Gboard comes pre-installed on almost all phones running stock Android. While it's one of the best keyboard apps out there, some people may have a different taste. I, for one, hate the horizontal scrolling for emojis in the Gboard app. Similarly, there is no option to resize it as per our need.
The Best Alternative: Swiftkey
There is a constant rivalry going on between Gboard and Swiftkey. And, honestly, both are worth it. Some people like Gboard and others can kill for Swiftkey.
While Swiftkey provides functions like vertical emojis, clipboard, and amazing word prediction, it lacks emoji search and cursor control that is present in Gboard.
Most of the apps mentioned above come with the features that are also present in Gboard. In addition to that, these apps also provide additional features.
Loaded with powerful extensions like GIFs, Hotkeys, Cursor Control, and Stickers, Fleksy keyboard also supports gestures. All the apps support multiple languages and themes.
While Chrooma provides really cool proofreader, Ginger keyboard offers free grammar check and advanced sentence rephrasing. Chrooma Keyboard also comes with a unique feature where the keyboard color automatically changes according to the navbar color.
Interestingly, Microsoft Launcher is now giving a tough competition to Nova Launcher. It also offers icon packs, gestures, notification count, and themes.
However, the two features that make it stand out are the personalized feed and Continue on PC option. The Personalized feed provides the necessary information like news, contacts, notes etc.
The Continue on PC option, as is obvious, makes it easy to switch between PC and phone. You can send pictures and continue working on Office 365 documents.
While I personally don’t use the other three launchers much, because obviously, you can only use one at a time, I know many people who swear by Evie Launcher due to its simplicity and the features offered.
Evie Launcher supports universal search, notification badges (and count), custom shortcuts and folders. Action Launcher, on the other hand, combines Pixel Launcher features with a bunch of its own customizations.
Smart Launcher 3 uses very fewer resources and hence seems very fast. It automatically organizes your apps in different categories and also supports smart screen turn off. Further, in addition to gestures, this app also supports custom lock screens.
If you want another launcher similar to the Pixel launcher, try the Lawnchair Launcher app.
3. Google Contacts
Google Contacts offers most of the features that a regular user would expect from contact manager apps. It, however, lacks some pro features such as themes, smart contacts, etc.
The Best Alternative: Contacts+
The Contacts+ app is a simple contact manager app that also offers additional features like the built-in caller id, spam block, and backup. Interestingly, the app combines information from various connected services like Google, Facebook, and Twitter etc.
Further, the app also merges duplicate contacts and offers smart sorting. It also supports birthday reminders.
All the apps come with powerful features such as contact de-duplication, spam protection, and themes. While the Canvy app offers customizable UI for your contacts, FullContact and Rolo come with a built-in business card reader.
The Rolo app also offers SMS scheduler, notes functionality, and social media updates from contacts.
4. Google Phone
Most of the apps combine phone and contacts in one app. Google has separate apps for phone and contacts.
The Best Alternative: Simpler Phone
While the Simpler app provides many powerful features, it doesn’t feel cluttered. It provides a beautiful and easy-to-use interface.
Simpler app integrates dialer and contacts in one app with additional features like themes, and backup. It also simplifies your contact list by showing contacts with phone numbers only.
The reason I choose this app is it doesn’t offer unwanted features. It performs exceptionally well for all the things it was built for.
With features like themes, smart cards, and amazing organization, all the other apps are also really worth checking out. The Drupe app gives a tough competition to Simpler dialer app.
Drupe offers contact-based reminders, built-in call recorder and reverse lookup among other amazing features. From the makes of Contacts+ app is the Dialer+ app.
While the app offers good features, it is necessary to install Contacts+ app to make it work. Similarly, Ex and ZenUI both combine dialer and contacts in one app.
5. Google Messages
If you compare Google Messages with the other third-party apps available on the Play Store, it seems dull. But, that’s the beauty of Android. If you don’t like a certain pre-installed app, you are free to download other cool apps as per your preference.
The Best Alternative: SMS Organizer
SMS Organizer from the house of Microsoft is one of the best SMS apps available for Android. It is a smart SMS app with features like reminders, dark theme, backup, and quick glance.
