Whether you're the proud owner of a new Android phone or you're just looking to add new functions to your existing device, the quickest way to make it even better is to head to Google Play and start downloading apps.
Google's online marketplace is filled with many great apps that can help you do much more with Android than what you might get from a phone or tablet just out of the box. There are plenty of useful free apps — we've collected some of our favorite free downloads, in fact — but if you're willing to part with a little bit of cash, you can find even more outstanding apps for your phone. Here are the ones we recommend you add to your Android device right away.
Android has long allowed users to manage their phone's files and folders themselves, and a good file manager app can go a long way toward hassle-free file organization. Solid Explorer is a feature-packed premium file manager that sticks to a clean, Material design style while offering easy drag-and-drop operations and a two-pane interface in landscape mode that makes copying and deleting files a breeze. Solid Explorer offers built-in support for a range of archived files including ZIP and RAR, indexed search, and a root explorer, as well allowing you to access your cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Google Drive. Plugin support lets you bolt on additional features such as USB OTG support.
Infinite Painter might not have the name recognition that Adobe or Autodesk enjoy, but this app has garnered a well-deserved cult following among Android artists. Infinite Painter features 80-plus natural brushes as well as the ability to create custom ones. The app also offers infinite layer support, paper textures, a variety of transformation tools and perspective aids, color blending, and pattern and gradient tools. Works can be exported into PSD, PNG or JPG. The app is free with a 7-day trial; after that, premium features are available as in-app purchases.
Widgets have long been a popular Android feature. Zooper Widget Pro allows users to build their own custom Android widgets, combining a wealth of possible options, such as date, time, weather forecast (with a choice of data sources), countdowns and system information. While the free version of Zooper already provides a lot of nice functions, the Pro version is worth shelling out for more widget options and templates that can be saved to your phone's SD card, an ad-free mode, and support for themes and Buzz Launcher.
Most Android phones and tablets come with a built-in music player, but power users looking for a more capable and configurable app may want to check out Poweramp, an old favorite among Android users. Poweramp is a feature-filled Android player available free for a 15-day trial, with a $3.99 upgrade to the full version. The app includes support for a wide variety of audio formats, a 10-band graphic equalizer, support for lyrics, .cue files and numerous playlist formats. A tag editor, fast library searching, home and lock screen widgets and numerous visual and setting customizations make Poweramp a heck of a choice if you're willing to shell out for a nice Android music player app.
If you're a fan of live radio then you're probably familiar with TuneIn Radio, the streaming service that brings thousands of radio stations worldwide to your phone or computer. Whether you're looking for sports, news, music, or talk radio, there's going to be something for you on the more than 100,000 stations you'll find through TuneIn. Users can find and listen to their favorite stations, discover similar content, or stream and play on-demand content such as shows and podcasts. The pro version in particular is well worth the upgrade, removing distracting advertising from the app (though not necessarily from each station's own local stream), as well as letting you record content for listening later when offline. A further premium subscription adds live games from the NFL, MLB, and BPL, as well as a series of commercial-free stations.
Djay 2 is a complete toolkit for the DJ on the go, offering classic tools like jog wheels, samplers, and waveform tools, along with integration with your phone's media library and your Spotify Premium account. Add it all up, and Djay 2 gives users a professional DJ'ing platform in the palm of their hand. In addition to the fantastic audio tools, the app also features native support for a variety of DJ controllers such as the Reloop Mixon 4 & Reloop Beatpad, as well as multi-channel USB audio interfaces.
SKRWT is a fantastic image editing app that's all about editing a photograph's perspective and correcting distortions caused by the camera lens. The app allows you to straighten lines, apply keystone corrections, and more — all in a fairly simple interface that doesn't overwhelm like a more generalized photo editor. In-app purchases provide even more tools, such as a 4-point perspective tool and mirror effects.