Here we are. Before you jump to the bottom of the page, I would like to let you know that for each category on this Android applications guide, we have a single app.
The reason is simple: these are apps I use and they are my best meaning there is no reason for keeping duplicates.
I have been a loyal Android fan since 2011 and I have seen some of these apps get updated with great features, while some just get compatibility updates when Android gets updated, or UI refreshments when users ask for them.
I am the one person who never lives with the stock ROM on their phone too, so, these apps work well with all the stable ROMs you can think of; stock and custom ROMs for Samsung smartphones through the new Tecno smarts (Read established to upcoming Android smartphone brands).
ES File Explorer
The top file manager I use is ES File Explorer. There’s no doubt many people already have this app installed but if you don’t already know, there you have it.
It is always getting updated and a few years ago, FTP features were added. You can also browse and manage files between devices through Bluetooth.
With its large number of file format support, you can open virtually all types of files, even browsing application packages.
There is also a handy root explorer setting where you can easily manage your system files if you have already rooted your phone.
I don’t know a feature of a file manager that ES File Explorer lacks, but if there were one, I would have encountered it along the way.
It even supports copying multiple files to the clipboard allowing you to navigate to your desired directories and pasting them one by one.
Take it this way, it just works, and works very well.
Download Es File Explorer Here or Here
The Best Music Player For Android: Poweramp
JetAudio is a very capable music player, both for PC and Android. However, hardly another music player beats Poweramp. Even though it is paid, it is very light and highly functional.
It has great features such as music crossfade and a meaningful equalizer. You may even decide to download album art covers.
Download PowerAmp Here
Top Android Video Player: MX Player
MX Player is the default app for videos of most video freaks. The simple reason is the extent of video formats supported.
Think about MX Player as VLC for PC on Android. It supports video extensions such as .mkv to .flv, and all other basic ones such as .mp4.
Get MX Player From Play Store
How To Easily Share Files On Android – The Best App
ES File Explorer mentioned above can help make file sharing so simple. However, the easiest way to share any type of file fast is to use Flash Share.
This app comes with all Tecno smartphones and you can easily install it on other non-Tecno phones provided they are running on Android.
Just back-up the app using ES File Explorer or the like and send it via Bluetooth or copy it directly to the other phone and you are ready to go.
The Best IM/Chat App For Android: WhatsApp
Whatsapp is the best Smartphone IM app aroundWhatsApp is undisputedly the top messaging application currently available across all mobile OSes. However, it is worth checking out Facebook messenger (which recently reached one billion downloads on Google Play) or Hangouts.
I also heard someone exclaim, “Facebook Lite!”
Download Whatsapp From Play Store
The Best Email Client For Android: K9-Mail
The best Email client is k9-mail. If you only use Gmail, stick with the official Gmail App for Android though.
However, if you use Hotmail, Outlook, Yahoo or any other Email service, check out k9-Mail. It is simple to set up and it is very capable.
The Top Mobile Browser For Android: UC Browser
Mobile browsers should be lightweight and lightning fast. Today, there are several Android browsers available. However, the fact remains there is none that beats UC Browser Mini, which is true at least for most Kenyans who live in areas having slow Internet connection.
Someone will argue that Opera Mini is the best and that might just be because they have never tried UC Browser before. Right from the time UCWEB used to develop Java versions of the UC Browser, which they still do by the way, downloading large files over slow connections has always been smooth.
Think about it, in UC Browser for Android, being able to pause downloads has always been there since it debuted.
However, what is the catch for those with slow Internet connections? Downloading files in Android is plagued with files failing to download when the download has been running for a long while. In addition, everyone hates it when they are downloading a large file over slow connections only to fail when it is at 99%.
The main reason for such failed downloads is, in some sites, the download links get generated dynamically especially when you are downloading files after entering a Captcha. In such a case, you get a link that expires after certain duration. This is always done for security reasons. However, what if the link expires before your download is complete? The download will fail.
With UC Browser, even after a link has expired, you can request for the same file, from the same download page and then the download will resume from the previous position. How cool is that! The best part? UC Browser itself asks you if you want to resume the download after the download link has been updated.
However, some websites naturally do not support resuming for any the files you download from them, a good example is ZippyShare, and for those, you will have to bear with the issues. UC Browser seems to have you covered also.
You are lucky if you are using UC Browser; it has a solution for that. If you always encounter the “This file does not support resume” all is not lost. UC Cloud download is the answer.
How does UC Cloud download work? UC Browser will download the file you want to download to UC Cloud servers as long as you are logged into your UC Cloud account. The sign in is simple, you can use Facebook or Google accounts to sign in.
When you click the download link in any site, you will be prompted to choose whether to download the file directly to your local storage or to download to the cloud.
You should choose download to the Cloud if you suspect the download might get interrupted, so that you are not forced you to re-download it, and wait for it to finish.
