As its name suggests, this app turns any piece of paper into a readable PDF on your smartphone. It's a great way of keeping track of receipts, business cards, and whiteboards. You can then make notes on these scans or just save them online for your records. It's the easiest and cheapest way for living without paper. Alternatives: CamScanner , Office Lens. Phones comes tock with calculators, but they're a far cry from the Texas Instrument monstrosities that students need. While most of us don't need such an extravagant, number-crunching machine, the scientists among us—of the numerically inclined—will be much better served with CustomCalc.
Easy to use, completely customizable, and perfect for business, finance, science, and unit conversions, it's the last calculator you'll ever need. End-to-end encryption is what you should be looking for in any messenger you use. Although popular options like WhatsApp and Allo offer the feature, it's Signal from Open Whisper Systems that really gets the tech right. WhatsApp owned by Facebook and Allo made by Google are companies with an incentive to gather data on its users they also store data , but Signal has no business model and exists just through donations and grants.
If the government comes knocking for your information, Signal has absolutely nothing to give them, which is exactly the kind of chat protection you want. Alternatives: WhatsApp , Telegram. If you don't love the idea of voluntarily giving Google all of your information, you can use Any. The app can synch across all devices and ecosystems, has an easy-to-read design, and you can set reminders to trigger based on time and location. Like Evernote, it's a powerful all-in-one app, but at the very least, it's the best task management app you'll find. Alternatives: Google Tasks , Todoist. There are many, many, many fitness apps out there, so if you're heavily invested in quantifiable heath data, MyFitnessPal helps keep track of the madness while having tons of features of its own.
It has a recipe important, calorie counter, nutrient tracker, and water tracking for making sure you stay happy and healthy. It also connects with other fitness apps, creating a close-to-complete picture of your health. Alternatives: Google Fit , Runtastic. To live and work on the internet is to deal with an endless amount of passwords—too many to realistically and accurately remember. That's where LastPass comes in.
Store passwords and logins with LastPass and the service will autolog you into all of your services. Not a bad price for making the internet a less stressful place to live. Alternative: 1Password. Bitcoin isn't going anywhere but up , and there are several apps that can help keep track of your crypto-wallet—but our favorite is Blockfolio. The app tracks of 3, different types of cryptocurrencies, gives you an accurate snapshot of your portfolio and the market.
And the best thing? It's free. Alternatives: Blockchain Wallet , Coinbase , Delta. Reddit is a great online resource for finding how-tos or very impassioned opinions about The Last Jedi —but it's not the best designed service on the web. Luckily third-party apps like Relay pick up the slack.
With Material Design, dark mode, and plenty of customization, you'll never want to browse Reddit any other way. Alternatives: Boost , Slide. If you use a Pixel, this is already your photo app, but if you're not using Google Photos, fix that immediately. Google Photos is a super-smart photo assistant that can store all your images in the cloud a very less frustrating version of iCloud , and also intelligently organize photos using machine vision so all your snaps are searchable.
Also, it creates mini-films when it notices a lot of photos from the same day or location. It's simply the best out there. Updating your dialer or contacts app may not be something you'd consider, but after using Drupe, you'll wonder how you lived without it. Drupe comes with an in-app call recorder, has an ultra-organized phone book, can be just a swipe away on your homescreen, and you can send a GIF with any outgoing call because why not? It's worth giving Drupe a shot. Alternatives: Truecaller , ExDialer. Android comes with some wallpaper options, but more is always better.
Zedge lets you personalize your wallpaper, ringtones, and icons at the perfect price—free. Android isn't so lucky—but at least there's Pushbullet. Download the Pushbullet client on your Android phone and your Mac or PC, and you can seamlessly send files and receive text messages no matter what device you're on. It's one of those "must-have" apps.
Spotify is great for streaming, but not everyone likes burning through their data just to listen to music. If you already have an impressive MP3 collection, then Poweramp is the best app to play them. It has an amazing amount of audio customization, and its interface has only gotten better throughout the years.
It can also play an insane variety of audio files, so you can make sure you'll never hit a snag when you're rocking out. Alternatives: BlackPlayer , Phonogragh. The stock Twitter app isn't the best when it comes to user-friendliness. If you're looking for something different, Talon is a great place to start. With Material Design, Dark Mode, third-party integrations, and extensive mute controls, it's much, much better than the official app. Alternative: Fenix 2. Learning is great, learning anything you want for free is even better. Chose from a variety of subjects like math, science, economics, computing, finance, grammar, history, government, politics—to name a few.
