Best Android apps to supercharge your smartphone in 2015

If you're looking for the best Android apps for your tablet or smartphone, there's never been so much choice.

Google Play is now chock full of quality free and paid for Android apps, that getting the best is difficult. That's why we're here, to cut through the noise and help you find the best Android apps of 2014.

Once the lowly second fiddle to Apple's bustling App Store, Google Play continues to go from strength to strength as more great Android smartphones like the  Samsung Galaxy S5, the HTC One M8and tablets like the Google Nexus 9 show what the Google-powered mobile platform is truly capable of.

 

If you've just bought a new Android smartphone or tablet and looking to pack it with the finest app offerings on Google Play, each month T3's app experts will bring you the very best free and paid for Android apps available right now. Here's what delights we have discovered this month.

Microsoft Office for tablet



The ubiquitous suite of word processing, presentation creation and spreadsheet management apps is now available on Android slates, and we’re pretty impressed. Word, Powerpoint and Excel are all separate downloads and come packing a strong amount of free features, including basic creating and editing, multiple formatting options and easy sharing. If you’re an Office 365 subscriber you’ll flesh out the feature list even further with a bunch more formatting options.

Free | Download Word | Download Excel | Download Powerpoint


Plex



If you struggle to keep all your media organised across multiples PCs, smartphones, tablets and other connected devices, Plex is a lifesaver. Just install the server on your main computer, point the app to your files and it’ll instantly clean everything up, add in the relevant artwork and metadata and make everything available for streaming, anywhere.

Free (subscription needed) | Download Plex



Action Launcher 3



Our current favourite homescreen replacement for Android has just seen a rather large, Material Design infused update and it’s better than ever. The new Quicktheme feature pulls colours out from your wallpaper and infuses other parts of the system, like the app draw, while Covers let you add multiple functions to folders. Shutters though are our favourite feature here, letting you swipe on an icon to display a relevant widget. It’s time saving at its best.

£3.19 | Download Action Launcher 3



Cabinet



A clean, simple and well functioning Android file manager that gives you quick access to all your files along with remote server support.Thanks to the Material Design makeover, this is an app that almost looks like it came straight from Google.

Free | Download Cabinet



Weather Timeline



Another Material Design infused app here and a very swish looking one at that. Unlike other weather apps, this gives you a quick overview of the next hour, next two days and next week all in one single view. The themes are customisable, support for Android Wear is included and it’s formatted for tablets too.

99p | Download Weather Timeline



QuickPic



Instead of using a 101 different apps to manage all your cloud photo collections, QuickPic pulls all those different accounts together to create one complete photo album. An included editor lets you touch up drab pics, GIFs and videos are supported and it automatically groups similar photos together.

Free | Download QuickPic

Quick

While we all have countless photo editing apps installed on our phones, Quick takes it a step further and lets you add a text overlay to your snaps. The range of fonts is impressive and when you’ve finished there are plenty of built-in sharing options.

Free | Download Quick


Vivino



We all like to think we’re experts on wine, but most of us in reality only know the difference between red and white. Vivino, though, can make you an expert. The app scans the bottle of wine and produces loads of fact, right down to comparing it to other wines you like. You can even scan the entire wine list of a restaurant to see which is the highest rated by the 6 million Vivino subscribers.

Free | Download Vivino

Edjing DJ Music Maker



One of our favourite music apps for Android, Edjing gives you access to a pair of virtual DJ decks and pulls in music from both SoundCloud and Deezer, along with any music stored on your device, so you’ve alway got something to play. Your mixes can be stored in the cloud and shared with others and there are a whole load of effects to play with.

Free | Download Edjing DJ Music Maker

Trello



Trello is a slick, easy to use yet powerful to-do list organiser that lets you create combined lists and receive real time updates. It’ll show you who’s currently working on a task and you can each leave comments, ensuring everything is completed. Pictures and videos can be included and it looks great on tablets too.

Free | Download Trello

Tidy



This is an entirely new way to organise your photos. It first groups your pictures automatically – by location, time taken, even by where they’re stored – and then borrows a bit of swipe magic from dating app tinder. Take a selection of grouped images and swipe right to make it an album, or swipe left to archive. Anything unassigned is marked as “untidy” and flagged for attention. It’s also as adept as a gallery as it is at organisation, although there are no sharing options yet. An update please, Mr Tidy.

Free | Tidy

FoodSwitch UK



Scan the barcode of an item to see its salt, fat and sugar levels. The app will track your daily intake and even has a gluten-free mode.

Free | FoodSwitch

Threes!



