Searching for the best Android apps is a daunting task. Whether you're looking for a camera app or a new launcher, there are always dozens of highly-rated ones available - which is both a blessing and a curse. Here at AndroidPIT, we’ve spent years curating the top Android apps for every specific purpose, and we've now compiled them for our readers. Here is our list of the best Android apps of 2015.
iOS is a fierce rival to Android and offers a whole bunch of great apps and features, but it doesn't offer everything that Android does. The reason Nova Launcher is one of our favorite Android-exclusive apps is because it, in many ways, underlines what is so great about Android.
Nova is an alternative launcher compatible with Android 4.1 onward which lets you customize the entire look and feel of your operating system. From changes to font size, to the number of apps which can appear on the lock screen, to the way in which your app drawer scrolls, Nova Launcher is a prime example of how Android can be molded to suit individual tastes and preferences in a way that iOS cannot compete with.
If you wish you could make a few simple changes to your current interface, then you'd be crazy not to give the free version of Nova a try. Nova even lets you adopt the look of any other phone out there - Galaxy, Xperia, HTC, LG, even iOS if that's your thing.
Best Android app for kids
There are a whole bunch of educational apps, games and books which you can download on your Android phone or tablet, you just need to hit the "categories" section in the Play Store and select an age group, or subcategory like "education".
Once you've done that and installed some suitable apps, we recommend downloading Kids Place. This app allows you to assign the particular apps and games you want to give young ones access to, and restricts them to a screen with these apps only (until a predetermined PIN code is entered).
Kids Place also prevents children from sending messages or purchasing other apps while using the device, and you can set a time limit for how long access is granted; think of it as putting your phone or tablet temporarily in a safe mode.
Best Android app for musicians
Do you find yourself bobbing your head along to the rhythm of the train when you're sitting on it, or composing silent melodies in your head that you know would sound amazing if only you could record them at that moment? Then you should check out Caustic 3, the latest version of the popular mobile music-making machine. Using this powerful tool, you can use one of 14 different synthesizers, vocoders and drum machines to create that perfect sound on the move. Caustic 3 is a deep and complex app, so be prepared to put some time into, but the results are great.
If you're looking for a simpler way to make music on the move, check out our other favorite music-making apps.
Sometimes you have to venture beyond the Play Store to find the best apps. From our collection of favorite apps found outside the Play Store, our number one was TubeMate. Using this app, you can download YouTube videos to your device in various formats and resolutions - including 1080p.
Anything you download will automatically be saved to the video section of your gallery, and be instantly ready to watch, stream to Chromecast, or otherwise do with as you please.
Ask Me Anything, brought to us by Reddit AMA, is a unique and surprisingly low-key app which lets you read the latest celebrity AMA inteviews, and also send over questions that you'd like to ask those celebrities. Strange that an app involving celebrities would be fairly unknown, right? But it's possible that they don't want to be over-flooded with questions. You can also vote on questions other people present, and help decide whether those questions get asked to famous faces from the worlds of film, sport, science, and more.
Cloud storage is so commonplace now that its name doesn't sound quite as mystical and ethereal as it did a few years ago. That doesn't make it any less useful, as storing your personal data online is - for the most part - much safer than keeping it on a fragile old hard drive. We're prepared to accept accusations of bias here, as our favorite cloud storage app is Google Drive. it's baked into most Android devices, Google is always giving extra GBs of storage space away for free, and it's synced up with the handy Google Docs office suite. It's the undisputed champ.
There are some obvious contenders for 'Best messaging app' on Android - WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to name a couple - but Drupe is the one messaging app to rule them all. If you haven't heard of it, that's because it's relatively new on the scene. Drupe displays your whole contacts list, then lets you contact people using any of the most popular messaging services - WhatsApp, SMS, Skype, you name it. So from this one app, you can essentially contact anyone using any messaging app you want. It's ingenious!
Whether you're looking for love, companionship, or something more - ahem - 'carnal', there are plenty of Android apps out there to help you find what you're looking for. In fact, you could say there are Plenty of Fish, which is one of our favorite dating apps out there. Sign-up is free, and you're matched up with people well-suited to you based on some inscrutably complex but effective algorithm. It even advises on good places to go on dates in your area. It makes finding a date easier than shooting fish in a barrel.
