Ask any smartphone consumer about their favourite apps and also you’ll most probably listen a couple of names pop up time and time once more.
We’re all in detail accustomed to the Facebooks, Instagrams, and WhatsApps of the app global, however what about all of the ones lesser-known Android apps with distinctive options that get drowned out by way of the massive canines?
There are over 3 million apps on the Google Play Store. Finding a hidden gem can be like looking for a needle in 100 haystacks scattered around a field the size of a football stadium.
Thankfully, the team here at Android Authority and our sister site DGiT have spent an unhealthy amount of time staring at mobile screens over our cumulative lifetimes. In that time, we’ve stumbled upon more than a few extra-special apps you may have never heard of.
Here are some of our favorites!
The best apps out there tend to be those you use on a daily basis and couldn’t live without. These day-to-day heroes make our smartphone life tick and there are plenty to choose from on the Play Store.
Where else could we start but with the recommendation of Android Authority’s own app guru, Joe Hindy, who wants everyone to know that ProtonVPN rules the VPN roost on Android devices — at least when it comes to free options.
“ProtonVPN is one of the few free VPNs available that also has a strict no-logging policy, no ads, and no bandwidth limits. What else needs to be said?” Quite right, Joe.
Oh, wait, there’s one thing: “The Google Play listing doesn’t mention that you don’t get the fastest possible speeds unless you pony up for the paid version.” It’s not the fastest VPN ever, but according to Joe, “it’s more than good enough to check email or similar tasks while connected to public Wi-Fi.”
On the messaging front, newshound and iPhone X clone-hater Scott Adam Gordon endorsed Pushbullet: a clever little app that lets you share links and files between any of your devices, as well as other Pushbullet users.
As great as the app is, Scott stopped short of singing its praises completely, bemoaning the lack of a desktop plugin to let users send links to any contact using any number of different social apps.
For Team AA’s resident pun-derkind Hadlee Simons, the simple things in life make all the difference. That’s why he’s chosen Photo & Picture Resizer, which does exactly what you’d expect.
“I often have to resize photos in my line of work, and this dedicated app does the job without the need for a dedicated photo editor or computer,” Hadlee explains. “Launch the app, choose the photos, select desired dimensions (there are a few presets too) and that’s it.”
Hadlee also noted the app is ad-supported, but you can pay a minor fee to remove them.
Hopping over from DGiT, film buff Frederick Blichert recommends Tiny Scanner, which effectively transforms your phone’s camera into a portable PDF scanner.
Frederick originally started using Tiny Scanner to scan documents to send as faxes (remember those?), but has since started using the app for everything from signing contracts, saving receipts, or just making copies of important files to store on a hard drive.
You can give the app a spin without paying a cent with the free version. Just don’t expect ridiculously high-quality scans as the app intentionally mimics the look of an old Xerox machine.
For our final utility-style app, we come to copy editor Sam Moore. Judging by his recommendation, when Sam isn’t beavering away behind the scenes adding that extra polish to our features, he’s probably on some kind of public transport somewhere with a little help from an app called Transit.
When asked why he picked Transit, Sam simply says “It gets me from A to B,” which somewhat undersells Transit’s live transport tracking for buses, subways, car and bike shares, trains, ferries, and more.
Sam warns that “depending on the city, GPS bus tracking can be spotty,” but for a self-proclaimed “big fan of buses and trains,” a few stumbles here and there aren’t enough to scupper the app’s impressive feature set.
Apps for a healthy body (and bank account)
Breaking the myth that all tech nerds are layabouts, contributor Adam Doud and managing editor Jimmy Westenberg shouted out to two very different fitness apps.
First on the treadmill is Achievement, an activity app that rewards you for walking, cycling, and pretty much any other exercise you can think of with cold hard cash (well, an Amazon gift card) because, as Adam quite rightly reasons, “if you’re exercising anyway, why not get paid?”
The app links up with other platforms like Runkeeper and Samsung Health as an added bonus. Just don’t expect to become a millionaire anytime soon. “It’s basically three points per mile biked, and you need 10,000 points for a $10 gift card. Gonna be here a while…” laments Adam.
