Must Have Free Apps For Android

19 April, 2013

Android platform now has the largest number of applications and most of them are free but that doesn't mean it is easy to find the perfect app for your need. Free tag comes with advertisement displayed while you use the application and many times the ads as places in such a way that it completely covers the screen or irritate the users.
 App developers earn money by inserting the ads and it is necessary for them to make the application available free of cost but sometimes it is not at all acceptable.
There are a huge number of applications that are exactly similar to others and it is difficult to choose between those. Some apps are official applications for particular web services but there are many apps those are much better than the official apps.

I have made a list of the best and must have FREE applications that you must install on your Android device. Some apps may not be compatible with your device if you have Android versions less than 4.0 ICS.

Every application listed here is tested at least for 7 days and considered many points to come to the conclusion. I have given the most closer option available for any particular app and the reason why I have chosen the one.

Performance, memory used by the application, interface, easy to use, trusted publisher, compatibility, way of advertisement displayed, the features available in the same application  are some of the points that are considered while selecting the app.

PDF Reader

You can not avoid installing at least one PDF viewer application on your Android device. Out of many options available,  the most popular as well as similarly smooth and useful is Adobe PDF reader.

Adobe Reader
Foxit Mobile Reader
  • It has every feature like bookmarking, annotation, comments, easy scroll bar for fast switch to any page in the file, text selection, cloud integration and other such features any PDF reader should have.
  • The other similar choice is Foxit Mobile PDF. It is also a free application and have every feature that Adobe reader have. It has a cleaner interface and more powerful file browser and cloud integration.
  • Both are excellent and then it is the matter of choice of everyone

AirDroid works as a mobile media / memory browser and media transfer tool between your desktop computer and your Android mobile or tablet device.
  • You do not have to install the client or something like that on your computer but just install the AirDroid application on your Android device. 
  • You can access your messages, internal and external memory, media files, contacts and everything else over Wi-Fi provided your computer and Android device is connected via Wi-Fi. AirDroid works as an alternative to a USB cable.
  • You can upload from or download to your computer from your mobile. 
  • The plus points of this app over the other similar apps is, it connects super fast and detect the device without any hassle where many other tested apps fail. The interface is clean and easy to use. Uses very less memory.
  • The only app that may replace this is 'Software Data Cable', but it failed many times to detect  my mobile and failed to connect.
AppMgr III (App2SD)

If your device has less internal or internal application memory and you always run out of application memory and worry about moving the installed application to phone memory / internal SD card, this application will do that job for you and make it easy to free up every bit of memory.
Whenever you install a new application, it notifies if the application is moved to phone storage from application or phone internal memory.
  • The interface is clean, easy to use, big icons, you can sort the applications by size, installation date and name. 
  • There are separate tabs for apps installed SD card, phone storage only and movable apps so that you can easily decide while applications should be moved.
  • AppWereRabbit (Toolbox) could be an excellent alternative to AppMGR and offer more features than AppMGR like application list exporter and then you can install all applications from the list. 
  • You can transfer the list. It is a good way to share all the apps installed on one device with your friends. 
  • Apart from this, it also have feature of application backup, APK renamer and cache memory cleaner
  • But the main problem is, it does not offer the basic functionality correctly, that is moving application from internal memory to phone storage. It is very difficult to find out the movable applications and the interface for this basic feature is not good.
If in case you are still confused about phone internal memory and application memory and RAM please let me tell you. RAM is being a just like a your computers RAM used to process your working application data. The confusion is between internal memory and phone storage. 
The phone internal memory or also called as application memory is limited and is different for RAM and phone internal storage and external SD card.
For example, my phone have 512 MB RAM, 500 MB internal or application memory, 2 GB of phone storage which is fixed internal memory used to save all your files and other external SD memory card which is expandable up to 64 GB.

Clean Master (Cleaner)

This is an only maintenance tool that you should install on your android mobile or tablet. Many peoples install the task managers, task killer applications and the Google Play Store are full of similar application and I tell you, you really do not need any such application. Wondering why, Read this HTG article, why you do not need any task manager for Android.

The simple logic is Google have great Linux engineers and if this really works, Google would have already Installed the task killer in Android update.

  • The Clean Master is not a task manager. It is a simple cache cleaner and application Uninstaller.
  •  Just like Windows OS, when you uninstall an application, it keeps some trash folders on your phone memory, Clean Master completely remove such trash folders, application cache files, residual files
  • Easy cleaning of History and auto fill data forms with privacy cleaner. It does include Task killer but a take a very different approach and lists only those apps that are not in use for a very long time.
  • The interface is clean, simple, big icons and works smoothly. Never crashed and no annoying ads.
Avast Mobile security

This is the only security application available in Google Play store that is truly and completely free. Each and every feature is enabled by default and there is no upgrade or pro version. There are no advertise displayed and it is completely free to use.

