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Review: Top 10 Apps for Android Smartphones

Updated on February 4, 2016


Everyone that gets a new Android smartphone wonders, "What apps should I download?" There's so many to choose from! I have used many different Android smartphones for many years now, so I feel I have had my share of finding the right apps for me and which ones I download and never open again. So if you're feeling a little overwhelmed with the plethora of apps available to you, don't fret! I have compiled a list (and now, 5 years later, an updated list) of the best Android apps to download and try out.

I have also added links to easily click and download! Never been easier. I took my time figuring out these apps, so please don't think I'm advertising for these app creators. My thoughts are my own and I have tried to be as fair and unbiased as possible in my list. I made sure to include all apps that are only 4 stars & up, so you know it's not just me who believes they're useful!

So without further ado, here's my list of the top 10 apps for Android! Enjoy!

(P.S. This is not in any specific order, some apps are 100% free and others have free & purchase versions or subscriptions)

Click thumbnail to view full-size

1. Clean Master

This app is by far one of the best apps that anyone can utilize for their phones. This is a great tool to use to save battery, kill applications, and clean up by getting rid of files that just take up space on your phone. I opened the application and found that I had a little over 1GB of junk that I could get rid of! Some of the main features includes:

  • AppLock (protect your privacy from certain apps)
  • Battery Saver
  • Junk File Cleaning
  • CPU Cooler
  • Game Booster (improve game speeds by 30%+)

This app is definitely handy to have and there are TONS more options and tools to use that can improve your phone battery life and speeds dramatically, depending on what you've downloaded and used on your phone in the past.

What's the cost?: FREE
Customer Rating: 4.7 Stars
Click here to download

Nova Launcher Prime Settings
Nova Launcher Prime Settings

2. Nova Launcher

Nova Launcher is an awesome app that comes with a ton of features, even within the free version. That's right, there's a free version and a prime version. Depending on what you use your phone for, or how much you like the idea of having even more customization, the prime version comes with enough bang for its price. Here are a list (a long list!) of the features Nova Launcher provides:

Free Version

  • Icon Themes
  • Subgrid Positioning (ability to change grid placement for icons)
  • Customize App Drawer
  • Infinite Scroll
  • Color Controls
  • Scrollable Dock
  • Widgets in Dock

Prime Version

  • Gestures (ability to assign gestures to apps)
  • Unread Counts
  • Custom Drawer Groups
  • Hide Apps
  • Icon Swipes
  • Additional Scroll Effects

This application is definitely for those who love customization, gestures (only on prime), and controlling exactly how your phone screens are set up. I personally fell in love with the fact that I could create gestures, for instance, I made it so a double tap on a homepage would open the calculator. There are many, many different gestures you can set up for just about every tool or application you have on your phone. Also, the icon selections are stunning and a perfect way to spruce up the look of your phone to the way you want it.

What's the cost?: FREE (Free version) | $4.99 (Prime version)
Customer Rating: 4.6 Stars (Free version) | 4.8 Stars (Prime version)
Click here to download Nova Launcher (Free)
Click here to download Nova Launcher ($4.99 Prime)

WhatsApp Photo (from Play Store)
WhatsApp Photo (from Play Store)

3. WhatsApp

If you're someone who messages, calls, or has a need to chat with people internationally and don't have unlimited texts or voice, then you might what to check out WhatsApp! This application gives you the option to text, call, send multimedia, and more, through an application instead of your regular text message or calling applications, all while using your current phone number (no need for usernames, passwords, or PINs!) I personally never had a need for it, but I know a few family members that did (I'm not much of a talker over the phone and I have unlimited texts). However, everyone has different needs, so here's the highlights:


  • Text, send multimedia, and voice call
  • Group chat
  • Web browser option (if you'd prefer to use your computer to chat)
  • No username/PIN - Use your current phone number
  • No international charges*
  • Always logged in
  • PLUS many more!

*There is a disclaimer that says data charges could still apply, it depends on your carrier

WhatsApp has shown to be versatile, customizable, and useful to those that could benefit from it, and it's really not expensive, either!

What's the
cost?: FREE (for 1st year, current price after is $0.99/year)
Customer Rating: 4.4 Stars
Click here to download

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4. Spotify

When it comes to Spotify, I might just be a little biased as it is probably one of the most used apps on my phone. I absolutely love Spotify. Most might think it's just a music app, but there are TONS of pre-made playlists for just about any occasion, from dinner playlists to workout playlists. There is also a 'Discover Weekly' that updates every week with new music aligned to your listening preferences. Here's the breakdown, since there's a free version and a subscription:

Free Mobile

  • Listen to any artist, album, or playlist ON SHUFFLE (you can't pick the track)

Free Tablet

  • Play any song, any time

Premium Version

  • Play any song, anytime on mobile, tablet, or computer
  • Download songs for offline listening
  • Best sound quality
  • No ads

You can also cancel your subscription at any time. I currently use the premium version, but my SO and I have the family plan for two, which I believe just recently came out. You can also play Spotify on your PlayStation, as well, there is a specific PlayStation/Spotify application as they joined forces for music entertainment about a year ago or so.

