Apps are the main feature separating our current generation of smartphones from the dumbphones of yesteryear. They’re used for everything, from booking a taxi, to news consumption, to sharing your latest meal with your friends. As such, I’ve compiled a short list of 10 apps I can’t live without.
At the top of the list is an app that, no doubt, has many users. Whenever I get a new phone, Nova Launcher is one of the first apps I set up. It’s a launcher replacement and is loved by many for the seemingly endless tweaks that can be applied, as well as the fluidity and beauty. In addition to this, the beta has recently gained compatibility with Google Now, through the use of the use of the of the Nova Google Companion APK, available through APK Mirror. This latest addition has implemented one of the only features I missed when using the launcher. It is available for free, but there is a pro version available for £3.99 with additional features.
Accompanying Nova launcher on my home screen in Kustom Live Wall Paper (KLWP). This app allows you to further customise your phone further than any other app (at least that I’ve come across). It allows you to truly make your phone yours and unique. While the learning curve is a bit steep, taking time to understand the mechanics can be worth it when you end up with a homescreen that’s personalised to your taste and needs. It is available for free, however, there is a pro version available which allows you to import templates made by other creators.
SeriesGuide – Free / £1.49 a year subscription
SeriesGuide is an app that I can’t find myself living without. It allows you to keep track of the many shows you’re currently watching (or binge-watching, I don’t judge). In addition, there is also a cloud feature, which allows you to keep track of your shows across multiple devices. This, combined with the integrated Trakt ratings, episode blurbs and attractive design, make this a must-have app. It is free, however, there is a subscription of £1.49 a year, to unlock premium features such as episode notifications, light and dark themes, and unlimited extensions.
Showbox – Free
A smorgasbord of TV shows and latest film releases is possible the easiest way to explain the concept of Showbox. It’s a one-stop-shop for all of your binge-watching needs, with the latest and greatest films released regularly with high quality streams, as well as TV shows updated daily. The ability to download shows and films for offline viewing is also a welcome addition to the app, making it essential for most android phones.
Mobdro – Free
Mobdro is my go-to app for television streaming, be it for sports, or simply browsing through channels. With an extensive collection of thousands of channels from various countries, it’s rare that you don’t find the channel you are looking for. The homescreen is helpfully laid out with your recently used channels, above a list of categories, allowing for quick selection. There is also a download function, to record live television, as well as Chromecast support, allowing you to stream the TV programmes to your TV (especially useful if you don’t have Sky/BT sports). It is available for free, however, there will be a premium tier soon.
Email by Easily Do – Free
How does an email client make a top 10 android apps list? Easy, by having useful features and a gorgeous design. Email is extremely well designed, with clear elements present, as well as extensive customisation options for your email accounts. There is a unified inbox, something I have missed from the Gmail app, as well as integrated AI. While the idea of AI, may seem useless outside of the Google Now use case, it is implemented extremely well. Not only does it sort emails into various groups, such as travel and receipts, but also gives you a useful section to unsubscribe to multiple senders in rapid succession, without even having to open any emails. It is available for free.
Navbar – Free
If customising your device is one of your priorities, then Navbar is for you. Essentially, it allows your device to change the colour of your navbar to match the colour scheme of whatever app you have open. Whilst this may not seem like much of a difference, it really adds to the experience of using your phone, adding to a sense of coherence which can sometimes be desired when using an android phone. It is available for free.
Solid Explorer – Free / £1.49 In-app-purchase
While Android does supply the user with somewhat of a rudimentary file system, and some manufacturers may supply ones of their own, Solid Explorer is exactly what the name suggests, a solid explorer. Not only does it allow for root access, but also allows for custom shortcuts to be made, as well as near drag and drop file moving through the utilisation of dual windows of the app. There is also extensive theming available to change the colour of the app, as well as triggering a dark theme, however, the pro version is needed for this.
Autosync Google Drive – Free / £1.69-£9.99
Autosync Google Drive is a must have for anyone who frequently changes devices or is just paranoid of losing all of their data as a result of their phone dying or a natural disaster. It’s premise is quite simple, it allows you to select folders on your device to automatically back up to designated folders in Google Drive. While this may seem insignificant, it can also be used to sync data across devices when not supported by the app, as well as allowing access of files on a phone from a computer. It is available for free, however, there are three in-app-purchases, which result in the removal of adds, unlocking of all premium features, and access to all future updates.
Google Rewards – Free
If you are looking at a way to fund all of the purchases you may reluctantly need to undergo in order to improve the functionality of your android device, Google Rewards is certainly a viable option. It essentially provides you with various questionnaires, which then grant you Google Play Store credit to be used. And, while it can take some time to accumulate a significant amount of credit, free stuff is always good.