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The best Android apps for your new smartphone (2021 Edition)

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© Ben Miller / nextpit

Getting a new Android phone is almost akin to starting a new chapter of your life. With every new device, there are tons of new features and functions that are at your disposal. To truly utilize the capabilities of your brand new phone, however, it is essential that you install all the right apps. Here are the top Android apps that we think you should install on your brand new Android smartphone.

Cloud storage apps to keep your new Android phone clutter-free

Among the first apps that we think you should install on your phone are cloud-storage apps. These apps will prevent the internal storage on your phone from getting clogged with data, pictures, documents and videos. There are many good apps for this purpose. Google already bundles its own Google Drive on most Android devices. In case you do not wish to be tied-down within the Google ecosystem, there are other apps like Dropbox, Box and OneDrive that are also perfectly suited to the role

Now, if you don’t really fancy storing your personal data 'in the cloud', there are data transfer apps that will help you locally transfer data from one phone to another. This can be helpful in case you are also moving from one device to another or from a device to your own hard drive connected to a computer. One app that comes to our mind is Airdroid – which allows you to wirelessly transfer your data back and forth between your smartphone and PC (its functionality doesn’t end there though). The only disadvantage it presents, however, is that bulky files can sometimes be troublesome to upload. Portal is also a great app for this purpose, though this is pretty much its only function.

USB drives are no longer the 'in- thing", as network-attached storage systems are more a flexible and secure way to transfer data between two storage spaces and the risk of losing data is almost non-existent. Take a look in the Google Play Store for our recommended NAS app.

Teach your friends that WhatsApp isn’t the only messenger app

The primary purpose of a mobile phone, as has been the case for ages, is to communicate.  And instant messaging is among the most widely used apps. Though the likes of WhatsApp and Messenger have become a staple in most countries worldwide, it might not be the best choice seeing as both of them are owned by Facebook, whose privacy policies are often dubious and the risk of intrusions is high.

A better app to use is Threema. It uses less data and it encrypts messages so that only the recipient will ever see the message. Other good and secure apps are Signal and Wire. While Threema only uses text messages, Signal has voice calling and Wire offers voice and video calling.

Do note that Threema is a paid app. However, it has the advantage that you can use five different mobile phone numbers with one Threema license. This is great for large families and paying a little for a lot of security is definitely worth it.

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WhatsApp is not the only messaging app out there. / © NextPit

Social networks and games

It’s highly probable that you have already installed Facebook on your phone. You can however also get access to this social network via a browser on your device, there is no actual need to install the app on your device. Social networks for career advancement include  LinkedIn and Xing. Are you also one of those people who doesn’t quite comprehend Snapchat? Then you should really try out the messenger and send your friends funny selfies that will delete after a few seconds. Twitch on the other hand is the latest fad amongst gamers and allows users to follow video games being played in live streams.

Many people also use the Cloud-based Google Play Games app, which has the advantage of saving your progress. It’s actually quite odd that this app is seldomly pre-installed on smartphones. If you want to be able to pop in and out of a game, then install Google Play Games prior to getting started.

There are also a bunch of great games to fill up on in some of our other top lists:

Give your phone a personalized make-over

If you don’t like the user interface of your phone, then you could try a launcher, which can easily be installed from the Google Play Store. There are literally hundreds of different launchers you can get, all of which do really cool stuff with your phone, bringing neat new functions and features to make your phone even better. Two of the best launchers are Nova Launcher and Action Launcher, though there are of course a lot more. We have a list of the best launchers for your Android smartphone.

shade launcher
A new launcher gives your smartphone its own personalized look. / © NextPit

These apps are just some of the great apps to have on your phone, but of course, there are a lot more. What apps do you think are essential for every smartphone?

Go to comment (10)
Loie Favre

Loie Favre

Loie Favre found her way to her present passion for Android and smartphone technology after experiencing an epiphany when she held her Galaxy Note 2. From that point onwards, you can find her with her nose buried in countless Android apps and different smartphone models, and thanking her lucky stars that she gets to work at something she loves.

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  • Freyasman 4
    Freyasman Dec 30, 2020 Link to comment

    d.Degoo give's a 100GB Free and that better than paying about $15 a month for 100GB now if need more you can get a pay a server for home and it be around $600 or depends on what you want, however you have more storage then.

  • 49
    storm Dec 19, 2020 Link to comment

    My best apps haven't changed in years

    Google voice

    Google maps became more useful to me using offline with preloaded content from

    Antoine Engels

  • marco sarli 39
    marco sarli
    • Admin
    Jul 29, 2019 Link to comment

    Nice list. Maybe a note keeping app like would help. I use Keep My Notes

    Antoine EngelsSorin

  • 1
    Willy Gates Jan 9, 2017 Link to comment

    Bonus points for mentioning Threema. I have been a fan for a long time, and quite a few of my contacts started using it last year (due to all those WhatsApp controversies). Sure it costs a few bucks, but that's a good thing, IMO. After all, the app development isn't free, and I rather pay with money than with my user data.

  • Garima Mourya 1
    Garima Mourya Jan 6, 2017 Link to comment

    Glad to come across your article. I have a query though, I heard about this app called FinoZen which gives you interest amount on a daily basis. Is it true? Can you kindly test and let us, your readers, know whether this app can be used to invest money in? Site link is provided. Please take some time off and write about it in detail for us all. Thanks.

  • Parvind Chahal 21
    Parvind Chahal Dec 29, 2016 Link to comment

    if u are in india than shareit will be first app installed on an android device

  • 3
    Steve Domina Dec 28, 2016 Link to comment

    I'm old and set in my ways. The only app on my phone is DropBox. I see the ones that you guys say is GREAT or otherwise better than the rest, I try and delete it after a few moments of figuring out that it ain't for me. So as I see it, beauty (aka, usefulness) is in the eye of the beholder (user). Caveat Emptor.

  • Androfy - Android Unification 2
    Androfy - Android Unification Dec 29, 2015 Link to comment

    Great list.

  • Bryan Fritchie 1
    Bryan Fritchie Dec 26, 2015 Link to comment

    Google Photos is not unlimited storage. It is 15GB for free, if you don't use any other Google service.

  • Shafiq Ur Rahman 2
    Shafiq Ur Rahman Dec 25, 2015 Link to comment

    This is nice stuff. I have 2-month-old Samsung J5 but I didn't know that all the apps are much important above you mentioned. I'm going to download most of the important apps like Vine, Swiftkey andTasker.

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