The 17 best Android apps for 2024

The 17 best Android apps for 2024
The 17 best Android apps for 2024

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

There are a ton of amazing must-have Android apps out there. However, there are a few that stand out above the rest. Many users will have personal preferences, but some apps better juggle functionality, ease of use, and power user appeal than others. Without further delay, here are the best Android apps currently available.

The best Android apps for 2024

Most people should be familiar with most of these apps. They are the best, and the best usually aren’t anonymous. That is, after all, what makes them the best. You can also check out our picks for the best apps released in 2023 for a few extra ideas and the best new Android apps of the recent month.

1Weather

An excellent weather app for pluviophiles and casuals alike.

  • Price: Free / Ad-free version unlock for $1.99
  • Developer: OneLouder Apps

1Weather is arguably the best weather app out there. It features a simple, paginated design that shows you the current weather, forecast for up to 12 weeks, a radar, and other fun stats. You’ll also get a fairly decent set of lightly customizable widgets and the standard stuff like severe weather notifications and a radar so you can see the storms approaching. There is also a video element with two or three-minute weather updates for your region. The UI is logical and reasonably easy to navigate as well. The radar occasionally hangs while loading, but it’s usually not too big of a deal.

The free version has every feature with some mild, inoffensive advertising. The single $1.99 in-app purchase removes advertising. When you open the app, most will also enjoy the range of weather fun facts. We have a list of the best weather apps and widgets if you want more options.

Bitwarden

A free, secure password manager that’s full of features.

  • Price: Free / Optional premium plans from $10 annually
  • Developer: Bitwarden

It isn’t easy jumping around password managers to find one that works for you. We can put a solid word in for Bitwarden. This platform offers unlimited password storage — on your storage bank or their servers — with two-factor authentication and keyphrase generation support. Bitwarden Send is also a feature worth mentioning. It allows the secure sending of essential details to another user.

Bitwarden, at its core, is free to use. However, you can add to its functionality by opting for premium tiers. One caters to families of up to six users.

Google Drive

Store all your phone’s valuables in Google’s cloud storage service.

  • Price: Free / Basic subscription from $1.99 monthly
  • Developer: Google
samsung galaxy a54 opening google drive

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Google Drive is a cloud storage solution available on Android where all new users get 15GB for free permanently upon signing up. You can, of course, buy more if needed. What makes Google Drive so special is the suite of Android apps that are attached to it. They include Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Photos, Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Keep. It covers so many bases and is so cheap that it’s impossible not to recommend it to just about anybody.

Some of the features of these apps include live collaboration, deep sharing features, and compatibility with Microsoft Office documents. It’s easy to use, you get 15GB of free storage for your documents, and the cross-platform support is pretty good. You can find more cloud storage and office apps if you want something different.

Google Keep

A quick-fire note-taking app that works across platforms.

  • Price: Free
  • Developers: Google
Google Keep Notes stock photo 1

Google Keep doesn’t get enough credit in the Android world. The note-taking, list-making, and audio-memo app is all you need to keep your thoughts in line and accessible. Taking inspiration from sticky notes, Keep lets you create multiple notes you can organize and access from multiple platforms. Own a smartwatch? Create a keep of groceries you need and access them from your wrist while shopping.

There are more feature-packed noting and ideation apps out there, with Notion and Evernote coming to mind. However, you can’t beat Keep’s convenience on Android.

Google Maps and Waze

The best mapping apps for Android, bar none.

  • Price: Free
  • Developers: Google / Waze
google maps emoji lists

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Google Maps virtually owns the navigation apps scene and remains one of the best Android apps ever. It gets frequent, almost weekly updates that only add to its incredibly generous list of existing features. Aside from the basics, Google Maps gives you access to places of interest, traffic data, directions to things like rest stops or gas stations, and you can download maps for offline use.

If you add to that the Waze experience, which includes tons of its own features, you won’t need another navigation app. Ever. Google also owns and operates Waze, so we list them together. Both navigation apps work on Android Auto and usually work better than car navigation systems. Of course, we have more GPS app options if you need them.

Google and Google Assistant

Google’s two gateways to the content that’s important to you.

  • Price: Free
  • Developer: Google
Google Assistant pop-up on a Pixel

Mishaal Rahman / Android Authority

This is one seriously powerful app. It also works on most Android devices. You download the app and then enable it. From there, you can ask whatever you want. It also supports a variety of commands. You can control smart home products, ask just about any question, and it can even do simple math problems for you. It’s included with various products, such as Google Home speakers.

