Published: 2013-09-10
Modified: 2017-06-12

This is a small collection of some of the apps that I personally have installed on my Android device (currently a Motorola Moto G3 running CyanogenMod 13 - based on Android 6.0.1). These are not the only apps I use, but they are the ones I wouldn't be without. They are all free or have free versions, however I generally have the paid versions where possible.

1. ES File Explorer
Any smartphone user worth a pinch of poop should have a decent file manager installed, and this is the best. Use it to move files around on your phone's internal storage or SD card, browse network shares, play audio files, view pics, install/remove apps, and much more. Play Store: ES File Explorer

2. Google Chrome
A good browser for your smartphone is definitely essential. Chrome is pretty much the default on most Android devices these days, but in case you don't have it here it is. It's a solid browser with features like syncing across devices, translate, and incognito mode. Play Store: Google Chrome

3. Apex Launcher
Apex Launcher is very similar to the stock Android launcher, but with a LOT more customization options. Apex will be especially useful for Samsung/HTC device owners who prefer the stock Android look over the crappy TouchWiz or Sense interfaces on their phones. Play Store: Apex Launcher

4. QuickPic
This is an awesome, lightweight little gallery app which replaces the stock gallery on all my Android devices. It has great sorting options, the ability to hide specific folders, slideshow, and lots of other goodies. Best of all it's tiny, shiny, smooth, super fast, and easy to use. Play Store: QuickPic

5. Yatse
If you have a Kodi (formerly XBMC) Media Center, you definitely want Yatse. It's an all-in-one remote for your HTPC with an easy to use remote pad, gesture support, and offline media library browsing. It really is a very polished and smooth app, do yourself a favour and give it a try. Play Store: Yatse

6. To Do List Widget
Formerly 'Moogly', this is a very handy little To Do List app. Set it up on one of your home screens and always have easy access to a useful, cool-looking To Do widget. There are many apps of this type but I found this one so good I purchased the paid version. Play Store: To Do List Widget

7. JuiceSSH
The all in one terminal client for Android including SSH, Local Shell, Mosh and Telnet support. Very useful for connecting to SSH servers from your Android device. Has a great little pop-up keyboard feature that has commonly used keys such as arrows, CTRL, TAB, etc. Play Store: JuiceSSH

8. Power Toggles
A very cool advanced power control widget. Contains 40+ toggles including Wifi, Mobile Data, Bluetooth, Flashlight, and many more. Supports homescreen widgets and notification widget. Very customizable, looks great, works perfectly, and is free with no ads. Play Store: Power Toggles

9. Pixlr
Pixlr is a fun and powerful photo editor that lets you quickly crop, rotate, and fine-tune any picture. Choose from over 2 million combinations of effects, overlays, and borders to personalize your image. This is the best and most comprehensive free photo editing app for Android. Play Store: Pixlr

10. Google PDF Viewer
Google's no muss, no fuss PDF viewer for Android. View, print, search and copy text from PDF documents while you're on the go. Note: the app currently doesn't install a menu item - PDFs have to be opened directly from a File Manager, etc. Play Store: Google PDF Viewer

Finally, a couple of screenshots. The first is my current setup on the Moto G3 using the Belle UI icon pack, with icon text and dock disabled through Apex Launcher settings. The second screenshot is my app drawer, again customized with Belle UI icons and Apex settings.

2017-05-09: Removed Google Messenger and Shuttle. Updated screenshots.
2015-05-17: Removed Nova, Light Flow, Zooper, Silent Time, Carbon, 8SMS, DoubleTwist, Greenify. Added Apex, Messenger, Shuttle, PDF Viewer.
2014-05-31: Removed Dashlight and Dolphin Browser, added Pixlr Express and Google Chrome.
2014-05-18: Minor corrections, new phone & screenshot.
2013-11-30: Updated screenshots and other minor adjustments.
2013-10-14: Removed Hacker's Keyboard, Connectbot. Added JuiceSSH, Carbon, Power Toggles, 8sms, doubleTwist, Greenify.