Already a smash hit on iOS, now Androiders can join in the Sudokumeets-slidey puzzle fun, and obsess over multiples of three all bloody day.

£1.20 | Threes

Dormi



Instant baby monitor action! Adjusts automatically to background noise and notifies you when your baby wakes up or starts crying. Very clever.

Free | Dormi

Meet Me Half Way



Always arguing with friends over meeting spots? This gives you both a route to meet halfway, and finds cool stuff for you to do in the middle.

Free | Meet Me Half Way

Opera Max



Shows you exactly which apps are hogging your data. Can compress your usage by up to 50 per cent, too. great for vine and YouTube addicts.

Free | Opera

Google Docs

Months after Apple announced that it'll be bringing Microsoft Office to its Smart devices, Google has unveiled Google Docs and Sheets. Google Docs allows users to create new documents, open, edit  and share them later – all of which can be done from your smartphone or tablet. TYou can even open documents you began on the computer, with or without a WiFi or network coverage (if saved on Google Docs). 

 

Free | Google Docs

 

Google Sheets

 

 

Similarly to Google Docs, Google Sheets is made specifically for spreadsheets. Like Google Docs you can also create new, open old spreadsheets, and edit them via your device. You can also share the spreadsheets and work together to create the perfect document. Again, no Internet or network coverage is needed and it saves automatically.

 

Free | Google Sheets

 

Here Maps

 

 

 

Nokia's upcoming maps app for Android aims to encourage users to discover something new every day. Nokia Maps, which works without Internet, can be accessed whenever and wherever, which is great for city breaks when you're steering clear of the roaming charges.

 

It offers directions audio-guided navigation to help you arrive safely both online or offline. 

 

Free | Nokia Here

 

Google Camera 

 

 

Google's eagerly-anticipated app Google Camera is finally here, ! The app captures photos/videos in a quick and easy fashion.

 

Its list of creative picture modes such as Photo Sphere, Lens Blur and Panorama add extra creativity which will be a sight for sore eyes for users of Google's older and limited camera app.

 

 

 

Chrome Remote Desktop Control

 

 

Google Remote Desktops enables users access to a Windows or Mac machine in order to make connections through the Chrome Web Store app. Users will then launch Android app via their phone or tablet, tapping on the computer’s name which they'll like to control.

 

Free | Chrome Desktop

 

Retrica

 

 

 

Photography apps seem to be taking over the app world, so you won't be surprised to hear that there's another filter-centric on Google Play. The app's status bar is hidden to make more room for the viewfinder, a neat design twist, and Retica's UI is clean and pretty smooth.

 

Free | Retrica

 

IFTTT

 

 

IFTTT is the app for all your website essentials, enabling you to control and connect your social-media profiles, quickly and easily. Just log into Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, as well as devices like Philips Hue, Belkin WeMo, and UP by Jawbone, for a host of nifty features, without wasting time jumping from app to app.

 

Free | IFTTT

 

Fenix for Twitter

 

 

 

Fenix allows for a sleeker Twitter experience that's specially tailored for your smartphone or tablet. The app supports real time updates, e.g. live notifications of who's retweeting or favouriting your tweets or following you.

 

£1.64 | Fenix

Now TV



Wi-Fi and 3G access to ten of Now TV’s channels, plus all of Sky’s Movie and Sports programming. You need to have paid for access, of course.

Free | Now TV



Pump Up



Step-by-step coaching, customised workouts and schedules, with a very well- designed interface and Endomondo-like social interactions.

Free | Pumpup



Stack Exchange


Huge forum of experts in every field, from gaming and tech to cooking and gardening. Search for answers, or just post your own, Mr Know-It-All.

Free | Stackexchange



Dailymotion



In the shadow of YouTube, it’s easy to forget the 30 million videos hosted on this visual hub. The new app is great, too, with offline viewing in HD.

Free | Dailymotion

Cliffhanger

There are so many great TV shows on these days and sometimes it can be tough keeping up with them all. This clever app lets you input your favourite programmes (it’ll search the net and find basically anything) and then it’ll update you when it’s on next. A handy diary function means you can tick off the episodes you’ve seen and all this is encased in a well designed app. Bravo.

Free | Download Cliffhanger

Evolve SMS

Android 4.4 Kit Kat gave us the ability to set out favourite default SMS app and our current top Hangouts replacement is Evolve SMS. Along with all the usual messaging app additions, Evolve has some nice shortcuts that let you reply to a message without leaving another app, along with starting to write one with just a swipe down from the notification bar.