The family plan that was recently introduced lets families who use Spotify have separate accounts without paying full price for each subscription. You get a 50% discount on each family member's account that you add. So you start at $9.99 and if it's you and another, then the total amount per month will be $14.99 for both.

What's the cost?: FREE (Free version) | $9.99/month | 50% discount on each extra family member
Customer Rating: 4.5 Stars
Click here to download

5. Google Goggles

This app is a fun one. This app has a bunch of features, some you probably haven't even thought of! This app utilizes your phone camera, and only your phone camera! You can scan barcodes for product information, QR codes for information, translate text in other languages, extract contact information from business cards, recognize famous landmarks, recognize 2D images, and even solve Sudoku puzzles.

Of course, there are bugs here and there, sometimes it may not recognize what you are scanning, but to me--this is an amazing app that is just going to get better and better. This application has a lot of potential, and because it is from Google--we know that they will only better the application in the future.

Whats the cost?: FREE
Customer Rating: 4 Stars
Click here to download

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6. Photo Grid

Like making collages? Editing photos? Photo Grid is a great way to do that, and much, much more! I used to use a few other editing/collage applications, but when I found Photo Grid, I never went back. There's tons of features, templates, stickers, and fonts you can use. Of course, like other similar apps, there are stickers, backgrounds, and templates that may cost money, but there is still a large variety that are free and are standard to the app. There is also an Instagram-style community, where people share their photos, use hashtags, and follow each other. Here's the highlights:


  • Grid - Combine photos (collage)
  • Photo Editor
  • Scrapbook - Pin to backgrounds, use stickers, etc.
  • Video Slides - Video stories from pics
  • Templates
  • Film Strip - Make long strips from photos
  • High Resolution - from 720p to 2048p
  • Ability to save photos in .JPG and .PNG formats

You also have the ability to upgrade to the paid version to remove ads. The main reason I love this app is because you have the ability to save in either JPG or PNG, which isn't a feature for most other photo apps, also along with the ability to save in different resolutions, too. In technical aspects, as well as the functionality, variety of stickers, fonts, and backgrounds, I find this photo app to definitely be one of the best in the Play Store. It's worth a try!

What's the cost?: FREE | To remove ads - $1.99/yr or $11.99 permanent
Customer Rating: 4.5 Stars
Click here to download

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7. Flixster

Flixster (or Movies by Flixster in the Google Play Store) is an extremely useful app if you're a movie watcher, movie goer, or someone who loves to see the new trailers. This app could prove to make your life much easier! Let's get right to it, here's the highlights:


  • Browse movies, current and coming soon
  • Look up showtimes (at participating theaters)
  • Critic reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
  • Watch trailers
  • Create a 'Want-to-see' list
  • View and manage your Netflix queue

You can find the movies in theater that you would like to see, at what theater you want to see it, and the showtimes. You also get to see Rotten Tomatoes scores for each movie, which is a great tool as Rotten Tomatoes is a great tool to find the fresh movies and pass on the rotten ones. You get to catch up on all of the movie news you have been missing out on, and even view what is coming to theaters and what is coming to DVD. Don't have a movie theater near you? Easy, you can use the 'theaters' tab to automatically find the closest one so you can plan that dinner-and-a-movie date! If you use Netflix, and you find a movie you are dying to see, you can sign into and update your Netflix queue. This application definitely beats those other movie applications, huh?

What's the cost?: FREE
Customer Rating: 4.6 Stars
Click here to download

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Shazam Encore
Shazam Encore
Shazam Encore

8. Shazam Encore

Shazam has been around for a while and they've definitely improved a lot of things and have added lots of features to their app. The base feature of Shazam is to identify songs by hitting a button, listening to part of the song, and then identifying it. Please note that there are two versions of this app, there is Shazam (free version) and Shazam Encore (paid version). The (many) features of this app are:


  • Shazam music & discover
  • See what artists and others are Shazaming
  • Music lyrics & YouTube videos
  • Listen to or buy songs (through Google Play Store)
  • Read album and artist reviews, and also see the biographies of the artists
  • Launch Pandora Radio (based on artists you Shazam)
  • Ask Google to Shazam! (OK Google, Shazam this song)
  • Connect to Spotify through Shazam and listen to full songs

You can discover and buy, or connect and share. This app lets you do tons of stuff! They also added a feature, Shazam visual recognition, so you can snap photos on posters, books, and magazines and get more information, as well as using it as a QR reader. There's just too much to cover, I suggest checking it out!

What's the Cost? FREE (Shazam) | $5.59 (Shazam Encore)
Customer Rating: 4.4 Stars
Click here to download Shazam (FREE)
Click here to download Shazam Encore (PAID)

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9. Yelp

Travel a lot? New areas to explore? Do you love food? Just curious of the new and the old businesses around you? Yelp has over 50 million reviews on businesses all over the place.