  • Apart from automatic application scanner it has on demand internal and external memory virus scanner, web page scanner, message shield, previous advice, application manager, sms and call filter, Firewall and network meter and the most important  Anti-Theft feature.
  • You can disable the phone remotely if you lost it. You can get the current location, phone number if the SIM is changed and many such features that can help you find your phone and avoid possible privacy and data theft.
  • It works perfectly and scan every web page you access from any browser installed in your mobile.
  • It is a must have security application. Works great and silently.
Call Blocker

It is a simple call and SMS filter application. You can mute, reject incoming calls and messages. The blacklist and whitelist features make the application very customizable and you can block the calls as you want.
  • The feature of 'Phonebook only' all you accept only calls from the phone numbers those are already saved in  your phonebook / contacts. All other new numbers will be rejected.
  • The type of rejection is also different. You can either select complete hang up the phone or just silent the seal ring.
  • It allows you to save the different settings in profiles so that you can easily change the settings as per your need.
  • Though the interface is not so polished, the features and usability are really great and so I have included this application. If you think you keep your like away from unwanted calls, this is a must have app.
Cool Reader / Aldiko Reader

Cool Reader is the application that can read pub (non-DRM), fb2, doc, txt, rtf, html, chm, tcr, pdb, prc, mobi (non-DRM), pml formats. The other similar free applications like FBReader and Aldico reader are good but nothing comes close to Cool Reader.
  • It has built in library manager, file browser, book downloading function from various free ebook downloading websites like Project Gutenberg, Feedbooks and other. You can also add your own ebook downloading website and it can easily fetch the book file.
  • Superb background and text customization, night and day modes, auto scroll, brightness control, gesture control and built in audio reader for any book.
  • Aldiko Reader is also a similar and more smooth and polished interface. It also supports all the public libraries  and can read files stored in your phone memory. 
  • The only thing is that it does not support some of the file formats Cool Reader supports but then, who needs all those. If you are fine with the basic ePUB, PDF and TXT formats, I suggest you to go with Aldiko than Cool Reader.
Kindle and Kobo for Android applications are good if you are already using those services and does not need any introduction. Both do not support ePub format and only for property books form

Cloud Storage

I am still the fan of good old Dropbox though it offers only 2GB as compared to 25GB from Skydrive ( I have a very old account), 5GB from Box and 5 GB from Google Drive. There are other apps also. It is the matter of choice, which one you should use. All those works well with all Android versions.
  • As everyone know, all Google services have some advantage with Android, same is the case with Google Drive. It has built in file viewer and you do not have to install third party office suite to view Word, Spreadsheet and other office files.
  • If you are Dropbox user, you need to install the respective office application. Same is the case with Skydrive and Box.
  • You can save files for offline access in Google Drive and Dropbox very easily. Google Drive have direct opt in to save for offline access and to download the file for offline use in Dropbox just, make it 'Favorite' by adding a file to 'Favorite'.
Evernote & Google Keep

Both are the notes taking application. You must have Evernote application in your mobile and Evernote extension in your browser. Google Keep is a new member of this space and have integration with your Google account and Google Drive.
  • Google launches such services to kill the established small services, migrate users to its network and then kill the service and integrate it with Google Plus.
  • If you don't worry about such fool things and not already using Evernote, you can install Google Keep. It has a great color tile interface.
  • Both Google Keep and Evernote has an ability to create text, image and voice based notes
  • You can also dictate the note to create a text note.
  • Both applications have similar features but the Evernote has a limit of 60 MB per month for free account but Google Keep do not have any such limit. 
  • Google Keep can not be used in your desktop browsers and you can not use it to take clippings from web pages.
  • Another thing is, No any Google application, whether it is a Google Chrome of Android, Keep, Google Plus, Drive or anything can not be moved to external memory, uses too much RAM. If your mobile has very strict hardware resources, use Evernote and even if you have tremendously powered Android device, use Evernote.
  • If you just want to make fun with your notes, use Google Keep.

