Android app developers are working day and night to make your smartphone experience wonderful. From the millions of mobile applications on Google Play Store, we bring you the most basic ‘10 Best Free Smartphone Apps: You Must Have‘ for your smartphone. It is easier said than done. The app world is changing constantly and newer apps are fast replacing old classical apps. Remaining updated, is the name of the game. So do you have these basic apps in your smartphone? Let’s explore.
Google Playstore has millions of applications for your android smartphone. It is difficult to choose which one suits your need and which ones are a drag on the phone battery and performance. With the evolving app world, data security and privacy are also at stake. But still, there are some applications which are trusted and have evolved over time to become the most dependable and a ‘10 Best Free Smartphone Apps: You Must Have‘. The reasons are many.
How We Selected Apps for Your Smartphone?
Some apps over time are being so widely used as if they are the oxygen for the smartphone. Due to their widespread usage almost every user has them. They range from simple music playing applications to communication applications. As they are widely used, they provide a sound network of users to connect to. In the case of social applications, the choices are too obvious and same goes for word processing apps. But some apps though widely used has not been recommended here due to their dubious history of privacy violation.
2. Easy Integration
Some apps are heavy and drain your phone resources leaving less for you to scroll and do multitasking. The applications listed here are mostly easy on your smartphone and integrate well with your android version. Also, an app which has regular updates is good since security patches and updation with regard to android upgrade are well taken care of.
Yes, we all love free apps. They delight us. And if they are useful in everyday life, then dang! it’s a sure thing. Shelling money for some apps is good if you are looking for some specialised functions and premium features. In this article, I have selected such applications which are ‘Free’ and provides more than the good utility. For every MB of your storage sacrifices, these apps provide best returns.
4. Same Family Apps
In our list, some apps belong to the same family. Sometimes a particular brand or company itself is providing lots of apps. So we have covered all those apps under a single point. We have done this because if we list all those apps from the same brand as different points, then it’ll be cheating on our part and article should be the 10 free apps of a particular brand. So I have clubbed them into a single point. Similarly, if applications are of the same domain, i.e. communication or social media, then they are also clubbed together. The idea is to give you an honest list. Remember, this list is not sponsored. So the content is genuine and there are no vested interests, it is my little contribution to the world of apps and a way of saying ‘Bravo’ to whosoever has spent day and nights developing these apps for us. The aim is to give you the list to the best of my knowledge.
5. Tried and Trusted
All the applications mentioned here are surely used by me for a long period of time. And when I say a long period of time, I mean for more than 5 years. I have been using android since the Jelly Bean days. So you can say, I am giving you the most common and most used and the basic ones. Obviously, for every app, there exist apps by other companies and developers. As in the free world, you can choose which one you want. So just read the most basic ones and enjoy your smartphone experience.
Now, without further ado, lets get on with our list:
10 Best Free Smartphone Apps: You Must Have
1. Google Pack – Apps From Google LLC
Google today needs no introduction. This American giant multi-national technology company located in California has been a part of our internet experience in the same sense as fire has been with humanity till now. You know what they are good at, they create inter-related services and products. Way more than the search engine. Its not just Google Play Store, the basic App Market on your android phone, which dominates the globe but many other apps by this company has made our life easier. By the way, Google Play Store is an Application from where you download other apps of Google and other developers who all have been listed there. Let’s see some basic apps from Google which are now the common citizen of our smartphone. Not everything can be covered, but let’s see, what we cannot skip.
- Google Chrome: This is the most widely used web browser. Used on PCs, android phones and tablets too. It has provided Google Search right from the address bar. Apart from this, it has built-in Google Translate services. Like any other browser, it also provides incognito-browsing, voice search, multiple tabs features and especially a hell lot of plug-ins. And in case you know a little about Greasemonkey Scripts, then you know, even the sky is not just the limit.
- Youtube: You must be an alien if you have till now never used ‘Youtube’. A video-sharing platform which has now brands, TV Channels, next door Bob etc., everyone posting videos and we all watching them. Ah! not to forget the influencers too. It was created by three PayPal employees and later bought by Google.
- Gmail: This email app usually comes pre-installed in smartphones and widely used even than the sunlight. It provides 15 GB of free space and has a well-organised email system. Put labels, categories, manage your inbox, etc. It is what an email is meant to be and more than that. It sorts and manages spams too.