This app automatically organizes your messages into various categories such as Personal, Transactional, and Promotional. Further, the app also provides backup and dark theme.
All the apps offer powerful organization and customization features. With Chomp SMS you can set multiple themes and schedule SMS. This app even lets you stop a text while sending. It also offers quick reply and signatures.
Both Handcent Next and Pulse SMS let you SMS from your PC. They also provide backup and support dual SIM.
Textra, on the other hand, is a simple-to-use yet customizable SMS app for Android. It has tons of options that let you change colors and fonts of the app.
6. Google Calendar
A simple, clean, and convenient app, Google Calendar does its job well. But, there are some other apps that are worth checking out.
The Best Alternative: Business Calendar 2
The Business Calendar app has also been featured under Google Play Store Editor’s Choice list. It offers really superb features such as multiple views, holidays, birthdays, global weather forecast and many color options for organization.
The app provides nice icons for meetings and tasks. It also syncs with Google Calendar and is easy to set up.
In addition to that, this app offers really cool customization for even widgets. If you are looking for a calendar app with great level of control, this is the perfect app.
DigiCal calendar is another powerful calendar app for Android. This app also features in Google Play Store Editor List. With seven powerful agenda views and six customizable calendar widgets, the app also supports global weather forecast.
Besides the usual Calendar features, aCalendar offers QR and NFC barcode sharing of events and moon phases. Similar to other apps, it offers 48 colors per calendar and integrates with Google Calendar too.
7. Google Chrome
Chrome is the most popular browser across platforms. While it offers many great features, it hogs memory and lacks extensions on Android.
The Best Alternative: Firefox Browser
Mozilla recently released an upgraded version of its Firefox browser that offers great features such as an upgraded performance and well-built privacy options. Mozilla also supports extensions and the UI seems better as compared to Chrome.
All the three apps mentioned above are really nice apps. Dropbox is one of the most popular app. Usually the first name that pops up in everyone’s mind when one thinks about cloud storage is Dropbox. It is the most organized file sharing software.
Similar to Google Drive, the apps mentioned above offer document scanner and shared folders. In addition to that, they also offer security controls, multiple file types and powerful search.
It'd be blasphemy to replace Google Camera with some other app. So, I’m not providing any app for best alternative but if you are really looking for some Google Camera alternatives, check out these apps.
Google Keep is one of the easy-to-use yet powerful note-taking apps. However, there are other cool alternatives that offer more features.
The Best Alternative: Nimbus Note
If you are an organization freak, then you will fall in love with Nimbus Note. It offers multiple levels of hierarchy with folder and sub-folders. In addition to that, it also provides formatting options.
The app is user-friendly and seems fast. The sync works fine across platforms. You also get a to-do for each note. And the best part is it’s free.
Google Keep lacks the proper organization tools and that’s the reason I prefer to use other note apps. Evernote has been my favorite for the longest time but recently Nimbus and Notebook have proved to be better alternatives. They offer awesome user-experience and note-taking tools.
If Nimbus app doesn’t entice you, you should check Notebook by Zoho. It is a pretty app with beautiful user-interface. Although OneNote also provides good organization, it seems slow to me. Maybe it will work fine for you. And if it does, it's an amazing app.
While the Google Photos app is full of features, some people aren’t looking for the cloud-sync feature and other cool things. They need a simple gallery app that will show them the device folders and let them browse in peace.
The Best Alternative: Simple Gallery
Although Google Photos offers amazing features, I personally don’t like it as my Gallery app. It focuses more on cloud storage instead of device folders.
I prefer to use Simple Gallery, which has a clean layout and provides all the necessary features required from a simple gallery app.
With powerful file management features, both the apps focus on privacy as well. While A+ Gallery places pictures on a map based on the location they were taken. QuickPic supports multiple finger gestures.
A+ Gallery also shows all photos in addition to folders. This makes it easy to view and edit photos.
If you want a photo app with features similar to Google Photos, try the Amazon Prime Photos app.
What's Your Favorite
These were a few Android apps that we think you should use instead of Google apps. Let us know your favorite ones.