The Google Play Store holds close to 3 million apps, according to recent stats, which means finding the best apps for Android is like finding a needle in a haystack. Rather than trying all of them and losing your mind amid the process, you can take the easy way out and check out our curated list of the best free and paid Android apps of all time.
These are also some of the essential Android apps that you should have on your Android device in 2022. Note: We have made this list considering user ratings, app features, and popularity. Feel free to choose any other alternative app that suits your needs. Do you want to read something about free camera apps for Android? This list comprises of the most essential apps that you could use.
We’ve covered most major categories of apps, from productivity to leisure. The apps in this lest will better your overall Android experience. Nova Launcher has stood as one of the best Android launchers on the Play Store for many years.
The launcher is smooth, fast, lightweight, and comes with tons of customizations. There are numerous icon packs available in the Google Play Store that can help you change its looks.
Essential And Best Android Apps Of 2022
Nova Launcher supports app-drawer customization, has a scrollable dock, notification badges, folder and icon customization, and packs around a dozen gestures for easy navigation. The launcher app is free to download, but its prime version unlocks a lot of other features, including some locked gestures.
App Installs: Over 50 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.5. Spotify is undoubtedly one of the best music streaming services right now. With its large variety of features, it’s hard to use any other app after using Spotify.
Some of Spotify’s unique features include “Listen Along” and Spotify Connect.
11. Express VPN
If you listen to music on several devices, you’ll love Spotify Connect. Moreover, the service’s music suggestion algorithm is quite accurate. App installs: Over 1 billionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.2. SwiftKey’s keyboard from Microsoft is trusted by over 250 million users worldwide. It uses artificial intelligence that enables it to learn and satisfactorily predict what the user intends to type.
Swiftkey features autocorrect and gesture typing for faster input. Moreover, there is an inbuilt GIF search engine and a wide range of themes. It is also an excellent keyboard for bilingual folks. Swiftkey does not store information from password fields or sensitive information such as credit card numbers.
Overall, Swiftkey will enhance your typing experience and no doubt it is one of the essential free Android apps available on the Play Store.
App Installs: Over 500 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.3.
A common name among the most useful apps; Evernote is one tool you need to keep yourself organized in today’s hectic life. Evernote is a cross-platform note-taking utility for 2022 to take notes in a variety of formats, including text, photos, audio, video, sketches, and more.
It syncs across all your devices to facilitate workflow. Evernote also has home-screen widgets for quick access to your notes. I’d say that it is one of the essential Android apps for every user. Evernote’s aesthetically pleasing interface and a large number of functions make it one of the best apps for Android.
That being said, you should also check out Notion, which has become quite popular in productivity apps and for the right reasons. App Installs: Over 100 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.2.
If you’re tired of finding new wallpapers or ringtones, the solution is here.
30. Unified Remote
Zedge is is a great freemium application that offers wallpapers, ringtones, notification tones, and alarm tones with a vast collection to choose from. Zedge is a reliable app that you can choose to get new wallpapers or any sounds from. It also contains festival-based theme options during the festive season. App installs: Over 100 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.4.
WPS is a free Office Suite application with all-in-one features. It is fully compatible with Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and integrates PDF, presentations, spreadsheets, memos, Google docs, etc. The app also comes with a free PDF converter and reader, supports multi-window mode, data encryption, etc. along with file-sharing abilities. It is intuitive and easy to use, and you can also connect it to the Cloud Drive to automatically save your documents on the cloud.
Overall, it is one of the best Android office apps.
13. Brave Browser
App Installs: Over 100 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.6 . MiXplorer is one of the most underrated Android apps that should be on every Android device.
It comes with a plethora of features while keeping a simple and intuitive interface. The file manager app enables users to encrypt or decrypt files using Aescrypt file format. It has a built-in media player, an image viewer, and can open ebooks and PDF files. You can open tabs of different locations on a single screen, which really helps when moving files. On top of that, you can queue tasks such as copy, paste, delete, rename, etc.
Other than that, you can extract zip files, upload them to the cloud or share them using the FTP/HTTP server build-in. It also supports theming options, and you can disable or enable menu options.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are hundreds of more features to discover.
The only con is that the app is not available on the Google Play Store, but on the bright side, there are no ads in the app. WhatsApp is a free, instant messaging Android app where users can communicate with one another using the phone’s internet service.
