Now a days Android phones ship with all the necessary apps pre-loaded. Starting from a music player all the way to Facebook or even Tiktok. Productivity or selective apps are easily installable from Play Store. However pre bundled apps tend to be heavy or lack in features. And as most mobile companies don’t ship any update or ships update too late into a phone cycle, it is easy to be left behind. This is where third party apps come to play. They are available for all kind of purpose but finding the right one is no easy task as almost 2.6 Million apps exist in Play Store. We’ll list the ones that we think is essential and some will even breath fresh life into your ageing smartphone.
A few important rules for picking my apps:
- Absolutely no ads.App may feature a pro version or IAP, but so long it doesn’t nag me, I am fine.
- Must work on my 5 year old Motorola G 2nd gen (loaded with Lineage OS / Android 7.1.2).
- Free. No free to try then ask for money bullshit.
- Available in Play Store (sideloading is not safe if you don’t know who to trust).
My essential list:
Footej Camera: Without a doubt one of the best camera app. Small installation size yet starts really fast. Good photo quality (better than Motorola G 1st/2nd gen stock), burst fire & Camera 2 API support just to name a few. This app is specially helpful for old smartphones that have poor camera performance.
Pulsar Music Player: Want to try a proper music player without any ads but features like folder browse support? Try Pulsar. Light weight and snappy, specially for old phones. You’ll never touch the default music player ever.
FX File Explorer: Good UI but lacking the features or full of features but finding the file browsing panel is like solving a puzzle. This is where FX File Explorer comes into play. Feature rich but file browsing comes first. And please stop using the junk called ES File Explorer.
F-Stop Gallery: Does your gallery allow sorting? That may be the selling point of this gallery. But sadly it is free so you’ll have to download it without selling out any hard earned cash. Also features a bunch of features that you may/mayn’t use but those are hidden in the menu which you won’t need to open unless you go looking for them.
Honorable Mention: Focus Go (Gallery): Want to try a fast gallery app that works like a gallery? Try this. Be warned, this is WIP and mayn’t work as intended on all devices. Also doesn’t have 16 GAZALLION features like cofee making or pizza order from inside the app. Also developed by the legendary dev Francisco Franco, which means you should probably try it right now.
Nova Launcher: While I am 99.9% sure most of you are using Nova launcher already, it is impossible to compile an essential app list without mentioning Nova launcher. If your homescreen or app locker feels slow or just want to spice up your boring Android phone, try this app ASAP. And in case you like it, buy the Prime to support the developer.
All in one Toolbox: As one use the phone, various app create all kind of file to assist them in working faster. Unfortunately, they fail to delete these files once the work is done and is left there to hog precious storage space. Enters All in one Toolbox, equipped with Startup manager and cache cleaning system, including system cache cleaner. Features ads during exit only so tolerable.
Google Keeps: Why Google Keeps? Because it is simple and it works. No unnecessary overcomplicated feature that you may use once in a blue moon (in that case use Evernote instead). Also runs smoothly on old devices.
Google Opinion Rewards: Every once in a while you may come across an Android app that you desperately want. But unfortunately buying that app cost money and either you don’t want to spend. How about answering 10 second survey and earning some balance instead? And when the time comes use the balance to buy Android app or spend buying UC currency in PUBG (*HINT).
Why is Antivirus app missing?
Because you don’t need to hog your already slow Android phone with an useless antivirus software. Unless you are installing all kind of shady PUBG hacks, then you are halfway there to receive your PUBG ban and all your data is already stolen.
I’ll be adding more section as I try more apps but if you want something specific or want to share, do let me know in the comments below.