Khan Academy is the perfect app for people addicted to learning. Smartphones aren't known for their mental health benefits, but apps like Simple Habit make a compelling case. Simple Habit helps reduce stress in your life by presenting you with meditation guides tailored for your life.
Select your current location and how much time you have to spare, and let your mind relax from the hustle of everyday life. Alternative: Headspace. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. How a Water Heater Works. Michael Stillwell. Read It Later. Sam Ruston. Weather Timeline. FREE While Google Maps gets the job done for basic navigation, turn to Waze when you're headed for a crowded city or taking off on a road trip. FREE More than just a simple budget manager, Mint lets you track all of your finances by connecting to checking, savings, finance, k, and credit card accounts.
FREE Now that you've got a pile of pictures on your phone, you'll need a good photo editor to whip them into shape. Xiavier Guillemane. Podcast Addict. Oliver Wittchow. BUY Remember the bleeps and bloops of the 8-bit tunes that played alongside all your favorite old video games? Evie Labs Inc. Evie Launcher. FREE If you're a lover of all sports, following your favorite teams can be a bit tricky without having apps for each sport. BUY This one is for the pros. Evernote Corporation. FREE If you're someone that needs thing written down—or are struck by moments of inspiration throughout the day—Evernote will help you keep your life organized across all of your devices.
The Tor project operates under the principle that "internet users should have private access to an uncensored web. The Tor browser may perform more slowly than other browsers, given its complicated inner workings, but that drawback should be negligible for the users who appreciate and rely on its protections.
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The problem with most mobile messengers is convincing your friends to sign up. But the odds are that most people you know are already on Facebook. This is handy, because the Facebook Messenger app is fantastic. It's simple, clean, and easily handles voice and video calling. But for me, the best part will always be the gorgeous stickers.
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Most people are probably familiar with LinkedIn as a service only visited in times of desperation; after being laid off or after a day in the office so bad that you're just not going to take it anymore. While that might still be true, the LinkedIn app aims to be a companion to LinkedIn web service that you check every day.
Sure there's the all-important profile pages showing off your work experience, and the handy tools for networking, but the service now includes visitor metrics and a newsfeed for a decidedly more social feel. It's also sometimes the only way to chat with a businessperson you're looking to connect with. It's like Facebook for grown-ups. At first, Snapchat was a little dangerous, popular with the hip and the young, and utterly baffling to everyone else.
With Snapchat , you quickly snap and exchange photos with one or several friends. The app also supports video snaps, as well as voice and video calling. The catch is that whatever you send will vanish after a few seconds. It's just a fun and ephemeral way to share the world around you. New updates make the service much easier to use, let you save old snaps, and build ongoing public stories. The more things change, the more they just turn into Facebook. There are a lot of apps out there that pay lip service to security and privacy, but Signal was built from the ground up with the goal of letting people easily communicate without having to worry about being overheard.
The Signal app is a complete phone and SMS client replacement though it works just fine as a standalone app, too for sending and receiving encrypted calls and messages. A recent update has greatly improved the app's look and feel, proving that security and usability don't have to be at odds.
Textra is an excellent alternative to Messages on Android. The app includes tons of visual customization options that you won't find with the stock messaging app, including custom contact colors, text bubble styles, and notification icons. Additionally, you get extra features such as text scheduling, the ability to blacklist contacts, and the option to rename group conversations. Textra also has excellent light and dark modes. In a world rife with messenger apps, WhatsApp is among the most successful, boasting an enormous and dedicated user base. Add to that an integrated web version that lets users take their chats to the desktop.
Recently, this app was bolstered by encrypted messaging provided by the minds behind Signal. It might just be the largest secure messaging service out there. Sometimes the most secure message is one that simply doesn't exist. That's the thinking behind Wickr Me , a fully encrypted secure messaging service that even handles media messages. The twist is that you set a lifespan for each message, ensuring that your private messages stay private, the way Snapchat message do.
And, if you doubt their security chops, here's what the company's founder told the FBI when they asked for a backdoor. Cookpad connects you with a vibrant array of recipes. Easily add favorite recipes, manage shopping lists, and find new recipes you'll love based on those you already like. Once you start using it, you'll have one less excuse to eat out. Remember the bad old days of ordering food? You needed takeout menus, knowledge of the terrain "will they even deliver out here? Seamless takes care of all that, even letting you pay via credit card from your Android.