Free | Download Evolve SMS

 

Jotter Pad X

Simple document creator Jotter Pad X is a stylish way to quickly knock up notes on your Android device, then easily sync them with Dropbox – so they’re accessible anywhere. One really clever addition is ‘Versions’, which keeps a track of all the alterations you make to a doc, so you can always go back if you change your mind.

Free | Download Jotter Pad X

 

Movie Roll Pro

Combining a cinema locator, movie charts and an almost endless list of recommended titles, this app will become your one stop shop when it comes to film night. It’s pretty much completely visually based, so you’ll see movie posters everywhere – tap on one to get everything from full actor info, to loads of ratings and even a personalised discussion feed.

Price: £1.76 | Download Movie Roll Pro

 

Talon

The latest update to the official Twitter Android app was pretty bad, but fear not, there are plenty of replacements available. Talon takes advantage of the transparent menu bars in Kit Kat to reduce the amount of wasted space and increase the number of tweets you see on one screen.

Price: £1.21 | Download Talon

Ruffl

With so many restaurants lining the streets of our capital, it can sometimes be a tricky task in deciding where you’re going to eat tonight. Pizza or Indian? Burgers or Mexican? The choices are almost endless. Ruffl hopes to end this pain by suggesting great places to eat nearby. Once you’ve chosen, it’ll give you all the info you need to get there. What could be simpler than that?

Free | Download

Linqapp

Online based apps for translating language, like Google Translate, are all well and good, but there’s nothing better for when you’re trying to learn something new than chatting to real life fluent speakers. Linqapp allows you to easily ask questions, get direct assistance and even listen to high-powered actual human based translations – no more squeaky robotic voice. What’s more is that you can even search your local area for professional language experts.

Free | Download

Flipagram

Turn your snaps into a beautiful looking magazine, complete with Facebook sharing, customisation options galore and to make things even more personal, watermarking. Great if your Instagram library is growing at an uncontrollable rate, you can reel it in and relive all those great moments once again. Add music, titles, adjust the timing and transitions and then store in it all in your Flipagram library for easy access in the future.

Free | Download

 

PeeeM

Currently exclusive to Android, this instant messaging app has one particular trick up its sleeve to put it ahead of the rivals, the ability to share any type of file with your friends. Talking about friends, finding them is really easy and is done through either scanning your Facebook, sending them an email or using the PMiD system. Privacy is obviously of high importance and you’ll be pleased to know there’s a proprietary encoded protocol at work here to keep things safe.

Free | Download

 

Weye Feye

Acting as a second screen for your compatible DSLR, you can take control of the cam and do everything from snapping shots to altering setting, all from your smartphone and with the assistance of just one additional piece of kit. A killer feature though is the ability to save pictures straight onto the phone, without having to mess around exporting and importing files, it’s just there waiting.  

Free | Download

 

TRX Force

We all do it – promise ourselves we’re going to get fit, eat healthier and be more active, yet, how often does the meticulous regime fizzle out after the first few weeks. Using the same Tactical Conditioning Program as the US Military, TRX will push you to your limit in a vicious 12-week fitness programme. With constants updates and additional feature being added all the time, you’ll finally be the ‘new you’.

Free | Download

Nooz

By scanning your activity on social networks, Nooz brings you just the latest news that is actually relevant to things you’ll be interested in, cutting out all the gibberish you normally avoid. Stories are taken from a load of news outlets, you can easily comment on and share articles you’re passionate about and there’s a great widget for your homescreen. Never again will you be paging through countless stories you’re never to read.

Free | Download

 

Ifussss

Ever fancied yourself as the next big citizen journalist? Capturing and reporting on news from around the globe and even getting paid to do it? Well, know that’s now even easier than it was before. Simply go through the quick set-up process and get filming, then upload your content to some of the world’s biggest news desks. If your footage is used then you’ll earn rewards – plus that satisfaction of breaking a great story.

Free | Download

 

Your Wealth

Manage your money with ease, thanks to access to the latest tech and a whole load of features to make sure you have enough money left come the end of the month. Money Hub technology lets you gain a clear understanding of your financial situation, track your net worth, see a live view of all your current accounts and, best of all, set reachable monetary targets, tracking there progress all the way.

Free | Download

 

Tado

Pair this well designed app with the tado connection kit and you’ve taken the first steps into turning your house into a truly 21st century connected home. Display the current temperature, see a visual display of your homes stats and get a fairly accurate prediction of your monthly bills. You can even automatically set the system to turn off when it senses you’re no longer in the house – now that’s efficiency.

