it's open-source, which means it's completely free to use and always will be. Whether you're a security-conscious user or simply want to cruise banned sites or onion sites, then the Android version of the Tor Browser is definitely an app to install to ensure it's there when you need it.

Twitch: Live Game Streaming

If you play video games, then you've probably heard of Twitch. It's a game streaming platform, now owned by Amazon, and it's the go-to place to view and stream gaming videos. Wether you want to check out the mechanic of a fresh release, or simply want to see how older games are tackled, Twitch more than likely contains that content. And if there's something you feel is missing, you can spin up your very own stream to fill that hole in the market. You can watch for free as the service is ad-supported, and if you like a streamer, you can subscribe to their channel for $4.99 while earning a few perks. Two more subscription tiers are also available for $9.99 and $24.99.


There are many apps out there if you'd like to paint and draw on your Android device, but Sketchbook stands above the rest thanks to its ease of use and thought-out design. Nothing is ever too cluttered, and yet all of your tools are typically a tap away. The app supports layers, and thanks to a wide range of brush and pen/pencil tips, you're never left in the lurch wanting for more. So if you're big into sketching, like black books for graffiti designs, Sketchbook is a beautiful tool that throws out the need for paper. Plus, the app is free, something the competition simply doesn't offer.


This one is for all of your automation nuts out there. Tasker is one of the most powerful tools on Android, and despite Google's constant whittling away of OS access, the app has continued to find an audience, which is a testament to how useful Tasker is.

There are over 350 different actions available to set up your own automations (all without the need for root access), such as turning on a dark mode at a particular time of day or automatically switching off notifications once you connect to your home wifi after work. While I wouldn't call the app intuitive, those that spend their time figuring things out will be rewarded. There's a 7-day free trial for anyone that wants to take a look, and if you like what you see, you can unlock the full app with a single purchase.

Google Drive

There are many cloud storage solutions out there, but seeing that we're all using Android phones, it makes sense that Google's cloud storage option has some of the best integration with the OS and its apps. For me, I'm a big reader, and I prefer to keep my e-books on a local drive, but I also keep my staples in the cloud so that I can access them with ease no matter what reading app I'm using at the time.

It's a rare day that an Android app doesn't offer Drive support if it also offers support for other cloud storage services. Plus, with the Drive app installed, you won't even have to rely on other apps with built-in connections to Drive. All around, Drive is one of the most convenient cloud storage services out there for Android users, and since it's an app many of us rely on every day, it's easily one of the all-time best apps out there.

Twilio Authy 2-Factor Authentication

There are more than a few two-factor authorization apps on the Play Store, and even Google offers one. Twilio (formerly Authy) has the ability to save your info in the cloud, which means if you change devices often, you won't be left out. This way, you can easily move phone to phone, tablet to tablet, over the course of years, and you'll still have access to all of the accounts you stored in Twilio.

Really, who can remember all the accounts they have two-factor turned on for? I know I always forget, which is precisely why my go-to for 2-factor authentication is always Twilio. This way, anytime a site or service asks for my 2-factor code, all I have to do is install Twilio on whatever Android device I have on hand, and I'm good to go.

Poweramp Music Player

If you're looking to play locally-stored music with one of the best audio engines around, Poweramp Music Player is that app. Not only is this the longstanding king, but it's also been updated several times over the years to offer a better and better experience. If you're big into FLACs and other lossless files, this is one of the best apps available to play them.

Poweramp is an audio player for audiophiles that's also great for everyone else. To this day, you can still unlock the complete feature set of Poweramp through a single purchase, which is remarkable for an eleven-year-old app that's managed to stand the test of time.


What would an all-time best-of Android app list be without YouTube on it? As everyone is well aware, YouTube is the go-to service for community-made video content. It also houses all of our purchased Play Store movies, plus there's tons of music on there, along with an endless sea of tutorials, reviews, and first-looks. The answers to all of life's questions are squirreled away somewhere on the service, and it's only a matter of digging them up so that you're better informed. Plus, many make a living posting content to the site.

YouTube is basically its own ecosystem of video content, a neverending stream of information at everyone's fingertips, and because of that, it's probably one of the most used mobile apps out there. If you watch video content, then you've more than likely used YouTube several times over. This is an app that doesn't need an introduction, but it is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal, which is why it's in today's best-of roundup.

