It has been over ten years since Android was first outed by Google, and back then it was hard to imagine the sheer number of apps we’d have today.
There are apps for everything, and many of them are completely free, meaning you’re just a few downloads away from supercharging your smartphone at no extra cost.
Admittedly, the huge quantity of apps doesn’t mean they’re all quality – far from it in fact, and finding the good ones can be tough.
There are tools and techniques to help, with various lists in the Play Store providing you with Editor’s Picks across a range of categories, new releases and even apps that are specifically recommended for you based on your previous installs.
You can also hunt out apps that are similar to your favorites by searching for an app you have and seeing what else comes up.
And checking out user reviews and ratings can save you from downloading a dud of an app.
But even with all that, the sheer number of apps on Google Play means many of the best can often get lost, while weaker ones sometimes rise to the top.
So to make sure you never install a duff app here’s our selection of the best you should install right now – each one carefully chosen to ensure you’ll have a whole suite of fun, engaging and, dammit, useful apps on your phone or tablet.
We’ve sorted them into categories so you can more easily find what you’re looking for. But make sure to check back every few weeks for out latest app selection, which you’ll find below.
Best new free Android app
Every few weeks we add a new app to this list and you’ll find the latest addition below.
Color by Numbers Oil Painting
There are loads of coloring apps on Android but Color by Numbers Oil Painting is one of the best, as it contains hundreds of great, intricate pictures across a range of categories (such as ‘birds’ and ‘still life’), with more images added every day.
Coloring these images is simple and intuitive. There are numbers at the bottom of the screen, each of which represents a color and the part of an image that should be filled in that shade. Tapping on a number highlights all relevant parts of the image, which you can then tap on to fill in the correct shade.
It sounds easy, but when images can have dozens of different numbers with numerous tiny sections of the image taken up by each, it can take a lot of time to fill them all in.
To make things more straightforward, you can tap a bucket icon to automatically fill in all parts of the image related to a given number, but you have to watch adverts to do this unless you feel like paying, and anyway, it feels a bit like cheating. Better to fill each image in manually. It’s more satisfying that way, and more of a project.
The only issue we have with Color by Numbers Oil Painting is the sheer number of adverts, as you also have to watch at least one when you start a new image, and at various other times. Subscribing gets rid of these, and unlocks even more images, but at $19.99 / £19.99 per month or $39.99 / £39.99 per year, we can’t really recommend that unless you’re really using the app a lot.