There are millions of useful Android apps on the market these days, but our iOS using friends still have a few unique first party applications that are occasionally lorded over us.
Yesterday we brought you a list of these favorites. Found yourself wishing you could download them for your Android device? While some of these may never officially make their way to Android, fortunately, there are plenty of perfectly suitable Android alternatives to many of the best iOS only apps out there. Here are my picks.
FL Studio Mobile (GarageBand)
Professional grade music production apps, or DAWs if you prefer, are much more commonly associated with Apple products than Android, and GarageBand has been a long running popular tool for those looking to jot down ideas or mix bigger projects.
With audio recording, MIDI tracks, and a huge selection of pre-made loops, synthetic instrument sounds and effects, GarageBand has pretty much everything that producers need. Fortunately, alternatives have come along in the Android space in the last couple of years. FL Studio’s Mobile Edition has been available since 2013 and is certainly one of the best Android apps for music creation.
Fl Studio matches GarageBand’s audio recording and import abilities, MIDI sequencing, drum machine, and multi-track support and editing tools. The app contains 133 instrument sounds, can work with up to 99 tracks compared with GarageBand’s 32, and contains essential limiting and EQ tools. FL Studio can also export sessions to the more powerful desktop application if you’re looking to polish up a track with some extra tools. However, the Mobile version costs $15.99, which makes it notably more expensive than GarageBand’s $4.99 price tag.
If video’s are more your thing than audio, then you might have heard about Apple’s iMovie software, which is available for both the company’s laptops and mobile devices. The iOS version is a little cut down, but has everything needed to cut up and edit footage captured on an iPhone. The software includes 10 video filters, 8 title themes, support for 4K video, and some basic audio tools for creating a soundtrack.
One of the best alternatives for Android is Cyberlink’s PowerDirector. The app features similar tools to arrange scenes and trim video using a simple drag and drop interface. The app also features 50 animated title themes, 10 video filters, and soundtrack importing and editing. Video’s can be exported at up to 1080p.
Both pieces of software also support quick sharing. iMovie links up with Facebook, Vimeo, and Messages, while PowerDirector plays nicely with Facebook and YouTube uploads. iMovie’s price is set at $4.99, while PowerDirector is free, although it does come with in-app purchases in order to unlock all of the features.
Continuing with the theme of media creation, Adobe’s Photoshop Sketch is a pretty cool tool for the artists out there. Adobe continues to focus its software development efforts on Apple hardware, although the company has recently also taken an interest in some Android development. Luckily, third party developers offers similar sketching apps for Android, of which Infinite Painter is most certainly one of the best.
Both apps offer up a selection of drawing and editing tools. Infinite Painter offers more than 80 brush presents, the ability to create new brushes, layer and blending modes, line and shape tools, and a selection of image filters. Images can be exported to JPEG, PNG, PSD, or ZIP, and can be uploaded straight to Instagram too. Infinite Painter is free to download, but there are in-app purchases to unlock all of the drawing features.
iPhone owners also love to boast about the look of their pictures, and Camera+ is one of the most popular third-party apps on iOS. Camera+ is beloved for its additional shooting modes; which includes a timer, burst mode, and software based image stabilization; as well as its manual exposure and focusing options. Camera FV-5 offers up these same features, along with a couple of its own unique options.
In addition to the timer and burst modes, Camera FV-5 offers an HDR time lapse shooting mode. Exposure and focus options are supplemented with ISO and white balancing sliders, shutter speed controls, 16-bit RAW format support, and a live RGB histogram for the real pros out there.
Camera FV-5 is only a fraction more expensive than Camera+, priced at $3.95 rather than $2.99. Both ecosystems also offer up a lot of other really quite good camera apps, and the list above is worth checking out for some excellent free options. Of course, these won’t turn a bad camera into a good one, but will allow those willing to put in the effort to extract a little more from their smartphone snappers.
Moving away from media apps for a moment, Tweetbot 4 is one of iOS’ must have apps for social media addicts. There are a number of rather good Twitter clients for Android too, but I’ve picked out Fenix as one that you should definitely have a look at.
The main appeal of using third-party Twitter clients is the additional control over notifications and feeds that they offer, as well as support for video, and improvements to the user interface. Tweetbot has certainly won much praise for meeting these criteria and Fenix also offers up lots of useful extras for Twitter aficionados.
Fenix includes multi-account support, an internal browser, customizable app navigation, multi-image and video preview support, and three themes to choose from, just to name a few features. Perhaps best of all, Fenix costs $4.99 while Tweetbot commands double the price at $9.99.
Podcast fans, of which I hope there are plenty of you, and serial iOS listeners have a particular liking for Overcast. The app is free to use and supported by donations, but boasts some pretty useful features, including Smart Speed to cut out dead-air, and compression to keep volumes in check.
Pocket Casts, a paid-for Android app, boasts many of the same features plus a few more. As well as silence removal and volume control, Pocket Casts boasts an auto-WiFi download feature, adjustable playback speed, and Chromecast support, on top of the essential subscription management features.
Vesper for iOS is another app that has managed to stand out in a sea of similar note taking applications. The app offers up easy ways to organise texts and pictures to help jog your memory and also offers backups across multiple devices.
Evernote needs no introduction as a veteran of this app niche, and it continues to be one of the most highly rated note and organization apps for Android. Although the iOS version doesn’t seem anywhere nearly as well reviewed. With web clippings, image support, and a voice recording option, Evernote contains everything you need to keep on top of your busy day.
Best of all, Evernote is free compared with Vesper’s $9.99 price tag. That being said, regular users can choose to upgrade to a 1GB per month upload package for either $3.99 per month or $34.99 annually, or heavy users might prefer the 10GB $7.99 / $69.99 option.
If you still prefer to consume your news in paper form, then Flipboard is a great cross-platform alternative to iOS’ Newsify aggregation app. At their most basic, these apps are designed to sort news from numerous sites into a single app, but the best feature additional tools to help keep your feed well organized and relevant.
Newsify separates itself with a selection of themes and a night mode, custom feed URLs, and an in-app Safari web view. Flipboard, on the other hand, throws in a selection of categories, recommendations, localized content, and social media integration. If Flipboard isn’t your cup of tea, Feedly is also well worth a look as another free Android alternative.
The last app on our list is one for the selfie lovers. Again Adobe refuses to bring its Photoshop Fix image touch-up software to Android, but AirBrush will help Android users scrub out those pores and cover up those blemishes just as well.
Both applications feature smoothing tools to improve complexion, color adjustments to brighten or darken your pictures, and a software depth of focus effect for some style. While Photoshop Fix focuses its extras on integration with its broader software suite, AirBrush opts for some extra software options, including automatic teeth whitening and a selection of familiar photo filters. AirBrush pictures can also be directly exported to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
There you have it, just some of the best Android alternatives to a selection of the most popular iOS only apps. If you have any alternative suggestions or perhaps some other apps that you’ve found replacements for, sound off in the comments below.