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 Android apps, in fact — but if you're willing to part with a little bit of cash, you can find even more outstanding apps for your Android device. Here are the ones we recommend you download right away.
One of the more useful apps on Android, Tasker is perfect for anyone who wants to quickly get things done. The $2.99 app lets you set automated tasks to perform whenever you choose. You can set it to automatically send SMS messages, open up your browser and go to a web page, and much more.
Pocket Casts is an improved podcasting app that helps you find all the programming you desire. Within the app, you can play your shows, save them for later and manage your subscriptions. The app even integrates with Android Wear, should you also add an Android smartwatch to your cache of gadgets.
While your phone's stock music player is probably a totally serviceable app on its own, users looking for a highly configurable music player that comes with a ton of features might want to check out Poweramp, one of the most popular music player apps on Android. Poweramp sports compatibility with a wide variety of music formats such as MP3, OGG and FLAC, as well as a ten band equalizer with a variety of presets. Users can set the app to play gapless, crossfade tracks, and download album art. The best part? You can try Poweramp for 15 days for free to decide whether you like all the extras that the app gives you, after which, you need to purchase an unlock key.
One of Android's perks is that you can access the file system and organize your folders and documents. While there are a slew of file managers out there available for free, our favorite is the premium Solid Explorer, an impressive Android file manager that brings the two-pane interface over to phones and tablets while sticking to a clean Material design style. The two independent explorer panes, combined with drag-and-drop support makes copying files from different locations a breeze, and you can even set a panel to browse cloud storage services, such as Drive, and Dropbox. Solid Explorer also supports archived files such as .ZIP, .TAR, and .RAR, and comes with root explorer mode for rooted users. Solid Explorer also supports a wide variety of plugins that add new features like USB OTG support, an FTP server plugin, and more.
If you want to get better forecasts and up-to-the-minute information on what's going on around you, check out AccuWeather Platinum. The app, which costs $2.99, can give you conditions down to the street level. It also will send your weather notifications and other information to help you figure out whether you should take your umbrella with you on your trip.
For something more minimalistic, try out Sam Ruston's Weather Timeline, a no-nonsense, ad-free weather app for your Android device. You'll get a sleek, location-based display of forecast information and extreme weather alerts from your choice of a variety of data sources. Users can save a variety of locations and view detailed daily forecasts, with temperature highs and lows, precipitation forecasts and the option to drill down to detailed hourly forecasts. On a smartphone, the app has a clean timeline presentation of the weather, while landscape mode on tablet puts a variety of infographics side by side with the timeline.
Nova Launcher Prime is one of the earliest — and most popular — app launchers in the Google Play marketplace. The $0.99 app lets you use gestures to open apps on the home screen and gives you the ability to create different apps and folders, and hide apps you don't care about. You can also create special scroll effects with your gestures. It's a handy tool for anyone who wants to be more productive.