The only drawback? It's not available in every city or even every state , though it has expanded its range dramatically since it was first included on this list. Untappd helps you record each brew you try along with a rating and tasting notes. Think of it as Swarm for beer! No more staring at a tap list, trying to remember which ones you've had before. The app also has a vibrant community of beer drinkers that can point you toward new discoveries and an extensive list of beers. It's also a handy way to find your favorite brew near your current location. While it's not perfect, it can change the way you think of beer.
It pays to be a little skeptical of crowd-sourced reviews, but Yelp can tell you a lot more than just what people thought of a bar, restaurant, or just about any other place where you spend money. Many locations list hours of operation, contact information, and menus, making it easy to find the perfect spot in your neighborhood or a new city. Menstruators the world over will rejoice over Clue, a simple app with a beautiful design for tracking your period and predicting when the next will occur.
Using the data you enter about your cycle—and other factors—you can use Clue to plan ahead, whether it's for pregnancy or just to keep ahead of your cycle. Reminders and a handy calendar tool can help take the guesswork out of life. Best of all, it's totally gender neutral, and not the expected pink. Tracking your period isn't just about knowing the cycle, but also the other factors surrounding it.
Eve by Glow lets you track physical and emotional states, which can lead to some important insights when you take the time to interpret your own data. Eve also boasts a vibrant community and a wealth of information about sexual health built right in.
You might know Fitbit from its popular fitness trackers , but the app that powers those devices works well on its own, too. Using your just your smartphone assuming you meet the minimum hardware requirements , this fitness app can count steps and log activities to help you achieve daily goals.
There are also social features, so you can compete against your friends. It's a must-have really, you must have it for Fitbit users, but also a smart choice for anyone looking to be more active. This calorie counter and exercise tracker aims to help you lose weight the old-fashioned way—expending more calories than you take in. With its smart design and an extensive library of foods, it makes quickly logging the calories you take in and what you burn while exercising a snap.
A barcode scanner makes it even easier to log that post-workout snack. This fitness app also plays nice with other such apps, so your data won't be tied up in just one place. MyFitnessPal won't give you a whole workout regimen, but it can make you more aware of your habits. Runtastic PRO can do much more than just track your favorite running routes. This excellent fitness app keeps track of all sorts of useful data and can return information-rich maps to help you plan future outings.
It also features a fully integrated music player, for a seamless workout experience. Use it for cycling, hiking, and walking, too. Zocdoc makes it easy to research nearby doctors on your health insurance plan and book appointments from your phone. When you first sign up for the app, you can enter your insurance information manually or scan your card to get started. The app itself looks slick too, with a modern, bright design that makes the experience of scheduling visits less stressful. Zocdoc even saves your history of appointments and makes recommendations for future ones, so you can stay on top of your health history.
If you want to record your own podcast , Anchor is likely one of the easiest ways to do it. This app lets you record by yourself or with friends and build out entire podcast episodes entirely from your phone. Anchor even implements some basic audio editing tools for perfecting each clip in the app.
Recently, the service announced a monetization program for creators on the platform. Marking one of Apple's first forays into Android development, Apple Music brings the company's impressive musical catalog to Android. It suffers a bit on Android for being divorced from the Apple ecosystem, however. Filled with both up-and-coming and established acts, Bandcamp is one of the most exciting music marketplaces there is.
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The app was initially built around streaming songs you'd already purchased on Bandcamp, but now it's a one-stop shop for digital and physical band merch. If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of music, this is an essential app. Streaming services are all the rage, but if you still keep music locally, BlackPlayer is worth your attention. We particularly like the Discover option, which shuffles through second previews of seldom-played tracks in your library continuously, until you decide on what to listen to next.
There's also a built-in tag editor and a ton of customization options for button styles, fonts, themes, and now playing notifications. Android has struggled with podcasts they don't call 'em "Droidcasts," after all , but Pocket Casts is here to help. This highly customizable app is great for chilling out with an episode of your favorite casts, and it can also sync among different devices so that you can pick up right where you left off.
Time to start listening. You can listen to what Slacker thinks you'll like, or try out one of its human-curated channels and playlists. It also has hyper-specific playlists that appeal to particular tastes and moods, such as Yacht Rock. If you aren't ready to subscribe to Slacker Radio quite yet, you can try out its free version. Songkick is the bridge between the music in your digital collection and concerts in your area.
Once installed, Songkick scans your device for tunes and then lets you see when and where your favorite artists are playing. If you see a show you're interested in, you can also purchase tickets all from within the app. Add multiple locations to Songkick to catch concerts when you're on the road. With its huge inventory of music, Spotify has become a mainstay for free, legal music streaming.