It is one of the top Android apps in India. WhatsApp provides you the ability to send text messages and voice messages, share links, images, and location, make video calls, etc. to any user worldwide. It offers end-to-end encryption and also has a desktop app. It’s one of the most downloaded apps from the Google Play Store. App Installs: Over 5 billionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.3 .
Send Anywhere is one of the essential Android apps. It saves you from the hassle of carrying your USB data cable around to exchange files with PC, and it also has a web version.
You can share all kinds of files using SendAnywhere as long as the two devices are running the same network.
28. SMS Organizer
That being said, you can also use the Wi-Fi direct to transfer files. You can either send the file directly, where the recipient will need to enter a 6-key passcode to receive the file or create a download link. In the SendAnywhere Plus version, users can send up to 50GB of files in one go.
App Installs: Over 10 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.7. Speaking of the essential apps for Android, this video player supports almost all the primary video and audio file formats. It packs a lot of features, including editing of subtitle timeframes, fast-forwarding and volume control gestures, gestures for zooming in and out of a video, on-screen kid lock, and many more.
MX Player is available for free with ads.
29. Alarm Clock Alarmy
It also comes with a hardware acceleration and additional plugins for extra functionalities. It is still one of the top Android apps for those who prefer watching movies on their smartphone. App Installs: Over 500 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.3.
VPN apps are great if you want to surf the internet anonymously, spoof your location, hide your IP address, or even stream Netflix originals that are blocked in your country. Express VPN is another must-have app for Android users that does all of the above things.
It offers AES 256-bit encryption for safe browsing.
While VPNs usually throttle the network speed, Express VPN relatively offers faster Internet speed than its competitors. A good VPN never comes free of cost, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You can start using Express VPN for $12.95/per month. App Installs: Over 10 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 3.9. PicsArt is one of our favorite photo editing apps for Android. You will be overwhelmed by the number of options you have for customizing your photos. It has a social network for sharing photos within the app. Its features include making a collage, drawing on photos, adding frames, stickers, free cropping, clone tool, tilt-shift, perspective changer tool, and a lot more.
The app is available for free with some in-app purchases and display ads.
App Installs: Over 500 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.2. Brave is a Chromium-based open-source web browser that offers unique features. It contains built-in privacy tools to block ads and trackers on all websites. The browser is lightweight, offers sync support if you use its PC version, and background video playback.
Apart from the usual features, it allows users to display optional ads and get rewarded in Basic Attention Tokens (BAT), that is Brave’s cryptocurrency. App installs: Over 50 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.4.
Feedly is one of the best Android apps.
10. MX Player
It neatly organizes all the information and news for you in a single place. Online magazines, blogs, Youtube channels, and more than 40 million feeds are available within this free RSS reader app.
Many professionals use it to stay ahead of the market as it helps analyze competitors and trends. Feedly is powered by RSS and offers integrations with Facebook, Twitter, Evernote Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. so that you to easily share stories with networks and teammates. We always prefer RSS readers, but you can also check out the best news app for Android. App Installs: Over 5 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.2.
LastPass is a feature-rich password manager and private vault that can keep your passwords and personal information secure.
It has the ability to autofill logins in browsers and apps and can generate new and secure passwords instantly. You can log in with one password instead of remembering a dozen. You can also sync your passwords and data across all of your devices.
It is intuitive and fast across numerous platforms. App Installs: Over 5 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.3. Shazam is a popular music recognition application that can instantly identify music that’s playing in your surroundings.
All you need is to hold your Android device close to the source of the song, and after a few seconds, the app will accurately detect the song.
9. Send Anywhere
Once the song is identified, you can either play snippets of songs or add them instantly to Spotify or Apple Music. You can also buy songs in Google Play Music with one tap and connect your Facebook account. If you are a musicophile, this is one of the must-have Android apps for you.
App Installs: Over 500 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.4. As the name suggests, Automate allows you to automate various tasks using simple flowcharts.
You can automate system Settings to perform tasks like changing volume, Bluetooth, GPS, etc. It even allows you to trigger tasks based on location, time of the day, battery level, and many other events. With this excellent app, you can automate almost anything on your Android device. It even supports plug-in for the popular automation apps like Tasker.
Automate is definitely one of the best apps for Android.