Meanwhile, regular runner Jimmy recommends Maps Measure, a “super simple app that lets you plot points on a map and get the total distance, area, and elevation of a route.”
Rather than a bespoke route planner app, Maps Measure adds an extra layer of functionality to Google Maps, which Jimmy says is “pretty much perfect for mapping out routes in public parks and whatnot.”
But is there anything you don’t like about it, Jimmy? “Nah fam.”
Well, there you go.
Of course, while it’s important to stay physically fit, it’s also a good idea to keep track of your bank account’s health, too! News writer and rumor roundup maestro Mitja Rutnik says you can rely on YNAB (You Need A Budget). My money management skills are beyond terrible, so I’ll let Mitja take this one:
“YNAB helps me stay on top of my finances. Unlike other money management apps, YNAB is based on four budgeting rules you have to follow. It’s a system that helps users get prepared financially for day-to-day expenses as well as bigger expenses that occur once in a while (like holiday and car insurance). I’ve been using it for years now and simply love it.”
Those glowing words aside, Mitja notes that YNAB is a premium service ($6.99 per month), and the app doesn’t offer all of the features of the web version — such as detailed reports and transaction searches — which is included with the subscription fee.
Food and shopping
Fitness is great and all, but one of the best facets of modern technology is how it’s brought us new and exciting ways to stuff our faces with food. We’re not just fast food hogs here at Android Authority, however, and there are loads of clever apps out there for those with more discerning appetites.
Up first is Out of Milk, a shopping list app that scolding hot take machine C. Scott Brown uses every day to keep track of his grocery needs. As well as being a robust grocery list app (despite needing to manually sync everything), Out of Milk also doubles up as a pantry inventory tracker and has a handy to-do list feature.
It’s also smarter than your average paper grocery list! “The fact that it integrates with Google Assistant is a life-saver, as I can ask Google to add things to the list while I’m working in the kitchen,” says C. Scott.
After a hard day spent running all of Android Authority’s social channels like a pro, community manager Luka Mlinar loves not anything greater than a just right cup of tea. There’s only one drawback.
“Frequently I get started making my tea and fail to remember about it, best to throw it out 30 mins later,” explains Luka, “additionally I will’t be half-arsed to navigate to the timer during the clock app.”
Input Tea Cup, a easy alarm with as much as 30 other presets to let you know when your tea is able. It’s a easy technique to a easy drawback, such a lot in order that there’s not anything Luka dislikes about his virtual tea time better half.
Ultimate however now not least we come to jack-of-all-tech-trades and master-of-them-all-too Tristan Rayner, who hopes everybody will take a look at an incredible, loose app with an similarly noble purpose in the back of it known as Too Just right To Move.
Too Just right To Move has two primary goals: feed the consumer and combat meals waste. It does this by way of serving to retail outlets (like bakeries and cafes) promote their surplus meals on the finish of the day during the app.
“It’s nice however now not each and every deal is a deal, so take a look at the puts that experience extra hearts (likes),” warns Tristan. For those who discover a devoted native retailer it will let you get monetary savings and reduce down at the lots of meals that is going to waste each day.
We’ve indexed just a fraction of the massive selection of apps our crew makes use of every day right here. I’d be remiss to not proportion a couple of extra that you just may well be lacking out on. Listed below are some Play Retailer apps that narrowly neglected the reduce:
- c:geo – Some of the best possible geocaching apps for Android
- Feeld – “Tinder for threesomes” should you’re into that type of factor
- FotMob – International-class football app
- Moovit – Transit choice with global protection
- Mysplash – Dependable wallpaper app
- Now Taking part in Historical past – Were given a Pixel 2? This app will log any tracks registered by way of the at all times listening characteristic
- PhotoScan – Google’s underappreciated picture scanner
- Pulse SMS – Pass-platform SMS messaging with an not obligatory unmarried charge as an alternative of a per thirty days routine subscription
- Take into accout The Milk – For ultra-smart to-do lists
- TapeCall Professional – Calls for a top rate subscription, however very best for recording interviews
- Tapet – Wallpaper generator app with a steep studying curve however very good effects
Are there any forgotten apps available in the market you wish to have to shout from the rooftops about? Drop a remark beneath! When you’re there, tell us what you call to mind our selections.
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