When you buy a new Android phone (especially if you’re new to the operating system), what are the best apps to install first? Those apps that will solve your basic needs and make the phone work better, so you can move on to what’s really important, which is having fun with it.
Luckily, we’ve worked on providing you with the top 10 free apps to install on your Android phone, so you don’t have to look at all. Does that make things easier or what?
This is a list of great apps to start you off on your new Android device, keeping it clean, safe and easy to use. It doesn’t claim to be a list of the best Android apps out there, although many of these apps could easily qualify as such.
These are apps that will make sure your phone is in good shape for everyday use and that you’re all set for the most common, everyday life situations.
We’ve handpicked these apps so that your life with your new phone is much easier. What’s even nicer is that they’re all free to download and use; in some cases, additional features can be purchased for money, but you can use the apps just fine without that 99% of the time.
Fact You Should Know: Android is open-source, which is why you’ll find such a variety of free and interesting apps in the Play Store.
With all that said, let’s see what our choices are.
1. Avast Mobile Security
It is absolutely necessary to start things off with a security app (Android Device Manager, which allows you to locate your phone, is pre-loaded out of the box).
Our pick is Avast Mobile Security, one of the most comprehensive security suites out there. This software offers a lot of virus protection tools (and, with Android being more and more popular, malware has become a serious concern) and even a firewall, but your phone needs to be rooted to use that feature.
Avast Mobile Security will even scan the websites you visit, telling you if a phishing URL is accessed, for example. All in all, an incredible piece of software. A premium version also exists, but the free one should be more than enough for most users. There’s an anti-theft feature too, which could prove useful.
2 . Clean Master
What’s Clean Master and why should you have it on your new phone? Well, because it’s THE best cleaner app out there. It will help you clean the junk that apps on your phone leave behind and it will even clean your RAM when your phone is starting to run low on it.
It even has a nice app manager, allowing you to perform operations such as moving said apps to the SD card.
It’s an app that, instead of further cluttering your phone, does something to make things run smoother.
Even though SwiftKey would be on every Android app list I’d make, it wouldn’t have made this one a couple of months ago. And that’s because it has only become free recently.
SwiftKey is probably the best Android keyboard out there, one that allows you to type in a much faster fashion by sliding your fingers over the letters. Its predictions are sometimes so accurate that it’s downright creepy…
Since you’ll be typing quite a bit on your new phone, you might as well do it fast.
4. Astro File Manager with Cloud
Phones are very much the new computers nowadays and, since every computer works with lots of files, a file management app is a must.
One of the best ones for Android is Astro File Manager with Cloud; not only will you be able to manage files on your phone and your memory card, but you will also get access to what you have stored on your cloud accounts – Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, SkyDrive and even Facebook.
Not to mention files on your local network, which are a few screen taps away.
Speaking of the cloud, you’ll need to save some files on your phone somewhere you can access them everywhere and I’m also sure you’ll want to get to the music on your Dropbox in an easy fashion.
Luckily, Dropbox has a very good Android app, one that’s extremely easy to use. A great feature is the one that allows you to backup the photos you’re taking automatically to your Dropbox.
I’m not saying anything bad is going to happen to your beautiful new phone, but it can’t hurt to be on the safe side.
6. Kingsoft Office
What good is a smartphone if you can’t do some work on it? Well, Kingsoft Office is an app which helps you solve this problem.
It’s a complete Office suite which allows you to open, create and edit a lot of office document formats, including the popular DOC, XLS or PPT. It’s also a PDF viewer, which always comes in handy.
You can then easily share those documents with your friends. Basically, it’s a free app which does what many other paid ones do.
7. MX Player
After all that work, some fun needs to be had. That’s what you need MX Player for; it’s a solid multimedia player, perfect for those moments when you’re commuting or taking a short break.
A phone is, first of all, a means of communication with others. In the current day and age, we all have tons of accounts on various instant messaging services (Facebook, Yahoo! etc) and keeping in touch with all of them can sometimes be annoying.
IM+ is an app which allows you to easily communicate with contacts on Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, AIM, Jabber and many more. Skype is also available through an in-app purchase.
IM+ has a very simple interface, so it’s easy to use all of your accounts at the same time. All in all, instant messaging doesn’t get much better than this on a mobile device.
9. Yahoo! Weather
What’s a smartphone without a weather app? Well, it may still be a smartphone, but a good weather app is a definite necessity. And if that weather app can look beautiful while showing you if it’s gonna rain, who are we to argue?
Although there are some other very good choices out there, my favorite one has to be Yahoo! Weather. It has a beautiful, clean design and it provides you with all the weather information you could require in an easy to use fashion. More than that, you get crowdsourced images for each location in order to make things even more good-looking.
The last recommendation is Pocket, because you sometimes want to save the content you’re accessing on your mobile device for later viewing. The app does require a free account; after you’ve set one up, you can easily use Android’s share features to save content to Pocket, where you’ll be able to retrieve it later, be it on your phone or your computer.
Things are really as simple as they sound and, for this reason, Pocket has become one of the first things I install on any new device.
These are, of course, my personal choices, but I do think they make up a rather nice starting kit for any user that’s just starting life with his new Android phone. If you think anything needs to be added, go ahead and say it in a comment!