Android is the most popular mobile OS in the world, providing hundreds of smartphones with a clean and fast operating system that is based around Google. Android comes with its own app store - the Google Play Store. Using this, Android smartphone owners have the pick of the very best and most diverse app library available. No matter what you use your smartphone for, the huge amount of variety of apps available on the Google Play Store means you’re guaranteed to find something you like. Here’s the best of what the store has to offer.
With the amount of power modern smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and the iPhone 7 are packing, it's no surprise that games make up a huge part of the Google Play Store. With so many to choose from, it’s tough to separate the wheat from the chaff. Here’s the best of what’s currently out.
Lara Croft: GO
Even if you’re not into your games, you’re probably familiar with the Tomb Raider series. Intrepid adventurer Lara Croft is now on Android with a different type of Tomb Raider game. Lara Croft GO has you solving puzzles based around getting Lara from A to B, with plenty of obstacles on your way. Moving one tile at a time, you’ll fight monsters, collect relics and avoid falling into pits as you traverse through the game. Best of all, Lara Croft: GO is a paid app, less than the price of a coffee, so you don’t have to worry about annoying ads or microtransactions.
This mega-hit card battler from legendary games developer Blizzard has taken the world by storm on the PC, and is also available on the Google Play Store. Hearthstone tasks you with creating a deck of fantasy monsters (from the Warcraft franchise) and battling other players. The game is almost the definition of “easy to learn, hard to master”, with addictive gameplay that you can lose hours to. The free download lets you try the game before putting in any money, meaning anyone can give Hearthstone a go.
Rarely do Android games require you to look up from your phone, making Heads Up a rare treat. This party game allows you to play with a number of people, even with just one phone. Using the actual smartphone in an interesting way, Heads Up is a version of charades that asks the player to hold the phone up to their head with the answer. The player must then take a guess based on the clues other players give. This simple but very fun game is great for parties or even if you’re just bored at work. Best of all - it’s free.
We all use our phones every day, which makes them important tools for work as well as play. The Google Play Store offers a huge number of apps that can improve your work life and productivity, making working on the go easy and simple. Whether you’re always on your Android phone or just use it once a day, The Google Play Store has something you’ll need to use at some point.
The majority of Android phones come built-in with Google Docs, but if this isn’t your preferred word processor, Microsoft Word is also available to download on the Google Play Store. Much like the desktop version, Word mobile offers a number of options when it comes to word processing, making writing on the go feel like a home from home. Everything you’d expect from Word is here, with a consistent layout, Microsoft Cloud features and easy readability. This makes Word a must-download for Android owners.
One of the best aspects of owning an Android device is the customisation options. The home screen allows you to add widgets that can totally change how you use your phone and make constantly re-opening apps a thing of the past. The ColorNote Notepad app does just this - allowing you to post notes directly onto your homescreen without having to open the Notes app. This is ideal for everyday tasks such as shopping lists, to-do lists and reminders. Plus, with a number of colour and font options at your disposal, this handy little app is an essential.
Browsing the web on your phone is one of the most common ways to do so in 2017. Whilst bookmarking options on browsers can be helpful, it may mean you’re stuck with something you were just saving for later hanging around on your list. Pocket allows you to bypass bookmarks, meaning you can save the things you want to read later without having to go through the process. In a hurry but want to save a page? Simply tap the button to save it to Pocket for you to read later. Best of all, Pocket syncs between your phone, tablet and computer, allowing you to save something on the go and read it when you get home. Plus, it works with a number of browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox.
Smartphones are supremely helpful creations that can help us with work and leisure, but what about everything in-between? The Google Play Store offers a number of apps that help you get through your day easier, making smaller parts of your life simpler and more fun. Whether it’s waking up, working out resting easy, finding something that suits you on the Google Play Store is a breeze.
Whilst all Android devices allow you to set an alarm, AlarmMon offers a new and fun take on something that everyone needs to do - get up in the morning. This is the most popular alarm app on the Google Play Store for a good reason. AlarmMon allows you to set an alarm, but gives you a short game to play when it goes off. Complete the game, and you’ll receive an award. As well as preventing you from hitting the snooze button over and over again, AlarmMon makes waking up into a game. With each game completed, you’ll receive currency that you can use to unlock more games and characters. If you need a little extra help getting up, AlarmMon is ideal.
Sleep as Android
As well as apps for when you wake up, the Google Play Store also has apps to offer for when you’re asleep. Sleep as Android is an app that records you as you sleep, picking up on any sounds you make during the night. Whilst this might not seem like something you’re interested in hearing, you’ll be surprised what you discover. Sleep as Android also monitors your sleep pattern to give you a better night’s rest, with an alarm system that wakes you up suddenly or gently depending on your preferences.
The Google Play Store is filled with apps for health, such as calorie counters, step counters and recipe ideas. Lifesum blends all of these ideas into one simple, easy to use app that’s free to install. As well as counting your steps and your calories, you’ll also get reminders to drink more water, feedback on your diet, overviews of your nutrition and body summaries to show how you’re progressing. Lifesum is also compatible with a number of wearable smart devices, such as the FitBit and the Samsung Gear Fit.