There are millions of apps available on the Google Play Store, which makes it tricky to know which ones are worth downloading. To help you out, we’ve separated the wheat from the chaff and compiled a list of the best and most popular free apps that you need on your Android phone. We haven’t included Google’s apps here, since they likely came with your device.
While some of these apps might offer in-app purchases or subscriptions, the core functionality is free to use. Whether you’re looking for an app to pass the time, keep in touch with family, or learn a new skill, these excellent Android apps are sure to satisfy.
Reddit is a collection of hundreds of thousands of communities, each dedicated to a specific topic. That can be something broad, like movies, or niche, like slow cookers. You can passively consume the content that others share, or get involved and vote on what you like and chat in the comments.
Download: Reddit (Free, in-app purchases available)
TikTok is all about user-created short-form videos. It’s the perfect way to blast through bite-sized entertainment, with an endless number of dances, pranks, stories, and tips uploaded to the platform every day. TikTok also supports live streams, so you can watch your favorite creators in the moment and interact with them through the chat.
Download: TikTok (Free, in-app purchases available)
Unlike Apple’s iMessage, Android doesn’t have a universal messaging service that automatically comes with every phone. While you might be content sending standard texts, the much better option is to use WhatsApp. It’s internet-powered and lets you send rich multimedia messages, including images, videos, and audio. It’s all end-to-end encrypted, too.
Download: WhatsApp (Free)
You have no doubt spent lots of time using Zoom, whether that’s for video calling friends and family, joining school classes remotely, or having meetings with colleagues. It’s easy to use Zoom on Android—you can host video and audio calls, share your screen, and annotate. Everything is cross-platform, so it doesn’t matter if others in the call aren’t using Android.
Download: Zoom (Free, subscription available)
5. Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a non-profit that believes everyone should have access to a free, world-class education. Thanks to its app, you can learn math, science, art, programming, finance, history, and more. With curated lessons and a personalized learning system, Khan Academy’s app is a perfect way to learn wherever you are.
Download: Khan Academy (Free)
If you want to fill your ears with quality music, look no further than Spotify. The music streaming service has over 82 million tracks and over four million podcast episodes. Be aware that unless you pay, you can only shuffle the music (apart from on certain Spotify playlists) and you’ll hear ads between every handful of songs.
Download: Spotify (Free, subscription available)
Twitter is one of the largest social media services, playing host to everyone from celebrities and politicians to your childhood friends. People post 280 character “tweets” to their profiles, which others can like and share. You can follow whoever you desire, building a personalized timeline of what interests you.
Download: Twitter (Free)
If you’re using the same password for everything, you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s much better to use unique passwords. But how can you possibly remember them all? That’s where a password manager like Bitwarden comes in. It’s open-source and works across browsers.
Download: Bitwarden (Free, subscription available)
Discord began as a place for gamers to hang out and chat while playing video games with one another. While it’s still perfect for that, it’s also a great place for building and joining other types of communities. You chat with others in public or private servers, and can communicate through text, audio, and video.
Download: Discord (Free, subscription available)
You’re no doubt familiar with the big streaming services like Netflix and Disney+, but you shouldn’t overlook Peacock. It provides a wide assortment of movies and TV shows for free, supported by ads. This includes big-name sitcoms, kids shows, sport, and news. You can pay for access to more content, but there’s enough for free that will keep you satisfied.
Download: Peacock (Free, subscription available)
Instagram launched in 2010 for iOS as a way to share photos with others, coming to Android a couple of years later. It quickly grew in popularity and was eventually bought by Facebook. It’s changed over the years, adding support for videos and live streams, but remains as influential as ever—the service boasts over one billion active users.
Download: Instagram (Free, in-app purchases available)
Cooking doesn’t have to be difficult. If you struggle in the kitchen, or need inspiration for some new meals to whip up, Tasty is the app for you. It has thousands of recipes, with a fantastic step-by-step mode which visually demonstrates what you need to do. It also functions as an excellent recipe organizer app; your recipes sort automatically into categories, plus you can rate them to remind yourself whether they’re worth making again.
Download: Tasty (Free)
Weather apps are a dime a dozen, but AccuWeather is one of the best. It provides accurate hyperlocal forecasts, like predicting rainfall to the minute, alongside air quality reports, storm tracking, “real feel” temperatures, and more. AccuWeather also offers one of the best weather widgets for Android, so you can get the lowdown from your home screen.
Download: AccuWeather (Free, in-app purchases available)
Duolingo is the best way to master a new language. You can choose from over 35 languages to learn, through speedy and fun lessons that let you practice your speaking, reading, listening, and writing. Whether you’re going on vacation and want to pick up some basics, or you’re looking to engage in meaningful conversations, Duolingo tuns language learning into a game that’ll keep you coming back for more.
Download: Duolingo (Free, subscription available)
15. Microsoft To Do
Staying on top of your tasks and organizing your day is a tricky activity in itself. Thanks to Microsoft To Do, you’ll spend more time getting things done. You can take notes, build lists, set reminders, plan events, and more. Plus, with cross-device syncing, it’s easy to keep organized wherever you are.
Download: Microsoft To Do (Free)
Improve Your Life With Popular Android Apps
While you can certainly only use your phone for basic tasks like messaging and calls, download the apps we’ve covered here and you can improve your productivity, master a new talent, and be entertained. Considering it’s all free, it’s hard to complain.