When you don't have a Wi-Fi or data connection it's too late to download one. We've got the best of the best of offline apps for Android for your offline enjoyment. One of the very best offline Android apps of all is Pocket, and offline reader app that saves text and images for reading later on. No more bookmarking, link sharing or copy pasting when you've Pocket in your pocket.
Lock screen apps are awesome - you can do things on your smartphone or tablet without even having to unlock it. From checking notifications, calendar reminders, music controls, missed calls, Quick Settings and more, Next Lock Screen lets you take control of your locked phone. Next will even suggest apps based on your location.
The first thing you should know is that Google Play is not the only place you can get Android apps. Sure, it's the biggest and the most official, but there are lots of apps out there that never quite made it to Google Play or that simply exist elsewhere (like in the Amazon app store for example).
Our favorite Google Play Store alternative is SlideMe, where you can find a whole bunch of cool, hand-picked apps that have been individually tested to ensure that they work on AOSP (Android Open-Source Project), and are not tied into the Play Store's services.
Dolphin Browser is one of the best Android browsers you can get. It's free, it looks great, it comes with tons of features, and it supports Adobe Flash Player - the multimedia player that just won't die.
Camera360 Ultimate made its way onto our best Android camera apps list because it houses so many features, including over 200 filters, NFC photo sharing, and a blissful absence of ads. It's a comprehensive free app that ensures you get the best out of your Android camera.
The Walkman and the iPod are as good as dead, because our smartphones have taken over as powerful music players. While the default music apps on your Android device probably do a fine job, if you want to crank up the bass or other aspects of your music, you'll need something more.
The default video player on your Android phone will probably 'do the job' and play most standard video formats without much fuss. But if you're playing some niche formats or enjoy tinkering with the video settings to get the perfect picture, then you'll need to branch out.
VLC for Android came out of beta back in December, meaning that it's now stable and ready for everyone to use. It supports a huge number of video formats. You can use hardware acceleration to take advantage of those four or eight cores on your device and really get the most out of your videos. The pinch-to-zoom feature is pretty neat too.
Smartphones might not yet be valid replacements for our PCs, but with their increasing power and screen sizes, they're getting there. As such, it's good to have the best possible productivity apps on your Android device, so you have the assurance that you can do some work when there's no keyboard-and-mouse computer around.
Expensify is one of our best Android productivity apps simply for managing your budget. You can make it as simple or as detailed as you want, and track all of your spending in an easy-to-use format. It’s great free business travel app that you shouldn’t be without.
Rooting and modding mobile devices was a terrifying prospect once upon a time. But more online tutorials have cropped up, and more apps have arrived to help. However, if you're not ready to go down the techy path of rooting (it's really not that bad), you can always do some modding using a variety of Android launchers.
When it comes to the best Android launchers, smart launcher is one of our favorites due to its unique, ultra-cool design. If you can’t find a theme to suit you here, we don’t know where you will.
Android security is a contentious subject and arguments about the safety of the system crop up frequently. Keep safe out there and check out some of our recommended security apps. While you're at it, you might want to have a go at optimizing your system performance too.
AVG is one of the best anti-virus apps for Android. Even if your browsing and app downloading habits are completely safe, you can never be too careful. Check out AVG for a discreet solution.
There are plenty of weather apps available that are more accurate than those pre-installed on your Android device. We've had a look at some of the best, as well as some GPS apps which might help you outdoors.
Yahoo! Weather is one of our favorites at AndroidPIT because it looks great, it’s simple to use, and it presents all of the information you require at a glance. It also comes with a nice widget too.
Whether you want to lose a few extra pounds or meet some new people, we have some apps to help you out.
Calorie Counter by MyFitnessPal provides a great way to lose weight and stay in shape. Simply enter your weight and height, and Calorie Counter will tell you how many calories you can consume each day while losing weight. It requires a little effort on the part of the user, but it’s worth it.