With more than 1 million apps available, the Google Play store offers a varying array of titles, ranging from best-ignored downloads to genuinely useful apps and games. Yet for every popular favorite such as Kindle or YouTube, there are just as many new, underrated, unusually fun, or plain overlooked gems. Whether you want to fill up a new Android phone with apps or just try out something new on your current device, check out the apps you're not using but should that can be found in Google Play.
Google Trips turns your smartphone into an all-in-one travel assistant, consolidating travel itineraries and reservations from your emails into automatically sorted trips. Google automatically collates your flight details, hotel and car reservations, tour itineraries and other information available in your emails. The app also provides recommendations, suggested day plans, and related local sights and attractions based on your tastes, interests and local travel tips. Users can save their trip details locally to their smartphone, allowing for offline use away from local Wi-Fi or pricey roaming rates.
If you're going to be spending time abroad, you can breeze through a few lines with the use of Mobile Passport. It's a U.S. Customs and Border Protection-approved app that helps speed you through lengthy immigration lines by letting you submit your passport control and customs declarations from your phone (assuming you've got a U.S. or Canadian passport). By replacing paper forms and providing faster processing in a number of major US airports that support Mobile Passport service is supported, the app will save you a good amount of time in line. Just remember to bring along your paper passport, as this app isn't a replacement for that.
Apps like Tasker offer powerful automation options for Android, but they're not always so user-friendly. For something a bit more approachable, consider Automate, which uses a visual, flowchart-based interface for making your own custom-designed scripts. The app boasts more than 320 different task building blocks that can include actions, event triggers, loops and more; you can arrange those blocks in a flowchart style to easily visualize your creations. The app is free, with a $2.99 in-app purchase unlocking a Premium mode for creating scripts that require more than 30 blocks.
If you don't mind a little hands-on time cleaning up your internal storage, check out DiskUsage. The app is basically the Android equivalent to the popular WinDirStat utility, proviging an easily comprehensible graphical representation of your file and directory system and the space each file and folder takes up in your device's memory. DiskUsage shows you which files and folders are hogging your disk space. The app also works as a standalone tool for viewing and deleting folders, but it can also integrate with a number of popular file explorers such as Solid Explorer.
Android has a glut of free file explorer apps that let you manage your device's external storage, ranging from excellent tools to freemium bloatware. If you're willing to spend a small amount to get an excellent ad-free and bloatware-free app, check out Solid Explorer, a premium file manager that comes packed with features and a clean, hassle-free interface. Drag-and-drop controls, a multi-tab and multi-pane interface, and support for network and cloud storage and compressed archives cover your basics, while more advanced features like a root explorer, plugin support and batch operations are available for power users.
Your Android phone is a fine device for reading ebooks and listening to audiobooks, and if you know where to go, you don't even need to pay a cent to do so. Libby by Overdrive works with your local library to provide a digital media management platform for borrowing and returning ebooks and audiobooks. Just sign in, connect your library card, and then browse your local library's digital offerings. You can use multiple library cards, sample books, download or stream content, tag titles, and sync data across devices.
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If you enjoy live music and concerts, Qello Concerts is the app for you. The Qello app lets you stream recordings from a vast array of artists, including Queen, The Rolling Stones, Coldplay and more. Besides concerts, you can check out concert films, documentaries and episodes of live music shows such as MTV Unplugged. The free tier of the app includes one or more free tracks from each show, 30-plus channels of concert moments and highlights and a selection of free concerts. A $7.99-per-month All-Access Pass unlocks the whole library of concerts and documentaries as well as the ability to check out or create curated Setlists.