(Pocket-lint) - Google's Play Store has nearly three million apps for you to choose from. With that many apps, surfing through the store can become overwhelming, and a few wrong choices in what to download can lead you to just stay away from it in general.
But, here at Pocket-lint, we've been faithfully using the Google Play Store since it first launched (remember "Android Market"?) over a decade ago. So, we've put our expertise to the test and assembled this complete guide, to help you find the absolute best of what Play Store has to offer. We've arranged everything by category, so it should be easy to find exactly what you want.
If you want to find great apps for the iPhone, instead, we have a guide on that here.
Best Android apps
AR and VR (non-games)
You can watch all of your favourite YouTube videos in virtual reality without leaving the comfort of your headset in this application that creates a YouTube home screen in a 3D world.
Try it now: YouTube VR
Star Walk is a popular stargazing app. It's an interactive guide to the night sky, following your every movement in real-time and allowing you to explore over 200,000 celestial bodies and get access to information about anything you find.
Try it now: Star Walk
Experience surface-level details throughout earth or shoot up into the atmosphere and get an astronaut's eye view of our pale blue bot. Once you're done with our home planet, be sure to go check out the moon.
Try it now: Earth VR
Vuforia Chalk combines live video, audio, and the ability for a remote person to annotate their live view. Annotations accurately stick to real-world objects, even when people move around. Imagine, for instance, using this as a field technician.
Try it now: Vuforia Chalk
Dropbox lets you store files and folders to the cloud and share them, scan docs, and collaborate with others, with everything safely synced across all your devices - so you can access it anytime, anywhere. You get 2GB of space for free to start.
Try it now: Dropbox
Google Drive is similar to Dropbox, only you get 15GB free to start, and it directly supports Google's entire product portfolio. You can see your Google Photos or Google Docs files, for instance, and invite others to view, edit, or leave comments.
Try it now: Google Drive
Those of you who are more tied to Microsoft's ecosystem (maybe you have a Windows 10 PC or use Office apps) should get OneDrive. It lets you access and share your documents, photos, and other files from your Android device and computer (PC or Mac).
Try it now: Microsoft OneDrive
Dating and relationships
Tinder has become shorthand for an online dating application. It has tons of users that are matched on whether two users have both swiped right on one another. Profiles have a few pictures and a short bio section.
Try it now: Tinder
OkCupid is all about rich profiles, where you can show off your personality and interests. You can answer thousands of questions about yourself, or just a few, and its algorithm will help you connect with people who share your passions.
Try it now: OKCupid
Grindr is a social networking and chat app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people. It's not as fully featured or pretty as, say, Tinder, but it's still the No. 1 option for the LGBTQ community.
Try it now: Grindr
Get approved quickly for short-term loans (in the US) that you can spend practically anywhere on the web, from Lowe's to Walmart!
Try it now: Affirm
YNAB claims to help you "break the paycheck to paycheck cycle, get out of debt, and save more money". Apparently, on average, new users save $600 in the first two months and more than $6,000 in the first year. First 30 days of use are free.
Try it now: YNAB
Want to see how you spend your money? Mint is the free money management and financial tracker app that bring together your bank accounts, credit cards, bills, and investments and see what you’re spending and where you can save money.
Try it now: Mint
Robinhood lets you buy and sell stocks and exchange-traded funds without paying a commission. You can start a portfolio and invest in your favourite companies. Like Acorns, it's meant for novice investors who want to buy and trade.
Try it now: Robinhood
Venmo is like Square Cash, but with a social layer. You can add notes to your payments for others to see, and like or comment on friends’ stories.
Try it now: Venmo
Clash Royale is a tower rush game in which you can duel players from around the world in real-time in both 1v1 and 2v2 Battles. The objective (three minutes into the game) is to destroy opposing towers as well as the "King tower".
Try it now: Clash Royale
This is a Battle Royale game where you squad up and compete to be the last one standing in 100-player PvP. You're supposed to build cover, battle your opponents, and survive the longest to earn your victory.