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You can shuffle through smartly selected songs, find your favorite albums, or explore one of the service's excellent playlists. Close ties with artists means that new tracks are sometimes available the same day they hit the shelves in record shops. Those still exist, right? Spotify also offers a limited free version.
Though its interface is a bit tricky, Stitcher connects you with just about every podcast out there. Podcasts are organized by subject, or you can just search for a familiar title. Shows can, in turn, be organized into playlists for a continuous stream.
Once you've exhausted all your favorites, let Stitcher recommend something new. At its core, Any. You can quickly create a shopping list and have it synced among your devices and even share the list with others. The app also doubles as a task manager, keeping you on top of what needs to be done. This very capable app sports many features, but we particularly like one called the Any. Lists are one thing, but building good productivity habits is quite another.
Once you start using Evernote , this note-taking app becomes a powerful tool for organizing just about everything. Notes can be anything—text, images, audio, or a mix—and are organized into notebooks. One of its killer features is optical character recognition, which makes the text in images searchable. Cloud-storage makes it the perfect tool for organizing the little pieces of a project into a finished draft. IFTTT , which stands for "if this, then that," helps you create custom automations between various online services and devices without any coding experience.
The mobile app makes it simple to set up these Applets previously called recipes on your own or implement any of the community-created ones. IFTTT is particularly great for controlling smart home devices. For passing links, web addresses, or clipboard data between devices, Join is a great option. Setup and customization are easy and Join makes it simple to specify which notifications and actions you want to enable for each device.
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Unlike Pushbullet , it doesn't require a monthly subscription to use its features to the fullest. Our favorite features are its remote screenshot and screen-capture capabilities. Mint is a fantastic online service to keep track of your finances, and it really shines on Android. Once you've entered all your information, you can easily check up on your finances on the fly. Mint keeps you on track for your goals and a new bill paying feature make sure that you never miss a payment.
Be sure to try out the app's excellent widgets, too. If you like to keep your life organized with various to-do lists, then you definitely need to download Todoist. This app lets you keep track of the tasks you need to get done; you can assign them different priorities based on their overall importance or organize them across different projects.
It also has a functional, clean design and works across many different platforms. Everyone needs to file their taxes every year. Most people will probably have an easier time using dedicated tax software and some might still enjoy preparing them by hand , but more ambitions filers or those with simple tax returns can get away with using a mobile app. Among its top features are an excellent user interface, support for all major tax forms, and innovative help options.
If you get stuck at any point, you can just open up the Virtual Assistant, which keeps a running dialogue of the help topics you searched for, or use SmartLook to connect to a tax expert via video chat. Adobe Lightroom is a powerful photo-editing app for mobile that retains many of the features from its desktop counterparts, Lightroom , which earned a three-and-a-half star rating, and Lightroom Classic , a five-star Editors' Choice winner.
Some of its standout tools include raw camera file profiles, noise reduction, profile-based lens corrections, and advanced color and lighting sliders. Lightroom also notably syncs all these edits between the mobile and desktop apps. Remember Flickr? The venerable photo-sharing service is an Editors' Choice web service, and the Android app has a lot to recommend it, too.
It's more about the art of photography than the meme- and selfie-packed Instagram. Offering a well-designed interface and excellent photo and video editing tools, Flickr is more valuable than ever. Plus, the app connects you to the vibrant community of photographers on the service. Best of all, it can automatically back up photos from your phone.
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Google Photos puts the search giant's powerful and sometimes creepy image magic into your phone. It can identify faces, even as they age over decades, as well as animals, places, or objects. You can also search for photos from specific dates or locations. The impressive built-in Assistant can detect clutter or even create collages or animations on its own. The app is rounded out with editing tools and unlimited cloud storage if you make some minor compromises on upload quality. Google Photos also extends to photo prints; you can digitize physical photos with the built-in Photo Scan or even order a custom photo book.
The companion Google Lens app can even report back information related to your images or photos by scanning them. It seems like just yesterday that Instagram was adding video. Then direct messaging. Then advanced photo editing put it on par with Photoshop Express for image correction and manipulation.
Instagram Stories is now far more popular than Snapchat's similar feature. And anti-bullying features should make it more palatable for some. With a clean, minimalist interface, Instagram is the current king of social photo apps. With tons of effects, controls over layers, drawing tools, and collages, PicsArt Photo Studio can contend with Photoshop and is one of the best photo editing apps for Android. If you think it's just a lowly Instagram clone, you're wrong. When you're looking to take your smartphone snapshots to the next level, seek out this app.