Downloading files via cloud also helps you avoid slow downloads which plague busy websites.
TIP: Additionally, this acts as a proxy that helps you download files that your current Internet service provider restricts.
Download UC Browser Today
Changing Fonts On Android: IFont
Changing fonts on your Android phone is a risky operation, and you should do it carefully. However, I have tasted iFont on most of the MTK powered Android smartphones and it works like charm.
You only need to install the app, run it, then go to back up current font and then browse through the collection of fonts available from the app. You will miss some fonts on the list but the current list is more than enough to get you going.
IFont can change the font of your unrooted Android smartphone. This is however applicable exclusively for Samsung smartphones. For the rest of Android smartphones, the user has to obtain root access first.
Download iFont Here
The Best Android Contacts/Dialler App I Use
ExDialer is my dialler app of choice. Even though the “buy pro version” ads on the free version are so annoying, I find the calling sessions so seamless.
Caller ID App On Android
If you have ever used True Caller, then you know that no app beats it at identifying the caller. It works fast also. It can pull all the available details of the caller within seconds. Give it a shot if you get too many anonymous calls.
True Caller Free download
The Top EBook Reader For Android: Moon+ Reader Pro
If there were a top eBook reader to beat, it would be Moon+ Reader. Moon+ Reader is not unique in features, but it is very easy to use and so sleek and super smooth that it deserves all the praise.
The great features I love using the most are:
The slide up to adjust brightness;
The ability to change the themes, customize colors and fonts and save them as quick themes too;
The ability to read PDF files. One operation that is even cooler in Moon+ Reader eBook Reader is getting to read two pages when you are in landscape mode just like you do on a Mac with the Preview app. This is great especially if you have advanced feature PDF files such as magazines.
You can slide a % reading position seeker to jump to the end or any other position you want on the eBook you are reading;
You can also import individual eBooks to a beautiful eBook-library. Moreover, you can customize the appearance of the shelves to your liking;
Moon+ Reader Download or Buy Moon+ Reader Pro from Google Play Store.
Scanning Documents And Converting Images To PDF On Android: CamScanner
Especially for students who want to avoid the cost of printing lecture notes (feel free to call them handouts) and those who frequently have to send scanned documents via email, say, for an application you need to make online, Cam Scanner is for you.
MD Scanner is another worthy contender. You can choose any of them and you are sure to get a treat. In fact, the two apps are very similar.
CamScanner download page.
Lightweight Android Gallery App: Quickpic
Now. Apart from sharing a few tips and tricks plus some news in blogs and forums, what else do I do? I browse through the photo gallery; just to admire the special moments I was lucky enough to capture in the recent past.
Quickpic has always been my companion here, and this is why: it is light, feature rich, it does what I want, and it is affordable (actually, extremely affordable. It is FREE).
The special features you will constantly use on Quickpic are: normal photo previews, hiding and password protecting private photos and that is just about everything you will love about Quickpic.
It does those basic things, but in a fast, lightweight and powerful way. Think efficiency and effectiveness.
Download Quickpic free today.
Taking Amazing Photos On Android: ProCapture
ProCapture is always somewhere on my droid. If it is not in the backed up .apks while I am tinkering with the ROM, it is in the app tray waiting for the next photo-shooting spree at the beach, or through the window facing the lovely view of the Mount Longonot. Just saying.
I can’t even remember what version of ProCapture I am using, for it works so well I have never thought of updating it.
To mention a few features, you get to control the aspect ratio of your snaps, adjust basic exposure controls and scene modes among other settings. You also have the setting for the compression quality or something like it, where you choose the quality of the pics you want to take.
You can’t go wrong with the default settings though, so I don’t see any reason of messing up with the advanced settings.
Well, I change each and every setting in the menu when I just want to be a jerk. Lastly, you have the resolution setting, from the VGA quality all the way up to the maximum limit of your phone’s camera.
Get ProCapture Download Link Here or Get the Limited Version of ProCapture Here
Editing Photos: PicSay Pro
I have always wanted to think of the PicSay Pro photo editor as my little Photoshop. It works really well, so much that I always wonder how they managed to come up with the advanced features on a cheap package as such.
To mention just a few features; you can make final touches on your pics such as exposure, contrast and saturation. There is even some handy auto and enhanced options.
You can also add objects to images, or remove objects completely. It even gives you the option to save the cutout you make for future use.
With PicSay Pro, your imagination and creativity are the only limiting factors.
Download PickSay Pro Now or Get the PicSay Free download from Here
Now you are all set to get the best out of your smartphone.
This list is not exhaustive though, and you may have some additions to make. But trust me, the applications above will supercharge your new Android smartphone. Be sure to keep it Tech Kenya for more tips.
Leave more suggestions in the comment section below.