At the beginning of 2018, there were 2.3 million active Android smartphones and 3.5 million apps available in Google Play. Impressive numbers! No wonder that it’s easy to get lost in this variety, especially, for newcomers. That’s why we prepared this article with the most popular apps which will suit all Android users regardless of their age, occupation, or social status.
We will not consider paid apps and games in this particular article. There are a lot of noteworthy names which deserve a separate review. We tried to diversify categories, so all five apps are completely different.
The world’s leading social network brand was 5th to hit 1+ billion downloads and the first non-Google product to pass that mark. Facebook doesn’t need a detailed review, right? It allows for managing the news feed, public posts, messages, photos, videos, events, groups, and so on. If you have friends, you will use Facebook to stay in touch with them. If you don’t have friends, you will use it to make them.
Most popular alternatives in this category are products from the same developer:
- Facebook Lite is a simplified version of Facebook with its full functionality;
- Messenger and Messenger Lite are stand-alone apps for chatting with friends;
- WhatsApp is another go-to messenger with voice/video calls;
- Instagram is the number-one network for photo sharing.
Also, there is Skype designed by Microsoft in the 1+ billion downloads list. This app is mostly used for video calls. Beyond the above list, you might be interested in Viber, LINE or Snapchat for communicating and socializing.
Flipboard is the most popular news aggregator, which collects data from thousands of social media sites, digital journals, photo and video sharing networks, and other platforms. It arranges news in blocks and allows to choose interesting topics and sources, making customized compilations for each user.
- News Republic is another news aggregator with the RSS feed for viewing full articles;
- BuzzFeed is a source of breaking news, jokes, and quizzes… lots of quizzes;
- Reddit is a news sharing platform with a huge number of various topic-based subs and communities.
Another top alternative is Pocket. The app is slightly different from Flipboard as it allows for saving interesting articles, photos, videos, notes, and posts to read them later. Pocket has the recommendations section, which also acts as a news aggregator.
Optimization tools: Clean Master
Despite the fact that this category is extremely broad, Clean Master surpasses all alternatives. It works as a junk cleaner, antivirus, photo storage, connection security keeper, battery saver, game and app booster – all in one. This makes Clean Master a multi-purpose tool.
- Dropbox is the ultimate storage and file-sharing service which syncs data from all the devices used;
- Evernote acts as a notes keeper, calendar, and to-do list for mobile and desktop;
- LastPass generates and auto-fills unique passwords for each site you use.
There are also various VPN services, file managers, third-party calendars, calculators, browsers, and customizable keyboards, so it’s up to you to decide which one to choose if you don’t like native versions.
Photo/video editing: VSCO
Pre-installed camera apps aren’t the best choice when it comes to image quality and, especially, filters. That’s why we suggest VSCO even though it does not appear in the 500+ million downloads list. The app includes a wide range of filters and other editing options. VSCO also acts as a camera controller.
- Retrica is a photo-editing app with extra options like stickers adding, image sharing, and messaging;
- Snapseed is a full-featured tool for professional photo editing;
- Prisma allows for creating artworks from regular photos.
Spotify is a music streaming service that gives access to free music and allows users to arrange their playlists by albums and tracks. It also supports an offline mode with downloaded tracks, shareable playlists, and radio stations. There’s Spotify Premium with the ad-free user experience.
- SoundCloud is another audio distribution and sharing platform that lets users from across the globe listen to music online;
- Shazam is a music-recognition tool that helps you to instantly find any song you like.
Apart from music streaming apps, there are also various audio players and managers like MX Player. If you aren’t comfortable with in-built products, get this one. It has both free and paid versions without ads.
Other apps to check
Clearly, there are more apps that can be utilized by smartphone and tablet users on a daily basis. Here are several other popular categories with a brief description and examples of the best apps:
- Adobe services for Android offer a bunch of titles for document and media editing that can be synced with desktop apps.
- Microsoft services for Android represent another package of text/media editing, e-mailing, online browsing, and collaboration apps.
- Gambling apps for Android provide access to casinos, sportsbooks, and other games of chance. Such apps support all types of gambling that desktop versions do.
Top it all, there are Google apps that are usually pre-installed on Android devices and can be used for storing, editing, and sharing files. You can check them all on the Developer’s page in Google Play.