Don't get us wrong, some of us love Instagram. But if you want more control than Instagram affords, try Google-owned Snapseed. This app straddles the line between full-fledged image editor and filter app, all in a sleek and attractive package. Best of all is the amount of control it gives you over how filters and effects are applied to your images. It even lets you make non-destructible edits to raw camera files and make adjustments to exposure and detail levels.
Calibre is the giant of ebook management, and this app is the perfect ahem companion for it. You can also store your ebooks on the cloud for easy access from wherever you are. What's so surprising is how well it works, and how easy it is to use. If you've got a lot of ebooks and are ready to cast off the shackles of Amazon, this is the app for you. The Amazon-owned ComiXology —the iTunes of digital comics—offers a near-perfect combination of store and comic book reader in its wonderful Comics app. The free app transforms your Android smartphone or tablet into a digital long box that houses and syncs your purchases across multiple devices.
Once you have the app downloaded, you should make sure to read our feature on digital comic books you should read right now. Everything from American football to Brazilian soccer to Indy is available. For those unmissable games, you can set alerts and follow specific matches as they unfold.
It also connects you to videos and news headlines, courtesy of the popular sports cable network. Feedly takes the RSS feed into the modern age, and it's the easiest way to stay on top of all your favorites sources of news. You can view everything all at once if you want, but Feedly also lets you categorize your sources for focused reading or use its Today tab, which shows you the top stories from each category. Additionally, you can make Feedly look as simple as you wish, with minimalist text-only layouts.
It's a great way to keep informed with the days' headlines and it offers useful integrations with other services as well. With its slick, streamlined interface, Flipboard is one of the best apps for reading the news. With it, you browse the articles, videos, podcasts, and other media that matter most to you. The app's signature magazine-style interface lets you explore the day's headlines in a gorgeous environment. The Daily Edition feature gives you the most important news along with themed stories for each day of the week.
Flipboard has been one of our top picks for years, and it's easy to see why. The official Amazon Kindle app puts all of your existing Amazon ebook purchases at the tips of your fingers, and it gives you mobile access to the Kindle ebook store for impulse purchasing.
Best of all, it syncs your notes, bookmarks, and where you left off among all your devices. The library is an often-overlooked public resource and some are modernizing quickly , but OverDrive brings it back into the fold with the newly redesigned, Libby. Supported by over 30, libraries worldwide, the app lets you access your local library's array of available ebooks and audiobooks.
Use it to download titles, place holds on titles not yet available, and consume your borrowed content. The only requirement is a library card or its digital equivalent. Your bag of holding for internet content, Pocket saves articles, images, and videos for later reading. We especially like how it reformats articles for more comfortable reading on a mobile device, and how it syncs content to your tablet, phone, and online account.
With the close integration between Pocket and the Android sharing tools, you can pocket just about anything from your phone. There's no shortage of Reddit apps on the Google Play store and choosing one over another ultimately comes down to preference, but reddit is fun RIF is a great option to try. The default view features a dense, text-heavy layout which puts the best and worst of Reddit front and center. There's both a light and dark theme and tons of layout content customization options to try out, even if you don't opt for the paid version. Better yet, there are no ads in either version or RIF and its overall performance is extremely quick.
Need Android antivirus? It's hard to do better than Bitdefender. This app has received perfect scores from two independent research labs and scans your phone in mere seconds. It also includes excellent phishing protection, powerful antitheft tools, and Android Wear integration. As far as password managers go, Bitwarden checks all the right boxes. For instance, it supports two-factor authentication and secure password sharing. Bitwarden also implements a password generator and can help you import passwords from other services.
Best of all, it's free and open-source. You're terrible at passwords. Don't take it personally! Everyone is terrible at passwords. That's why we all need apps like Dashlane , which generate, save, and replay login credentials wherever they're needed. This smart, cross-platform service makes sure that your passwords, payment information, and other vital information is stored securely but never out of reach. After a major overhaul to this powerful password manager, its appearance finally matches its performance. With LastPass , you can access your saved passwords, secure notes, and filled forms from your Android, and you can also create new ones that sync to all your devices.
The new version of the app ingeniously melds the password manager with a built-in browser, putting the app's auto-login features at the forefront. Staying safe has never been easier. Kaspersky for Android bundles on-demand malware scans and active web protection. Additionally, it implements a host of anti-theft features including remote locate, lock and wipe, as well as the ability to sound an alarm. You can even lock apps behind a PIN as an extra preventative measure in case your phone gets stolen.
Although you need a paid Kaspersky Internet Security subscription to use all its features, some basic functionality is available for free.