So, you got a new Android for Christmas? Be prepared: You’re entering a whole new digital world. Android is the world’s most popular mobile operating system. It offers an impressive range of cool features and unique apps that make life more fun and productive.
But navigating Google’s app store, Google Play, can be a bit of a daunting task. Not only is Google Play massive, but it has a unique history of problematic apps and software that have hurt the uninformed. Tap or click to learn about some of the issues with the Google Play store.
To help our new Android users get the most out of their devices, we’ve put together a list of the best apps you can get from Google Play. These apps are trusted by millions of users, and can help perk your device up with new features and options you can’t get anywhere else.
1. Video Editor – Glitch Video Effects (GlitchCam)
Voted one of Google Play’s Best Apps of 2019, GlitchCam is a colorful video editor app that lets you apply groovy retro filters to anything you shoot. Whether you’re using photos or video footage, this app will add blurs, VHS effects and more for perfectly Instagrammable content.
2. Call of Duty: Mobile
One of Android’s most popular games, CoD:M takes the smash-hit franchise out of the living room and into your pocket with this mobile romp of a shooter. Take on the role of a brave soldier, and hone your shooting abilities in competitive multiplayer matches.
You’ve never seen a chat app like this. Designed to help users make friends from all around the world, Ablo’s interface features an auto-translation tool that lets everyone communicate in their native languages and understand each other. You can meet a pen pal in another country and see the world without ever leaving home.
We’re big on security here at Komando.com, which is why Signal is one of our favorite chat apps you. It features built-in military grade encryption for your messages, calls and media. It’s even popular with some of the most powerful and security-conscious people on Earth — like politicians, activists and Edward Snowden himself.
5. Google Photos
As one of the most essential apps you can get for Android, it’s a shocker that Google Photos doesn’t come loaded by default.
This handy application not only adds the power of cloud storage to your photo library, but it also backs up your photos so they’re safe and sound in case of an emergency. You can even adjust quality and data use so the app doesn’t bump up your cell phone bill. Truly a class act.
6. Find My Device
Apple may have one over on Google for this one. By default, you can track your iOS device if it’s lost or stolen. Thankfully, you can download Find My Phone if you ever need to hunt down or lock up your missing Android as well. It’s another app that should be on every Android phone out there!
For some people, the gift of a smart device isn’t the best idea. If you have self-control issues, smartphone addiction can be a real problem. Thankfully, apps like ActionDash can help you regulate your digital hours more efficiently.
As an app launcher, ActionDash helps you set time limits on problematic apps and usage habits. It even includes a “focus mode” when you’re having trouble putting the phone down.
Google Maps is useful right off the bat, but when it comes to live traffic data, it’s somewhat lacking. That’s where Waze comes in.
This app crowdsources its data from other drivers just like you. Using this information, it paints the most accurate picture of real-time traffic you can get in an app. This can help you plan trips more efficiently, as well as find landmarks like gas stations and hotels.
Remembering passwords is hard enough as it is. Thankfully, you can upload them to password managers when the need arises. And when it comes to managers for Android, LastPass is one of the best you can get. It’s encrypted for maximum security and works in tandem with your browser for easy logins.
10. Alexa/Google Home
If you got a smartphone for Christmas, odds are you got a smart home gadget like a Google Home or Amazon Echo, too. But to get the most out of these devices, you need their respective apps for your phone.
Both give you full access to your smart home accessories, as well as voice commands that are useful both at and away from home.