Try it now: How to Install Fortnite (Not Available in Play Store)
Leo's Fortune is an adorable platforming game with gorgeous stages and graphics, smart puzzles, a whimsical story, and a little fluff ball you can make float or sink to reach gold coins. It's a refreshing break from side scrollers.
Try it now: Leo's Fortune
Minecraft: Pocket Edition
Microsoft's hugely popular Minecraft game is available on every console and platform, including Android. With it, you can explore, mine, and craft away in a blocky 3D pixelated environment, letting your imagination run wild.
Try it now: Minecraft
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery
This is an adventure game with an odd, spooky story as well as a great soundtrack. It's pitched as a game where you traverse a little mythic realm, battle, and evoke sorcery - all while cooperating with friends via Twitter. Seriously.
Try it now: Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Based on the original real-time life simulator for the Nintendo Gamecube, this game released last year lets you live among your real-life friends and computer-generated animal characters as you all work to upgrade your camp.
Try it now: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Now you can finally fix the subway. Well, technically, Mini Metro will let you try to create your own subway system. It's a minimalist yet complex game with mind-boggling, head-scratching puzzles you got to figure out.
Try it now: Mini Metro
The Room: Old Sins
Here is another challenging puzzle game with a captivating story: the sudden disappearance of an engineer and his wife provokes the hunt for a precious artifact that leads to the discovery of an old, unsettling dollhouse.
Try it now: The Room: Old Sins
With this game, you race around the globe in 80 Days or less, traveling by airship, submarine, mechanical camel, steam-train, and more.
Try it now: 80 Days
Hitman GO is a turn-based strategy game where you navigate fixed spaces on a grid to avoid enemies and take out your target.
Try it now: Hitman GO
With this card battler, you're the hero who uses cards to "sling spells, summon minions, and seize control" of the battlefield. You can jump right in, build your deck, hone your skills, and fight for glory in the Arena and duel players.
Try it now: Hearthstone
Monument Valley 2
This is a sequel to 2014's Monument Valley. It's an indie puzzle game, where the goal is to guide Ro and her child through mazes, optical illusions, and impossible objects to complete the puzzle.
Try it now: Monument Valley 2
This game put mobile AR experiences on the map in 2016. It allows you to be a Trainer who can search for Pokemon in the real world, as well as do the catching, hatching, evolving, and more. You can even compete in epic gym battles.
Try it now: Pokemon Go
This is a Fortnite-like Battle Royale game in which 100 players parachute onto a remote island. Players have to locate and scavenge their own weapons, vehicles, and supplies and defeat every player to be the last one standing.
Try it now: PUBG Mobile
Threes is an indie puzzle game where the player slides numbered tiles on a grid to combine addends and multiples of three. The game ends when there are no moves left on the grid, and the tiles are counted for a final score.
Try it now: Threes
Sky: Children of the Light
Fly across sprawling landscapes to help celestial beings find their way back to the heavens in this jaw-dropping social quest.
Try it now: Sky: Children of the Light
Health and fitness
Clue is our No. 1 suggestion, but Glow is an excellent alternative on Android. It has a menstrual and ovulation calculator that also helps women learn about their fertility, whether avoiding or attempting pregnancy.
Try it now: Glow
This is designed to lower stress and anxiety while helping users get more restful sleep through guided meditations, sleep stories, breathing programs, and relaxing music.
Try it now: Calm
C25K is another Couch to 5K program. Like the others, it mixes running and walking, gradually building up your strength and stamina.
Try it now: C25K
Fertility Friend is another fertility tracker. It has an advanced ovulation calculator, menstrual calendar, fertility chart, and period tracker. It aims to help you get pregnant, with personalised trying-to-conceive tips and analysis.
Try it now: Fertility Friend
Synctution is a great meditation programme that offers you series of sessions to work through, each offering a 20 to 30 minute escape from the real world. It's super relaxing and easy to get into the habit of using.
Try it now: Synctuition
Headspace is another guided meditation app. The basics course is entirely free and will teach you the fundamental techniques of meditation and mindfulness. After that, with a subscription, you can access the full Headspace meditation library.
Try it now: Headspace
Lose It! is a weight loss program. You simply download the app, set your goal, and track the foods to lose weight.
Try it now: Lose it!