There is also a second Google Assistant app for those who want a quick launch icon on the home screen. The hardware stuff costs money, but Google Assistant is free. There are other decent personal assistants, like Amazon Alexa, and you can check them out here.

Microsoft SwiftKey

Microsoft’s excellent Android keyboard gets even better with Bing Chat integration.

  • Price: Free
  • Developer: SwiftKey
Bing Chat in Swiftkey keyboard app

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard is among the most powerful and customizable third-party keyboards available. It hit the market several years ago with a predictive engine unlike any other keyboard, and the app has grown a lot over the years. It’s a free download with free themes, so you don’t have to pay a dime.

Other features include a dedicated number row, SwiftKey Flow, which allows for gesture typing, multiple language support, cross-device syncing of your library, and much more. It’s about as good as it gets in the keyboard space. Microsoft recently added Bing Chat functionality to the keyboard, allowing for tone suggestions and the AI chatbot tricks baked right in.

Mozilla Firefox

The best mobile browser for Android with extensive add-on support.

  • Price: Free
  • Developer: Mozilla
Firefox stock photo 8

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Firefox is my choice of desktop browser, and it has become my go-to on Android, too. It wasn’t always as polished as it is now, with Google Chrome largely trumping it on performance and integration with Android. However, recent versions of Mozilla Firefox have added more value to the browser, including a swathe of extensions, customizations, and zippy performance.

Of course, there’s no reason to use one browser on your phone, and I still use Google Chrome for specific tasks. Even Firefox Focus, a companion browser made with privacy and quick search in mind, is worth including in your kit. However, Firefox is the best option as a primary browser for day-to-day tasks and beyond.

Nova Launcher

The long-running king of Android launchers.

  • Price: Free / Unlock Prime version for $4.99
  • Developer: Nova Launcher
Nova Launcher with dynamic notification badges

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Initially, we weren’t going to put any launchers on this list, but Nova Launcher extends beyond what normal launchers are. It’s been around for years and consistently updated; thus, it’s always been an excellent launcher replacement option. It has many features, including the ability to back up and restore your home screen set-ups, icon theming for all your Android apps, tons of customization elements for the home screen and app drawer, and more. An analytics company purchased it, but no bad changes have been made.

You can even make it look like the Pixel Launcher if you want to. If you go premium, you can tack on gesture controls, unread count badges for apps, and icon swipe actions. Those looking for something simpler may want to try Lawnchair Launcher or Hyperion Launcher. Of course, we have a list of the best Android launchers with even more options. We also have a tutorial for Nova Launcher if you want to learn more.

Pocket Casts

A great podcast management app for keen listeners.

  • Price: Free / Plus tier from $39.99 annually
  • Developer: Automattic
Pocket Casts Redesign 7

Pocket Casts is one of the most popular podcast apps. It received some ire years ago for moving to a subscription model. However, changes since then have made the app more or less usable by anyone, even without a subscription. The app houses a ton of podcasts, good sharing options, and you can set things like auto download and playback speed. The UI is clean, easy to read, and easy to navigate. There isn’t much Pocket Casts does wrong.

The subscription is mostly optional and includes cross-platform support, more themes, 10GB of cloud storage to store podcasts, and more. We used to be quite against subscriptions, but since most podcast players now do it, I can use this without the subscription without much issue. Podcast Addict and CastBox are other excellent options in this space, and we have a list of even more great podcast apps.

Poweramp

An offline music player for Android with a dizzying array of options.

  • Price: Free trial / Full version unlock from $7.99
  • Developer: Poweramp Software Design
Poweramp screenshot 2022
Poweramp is one of Android’s most popular and functional local music players. It has all of the features, including Hi-Res audio support, Android Auto, an equalizer, gapless smoothing, and support for virtually any audio codec you can find. The UI has a bit of a learning curve, but it’s also one of the better-looking music players, with optional themes in the Google Play Store.

Solid Explorer

An Android file manager that thrives on clean design and customization.

  • Price: Free trial / Unlock for $5.99
  • Developer: NeatBytes

File browsing is something everyone inevitably has (or wants) to do, so you might as well do it with a capable, fantastic file browser. Solid Explorer is as good as it gets in the file explorer apps realm. It features Material Design, archiving support, support for the most popular cloud services, and even some more power-user stuff like FTP, SFPT, WebDAV, and SMB/CIFS support.

