Android’s biggest strength is its app ecosystem. There are a digital ton of Android apps. People downloaded them billions of times. Some of them cost money and some of them don’t. Usually, the best apps will cost you a few bucks. However, there are plenty of amazing options that don’t cost you anything. These services are usually supported by advertising, sponsorship of some sort, or something else. However, there are still some truly excellent apps out there that you can use for free without opening your wallet. These are the best free Android apps for Android! This is a best all-time list, kind of like hall of fame, so the contents of this list won’t change very often until something truly great comes along. You can see our picks for the best apps and games of 2020 with the video above if you want to see more recent stuff.
Want to see more apps? Try these:
Price: Free / $1.99
1Weather is about as complete of a weather app as you can find. It comes with all kinds of stuff including current conditions, forecasts, radar, predictions, fun facts about meteorology, graphs, and even a sun and moon tracker. The design is gorgeous as well and the app includes fairly decent and somewhat configurable widgets. It’s free to use and the $1.99 charge is simply to remove advertising. As long as you don’t mind the occasional banner add, you get all of the features in the free version. You can also check out our list of the best weather apps if you want an alternative. We also quite like AccuWeather, especially since AccuWeather’s redesign in mid-2020.
Bitwarden Password Manager
Bitwarden Password Manager is one of a few decent free password manager apps. It works like most password managers. You get a vault with all of your usernames and passwords. You can store as many as you want without worry and retrieve them as needed. In addition, the app has 256-bit AES encryption and it is entirely open source. It hits all of the check boxes for a good, free password manager. KeePassDroid is another excellent option in this space, but we like Bitwarden’s UI just a little bit more. You can also check out our best password manager apps list for more options.
Price: Free / $20 per year
Cookmate is arguably the best individual cookbook app on mobile. A lot of people have a lot of dietary wants and needs so the use of a personal cookbook app benefits a lot of people. This one is particularly nice to use. You can create custom recipes from scratch, complete with instructions and an ingredients list. Additionally, you can import recipes from virtually any website. The UI is clean and easy to use plus there is cloud backup, even in the free version. The premium version is a yearly subscription, but all it really does is increase the number of recipes you can sync or you can just use the Dropbox option. Of course, there are many other excellent recipe and cooking apps here if you want to see more.
Credit Karma is a fun little financial app. What it does is let you check your credit score for free. On top of that, the app will notify you when there are major changes to your credit score. The app offers some other things too, such as potential credit cards that you may qualify for based on your credit score. You don’t have to accept those if you don’t want to. It’s a simple, easy way to check out your credit and start fixing things if needed. It’s one of the more underrated free Android apps. Credit Karma is not 100% accurate, but it gives you a good idea of what’s going on. The notifications also let you know if a new account was opened in your name. NerdWallet is a great alternative to this. Additionally, Intuit (owner of Turbo Tax) purchased Credit Karma for $7.1 billion in early 2020 so there may be some changes to the app moving forward. Check out some budget apps for Android for some other money stuff too.
Credit: Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Be more productive with these apps:
Gboard or SwiftKey
Gboard is Google’s official keyboard app. It’s a simple keyboard that doesn’t have too many frills. It does have gesture typing (swiping), light theming, voice typing, emoji search, GIF support, and more. Its most unique feature is the built-in Google search that lets you search the web without leaving the keyboard or app that you’re in. It can also sync between devices so your saved words go with you. It’s effective, simple, and 100% free. You’ll want to try this one out if your phone keyboard is giving you fits. It’s one of the best free Android apps for sure. SwiftKey is also great in a different sort of way and there are other great Android keyboards here as well.
Price: Free / $1.99-$299.99 per month
The Google Drive suite are a group of applications that are all directly integrated into Google Drive. The apps include Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Sheets, Google Photos, and Google Keep along with the actual Google Drive app itself. These apps focus primarily on office use for documents, spreadsheets, and slideshows but also work for note taking, backing up your photos, and storing whatever file you can think of. The best part is that they’re all free unless you need more than 15GB of storage on Google Drive. Most people don’t. These are all great free Android apps. You can also find more office apps options here if you need more choice.