Calorie Counter - MyFitnessPal
MyFitnessPal, which is integrated with Under Armour's apps and devices, helps you track food, create goals, log exercise, and get support.
Try it now: Calorie Counter - MyFitnessPal
Pocket Yoga will guide you through an entire Yoga session. It offers different ones with varying difficulty and helps you to learn all the poses.
Try it now: Pocket Yoga
Sleep Cycle is an intelligent alarm clock that tracks your sleep patterns and decides to when to wake you up in light sleep - the natural way.
Try it now: Sleep Cycle
This app provides a timer for high-intensity interval training sessions, so if you're a person who likes to trains using HIIT style workouts, this app is a must-have.
Try it now: Tabata Timer
Quickly scan or look up any product in your house and find out whether it's full of toxic chemicals and carcinogens. (Warning: You will be shocked.) This app basically helps you to shop cleanly.
Try it now: ThinkDirty
Daily Yoga offers over 500 asanas, 200 guided classes of yoga, pilates, and meditation, 50 workout plans, and even coaches workshops.
Try it now: Daily Yoga
This is Apple's music subscription service, but for Android devices. With it, you can stream practically any tune you've ever wanted to hear.
Try it now: Apple Music
Google Play Music
This is Android's music subscription service built into its devices. With it, you can stream practically any tune you've ever wanted to hear.
Try it now: Google Play Music
Pandora is a classic music app that's basically a digital radio. It lets you create stations from your favorite songs, artists, or genres.
Try it now: Pandora
SoundCloud is a music and audio streaming platform, with over 180 million tracks. It lets you upload audio and find new music, all in one place.
Try it now: SoundCloud
Spotify is like Android Music, only it's not tied to Android devices, and there is a freemium tier that lets you listen to stations and playlists with ads.
Try it now: Spotify
This is a password manager. It remembers all your passwords for you, lets you generate passwords, and easily signs you into sites and apps.
Try it now: 1Password
Travelling to a foreign country? Or just want to browse in peace at home? With this app, you can enjoy safe and private internet access and secure your Wi-Fi connections against various cyber threats. There's a free trial to start.
Try it now: NordVPN
Orbot: Proxy with Tor
This app uses Tor to encrypt your internet traffic. Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against network surveillance.
Try it now: Orbot: Proxy with Tor
We all know what Amazon is - and with this app, you can easily shop it from your mobile device. It even lets you access Alexa and scan products.
Try it now: Amazon
The ASOS app claims to be home to more than 850 brands and over 85,000 products (mostly clothing). It offers free delivery and return options.
Try it now: ASOS
Interested in buying or browsing handmade, vintage, and one-of-a-kind goods? Then you need to use Etsy.
Try it now: Etsy
Houzz is your one-stop-shop for improving and designing your home. Browse inspirational photos, view and buy products, hire and collaborate with professionals, get advice, read articles, and more with this handy home decor app.
Try it now: Houzz
Overstock is like Amazon, but it's Overstock. Shop sales, try out furniture in AR, check-out with Android Pay, and more.
Try it now: Overstock
ShopStyle enables you to buy clothing, shoes, sneakers, and entire outfits - from practically every designer you've ever heard about.
Try it now: ShopStyle
If home goods is your thing, Wayfair claims to house the world’s largest selection of home goods - with prices ranging from cheap to wow. It also has a new 3D View in Room feature that lets you see virtual items in your space.
Try it now: Wayfair
Love eBay? Then you’ll love the eBay app. It lets you use your camera to search for items, scan barcodes, and manage your account.
Try it now: eBay
Own an Alexa device? Then you need this app to set it up, manage your profile, find skills, and do just about anything Alexa related.
Try it now: Amazon Alexa
What the Alexa app is to Alexa devices, the Google Home app is to Google Home and Chromecast devices. It's a must-have for Assistant users.
Try it now: Google Home
IFTTT is less relevant now that Android has the Shortcuts app, but with it, you can essentially connect and automate all your online services.
Try it now: IFTTT
This app works with Philips Hue smart light bulbs allowing users to control the color and brightness of the light in their homes.