It looks great, is incredibly stable, and works well. There is a 14-day free trial with a $2.99 price tag. Other file browsers have more features, but few blend together looks, ease of use, and features like Solid Explorer does. If this doesn’t work for you, here are other outstanding file browsers.

Tasker and IFTTT

Automate your entire digital life with these two powerful services.

  • Price
    • :Tasker: $3.49
    • :IFTTT Free / Optional Pro plan from $34.99 annually
  • Developers:
    • Tasker: joaomgcd
    • IFTTT: IFTTT
Philips Hue sunrise and sunset on IFTTTT

Tasker and IFTTT are two of the most powerful Android apps. They are automation apps where you can create various triggers to perform actions when specific things happen. For instance, you can use IFTTT or Tasker to turn on your Philips Hue lights automatically at night and off in the morning. Generally speaking, Tasker is the power-user option and has a much steeper learning curve than IFTTT. IFTTT is not only easier to use, but there is a boatload of fun things you can do with it. 

Tasker is free on Google Play Pass. IFTT is free for most stuff, but there is a subscription if you want a few extras. There are some other great Android tools and utility apps, but none of them can step up to Tasker and IFTTT.

Textra

The colorful Google Messages alternative for multi-device messaging sync.

  • Price: Free / Optional Pro unlock for $6.99
  • Developer: Delicious
Textra SMS screenshot 2022
Textra is arguably the best and most stable texting app for Android. It comes with various themes, most of which you can edit. It does everything you need an SMS app to do without much hassle. It even has a built-in tutorial that makes it work better with Android Auto than most other texting apps. We like it for its simplicity. It’s better than most OEM SMS apps, and we’d recommend it over most of them.

TickTick

Efficiently juggle your tasks, reminders, and calendar events within one smart app.

  • Price: Free / Premium plan from $35.99 annually
  • Developer: Appest
TickTick screenshot 2022
TickTick isn’t as popular as other to-do list apps. However, it may be the best one. It covers the basics like recurring tasks, reminders, push notifications, various organizational features, and categories. The app also lets you share tasks and entire categories with other people. This makes it great for family use, small teams at work, or other such groups. It’s also great for grocery lists, honey-do lists, or others.

You get all of the features for free, albeit in a somewhat limited capacity, such as two reminders per task (premium makes that infinite). Our only major gripe is the lack of Wear OS support, which we hope the developers will eventually add. Some other excellent options in the space include Todoist and Microsoft To-Do.

YouTube and YouTube Music

Access hours of video and music with Google’s premier content apps.

  • Price: Free / Premium subscription from $13.99
  • Developer: Google
YouTube premium app on smartphone stock photo (4)

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

We don’t typically recommend streaming services to people. After all, everybody has their own preferences and plenty of great options exist. However, we really like the combination of YouTube Music and YouTube. For one price, you get unlimited music from YouTube Music with more than enough tracks to compete with Spotify and Apple Music. However, you also get ad-free YouTube, background video play, and offline downloads.

Other music streaming services are usually better, but ad-free YouTube without the need for sideloading is excellent. Audiophiles may want to check out Hi-Fi options like TIDAL or Deezer.

Zedge

Find oodles of content and customizations to spruce up your smartphone.

  • Price: Free / Optional premium content
  • Developer: Zedge

Last but certainly not least on our list is Zedge. This is a wallpaper, ringtones, notification tones, and alarm tones app that gives you an unbelievable number of options to customize the most basic parts of your device. On top of having an exhaustive collection of things, Zedge also promotes various items during holiday seasons, making it easy to theme your phone up for Christmas, Halloween, and other holidays.

It’s not 100% perfect. It does have the occasional bug and some of the worst advertising practices of any mobile app. Zedge Premium is a new initiative to provide premium content at a reasonable price. You watch ads or fill out surveys to earn Zedge credits as well. There are other great ringtone apps and great wallpaper apps. However, Zedge is the only one that reliably does both well, and its library is massive.

 ExpressVPN (Sponsored)

ExpressVPN is one of the most trusted, secure brands in the virtual private network industry, and that’s for good reason. It’s super fast and extremely safe, boasting an SSL-secured network with 256-bit encryption and, get this, unlimited bandwidth and speed. ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries (including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and others) in over 145 locations around the world, so there will always be a location near you to give you the best experience possible. What’s more, the service even has stealth servers in Hong Kong. They are to evade the GFW specifically. It doesn’t even look like you’re using a VPN!

If we missed any of the best Android apps, tell us about them in the comments below.