Essential apps for new Android smartphones

Get the most out of your Android smartphone with these apps...
Essential apps for new Android smartphones


Use it to: Make your commute that little bit more rock and roll with a world of music at your fingertips

Spotify has triggered a revolution in how we listen to music – first at home and now on your phone. Basically it puts millions of songs in your pocket from pretty much every recognised genre.

From country to classical and The Beatles to Britney – the choice is incredibly diverse. Simply plug in your headphones and play. Browse favourite albums, follow playlists and choose music by genre and mood.

You can listen for free, but to get the most from the service it’s worth paying for Spotify Premium. This gives you offline listening – an excellent feature. Download your favourite music to your library and listen without draining your data when you’re out and about.

How much?Spotify Premium, £9.99 p/month (free 30-day trial)

How to get it? Sign up for Spotify


Use it to: Bring order to your busy life with shopping lists, wish-lists and work to-do lists

Modern life is busy. Work, family, friends and all the rest. No wonder we forget things now and again. Enter Evernote. It’s a simple text app that can help bring order to your life. Whether it’s adding to a Christmas list each time your partner drops a hint, or jotting down groceries to pick up later. It’s great for work to-do lists too.

You can even attach files to your notes – like Microsoft Word documents, or photos taken with your smartphone camera – if you really want to show off.

The really cool thing about Evernote though? Notes made on your phone are synced so you can get them on your tablet, laptop or PC.

How much? Free

How to get it?Download Evernote


Use it to: Stay in touch with friends without blowing your phone bill

WhatsApp is replacing the humble text message for many people with smartphones. Around one billion people use it, WhatsApp says.

Instead of using your phone’s SMS allocation, it sends messages over the internet – meaning staying in touch with your friends is free when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. When you’re messaging on the go, it uses your mobile data – so keep an eye on your limit.

The group chats are really interesting. Add some friends to a chat, and let the banter flow freely. Naturally these are perfect for staying in touch with old uni mates, or planning stags, hens and girlie holidays and suchlike.

You can also send photos – a great way of keeping the group updated for anyone who couldn’t make the holiday or night out.

How much? Free

How to get it?Download WhatsApp


Use it to: Get serious about photography by cropping, retouching and adjusting your way to photo perfection

Nowadays almost everyone is carting around a high quality camera in their back pockets thanks to latest smartphone technology. But if you want to get serious about your snaps and you have aspirations to master composition and editing this is the app for you.

It’s packed with a heap of clever editing tools that take your photos way beyond point and click. You can crop, straighten and remove blemishes. There are loads of other tools too.

Changes you make are saved as layers too (like with professional design software) so you can go back and adjust edits you’ve already made even when you’ve saved them. One bad edit doesn’t mean your photo’s ruined.

Basically you can tweak your photos and iron out imperfections until you’re happy. Those holiday snaps have never looked so good.

How much? Free

How to get it? Download Snapseed

Google Photos

Use it to: Get back some of your smartphone’s precious space and finally sort that chaotic mass of photos

Your smartphone may well have replaced your digital camera. If that’s the case you’re going to have lots of photos taking up the memory on your phone. If you use Google Photos to back up your photos online you can free up space on your phone – just tap a button to delete the originals and make space for apps etc.

Photos are automatically organised by the date and location they were taken and the people who are in them. You don’t have to mess around with tagging or labelling.

How much? Free

How to get it?Download Google Photos

Google Docs

Use it to: Turn your smartphone into a pocket-sized PC for working away from your desk

You can transform your smartphone into a mini PC with Google Docs. Use this simple word processer to create and edit documents on the go.

With Google Docs you create and work in documents that are saved securely online. You can open them on your phone when out and about, or even your laptop when you get home. Can’t get online? Download files so they’re available offline too.

But the most useful feature is the compatibility with Microsoft Office - open, edit and save Word files. This makes Google Docs a really handy tool for making last-minute edits to essays, work reports and other documents created in Word when you’re away from your laptop.

How much? Free

How to get it? Download Google Docs

Prefer working in Microsoft Word? If you’ve used Word at school, university and now work it makes sense to stay with it. You can get Microsoft Word on your Android phone.

How much? Free

How to get it? Download Microsoft Word


Use it to: Box-set binge your favourite TV shows from your bed

Go back five years or so and people didn’t really watch movies on their phone. But with large, high-resolution screens and apps like Netflix it’s now an everyday thing.

Netflix is an on-demand streaming service. With it on your phone you can watch what you want where you want – in your bed, or on your work break. Remember though if you’re not watching over Wi-Fi, you’ll be eating into your mobile data.

Missed a series that has set your WhatsApp group chat into overdrive? Binge your way through the entire thing in a weekend – whether that’s critically acclaimed House of Cards or the on-trend and much-talked-about Stranger Things.

You need to sign up for a Netflix package then download the app.

How much?Netflix subscription packages start at £5.99

How to get it?Download Netflix app

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