Try it now: Hue
The Nest app work with Nest SmartHome devices such as security systems, thermostats, lights, and plug-ins. It's a must-have if your own their devices.
Try it now: Nest
Word is the gold standard of word processors and is often used in the workplace. But it does require an Office 365 subscription on the Android.
Try it now: Microsoft Word
Simply put, Docs is a cloud-based alternative to Word. Use it to create, edit, save and even collaborate on documents while on the go.
Try it now: Google Docs
Evernote is a popular note app. You can input typed notes or scan handwritten notes. You can also add to-do’s, photos, images, web pages, or audio, and it syncs across your devices, so your information is always with you.
Try it now: Evernote
Books, audiobooks, and podcasts
This is Android's built-in Android Podcast app that lets you discover audio stories. It offers over 550,000 shows with nearly 19 million episodes.
Try it now: Google Podcasts
Audible, an Amazon company, claims to be the largest selection of audiobooks. You can buy and listen to them with this app.
Try it now: Audible
ComicScreen - ComicViewer
This is a clean comic book reader. It promises smart upscaling to make even low-res comics look great, complete with auto contrast and tint fixes.
Try it now: ComicScreen - ComicViewer
Comics & Manga by Comixology
Want to explore over 100,000 digital comics and graphic novels? This app has titles from Marvel, DC, Image, and more.
Try it now: Comics & Manga by Comixology
Flipboard is a well-known app that curates and serves up news stories in an easy-to-digest, audiovisual way that reminds us of a magazine.
Try it now: Flipboard
Google Play Books
Google's Play Book app lets you browse millions of book titles, from audiobooks to ebooks, and enjoy them, all in one central place.
Try it now: Google Play Books
Amazon's Kindle Reader lets you turn your Android into a Kindle. It allows you to download and carry all your ebooks with you, wherever you go.
Try it now: Kindle Reader
TuneIn allows gives you the benefit of many of these other podcasts, but also allows you to listen to live radio broadcasts. It's great if your favourite team is playing while you're stuck in traffic.
Try it now: TuneIn
Libby, by OverDrive
Did you know your local library has thousands of ebooks and audiobooks? You can borrow them, instantly, for free, using Libby.
Try it now: Libby, by OverDrive
An award-winning application for streaming all of your favourite podcasts
Try it now: Pocket Casts
Google's News will serve up information relevant to you based on what you've shown interest in through your Chrome browser.
Try it now: Google News
Podcast Addict is a terrific podcast app. It has a simple UI, lots of organisational, playback, and download features. You can also set download rules, create playlists, and it supports both Chromecast and Sonos and Android Auto and Wear OS.
Try it now: Podcast Addict
This is an easy-to-use language learning app with an entertainment layer. Learn everything from French to Norwegian.
Try it now: Memrise
StudyBlue is a crowdsourced materials library meant to help you crush exams. It has over 10 million students and over 500 million flashcards.
Try it now: StudyBlue Flashcards
Designed to "feed your curiosity and expand your world", this app has over 3,000 free videos from the world's most remarkable people.
Try it now: TED
Whether you need to perform high-level mathematics computations or search for facts and statistics, WolframAlpha is worth trying. It's essentially a powerful tool for finding information on math, science, and other topics.
Try it now: Wolfram Alpha
Film and TV
Google Play Movies
Rent or buy the latest television and movies. The app also has a search feature that allows you to see if what you're looking for is available to stream and where.
Try it now: Google Play Movies
The FireTV app works with your FireTV through your mobile device, allowing you to streamline accessing your applications and searching for the show or movie you're looking for.
Try it now: FireTV
With HBO Now, you can watch our favourite episodes of HBO’s series (think Game of Thrones and Westworld) for a monthly subscription fee.
Try it now: HBO Now
Hulu offers up an entire library of movies and shows (including Seinfeld, South Park, and Fear the Walking Dead) for a monthly subscription fee. For an additional cost, you get over 50 live channels, like ABC, NBC, CBS, and ESPN.
Try it now: Hulu
IMDb, an Amazon company, is an authoritative source for all-things Hollywood. Explore popular movies and TV shows and their casts, and get access to trailers, behind-the-scenes clips, and showtimes (plus buy tickets) near you.