  • Search for nearby restaurants, services, and other businesses.
  • Filter your search results by rating, price, distance, and what is open.
  • Read and write reviews for businesses everywhere!

You can read reviews written by real consumers to tell whether you want to try it out, or to just keep on driving by. Also, you can write your own reviews as well! Overall, this application is most useful to those that like to explore new restaurants, bars, and other businesses, and most definitely to those that travel and explore new areas.

What's the cost?: FREE (You must sign up to use, though)
Customer Rating: 4 Stars
Click here to download

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10. Groupon

People LOVE savings, right? Groupon is a great way to find products, services, and other things that have amazing discounts. This is a great app, but it's pretty much straight to the point, so there's not too much to talk about! Here's the highlights:


  • 50-70% off tons of services, products, etc.
  • Discover things locally
  • Redeem coupons and vouchers with your phone, no printing
  • Save on getaways

As I said, this app is to the point, but that doesn't mean it's any less important than the others! I've used Groupon before and I found some pretty awesome deals, so you might want to take a look!

What's it cost?: FREE
Customer Rating: 4.5 Stars
Click here to download


All of these apps are wonderful. Although, this list is not a list that says 'you need to buy these apps!' as not all applications are for everyone, but I tried to have a wide range so there is something in there for [almost] everyone. I really hope everyone enjoys this list as I did put a lot of thought and research into it. I've tried all of the applications on here and have given my most honest opinion. Thank you all so much for reading! Happy App-ing!


What's your favorite music app?

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    • The Odd Spartan profile image

      Christopher Rago 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, NJ

      Very informative and beautifully written. I will definitely give Nova Launcher a try.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I was overjoyed when I stumbled across your fabulous list! Being a newbie, a huge understatement, in the Smartphone world, I had No idea which appsare safe, let alone being the best ones to use.

      Therefore, I was extremely surprised, & a bit proud of myself, when I discovered I had picked 2 of the same apps which you recommend for your Top Picks!

      I spent hours & stressed for many more hours over just the two apps I chose.

      Just saying Thank You seems so frivolous. I am very pleased that youreceived recognition for all the hours & work you put into thislist. Clearly after using a new system or device, it's fairly easy to write a list based on one's opinion, however, what you did was not only developed a great list of apps, you relieved an old (age) newbie months of stress.

      You Are AWESOME!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I was overjoyed when I stumbled across your fabulous list! Being a newbie, a huge understatement, in the Smartphone world, I had No idea which appsare safe, let alone being the best ones to use.

    • An Aberrant Taste profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelcie Rae Dunn 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, NJ

      Lol! Google Goggles is too fun! I could see why you'd be obsessed!! It isn't always right (but more than half it is), but we all know since it's google, they'll make it perfect eventually. It's fun to see what it recognizes and such. Have fun! & Thanks a bunch for the vote and reading!!!

    • Ryan-Palmsy profile image

      Ryan Palmer 

      7 years ago from In a Galaxy far, far away

      Great Hub! I am pretty obsessed atm with Google Goggles! I don't even know why I'm so addicted...

      I just am LOL! Voted up!

    • An Aberrant Taste profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelcie Rae Dunn 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, NJ

      Thank you SO much! I was extremely excited when I saw I was nominated, but never knew that it would have actually won! I hope you have tons of fun when you get your Android phone, they are so much more useful now than the old phones from when I was a kid! Thanks again for reading!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Extremely useful hub on Android apps. I'm going to email it to my daughter who has an Android phone and bookmark it for when I get mine. Rated up and useful, and tweeted.

      Welcome to HubPages and congrats on your Hubnugget nomination. You're off to a great start.

    • An Aberrant Taste profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelcie Rae Dunn 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, NJ

      Thank you much! Android is one of the top leading operating systems for cell phones, they make phones easier to work with; utilizes the phone to it's best potential. If you want to learn more go to,

      Thanks for reading!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Woohoo congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! I've heard of android but don't know exactly what it is. heheheh reading your hub is a good way to learn more!

      This link will take one to the Hubnuggets to read and vote: Best of luck!

    • An Aberrant Taste profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelcie Rae Dunn 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, NJ

      Thank you, that is an awesome idea, too. Anything educational is by far the most useful. Thanks for reading!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations on your nomination. I don't have an android phone. I like the idea of educational apps.

    • An Aberrant Taste profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelcie Rae Dunn 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, NJ

      Why thank you!! It did take a bit of time to make this hub, but well worth it for the enjoyment of my readers! :)

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      How cool!! It's super convenient that you've even included the QR codes. This is awesome!

    • An Aberrant Taste profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelcie Rae Dunn 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, NJ

      Why thank you!! I'm glad you found that some of these were useful for your own needs! Thanks for reading! :)

    • marstoblog profile image


      7 years ago from Hitchin, England

      thanks this is a very good hub and would totally agree on all those apps being very good and useful! This is the best android app hub ive seen and some i'm going to download in your list.... so thanks


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