- Google Maps: Navigate our Earth with Google Maps. It has mapped almost the entire globe or wherever humans can go. From the nearby grocery store to the map of any big cosmopolitan. Real-time navigation with GPS on, see yourself as a ‘blue dot’ moving on the map while you are roaming around. That James Bond technology is with us now. No one can get lost in any confusing lanes now.
- Google Lens: This app is amusing and surprising to me. I am delighted with this one. You click the pics of objects, it tries to tell you what it is. It translates words and IDENTIFY PLANTS! The most amazing thing I have done: point the camera from this app to the newspaper, CLICK and it copies the words from the news article. Apart from that, it has many brilliant ways to surprise us. Must check its features, if I write on it, we’ll be talking about it only. Must have app.
- Google Pay: A payment application by Google. It is a digital wallet and does what a digital wallet is meant to do. Send and receive money. A highly encrypted and secure application having multiple options to link your bank accounts, QR code for payments etc. Till now, no transaction cost is charged.
- Google Photos: The Verge magazine has said about Google Photos as, “The best photo product on Earth”. Organise and share photos in your smart-phone and do more than that. Features to look are Smart Automatic Albums, Editing Suite, Search, Photo Books, Shared Libraries and a lot more.
- Google Assistant: Artificial Intelligence powered virtual assistant. Just say,’Hey Google’ and the gennie will come to serve you. Though it cannot cook or do laundry for you, but inside the phone and internet world, it can do a lot of things, which can surprise you.
What else you can explore from Google apps ecosystem: Google Meet, Files by Google, Google Play, Snapspeed, Google Translate, Google Classroom, Phone by Google, Youtube Music, Google Home, Google Indic Keyboard, Contacts, Google Sheets, Google Duo, Google Earth, Google Drive, Google Opinion, GBoard, Google Slides, Google Fit, Google Calander, Google Podcasts, Google Cloud Console, Blogger ….. and the list goes on and on and on.
A notes taking application designed by Evernote Corporation from California (USA). Take notes in multiple forms. You can even search for the notes you have created. You can create notes like memos, checklists, notebooks, to-do lists etc. Notes can be in any form, be it text, photos, web clippings, audio etc. The main attraction is the organisation of notes and ideas in the app and the sync across various devices. It has a free and a paid version. But free version almost fulfils all the needs of students and a normal guy like me. Use it, to know it. People had recommended this app to me many times, and I landed on this app after wandering and testing many similar apps. In its free version, you can sync 2 devices and can search texts inside the images apart from above-mentioned uses.
“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.”
Jeff Bezos, CEO at amazon.com
Who on Earth has not ordered products from Amazon. We all love shopping and I declare it to be gender-neutral. By the way, Amazon is also an American technology giant based in Seattle, Washington. Do you know, apart from e-commerce, it also provides services such as cloud services, artificial intelligence services, digital streaming etc. But as a simple guy on the planet, let me stick to e-commerce. You buy things, they can be delivered online and in case of defects or any other issues within a certain time limit, you can return the product and get a refund. How’s that for a sales pitch! You can also earn money by registering as a seller and can sell your stuff too. To convince you more, it is a global player who has the policy to keep customer’s happy. They are not like those arrogant shop sellers who after selling the product refuse to recognise you if you come for return and refund. This level of trust generated by Amazon is the treasure for a common man. Sit on your couch and do the shopping. I have done it a lot and really has purchased a lot.
4. VLC Player
Let’s call it the most common media player after Windows Media Player. Could have now overtaken it, big possibility. Hey, just for fun, remember in the late 90s we use to have Real Player and DivX too. Come back now. VLC is an open-source and cross-platform media player. Easy to use. What I like about it is you can pull up the volume to 200%, yey…. I like listening to my favourite tracks very LOUD. Easy integration with your phone. Create playlists and have fun. It is minimal in nature and does not clog your phone memory. While running the app, you can pause and play from the notification area and even from the lock screen. Can play numerous formats. When it comes to audio and video, I have personally felt that it is better than the inbuilt media player from the brand from which you have purchased your smartphone. Rather, I should put this way, in my every new smartphone, my first app to install is VLC player. If you are a music lover, you’ll understand it.