Try it now: IMDb
Netflix is the king of streaming services. For a monthly subscription fee, you get access to Netflix Originals, plus many more movies and shows.
Try it now: Netflix
Prime Video is included in an Amazon Prime subscription. With it, you get access to Amazon Originals, plus many more movies and shows.
Try it now: Prime Video
Like Hulu's Live TV offering, YouTube TV offers cable-free live TV so that you can stream major broadcast and networks, from ABC to ESPN. It also has cloud storage and is a monthly pay-as-you-go membership you can cancel anytime.
Try it now: YouTube TV
YouTube is the original source for online video. Use it to watch beauty tutorials, game streams, music videos, and more - for free, with ads.
Try it now: YouTube
Grubhub is like Doordash, though it promises to have "the largest selection of restaurants" - from KFC to your local burger haunt.
Try it now: Grubhub
This app has more than 43,000 restaurants around the globe. It's the perfect travel app for finding local restaurants and booking a reservation.
Try it now: OpenTable
Like Grubhub and Doordash, Seamless lets you access local menus, with fast, easy online ordering. But it's only available in New York City.
Try it now: Seamless
Hungry? Get the food you want, from the restaurants you love, delivered by an Uber, and you can even track your order in real-time.
Try it now: Uber Eats
If you use Facebook, you definitely use Messenger. But it can be tied to your number, allowing you to text anyone in your friends' list or contacts. You can also do video chats, complete with filters, play games, access biz chatbots, and more.
Try it now: Facebook Messenger
Slack is a communication and collaboration app. Designed primarily for businesses, it's a must-have messenger for teams.
Try it now: Slack
Whatsapp is one of the most popular messaging apps, thanks to its ability to send and receive encrypted messages.
Try it now: WhatsApp Messenger
Google's own answer to the need for every company to have a messaging app that works great in conjunction with Gmail.
Try it now: Google Hangouts
This messaging app is designed and streamlined for use by gamers. See who is online, who's playing what, and organize your team using Discord.
Try it now: Discord
The best way to keep your messaging totally private is to use Signal, which has been a mainstay for whistleblowers for years. It's a message service where privacy is the assumed default.
Try it now: Signal
Android Messages is a little basic, but it’s effect and free. It also live-streams your messages rather than use a server structure.
Try it now: Android Messages
Photo and video
Snapseed is a photo editor developed by Google. It's not Photoshop, but it's still feature-rich with tools like healing and brush. It also lets you open RAW files, use filters, and refine aspects like curves with precise control.
Try it now: Snapseed
Google Photos is an app that lets you store and view all your photos and videos and even create custom animations and GIFs.
Try it now: Google Photos
Prisma is a photo editor app that creates amazing photo effects by transforming your photos into paintings using so-called art filters.
Try it now: Prisma
If you want the features of a Google Pixel phone without buying one, this app will give you many of those features without the Pixel price tag.
Try it now: Action Launcher
Google's flagship email application. Comes installed on most android devices.
Try it now: Gmail
Excel is probably the most popular spreadsheet app in the world - used in businesses and schools worldwide. But it requires an Office 365 sub.
Try it now: Microsoft Excel
With PowerPoint, you can quickly create, edit, view, present, or share presentations quickly. Again, you need an Office 365 subscription.
Try it now: Microsoft PowerPoint
Sheets is a cloud-based alternative to Excel. Use it to create, edit, save and even collaborate on spreadsheets while on the go.
Try it now: Google Sheets
Slides is a cloud-based alternative to Powerpoint. Use it to create, edit, and collaborate with others on presentations from your Android.
Try it now: Google Slides
Google is a powerhouse in the productivity and collaboration space, and Calendar is a prime example. It lets you view, edit, sync your schedule across platforms and devices. You can also create a team Calendar to share with others.
Try it now: Google Calendar
If you hate Safari, consider trying to Chrome, especially if you use the desktop app. It's a powerful browser that syncs across all your devices.
Try it now: Google Chrome
Manage your tasks and to-do lists across all of your devices with this productivity app.