Many users compare Pocket with Evernote and ask for the difference. First let me tell you, Pocket has no any alternative. Evernote is completely different in every manner. Evernote is a note taking application and out of many other types of notes, Web page clipping is a way of creating a note.
  • Pocket is different. Pocket is previously known as 'Read It Later'. 
  • It saves the complete web page for reading it later. The application can be used as a note taking application but not the clipping of a web page but a complete page. 
  • The Pocket application offer to read you the complete webpage along with images on your device with clean readable 'article' view and that also in OFFLINE mode.
  • You do not need internet connection to read the saved pages. If any of the page is updated from the time when you saved the page, you can set the way like 'push' or 'manual' update of those pages.
  • You can install the packet extension on your desktop browser like Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera and send any webpage to your pocket account. The webpage will be instantly pushed to the device application and you can read it later when you have time.
Automate IT

If you have used IFTTT, a web automation service, you can imagine, what is AutomateIT. If certain conditions are true, it will trigger any specified action. For example, if there is not any Wi-Fi network available for 5 minutes, turn off the Wi-Fi radio on mobile. Here, not availability of the network is trigger and turning off the radio on the device is an action.
  • This is mere an example. You just imagine the automation and it is already available in AutomateIT library. There are thousands of predefined rules and triggers library. 
  • You can either use what is already available to you can create your own and if want, can share with others.
  • It is an advanced way of customizing and tweaking your device, so be sure what you are doing is your device may not work correctly.
Expense manager

Managing your daily expenses and monthly budget is a great way to make productive use of your mobile.
There is a huge crop of experience manger or daily financial budgeting apps and no any free app is perfect and the great one are paid. 

Still then Toshl Finance Budget and Expence, Expense Manager and Expense Tracker Plus are cool once.

Toshl Finance is the best out of all but it is not a completely Free application. There is only one feature that is blocked in free application and that is you can not add multiple income entries in a single month. But then you can calculate the income from different sources, edit the income amount and write the details of income in the description. 
If you are comfortable with this trick, Toshl is the greatest application compared with anything available in this category. Super clean and easiest interface. Large buttons, such in the cloud with your account, available on all major platforms.

The other alternatives are the Expense manager and Expense Tracker. Expense manager is not so great but have everything. Only problem is, the interface is very bad. You have to find, how to find, how to delete an entry, where to find the summary and so on. Buttons are very small and not at all optimized for the touch interface. It needs more polish.

Expense Tracker is also a better way to manage your daily expenses. It has predefined list of income and expense category and much easier to use than Expense Manager. If you do not like Toshl, Expence Tracke should be your second preference.


The android's stock browser is not at all bad. It has everything you need. Sync, bookmark, page sharing, offline reading and such basic feature. But no one is happy with it and finding the best browser will be the question forever.

Google Chrome, again a relatively new entry as compared to Dolphin, Opera and Firefox still grabbing the user base. Google Chrome needs huge system resources, around 65 MB internal application memory after installation, Android 4.0 ICS or 4.1 Jelly Bean version. It syncs with your bookmarks and tabs with a desktop Chrome browser. 
The latest version has data saving compression feature just like Opera Turbo. Everything works perfectly. If you have a powerful enough device, go for it. But if you are not, Firefox for Android is also a great browser.

Firefox for Android has the same strong point just like its desktop version, the extensions. You can customize and add more functionality to Firefox for Android with extensions and add-ons. The page rendering speed is good and every webpage opened correctly without any problem.

That was not the case with Dolphine browser. Actually dolphin is the most downloaded browser that anything else in Android play store but many times it fail to open some web pages and keep the rolling circle. 

Dolphin Browser has many add-on can be customized. The bookmarks and tabs are saved in the cloud. It has built in cloud services integration. If it opens every web page, its really good browser, mere 5 MB as compared to 65 MB of chrome.

Opera Mobile, Opera Mini and Opera Webkit Beta are the best alternatives all above. Opera mini is a must have browser if you have metered data connection or slow speed. Nothing comes close to it in respect of data compression and speed.

Opera Mobile is also having good speed, has built in turbo feature, better interface. Now the Opera Webkit Beta is a new addition to the Opera family. It has superb features even better than the Chrome.
Choose wisely.

Feedly and gReader

Google Reader will go offline in July and everyone is in search of better alternatives. After trying many options available Feedly and gReader and the final contestants. 
  • Feedly is a winner and GReader is runner up. Feedly have a desktop extension which is synced with your Android application. gReader do not have. 
  • Both have clean interface but the horizontal sweep of Feedly will make you addicted to it. 
  • GReader has many extra features like offline saving of feed, exact similar title only look of the original Google Reader app but still then Feedly have a more clean and smooth working.
Social Networks
  • The official applications of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google Plus are just perfect and you do not need any third party application. 
  • If you have a Facebook Page for your blog or website, Page Manger is the only option. Facebook messenger is an additional bonus to chat with your friends.
  • Google Plus comes preinstalled on your device, all other your have to download manually.
  • If you have a blog on Tumblr platform or you do follow many blogs from Tumblr, the official Tumblr application for Android is the best way.
VLC for Android Beta

The stock video player of Android does not support many video formats and so you need an all rounder. VLC has guts to play everything you throw at it. 


