The Google Play store contains more than 2.9 million apps. Some are masterpieces and others are real duds. Don't waste your time trying to sort through all of them on your own. We've picked out the 30 best apps for your Android phone, informed by our long history of covering the platform.
Our collection of the best apps is organized into 14 categories, including music, productivity, security, and utilities, so it's easy to find the kind of apps you're looking for.
When we choose apps to include in our roundups, we're after those that primarily excel in two areas: function and design. A functional app is either unique in its capabilities or simply works better than others. Apps with great design are a joy to use. Since Android 10 is here, we prefer apps that look at home on this updated OS, even though most people can't (yet) take advantage of the new version.
Every app on the list below is excellent in its own way. Taken together, our collection is a snapshot of the Google Play Store's best apps at the time of writing.
We didn't forget about iPhone users. For the iOS faithful, check out our roundup of the 30 Best iPhone Apps.
Brave Privacy Browser
Brave Browser offers a host of features aimed at protecting your security and privacy on the web. For instance, it includes built-in blockers for ads, pop-ups, scripts, and third-party cookies. It even implements the HTTPS Everywhere extension, so you can ensure that your connections to sites are secure. The lightweight, minimal design looks great, too.
Firefox is lickety-split fast and has a clean design that is a joy to use. Mozilla makes a big point about how it doesn't collect your data, and we are pleased to see that the app comes with a full complement of security settings—including an option to protect your information from advertisers and a private browsing mode. Like the desktop version, Firefox for mobile has a robust selection of plug-ins, excellent tab management, and a dynamic start page for bookmarks and the latest headlines. You can even sync settings, history, and tabs with the desktop variant
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.
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. The LinkedIn app aims, however, to be a companion to the 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 post vanishes after a day. It's just a fun and ephemeral way to share the world around you.
If you don't want to think about buying ingredients, but still want to cook, Blue Apron is an excellent option. With reliable deliveries and great meals to choose from, this food delivery service allows you to skip the trip to the grocery store. The sleek mobile app allows you to manage your account, schedule your deliveries, and save any recipes you want to revisit.
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.
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.
Eve by Glow
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.
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.
Filled with both up-and-coming and established acts, Bandcamp is one of the most exciting music marketplaces there is. 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.
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.
Free; $9.99 per month for Adobe's Photography Plan
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. Free users can upload up to 1,000 photos and a $50 per year subscription gets you unlimited online photo storage.
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 the 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.
Calibre is the giant of ebook management, and this app is the perfect (ahem) companion for it. With just a few clicks, you can add any book from your computer to your eReader over USB or Wi-Fi. 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.
Free (5.99 Per Month for Subscription at ComiXology)
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. Even better, the new Comixology Unlimited service lets you devour an ever-expanding catalog of titles for just $5.99 per month.
Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus
$14.99 per year
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.
Amazon is the internet's marketplace; the one place where you can buy just about anything—and it's cheap too! On Android, two of our favorite features are the integrated Alexa voice commands and the photo search, which makes it easy to surreptitiously compare Amazon's prices to those of the brick and mortar stores it is killing. Amazon Video-related functionality has been moved over to a dedicated app, but all of its other consumer services, including Fresh and Restaurants, make an appearance. Prime members rejoice; there's never been a better way to stay connected with your Amazon lifestyle.
Google Pay has gone through many permutations over the years. Formerly known as Google Wallet, this person-to-person payment app from Google lets you easily send money without pesky cash or credit cards getting in the way. And in that role, it really excels. It's a strong alternative to our top choice, Venmo.
Airbnb should be your go-to app for finding rooms, apartments, homes, and other unique accommodations when traveling, if you don't want to go with a traditional hotel. The length of your stay need not be short-term either; some locations let you book a stay for several months, which may appeal to people working temporary jobs in new places. This travel app also highlights other experiences and restaurants, so you can find out about everything a locale offers.
If you're traveling within a major metropolitan area via either public transportation or personal vehicle, Citymapper can plan all your trip details. It has transit information for dozens of major U.S. cities and international hotspots in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Further, it offers multiple transportation options for each city, so if you feel like taking the ferry to work one morning, there's nothing stopping you. Its top features include Commute, which lets you set up your daily travel to and from work, and an alert system that uses natural language to describe service delays or cancellations.
Free ($29.95 at Grammarly)
Grammarly Keyboard corrects your grammar and spelling errors as you type. This keyboard is useful for everything from writing emails to composing social media posts to editing long-form documents. In use, Grammarly makes it easy to accept changes or access a card-based interface with more in-depth explanations of an error. It also offers a good number of visual customizations, such as a choice between a light or dark theme options and the keyboard height, as well as editing options, such as auto-correction and capitalization preferences.
Microsoft Launcher can replace your Android phone's default launcher with a useful and customizable feed for quick access to recent apps, events, and frequently contacted people. You can view the main app list horizontally or vertically, and it includes an elegant alphabetical scrollbar for reaching apps quickly. Performance is just as smooth as the stock launcher, and it doesn't affect the use of Google Assistant, though of course, Cortana feels more at home as your voice assistant with this launcher.
fuboTV is a great option for any cord-cutting sports fans. This "sports-first, but not sports-only" service offers extensive live sports and entertainment content (85 channels) for all your devices. Whether you want to watch NFL games on Sunday, catch up an MLB game that aired during the day, or even stream a movie on-demand, fuboTV has you covered. fuboTV also offers excellent DVR capabilities and other features for watching events and shows you may have otherwise missed. In testing, streaming live and on-demand shows worked very well.
$5.99 per month; $54.99 per month (Get One Month Free at Hulu)
Hulu has long been a major player in the on-demand streaming space and its large library of current and previously aired shows offer appealing options for many. Hulu's live TV component is impressive as well, with a good range of channels and well-designed apps. Hulu's combination of on-demand and live TV services makes it an excellent value.
$9.99 per member per month (basic version is free)
Asana is the 800-pound gorilla of task management for teams, dwarfing other popular services like the capable Trello. Asana is all about workflows and checkbox tasks that can be assigned to individuals. The Android app lets you take your tasks on the go and offline, syncing your progress when you're back on the network. It's a powerful tool with an excellent interface, and new features are added regularly.
The hardest part of scheduling a meeting is getting everyone to agree. Jeff is free Monday and Wednesday. Jill is available Monday, but not Tuesday. And the other dozen people have their own schedules to contend with. Doodle lets you suggest times, and then see which work best for everyone. It's an invaluable planning tool.