Android apps: Install these on your new smartphone

Simply obtained a brand new Android smartphone for the vacations? If it’s your first one it may very well be somewhat intimidating so, to get you began, listed here are 5 apps it’s best to instantly set up or arrange on a brand new Android machine. Alternatively, in case you’re not already utilizing these apps, it may be time to present them a shot!

Up your messaging sport

Google Messages (RCS)

Within the US a minimum of, messaging has historically been a sore level of Android smartphones. Fortunately, Google has been arduous at work making an attempt to repair that in current months and now, the answer often called RCS (Wealthy Communication Companies) is accessible to each Android smartphone on the earth as of this 12 months.

How will you get RCS in your machine and, extra importantly, what’s the profit? The profit, firstly, is that RCS is rather more succesful than SMS/MMS. Photos could be despatched in larger high quality, typing indicators, and extra all arrive with RCS. Group chats additionally get an enormous improve too. Principally, RCS is like Apple’s iMessage, however for Android telephones.

To get RCS in your Android cellphone, all it’s essential do is obtain Google Messages. The free app is an SMS app at coronary heart, however in choose international locations together with the US, it could possibly additionally allow RCS messaging on any provider and any Android smartphone too. Merely obtain, set it as your default SMS app, and look forward to the immediate to activate RCS. We’ve obtained a extra detailed tutorial on the method as effectively.

Telegram & Discord

If you’d like an app for even higher messaging, you possibly can transcend the standard RCS and SMS. Telegram is one among our favourite messaging apps and it really works quite a bit just like the tremendous standard WhatsApp. Not like that app, although, Telegram works simply on a number of smartphones or tablets at one time and backs up all your messages mechanically. Plus, all the things remains to be encrypted end-to-end and you’ve got each voice and video calls accessible.

Discord is one other nice messaging various, providing non-public messages in addition to “servers” to host a number of associates or a whole bunch, all with rooms and chat admins. It’s an important expertise, and one which’s particularly glorious for players.

Staying linked in a pandemic

Google Duo

2020 has been a loopy 12 months, however sadly we’re getting into 2021 nonetheless with a pandemic occurring. With that in thoughts, video calling apps are nonetheless among the best and most secure methods to communicate with family members.

Among the finest Android apps for video calling is Google Duo. The utterly free app makes it tremendous simple to start out video calls on Android telephones and tablets in addition to Chromebooks, computer systems, and even iOS units. Consider it as Apple’s Facetime, however not locked down to at least one ecosystem. The app works together with your cellphone quantity or your electronic mail tackle and options enjoyable filters and even display screen sharing on some units. It’s greatest characteristic although, would possibly simply be how effectively it really works on less-than-ideal connections.

Google Duo


Probably the most standard video calling/conferencing instruments through the pandemic to date has been Zoom. By its recognition alone, that is an app it’s best to have put in. The service presents conferences you can hook up with with only a hyperlink or a password, simply connecting with family members, associates, or utilizing it for enterprise conferences. Many faculties are additionally utilizing Zoom for distant studying. It’s a robust app, and one which’s not going to value you something except you’re the one internet hosting.

Meet, Skype, Fb Messenger

Different nice apps for video calling going into 2021 embody:

  • Google Meet, an app that works quite a bit like Zoom however is connected to your Google account and could be very standard particularly with faculties.
  • Skype, one of many authentic video calling apps that also works nice particularly for family and friends.
  • Fb Messenger, a service that a number of folks within the US at the moment use and has a wonderful video calling choice alongside its messaging options.

Again up your footage and movies

Google Images

One of many first issues it’s best to set up on a brand new Android smartphone – or an iPhone for that matter – is Google Images. For the overwhelming majority of Android customers, the app will probably be pre-installed in your machine, however you’ll nonetheless have to get issues arrange.

google photos app android logo icon

To try this, merely open the app, sign up together with your most well-liked Google account, and determine on backup choices. Images will mechanically backup your footage and movies within the background, however you’ll want to inform it in order for you that carried out over Wi-Fi solely or on mobile information as effectively.

From there, you’ll simply have to determine on high quality. For the following a number of months, all the things is backed as much as Google Images with no limits for “high-quality,” barely compressed backups, however in June you’ll want a Google One subscription to retailer something previous 15GB of knowledge.

If you wish to backup your photographs outdoors of Google, among the best choices is Amazon Images which gives no-frills backups and, for Prime clients, limitless storage for photographs.

Improve your keyboard


The keyboards pre-installed on numerous right now’s hottest Android smartphones are, effectively, not nice. We’ve specific qualms about LG’s particularly, however in any case, you will get extra options and in lots of circumstances higher performance out of a distinct keyboard.

Our high decide? Google’s personal Gboard. This keyboard has an important structure that’s comfy for typers of all kinds and helps options akin to gesture/swipe typing, GIF search and enter, and a lot extra. There are even distinctive options such because the current addition of the “Emoji Kitchen” which might create some wacky emoji stickers on the fly. It’s also possible to theme Gboard to your coronary heart’s need.

google gboard android voice typing

Put merely, it’s a wonderful keyboard that’s completely free and, if it wasn’t already in your cellphone, it’s one it’s best to completely strive.


