The best free Android apps won’t cost you a thing to start — though beware of subscriptions and trials. Whether you’ve picked up one of the best cheap phones or you pay big bucks for the latest flagship, you get the same experience.
And if you do buy the latest and greatest Android phones these days, you’re paying more for your device. Some devices easily blow past the four-figure mark. Throw in a monthly data plan, and it’s easy to understand why you’d want to slash spending from your mobile budget.
Why not start to save money by opting for some of the best free Android apps? After all, not every app available at Google Play comes with a fee. The true challenge is sorting the must-downloads from the ones that will just waste space on your phone.
Whether you’ve got a new Android device to load up with apps or you’re just looking for new additions to your old phone, here are some of the best free Android apps we’ve found on our trips through Google Play.
The Latest free Android apps
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If you’re looking for a fresh new way to experience your Android phone’s home screen, then look no further than Niagara Launcher. It shirks the traditional app drawer paradigm, instead opting for a minimalist group of favorites with an alphabetical list as the app drawer replacement. The end result is clean look with intuitive gestures for navigation.
Of course, you can pay a small fee to unlock the full experience, but the core part of Niagara is free. It’s my go-to launcher now and it won our Best Android App award for this year. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Download Niagara Launcher
Outside of the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook apps, the absolute best ebook reader on Android is Moon+ Reader. It is a fantastic app and I can’t say that enough. As someone who runs a Calibre ebook server at home with hundreds of ebooks (obtained mostly through Humble Bundle), Moon+ Reader is my choice for reading any one of those books on my phone.
Simply put, Moon+ Reader can handle any format, like EPUB and MOBI. There are a ton of ways to customize it to your liking, like line spacing, font scale, themes, and much, much more. It has a great and easy-to-use bookshelf and you can connect a lot of online libraries. Like I said, if you’re running Calibre in your home, this is the app for you.
While you may be locked to Kindle or Nook for your ebooks, Moon+ Reader gives you the option for your DRM-free books.
Download: Moon+ Reader
Notion aims to be your personal and team productivity hub, allowing users to create custom private or shared workspaces. From there, you add versatile “blocks” that can act like text snippets, bookmarks, images, toggle links, files, code snippets, discussion sections, and more.
This approach means you easily customize your workspace, and you can still drag and drop individual blocks of content to where you need them without disrupting an entire document. Whether you’re taking notes, crunching spreadsheets, or building a Kanban board, Notion’s powerful building blocks make things a snap to set up.
The free version of Notion allows you to save and sync up to 1,000 blocks of content, while premium subscription plans remove that content limit and add admin tools, permission settings, and other features.
When the Pixel 4 debuted in 2019, one of the best things to come with it was Google’s Recorder app. Recorder not only filled one of the big missing gaps on Pixel phones — which previously didn’t feature a built-in voice recorder — but did it in style. Recorder could transcribe your recordings in real-time, even as you were speaking. And all that transcription work was done locally, without sharing your recordings to the cloud.
Recorder was so good, Google hasn’t restricted it to just the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. The app is available to all Pixel phones, and updates have added editing features introduced with the Pixel 5. Even if you carry around a different Android phone in your pocket, there’s a workaround to install Recorder on your Android device. You’ll need to be running either Android 9 or Android 10, and some features may not be supported on all phones, but it’s still a great way to experience one of the best free Android apps we’ve ever seen.
Download: Recorder for Pixel
A past Google Play Awards winner, Canva is a quick, user-friendly photo editing app that’s designed with social media use in mind.
The app comes with a variety of ready to use templates, filters, fonts, and other tools that you can apply to images in your device’s gallery or in Canva’s selection of free and premium images, which you can then easily share to your favorite social network or media platform. You can use Canva to quickly set up a cover photo or account avatar for Facebook or create crisp and clean Instagram stories, Twitter banners or the perfect Youtube thumbnails.
There’s a wealth of free material and templates you can work with, as well as a selection of premium templates, images, and more that you can access with in-app purchases.