App Installs: Over 1 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.2. Tiny Scanner is a scanner application that can scan documents and save them as image files or as PDFs. You can name and organize the scanned files and share them by email, store them in DropBox, Google Drive, etc.
It comes with many scanner features such as color, grayscale and black & white scans, page edge removal, adjusting page sizes, sorting scans by date and time, etc.
The app is optimized to run fast, and you can also protect your documents with a passcode. App Installs: Over 10 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.8. If you’d like to torrent files, then this free Android app should be on your smartphone.
Flud is one of the best Android torrent clients.
3. Microsoft Swiftkey
It features a simple, intuitive interface, which makes it easy for users to add torrents and download files. For customization, you can opt for a dark theme. There are no upload or download limits. You can pause the download or restart it whenever you like. Apart from that, you can download files sequentially and even set file priority.
App Installs: Over 10 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.5. A habit tracker app combined with a top Alarm app might be the perfect combination to begin working towards your goal. Habit Tracker is an all-in-one goal tracker app for Android, where you set customized goals. For instance, today will be a successful day when I eat apples, (at least/exactly/not more than) two times a day.
Apart from that, this great app for 2022 features detailed reports in the form of graphs and even presents motivation quotes when you are feeling blue.
You can also participate in in-app forums to interact with people that have similar goals.
Believe it or not, this is the best free Android app that you should add to your fitness regime. App Installs: Over 1 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.4. Walli is not just a wallpaper app; it’s a whole creative space for artists and designers from all over the world.
The wallpapers are curated every day by the Walli team. Moreover, a few chosen artists also get a small part of the earnings of the app. As one expects from a wallpaper app, the app is easy to use, with all the wallpapers appropriately structured in each category.
Additionally, signing up on the app also syncs all wallpapers over different devices. Of course, there are millions of wallpapers spread across different apps, but this one is definitely the best Android app for wallpapers.
App Installs: Over 10 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.7.
Air Droid is one of the best screen mirroring apps that is available on the Android platform. Once the app is installed on the Android device as well as on your PC, you can easily share files and mirror your Android screen on your PC.
Not only that, but you can also see notifications, reply to messages, missed calls, and much more. The software also has a web client. AirDroid surely is a must-have free Android app if you are looking to use your Android device on your Windows PC.
App Installs: Over 10 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.3. The lightweight and easy-to-use PDF reader app allows you to view, annotate, and protect PDF files on Android devices.
And you can directly share your edited documents on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
With Connected PDF, you can share your PDF file with a file link, share comments and discussions on PDF documents and even track who read or edit your PDF file. App Installs: Over 5 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.6 . Blokada is another essential free Android app that has avoided the limelight.
It is an open-source ad blocker that actively blocks ads, trackers, malware without taking a toll on the battery. With the help of Blokado, you can quickly look at trackers that are trying to collect private data.
It supports all browsers and provides DNS based interception for new browsers.
8. WhatsApp Messenger
One con is that the full-featured version is not available on the Play Store. Instead, there is a slim version that offers fewer features.
That being said, you can easily download the full version APK file from their official website or F-Droid. App Installs: Over 500KGoogle Play Store Rating: 3.9. We are all well aware of the robust camera capabilities of a Google Pixel smartphone. While it is mainly the camera sensor and Pixel’s on-device machine learning, the Google Camera app also plays a major part in brining out those amazing shots.
Thanks to developers and the open nature of Android, you can download and install the Google Camera app aka GCam app for your smartphone.
Once you do, you will get most of the Pixel camera features, including the iconic Pixel portrait mode, astrophotography, HDR+ and a lot more.
20. Habit Tracker
GCam ports for different Android smartphones can be found on this website. Since these ports are not official apps, you may face bugs or glitches within the app.
Here is a guide on how to install the GCam app on your Android smartphone. Proton Mail is the best open-source Android app of 2022 if you are looking for an encrypted email service. The Android app uses PGP end-to-end email encryption so that no one except the sender and the recipient can view the email.
You can create your own Proton email address, set self-destruct timers for emails, password protected emails you’d send to people who don’t have a proton email ID, and do a lot more. Similar to gmail, you can label emails, use swipe gestures and even customize them.
The only downside is ProtonMail free version comes with certain limitations such as 500MB storage and only 150 messages per day.
