10 Best Android apps 2016: Must Have

With Tons of Android apps to download from Google’s Play store, It might be possible that you feel a bit rudderless. Don’t fret – we’re here to guide you through the jungle of the Google Play Store. Simply the best Android apps available.

We’ve listed the top 10 best Android apps for any android device must have. To be clear, we’re not saying you should download every one of these – it’s just that if an app sounds appealing, it shouldn’t disappoint.

1. Avast Antivirus & Security (free; with in-app purchases)

Keep malware from your handset with AV protection

Avast Antivirus & Security is a powerful antivirus app that you can trust; its PC counterpart is one of the best free antiviruses of 2015. For those who want comprehensive cover, plenty of additional features are available as in-app purchases, including geofencing and remote data recovery. For those who just want basic protection, however, you’ll find this does everything you need for free.

2. Greenify (free)

Make sure your battery isn’t draining unnessesarily

Getting the most from your phone’s battery is always key. Lollipop may have its own set of battery-saving tools, and many phones now offer power-saving modes, but these should be seen as a last resort.

Greenify sits in the background helping to regulate how much battery various apps are using. It freezes the apps you tell it to when you’re not using them, and instantly defrosts them when you need to gain access.

3. Clean Master (free)

Keep that ‘clean install’ feeling

Nobody likes having a slow device, and Android somehow manages to grab digital detritus like a magnet in a junkyard. Clean Master is the mop and bucket you need to scrub your phone or tablet clean.

Clean Master’s Junk File Cleaning feature scans your Android device and chucks out any unwanted cache and residual files.

4. Tasker (£2.99)

Automate your phone’s functions for an easy life

If you really want to tinker with Android, Tasker is a brilliant way of automating much of the functions you’d normally do manually. It takes a little getting your head around, but the scope here is enormous – especially if you have root access on your phone.

You can train your phone to open Spotify when you put your headphones in, for example, or automatically respond to texts with your street address. If you can feed it the instructions, Tasker can automate the rest.

5. Next Lock Screen (free)

Make your lock screen sparkle

Microsoft’s Garage project lets employees develop Android apps in their spare time, which is very fair­minded of the company. One of the best­known results of this scheme is Next Lock Screen, and this new version adds fingerprint scanning, provided your phone supports it; Smart Contacts and Smart Lock settings that let you configure how you unlock your device; and even location­sensitive wallpaper that changes automatically depending on where you are. Other useful features include detailed notifications that show all your missed calls, text messages and app alerts without you needing to “wake” your phone.

Because Next Lock Screen looks different to the standard Android layout, it effectively forces you to relearn your homescreen, which is jarring, but it has already amassed many devotees and recently won a “best lockscreen app for Android” award. Using it is almost like having a new phone without needing to pay for the upgrade.

6. VLC (free)

Make Android handle any video file you throw at it

Say hello to the only video player you’ll ever need. VLC plays practically any video format you can throw at, isn’t power-hungry, and is incredibly simple to use.

Thanks to its open-source roots, the update process is transparent, so you always know what your device can or can’t support.

7. TunnelBear VPN (Free; with in-app purchases; Pro account, £4.99/mth)

A simple VPN without fuss

Some VPN apps can be confusing. Very confusing. Some VPN apps are buggy. Very buggy. Well, this one is simple to understand and it works. Very well. Bravo, Bear.

TunnelBear comes with a free tier, that grants you access 500 VPN MBs. That means you can download and watch about one hour’s worth of BBC iPlayer video on your Android device before your credit is up. Luckily, the paid-for tier isn’t too steep. Unlimited usage for Android-only devices will cost you £2.99/month, or a full suite (for up to 5 computers, phones or tablets) costs £4.99.

8. Songkick (Free)

Never miss another gig

Gone are the days of scouring magazine listings for upcoming gigs that you want tickets for. Songkick plugs directly into Spotify or Google Play, and alerts you whenever your favourite artists are on tour near you.

Buy tickets in the app, or just use it to keep tabs on your favourites. Either way, you won’t need to do the research yourself again.

9. Dice Gig Tickets (£Free)

Gig tickets without the fees

Ordering gig tickets online is a terrible experience generally. Not only do they sell out in seconds, but you’rre often stung with an extortionate booking fee at the end of things.

DICE fixes that firstly by having no booking fees. Your ticket is locked to your phone, meaning that touts and bots are also blocked out. It’s generally a safer, fairer and better way to get gig tickets. What’s not to like?

10. AirDroid (free)

Your Android handset on your desktop

A real time-saver when working on your computer or laptop, AirDroid allows you to control your phone remotely – allowing you to respond to text messages with a full sized keyboard, mirror applications and painlessly share files between your phone and computer.

Some of the functionality requires a rooted device, but given the app is free (with a paid option for multiple devices, unlimited data transfers and more), it’s certainly worth finding out if AirDroid can make you more productive.

Shashank Tiwari

Shashank Tiwari is a writer from India and the Tech Explained editor. In his free time he dabbles in fiction, photography, and game development.

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