Solid Explorer File Manager

There's a boatload of file managers available on the Play Store, and somehow Solid Explorer has managed to remain one of the best options. Not only does this app work great on Android TV and Chromebooks, but it's also super useful on Android phones and tablets. The number of features available blow the stock pre-installed options on our devices out of the water.

Solid Explorer offers built-in cloud storage support, including Drive, plus archiving is supported, which means you can easily open RAR files (perfect for those of us that collect comics archived as CBRs). There's also built-in NAS support and FTP support, not to mention a host of themes. Anyone can try the app for free, and if you'd like to unlock the app, you can do so through an in-app purchase. Some functions are sold piecemeal, but these are the more niche options most people won't use.

ZOOM Cloud Meetings

Thanks to Covid, I'm sure more than a few of you are familiar with the video conferencing service ZOOM. The app is free and supports up to 100 participants in its free tier meetings, which is precisely why the service is so hot right now. There are also paid plans, and these range from $16 a month to $20, and these plans bump up how many participants are allowed to 1000 while also extending the time limit allowed for these streams.

No matter how you slice it, ZOOM is one of the best video conferencing apps out there. It's easy to set up, and unless you run a large business, you can easily use it for free with friends and family, even on Chromebooks.

Bitwarden Password Manager

Password managers might not appeal to everyone, especially since Google offers a built-in manager with Chrome, but if you're looking for an extra bit of security, Bitwarden Password Manager is one of the best choices available. An unlimited number of passwords are supported, plus these passwords are protected with plenty of encryption, including AES-256 bit, salted hashtags, and PBKDF2 SHA-256 keys. There's also a built-in password generator, so you won't have to think up your own passwords.

Bitwarden is also a cross-platform service, which means you're covered on other operating systems. Basically, Bitwarden offers all of the features you'd expect from the more well-known subscription apps, except it's open-source, and there's a free tier for individuals. It doesn't get much better than this. Heck, even if you want to subscribe to the premium tier, it's only $10 a year.

Zillow: Houses & Apartments

Straight up, who doesn't love looking at the available houses on the market while dreaming big? Zillow is probably the most well-known real estate app out there, and for a good reason, it's a blast to peruse. Pick a town, and then start looking at the many pics of each home that strikes your fancy. Estimated prices are included, along with the general taxes, which means you can quickly decide if a house fits your current budget. You can even schedule tours of these houses within the app, and you can make offers. Heck, even if you're only into looking at pics of strange houses and crime scenes, this is the app for you.

Simple Mobile Tools is something of a staple on Android, and a few of their apps have gone paid, with Simple Gallery Pro leading the charge as a standout. There's also a free deprecated version, though the Pro app is easily worth $1.30. Not only are there tons of sorting options for the gallery, but there's also a built-in editor. Compared to the stock photo apps that ship with Android devices, Simple Gallery Pro is a breath of fresh air. Many consider it the best gallery app on the platform, and I agree.

Spotify: Music and Podcasts

I used to be a diehard FLAC fanatic, only playing my music files locally, never streaming. It took a holiday sale on Spotify (free Hulu) for me to take it for a spin, and while I was at first unimpressed, once I built up a library of my favorite music, Spotify became infinitely more helpful. The way I see it is I'm paying Spotify monthly not only for access to tons of music but for Spotify's recommendations. Specifically Discovery Weekly and Release Radar. These weekly customized playlists are how I now discover a vast amount of new music, worlds better than the crawling I used to do on Amazon and iTunes for new releases.

For a person who rarely feels subscriptions are worth it, Spotify continues to be worth every penny every month. Sure, there are some downsides, like live music in playlists, and remixes, plus the constant assault of podcast promotion, so it's not all sunshine and rainbows, but I've still yet to find a better music streaming service, and that's coming from a Play Music convert.

MX Player Pro

Out of all of the native video players on Android, MX Player is one of the oldest, and yet it's still one of if not the best video players currently available, all thanks to its vast video codec support. Sure, you can view most videos in Photos or any of the built-in manufacturer players, but MX almost always performs better. It's handy on a phone and tablet and even more helpful on Chromebooks and Android TV. I've yet to find a file this video player can't play. Even if you get most of your media from the high seas, MX Player shouldn't falter.