Now owned by Facebook. Do you know, two former employees of Yahoo developed WhasApp and most interesting thing about it is that they once applied for the job in Facebook and got rejected. Facebook acquired it for approximately US $19 Billion. Seems, what could have been Facebook’s in-house app became its costliest purchase, guess tech guys like Zuckerberg lacks business lessons. Stop smiling and let’s continue. Use this application to do what all you can do on Skype. Using the internet, you can text each other, video and audio chats, locations and can also send attachments. You need to register your phone number to use this application. Like all the above, it is easy to use, even your granny can use it. Its user experience (UX) has made it the most used application.
6. Social Media Apps – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter
“Don’t use social media to impress people; use it to impact people.”
– Dave Willis, Author and Speaker
Social media is the next best alternative to your real life. Nah! not joking. Rather people are avoiding their daily life to live and shine in social media. There are many social media platforms for us. But many of us are not optimising our usage. Instagram and Pinterest are for image sharing while Facebook is far more versatile in its usage. LinkedIn is used for professional networking and Twitter is the place where you follow the celebs you like. Many people clutter their phone by having the wrong priorities. You won’t have a haemoglobin crash if you wisely choose which social media platform to use and especially which one to avoid. Not all are useful to a person or even a business. Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are easy on the phone processor and memory while Facebook needs a little tweaking to get it to work seamlessly. Social life is a must for everyone but pick and choose which one you want. I’ll deliberately not glorify any medium, but will say go and connect with real people. But it is essential nowadays to be active on at least one social media platform.
It is more than just a communication app, a thousand times more than that. As you say it, ‘Snap’ + ‘Chat’. You click photos, with millions of filters and send them to your friends. Make your profile and it becomes a sort of social media app too. You remember those pics where people have filters of a dog and when they open their mouth, the canine tongue with sparkles comes out. That’s Snapchat. Do you know this is actually called Augmented Reality? Here Gifs and short videos with funny effects can be captured, shared and downloaded. Some of the stuff in messages is available for a short time. Snapchat Inc. is an American company which has developed this application. Its lot of fun to use this app. Apply different filters and see yourself in the most funny ways. If interested, you can even watch breaking news, community updates and original shows. I’ll recommend it to the people who want to have fun with photos and videos.
8. DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser
One of the emerging and tough competitor in the world of internet browsers. It is unique in the sense that it is built to protect the user and not to benefit the internet companies. It aggressively protects the data access and the privacy of its users. It does not allow the user to be tracked by the marketing companies. Have you experienced similar advertisements of the products everywhere on the internet (even on social media websites), which you have searched online? Seems as if the whole internet is hell-bent to sell you the product which you have criminally searched about. If this has happened to you, then your browser is leaking what you are searching on the internet to marketing companies. DuckDuckGo provides a browser and also search services where you see organic results. Other search engines have advertisements too. But DuckDuckGo provides the truest results, it does not hide any content or push it below the search rankings if the search company doesn’t want you to see. Additionally, they protect the privacy and block third party trackers and also force websites to use high-level encryption (HTTPS) to talk to you. Enough of technical stuff. In simple terms, it protects your privacy and data. I use it when I have to access my personal stuff on the internet, it could be my bank account or any social media website for which I have not (and not going to) installed the app.
If you are a student, you must have this and if you are a professional, then why don’t you have it. It is an offline thesaurus. Look for word meanings, synonyms, related words, similar words, usage examples and many more features. The big thing is that it is advertisement free and can be used without internet. It is quiet handy and a very light application to be installed and used on the smartphone. Similar to carrying a dictionary, but more advantageous. For good communication, it is a must for you. Lookup any word and understand it. It ups your game in the world of professional communication too. I find it using very often to look for word-meaning and then finding synonyms so that I can enhance my text as per the requirement. A sure shot, harmless and useful app.
Here comes the video-editor app. It works like a magic. I have used it many times, even lost the count. It is not totally free and the free version has the water-mark of the company. Trim, cut, and share your videos. Make video from pictures and add background music. Add filters and colours to your videos. You can arrange them in the sequence you like and can add text and stickers too. I don’t remember how many birthday videos I have created using the free version of this app for my friends. The speed adjustments and blur effects are most used. It is surely a nice app for you to play and can be a good video editing app for making videos to upload on Youtube etc. Shoot with your phone and edit on the phone. Handy.
This article covers the most basic “10 Best Free Smartphone Apps: You Must Have” for your platform. The competition is much and as you know, the world is not enough. Do share your favorite apps and what you like most about them.