The Best Bitcoin Wallet for Android Phones and Tablets
Bitcoin Wallet Apps for Android
So, you've got yourself some Bitcoins and now your looking for the best place to keep them. For many people that will mean a convenient digital wallet that they can carry around with them wherever they go and use to pay for things, or send Bitcoin to friends and family, at any time. And for that you need an app.
When picking out the best Bitcoin wallet app for your Android phone, the main choice you have to make is exactly the same as if you were selecting a wallet for your laptop of desktop computer - you have to choose whether you want a locally stored wallet or a web wallet. The advantage of the web wallet is that you can use the same wallet account on multiple devices. Some people also feel less anxious when the security of their money is being handled by someone else, and when they don't have to worry about losing their coins if anything happens to their phone. The disadvantage is that somebody else is holding your money for you with a web wallet, meaning that you have to trust them to keep it secure and make it available whenever you want it, whereas if you have a locally stored app you have complete control over your finances yourself.
In this article I will provide a brief review of some of the best and most popular Bitcoin wallets of each type for Android phones.
Are you looking for your first Bitcoin wallet?
As the first ever Bitcoin app for mobile devices, this is the original and to many people still the best.
With this wallet your coins are stored locally, so you do not need to have an account with a third party or trust your coins to anyone else.
The main features include:
- Notifications when you receive a payment.
- Pay with Bluetooth even when you have no internet connection.
- Choose to display amounts in BTC, mBTC or µBTC.
- Send and receive using NFC, QR-codes or Bitcoin URLs.
- Keep an address book for friends or common payments addresses.
Hive is another standalone app which stores your coins for you on your own device - but with some extra features on top of what you get from the original Bitcoin Wallet.
The most unique feature of Hive is that it has its own apps to make using your wallet with other services and websites as quick and easy as possible. Yes, that's right, I'm talking about apps within apps here. You can get Hive apps for many of the most popular exchanges, as well as a range of online shopping services which accept BTC payments.
In addition to the various apps which you can choose between, you also get all of the features from the original Bitcoin wallet which you will find listed above.
Blockchain is one of the most popular providers of web wallets. Their Android app does store your coins locally on the device itself, but it also automatically synchs with your account so that anything you do on your phone will be instantly reflected in your online account, including generating new keys.
The main features of the Blockchain app include:
- Double encryption for extra security
- Pin protection so phone thieves can't also steal your Bitcoins
- External back ups
- Live exchange rates and the option to buy Bitcoins.
- Paper wallet support
- Pay using links, addresses, or scanning a QR code
Mycelium is a web wallet which specializes in offering a 'cold storage' feature. Basically cold storage is an extra layer of security for coins that you don't need instant access to. You can deposit and withdraw coins to and from cold storage quickly, so it isn't a huge inconvenience, and it can help to prevent theft from hackers.
Other features include:
- Live exchange rates for 164 different local currencies.
- Encrypted PDF back up option.
- Fast connection to the Bitcoin network through their own 'super-nodes' for faster transaction times.
- You can import private keys from wallets stored elsewhere.
- Compatible with Orbot so you can make anonymous payments via TOR.
- Specify the amount you want to send in your local currency and the app will automatically send the correct amount of Bitcoin at the current exchange rate.