Good file browser, various gesture controls for volume, play speed and excellent interface to browse your music and video collection make it the perfect choice over MX player though you may try the latter one.

What's App Messanger

What's app has more users than Twitter and more messages than Facebook. If you are an Android, you must have used it so why should I tell you more. You may not be using it but if you are unaware of it, you should stop using your Smartphone.


Sometimes you may download a zipped file over the web or you may need to send multiple file as attachment to email, ZArchiver is the best compression and decompression utility available free.

Super backup

A super simple way to backup your application APK's, SMS, call logs, address / contact / phone book, calender and bookmarks. After you create a backup file it offer you to upload the file to the cloud or send it as an email attachment.

You can change the default backup location to external SD card. There are may super heavy featured backup softwares like Titanium backup, but I don't need it.

Kingsoft office

A perfect and only application that is totally and full featured completely Free. No any other office application is free and offers such features. It supports all the Microsoft office file formats like doc, ppt, xls and txt. It can also be used as a PDF viewer and you can insert bookmarks in the PDF files.
The built in file browser work just fine.

  • Writer or a word processor works great and have all the basic required features. It also allows you to save the file as a PDF. 
  • The files of older versions can be converted into new version MS office files like .DOC file can be saved into .DOCX format and similar with presentation and spreadsheet files.
  • There is no any other comparable free option of office application in Google Play store.
  • You can directly save and access files from any cloud storage service like Dropbox, Skydrive, Google Drive or Box or any other. Files can be shared to social networks from within the application.
My tracks

A Google application in the health and fitness category. The minimal and simple to use interface is the power of this application. The track recording is automatically saved to your google drive account and you can access the record anytime later. It can record your speed, elevation, total distance travelled and cam mark the start and end point of your travel on the Google Maps. It is simple to use and completely free.

App Share

There is no any way to send the installed application file (APK) from one android to another android device. Share apps offer a way to send the APK of installed application to another android device via Bluetooth. Other that this, you can share the application download link in the Play store on any other social network with your friends.


Facebook messenger just started to offer voice calls to your friends on Facebook but the service is available only in the USA and it will take much time to get the update all over the world. But till then, Skype is the only and reliable way to call your loved ones for completely free.

  • Only thing is both of you should have a Skype account. Calls to other Skype users are free where ever they are in the world. 20 video calls are also free. 
  • If you are using any Microsoft service like Hotmail, Outlook, SkyDrive or something like that, you already have a Skype account. You can log in to Skype with those credentials and no need to sign up a new account.
  • The sound quality is crystal clear and depends upon your data connection speed.
TuneIn Radio

I don't know Pandora! Whatever your language, country or interest, there is a music, news and talks, podcasts for you on Tune-In-Radio. It is a free application to allow you to listen to the radio channels across the world. You can save your favorite music station for easy future access. The stream is clear and you can change the bitrate quality to match your data connection speed.


Every major newspaper and TV news channel have their own official news application. But then you can try out the comprehensive applications those fetch the news from all the sources. Flipboard, Pulse News and News 360 takes your news reader application to the next lever with their great interface.

Flipboard and Pulse news are much famous but the News 360 may amaze you with its great pictures and the way it is presented. You should also not forget the new comer Google Currents.

Tech News Apps

If you are a tech geek, blogger or just like to know everything from the world of technology, you should take a look at the Currently Tech News, HN, Reddit News Free and again News 360. 

Currently Tech News application fetches news from famous websites like Mashable, GigaOm, PCWorld, The Verge, The Next Web and many other but what makes it unique is the news are ranked according to the number of shares of particular news. 
HN is an unofficial application for Y Combinator's Hackers News. If you visit HN on regularly, this is a most optimized application for HN.

SwiftKey Keyboard Free

It is free for one year and after that you have to buy it. Install it first. Try it and then you will get addicted to it and feel the stock android keyboard another planet. It will make entering text a breeze. More you use it, more you get perfection.

Elixir 2

This is a complete hardware system information application. It can tell you everything from memory to device makers to various sensors installed on the device and even their manufacturers. It is a complete suite.


Keepass password safe is my favorite and must have open source free application for Windows. Though it is not officially available for Android, many enthusiast developers have ported it and the best one is KeePassDroid. Works perfectly and you can rely on it.


Don't want to read? No problem. Whatever you throw at it, a webpage, RSS feed, a document file it will read it for you. The most sophisticated way to listen to your favorite websites.

Do you like the least? What are your favorite applications? Please reply.
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