Free | Download

Duolingo

Critically heralded and constantly seen in lists of the best apps, Duolingo is a free tool that helps you learn a new language, as well as improving your current skills. The best bit is this that free actually means free – there are no subscriptions, no pestering ads and no hidden fees – can’t say fairer than that. As the app is always being updated, there are constantly new challenges and languages to learn and master.

Free | Download

 

Blinkbox

Instead of heading down the subscription route take by the juggernauts of movie streaming Netflix and LoveFilm, Blinkbox offers a much more A La Carte service where you simply pay for the movies you want to watch. Smooth and fluid, with good quality playback, the app is easy to navigate and takes little time to master. If you’d rather cherry pick what you want to watch, this is the service for you.

Free | Download

 

Repix

Photo editing apps are two a penny on the Google Play Store, and it doesn’t look like the influx of picture altering tools is going to be stopping anytime soon. Repix hopes to offer something a bit different, giving you even more control over your snaps than before. There are over 28 brushes, 15 filters and it works really smoothly, especially if you one of the super powerful Android phones.

Free | Download

Contactive

Easily one of the most useful apps you’ll download for your phone, this will help you say goodbye to answering the phone from cold callers. By searching the web, the clever phone book identifies the incoming calls and matches the number, giving you full information about the person on the other end of the line. This feature is so useful, Google decided to build something similar into its latest Android 4.4 update.

Free | Download

 

Digg

Digg is back and once again acting as the homescreen of the Internet, bringing tons of content and a new Reader section. Integrate your RSS feeds to stay up to date with all the goings on in the world and share your favourites to Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Quickly find and follow writers and bloggers, so you’ll always be the first to see and consume their new content.

Free | Download

 

VCSO Cam

Targeting the filter loving, snap sharing market, VSCO Cam is more feature packed than rival Instagram. With a myriad of filters and presets, control over white balance and exposure along with the ability to import and export at full resolution, this app definitely looks to be a winner. While it is free, to access all the filters and presets you will have to cough up some cash through in-app purchase.

Free | Download

 

Moves

Personal fitness accessories, like the Jawbone Up and Nike Fuelband, have seen a boom in the last few years, though they can often be very pricy bits of tech. Moves packs a load of the same features you’ll see in those products, but in a free app. Automatically track your daily steps, see your routes and most visited place in a good looking visual timeline, and set achievable, and beatable, goals.

Free | Download

 

FIFA

Just in time for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil, the official FIFA app aggregates a ton of footy news, player profiles and info about all the teams.  Design was clearly a key feature for the developers, as it truly does look stunning – brimming with intuitive menus and neat touches, it really is a joy to use. This should keep all your football needs covered throughout the biggest tournament in the sport.

Free | Download

 

Kindred Photo Books

You no doubt take a lot of snaps on your phone, and with the cameras improving all the time, why wouldn’t you. But what’s the point if all those great photos just languish in your gallery. Put them to use and create great looking photobooks, cards and invitations. Take shots from Facebook, Dropbox and Instagram, along with your phone itself and after a few taps you’re done.

Free | Download

 

Aviate

Free | Download Aviate

One of the great things about Android is that you can customise the launcher – this is basically the home screen and app menu. There are a few apps currently in the Google Play Store which take advantage of this; though we’d have to say Aviate is the most inventive. Taking cues from Google Now, Aviate constantly updates your homescreen, only showing information you need to see. It’s clean, quick and definitely an app to try.

 

BBM

Free | Download BBM

Nope, you’ve not gone back in time five years to a high school playground, Blackberry is looking for halt a dip in fortunes by offering the popular BBM messaging service out to rival platforms. The good old PIN system of gaining contacts is still around, as is a very BB10 influenced look and feel, complete with a whole host of gestures.

 

Microsoft Remote Desktop

Free | Download Microsoft Remote Desktop

To go with the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has gone ahead and released a free remote desktop app, allowing you to take control of a PC from anywhere in the world, all from the comfort of your Android tablet or smartphone. Multi-touch is supported, the connection is secure and there’s impressive bandwidth compression as well.

Cluster

Free | Download Cluster

A bit like Photo Stream on iOS, Cluster lets you create photo albums, order your snaps and then share them with friends and family. Albums can be set to private, photos are sorted by location and time, plus you can view your shots on the web. The killer feature though is that you have unlimited storage options, so you can save as many photos as you want.

 

Mercury browser

Free | Download Mercury browser

Android already has a bevy of browser options available, from Chrome to Firefox. However there is still plenty of room for competition. Mercury Browser, an incredibly popular iOS client, offers a load of plug-in options – like Dropbox and translate, along with a private mode and you can set even the app up to require a password before it starts.

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