25. Google Camera (GCam)
Nevertheless, Proton Mail is the best alternative to Gmail and people who are looking to protect their emails. App Installs: Over 1 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.4. Access Dots is the best new Android app that should be on your smartphone in 2022. It’s for people who deeply care about what android apps are doing behind their back.
Access Dot’s key function is to show indicators in the corner of your screen whenever any third-party app uses your phone’s camera or microphone. But it also has an access log that tells you which app used a sensitive permission and for how long.
You can change the color and size of the indicators based on your preference.
18. Tiny Scanner
It’s the best Android app for 2022 if you don’t want to get secured. App Installs: Over 500 thousandGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.4. If you tend to get too many messages, especially those unwanted promotional offers, then this is a must-have Android app.
SMS Organizer by Microsoft is a great help when it comes to efficiently managing loads of unwanted texts that people receive all day. The brilliant Android app offers a tabular interface, dark theme, intelligent sorting, reminders about bookings, PNR status, and much more.
Also, check out our detailed article on the best offline messaging apps in 2022.
It also features an SMS backup & restore option, which helps in transferring your messages while setting up a new device.
All in all, the SMS Organizer is one of the best free Android apps that deserves some space on our devices. App Installs: Over 1 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.3. If you have a habit of skipping the morning alarm, this is one of the must-have Android apps for your device.
Alarmy has a unique way to break your morning laziness by laying out puzzles and challenges before you can snooze the alarm.
1. Nova Launcher
Furthermore, you can set the difficulty level of these challenges as per your preference. The useful app also features a photo mode where you can turn off the alarm by taking a picture of a registered location.
Dubbed “the most annoying app,” it is certainly one of the essential apps for your Android device. App Installs: Over 10 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.6. Unified Remote is one of the go-to apps for controlling your PC from an Android device.
It uses Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to remotely control your PC and comes preloaded with support for more than 90 popular programs. It supports Windows, Linux, and Mac, and requires a server program to be installed.
Using Unified Remote, you can remotely wake up your computer from sleep using its “Wake on LAN” feature.
23. Foxit PDF Reader
It has features like screen mirroring, keyboard, and mouse, media player controls, etc. and can easily be called one of the top apps of 2022. You can even use it to control a Raspberry Pi or Arduino Yun.
The paid versions unlock a multitude of useful features, including custom remotes and functions for Android wear. If you own the notorious Peel Remote app, try shifting to Unified Remote for a change. App Installs: Over 10 millionGoogle Play Store Rating: 4.4.
Personally, the apps that I use every day from this list are Nova Launcher, Spotify, MiXplorer, Brave Browser, Feedly, and Blokada.
These are some of the essential apps that I would recommend to everyone. Moreover, all the apps in the list are reliable, and you can go for them without second thoughts.
Did you find this list of free and best Android apps for 2022 to be helpful?
Share your views in the comment section.
22. Air Droid
Spotify has become synonymous with online streaming music, thanks to its familiar UI, Facebook integration and massive song library of more than 20 million tracks. The Spotify mobile app has been updated to allow for more free music streaming than ever, and a $9.99 monthly subscription allows you to save an unlimited number of songs for offline listening.
Factor in Spotify's artist radio stations, its growing interest in podcasts and a Browse function for finding playlists, and you'll likely be hitting Play on this app for a long time to come.
27. Access Dots
Contacts+ is an address book replacement that helps organize your contacts and integrates with your social media accounts and communications. The app, which we include among the best contact apps, automatically imports information from linked social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn contacts, allowing you to access them all in one place.
Cover pictures can automatically be filled in from Facebook, and you can view your recent communications from each contact. This means you can keep conversation histories for your friends, family and colleagues.
6. WPS Office
Though it's part of the Facebook galaxy of apps. WhatsApp still deserves your attention as one of the best free Android apps. That's because of WhatsApp's remarkably easy setup, automatic syncing with your phone's contacts and a feature-rich, ad-free experience.
Users can send text, photos, voice and short video messages to their WhatsApp contacts. WhatsApp has been continuously adding to its formula, with updates adding encrypted messaging, video calls, and multi-device and cross-platform compatibility.
Stuck trying to pick which flick to watch? Letterboxd is the cinefile's diary and social network, and its free Android app enables you to share film reviews and recommendations with friends.
Not only can you keep a log of the movies you've seen, complete with ratings, reviews and tags, you can also follow friends, look up cast and crew data for movies and create shareable lists of favorite flicks and actors.