Try it now: Google Tasks
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Adobe Acrobat Reader is the standard application for viewing and editing PDF documents.
Try it now: Adobe Acrobat Reader
Calculator is Google's calculator application that is capable of both regular math functions and scientific functions for higher-level math courses such as trigonometry.
Try it now: Calculator
Microsoft designed this as an intelligent keyboard app that learns from your writing style to help you work faster and make life easier.
Try it now: SwiftKey Keyboard
Use Tasker to create a layout for your entire day that seamlessly blends or use automation to trigger actions on your devices, such as turning off notifications when it's bedtime and automatically turning them back on when you wake up.
Try it now: Tasker
Todoist is like a reminder app that helps you to keep track of everything, anywhere. Even when you’re offline. It also offers access to over 60 app integrations, including Dropbox, Amazon Alexa, Zapier, IFTTT, and Slack.
Try it now: Todoist
Solid Explorer is a file explorer app. It features Material Design, archiving support, support for the most popular cloud services, and FTP, SFPT, WebDav, and SMB/CIFS support. It works great. There is a 14-day free trial with a $2.99 price at the end.
Try it now: Solid Explorer
Facebook needs no introduction. It's probably the most popular social network in the world. Use it to connect with friends, old and new. Or, use it to view hidden ads and memes from meddlers spreading propaganda.
Try it now: Facebook
LinkedIn is the social network for professionals. It helps you build an online resume, find jobs, network, and more. Microsoft also owns it.
Try it now: LinkedIn
This is a Mecca for DIYers. Want to make a lip scrub? Check. Need Halloween party ideas? Check. You can explore over 100 billion pins for every part of your life, and create mood boards to look back on for inspiration.
Try it now: Pinterest
Discover top trending topics, breaking news, viral video clips, funny jokes, and hot memes with the official Reddit app.
Try it now: Reddit
Ah, the toxic armpit of the internet. Want to see what the US President is tweeting? How about Kim K or your favourite CNN anchor? It's all here, in real-time, with basically no filters in place. Bring on the alt-right trolls!
Try it now: Twitter
Travel and transportation
Forget hotels. They're expensive and price rigged. Instead, use Airbnb to find an affordable vacation rental, or start earning money as a host.
Try it now: Airbnb
Google Maps is the only maps app you need. With over 220 countries and territories mapped and hundreds of millions of businesses and places on the map, you can get real-time GPS navigation, traffic, and accurate transit info.
Try it now: Google Maps
Need a lift? Try Uber for a ride. It's a cab service or carpool, where the drivers can be anyone from a lawyer to cop trying to earn extra on the side.
Try it now: Uber
Google-owned Waze tells you instantly about traffic, construction, police, crashes, and more, thanks to its cool crowdsourcing technology.
Try it now: Waze
Yelp lets you find local food, businesses, and services, with over 135 million reviews available to help you make an informed decision.
Try it now: Yelp
Possibly the best weather app, it features a simple design that shows you the current weather, the forecast for up to 12 weeks, radar, and more. Plus, there are customisable widgets. The free version has all of the features. The $1.99 charge kills advertising.
Try it now: 1Weather
This app uses Dark Sky’s super accurate weather data but adds a layer of personality. Carrot’s dialogue, characters, and scenery changes are a fun way to get current, hourly, and daily forecasts.
Try it now: Carrot Weather
The Weather Channel
The channel you only watch when a blizzard or a hurricane is bearing down on you also offers a useful application.
Try it now: The Weather Channel
Adobe Illustrator Draw
If you’re a vector artist, this is your go-to app, with customisable brushes for drawing and designing. You can create on resizable canvases up to a delightfully printable 8K. And all your layered files can be sent right to Illustrator CC.
Try it now: Adobe Illustrator Draw
Adobe Photoshop Express
This app is capable of doing most of the basic photo editing functions to clean up the photos you take on your device, such as cropping and removing red-eye. Check out the auto-fix feature if you're new to the app and want to check out what it's capable of.
Try it now: Adobe Photoshop Express
Prisma3D will let users create 3D objects and designs for modelling, animating, and rendering.
Try it now: Prisma3D