Credit: Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Google Opinion Rewards
Google Opinion Rewards is easily one of the best free Android apps in the Google Play Store. To use this app, you simply download and install it, then open it one time. After that, the app will periodically notify you to ask you some questions. You’ll get credit for use in the Google Play Store every time you answer a survey. That credit can go toward buying yourself apps or games in Google Play. It’s a great way to expand your collection without spending real money. At worst, everyone should have this app installed.
Google Maps and Waze
Google Maps and Waze are two navigation apps. Google Maps will give you turn-by-turn directions, let you view businesses (and their reviews), and all kinds of other stuff. Waze is another navigation app. It lets you check out the traffic along your route. Google Maps is definitely the more powerful of the two. Waze is a little bit more fun to use, though. That makes it a good option if you’re looking for something simple. Both apps get heaps of new updates and features all the time. You can’t go wrong either way. You do have more options, though, so here’s our list of the best navigation apps for Android.
Imgur and Giphy
Imgur and Giphy are two image databases. They’re great places to find things like funny GIFs, fun images, little facts, and all kinds of other entertainment purposes. Most of those awesome pictures you see on Facebook, Twitter, etc come from here. Imgur also happens to be the image upload service that most people use on Reddit. Both Giphy and Imgur are completely free to download and use. They have your back whether you want to kill a few minutes slacking off or looking for the perfect reaction GIF for that Twitter or Google+ post. They’re two free Android apps worth having. Plus, you can upload your images to Imgur without limits for sharing to various places. There are other funny apps on Android, but we like these two the best.
Check out more apps here:
Musicolet is an intriguing option for local music playback. It does all of the basics, including playlists, tag editing, organizational features, file browsing, and embedded lryics (LRC) support. You also get an equalizer, a sleep timer, widgets, lock screen controls, Android Auto support, and more. It covers basically all standard use cases and it still piles more on top. In addition, it’s entirely free with no in-app purchases and no advertising. We also quite like the simple, effective UI. You can check out other music app options here as well if you need to or here for music streaming apps if you want that instead.
Price: Free / Varies
Resilio Sync is a cloud storage solution for people who don’t trust cloud storage. It creates a cloud storage server on your personal computer. The app lets you sync your files, photos, videos, audio, etc from your computer to your phone and back again. Thus, you get the cloud storage experience without having to trust your data to a third party. The desktop and mobile apps are easy enough to setup and the UI is functional. There is a pro version with some extra features, but the free version does the basics just fine. There are other great cloud storage services, but Resilio Sync is excellent for people on a budget.
Price: Free / $27.99 per year
TickTick is among the best to do list apps on Android. It works a lot like Wunderlist, actually. You can make lists, share tasks with other people, organize your tasks in various ways, get reminders, set recurring tasks, and more. It’s also highly modular. That helps with organization. The widgets aren’t half bad either. There is a pro version, but it adds things like calendar support and other additional features. The free version of this is far above what most other to do list apps offer. It’s also clean, easy to use, and it’s great for small teams or family use. It’s technically not a free app. However, the free version functions better than most free to-do list apps. Don’t worry, you won’t need the premium version except in extreme cases. There are also other great options for to do list apps too.
Credit: Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Zedge is pretty much a one-stop-shop for things like wallpapers, ringtones, notification tones, and alarms. There is a very large selection of all of those things available in a variety of genres including fantasy, mainstream, funny, and pretty much whatever else you can think of. Zedge’s users add most of the content themselves. Thanks to this, there is quite a bit of variety. There is also a premium option for wallpapers and those are pretty decent. Abstruct, Walli, and Tapet are better options for wallpapers, but the premium content in Zedge isn’t half bad and Zedge is basically the only truly great app left for ringtones. There are other great wallpaper apps and ringtone apps, but Zedge is the only one that can reliably do both.
Price: Free / Varies
Zoom was one of the definitive apps of 2020. When the pandemic hit and everybody started working from home, Zoom became the app to beat for video conferencing. It has a fairly robust free version. You can do unlimited one on one video chats and 40 minute meetings with up to 100 people. That’s good enough for most use cases. You can pay to remove many of those restrictions. The app lets you screen share, use a whiteboard to write stuff down, and it even includes things like end-to-end encryption. The app could be better and Zoom took its sweet time adapting to its new popularity. However, it managed to persevere.
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If we missed any of the best free Android apps, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.