If Gboard isn’t fairly your fashion, there’s one other nice choice on the Play Retailer in SwiftKey. This third-party keyboard has been one of the standard Android apps because the platform’s app retailer was a factor. Not too long ago acquired by Microsoft, the app presents glorious gesture typing and options the neat trick of studying and adapting to your typing fashion and your spelling errors too. SwiftKey helps over 400 languages and is free.

Don’t lose your cellphone or your information

Discover My Gadget

Right here’s one other app that ought to already be put in on any new Android smartphone. “Discover my Gadget” is a Google app designed that can assist you hold observe of your smartphone ought to it’s misplaced. If the app isn’t put in in your machine for some purpose, it’s accessible through the Play Retailer.

While you open up Discover My Gadget, you’ll be prompted to sign up with a Google account and enter your password as effectively. As soon as that’s carried out, you’ll have the ability to see your machine in addition to any others connected to your account. You’ll be able to then ring, lock, or wipe any machine in your account. The identical applies in your new cellphone as effectively from some other Android machine you personal, a buddy’s Android cellphone, and even only a internet browser. As a aspect observe, the core performance of really discovering your cellphone with this app is on by default in Google Play Companies, however utilizing the app you’ll get a bit extra management in addition to with the ability to discover your different Android units via the app in addition to serving to associates to seek out their telephones.

Google One

In case you do lose or break your cellphone, you don’t must lose your information. That’s the place Google One turns out to be useful. With any Google One storage plan (beginning at simply $2/month), you’ll get improved backups of your cellphone. By default, Android already backs up core information at no cost to your Google account, however the One app can again up SMS messages and MMS messages alongside together with your photographs and movies.

Hold observe of your Digital Wellbeing


Lastly, let’s discuss smartphone habits. For a lot of, smartphone dependancy is an actual drawback and going into a brand new decade, there are methods to assist curb that – Digital Wellbeing apps. There would possibly already be one put in in your machine however, if not, ActionDash is a free Digital Wellbeing app for Android smartphones that works on virtually any machine. The app tracks how you utilize your cellphone via the day together with which apps are used, what number of instances you’ve unlocked your machine, and even what number of notifications you get.

To assist curb your smartphone use, ActionDash presents instruments akin to pausing apps to maintain you from utilizing them, limiting how lengthy an app can be utilized every day and extra. The whole lot is finished on-device and isn’t uploaded to the cloud and, higher but, the app is free and received’t damage your battery both. ActionDash is accessible on Google Play.

actiondash digital wellbeing android app

Google’s Digital Wellbeing experiments

In case you actually have a smartphone dependancy and also you need to discover a method to guilt your self into stopping, Google’s assortment of Digital Wellbeing experiments would possibly have the ability to assist. These embody:

  • Display Stopwatch, a wallpaper that continuously updates with the period of time you’ve been utilizing your cellphone that day.
  • Exercise Bubbles, a wallpaper that reveals what number of instances you unlock your cellphone in a day and how lengthy every “session” lasts.
  • Unlock Clock, a wallpaper that counts what number of instances you’ve opened up your cellphone every day.

The very best note-taking Android apps

Google Hold Notes

Preserving observe of reminders, lists, and extra could be made a lot simpler by utilizing a note-taking app. Personally, my favourite note-taking app on Android is Google Hold Notes and it’s one thing that simply appears to maintain getting higher over time.

Google Hold is totally free and allows you to retailer notes, lists, and even drawings within the app. These notes are additionally synced to your Google account which implies you possibly can entry them on some other machine together with computer systems. With a fast setup, you possibly can even use Google Assistant audio system such because the Nest Mini to handle a procuring record!

Google Keep downloads

Microsoft OneNote

If you’d like one thing that’s not from Google and has a number of extra superior options, Microsoft OneNote is a superb choice. The app is totally free, although works higher with different Microsoft apps utilizing a Microsoft 365 subscription. You’ll be able to again up notes, drawings, and insert footage within the app and, like Google’s app, they’ll sync throughout units together with your Microsoft account.

A Few Extra Noteworthy Apps:

  • Waze: Whereas Google Maps will do the trick for a lot of, Waze presents crowdsourced stay site visitors information and reviews for pace traps and extra.
  • Google Information: Particularly in these instances, maintaining with the most recent information is vital, and utilizing customized information, Google Information will convey you high tales in a slick app that’s very easy to make use of.
  • Feedly: Wish to hold observe of the information utilizing customized RSS feeds? Feedly is among the greatest apps for the job, and it’s free!
  • LastPass: All of us have a ton of passwords and on-line safety is vital. In case you need assistance managing your passwords, LastPass is a simple, free, and most significantly safe choice. 1Password can also be a wonderful app for this objective, however it requires a charge.
  • Google Dwelling/Amazon Alexa: Received some good residence audio system or shows? You’ll need to have the Google Dwelling or Amazon Alexa apps put in relying on what units you personal.
  • Get a Third-party launcher: Putting in a brand new launcher is a good way to totally customise the homescreen in your new Android cellphone. Nova Launcher and Motion Launcher are nice choices for this.

Extra on Android:

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