You already pay enough each month for your Android phone's monthly data plan. So why pay even more for apps? The good news is that many of the best options available through the Google Play store are free. The true challenge is sorting the must-downloads from the ones that will just waste space. Here are 40 of our favorite free Android apps.
Facebook for Android is quite similar to what you'd find on Facebook.com, but catered to smartphones. Share photos from your Android gallery, post updates on your wall, comment on the posts of your Facebook friends, share links and other media, and much more with the free app. The app is under constant tweaking, with additions such as editing posts and comments continuously being added. The experience wouldn't be complete without the Facebook Messenger app, though the decision to spin off instant messaging to a separate app has irked some users.
If you find yourself wasting a lot of time with repetitive internet tasks, or just want to automate tasks on your phone, try IFTTT. The app comes with a variety of pre-built "applets" that automate tasks like backing up photos to cloud accounts, messaging your roommate or family if you're near the grocery, or having your smart lights turn themselves on when you return home from work. In addition to the pre-built applets, Users can also build custom tasks from these applets and services, combining multiple tasks and triggers in an "If This, Then That" structure (from which the app takes its name).
Avast's Mobile Security & Antivirus is our favorite mobile security suite for Android devices, offering comprehensive antivirus protection as well as numerous extra features, like Wi-Fi vulnerability protection, malware scanning, call blocking and app locking. Avast's free offering is already feature-packed, but premium subscribers get even more tools such as a privacy advisor, a customizable blacklist and extra tools for rooted Android devices.
Are you plagued with pesky battery-hogging apps that run in the background? Greenify them. Greenify puts an app in a state of hibernation, unable to access system resources or run background processes. However, Greenify allows you to run an app normally in the foreground when explicitly called on by the user without any extra fuss. If you've got memory or battery hogs that keep draining your phone's resources, don't bother with a task-killer when you can just Greenify it. Just don't do that to your alarm clock, messenger, email app or anything with important notifications unless you want them to stop working.
The bright, backlit displays of smart phones and tablets radiate a lot of blue light that can mess with your body clock and sleep cycle. The Twilight app counteracts that by automatically adjusting the colors of your phone's display based on the time of day, gently toning down the blue and introducing a red filter as evening approaches and night falls. This results in a softer display that's easier on the eyes and less likely to interfere with bedtime.
Using a combination of neural networks and artificial intelligence, Prisma takes images from your smartphone's camera roll and then transforms them into works of art in the style of famous artists like Munk or Picasso. It also applies a variety of special effects and visual transformations with a simple slider interface. You can then save your photos and easily share them across a variety of social media apps. It's a great way to transform your tired old holiday snaps into striking images worthy of using as wallpapers, digital postcards and more.
Google Photos (which already comes stock on some Android devices) is a fantastic cloud photo storage service, offering unlimited storage space for high quality photos, as well as up to 15GB of original resolution photos in your Google Drive space. In addition to the generous online storage, Google Photos also features a smart search tool for finding familiar objects, places, pets, people and events, as well as an album assistant and basic photo editing tools.