First published: 2013-09-10 • Last modified: 2019-09-18

This is a small collection of some of the apps that I personally have installed on my Android device - currently a Samsung A30 running Android 9.0. 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 or trial versions, however I generally have paid versions where possible.

Solid Explorer
Any smartphone user worth a pinch of sh*t should have a decent file manager installed, and this is one of 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, and much more.

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.

Nova Launcher
Nova Launcher is very similar to the stock Android launcher, but with a LOT more customization options. Nova 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.

This is an awesome, lightweight little gallery app that 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.

Yatse is a Kodi remote control app that fully manages all of your devices. It's not only simple, beautiful and fast, but also provides everything you have always wanted to enhance your usage of Kodi. A great app that is well worth paying for if you use Kodi Media Centre.

Tasks is a beautifully simple, free todo list, task list and reminder app that will help keep your busy life organised everyday. Get started in no time, quickly and easily add new tasks as you think of them using quick add. This sleek todo list app is a great replacement for Moogly.

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.

One of the better keyboard apps - Gboard has everything you love about Google Keyboard - speed and reliability, Glide Typing, voice typing, and more - plus Google Search built in. None of these dang keyboard apps are perfect but this one is pretty good.

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

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.

Finally, a couple of screenshots. The first is my current home screen setup with icon text and dock disabled through Nova Launcher settings. The second screenshot is my app drawer, again customized with Nova settings for simplicity and less clutter.

2019-09-18: Removed Moogly & Kore, added Tasks & Yatse. New phone again, new screenshots again.
2018-08-14: New phone, new screenshots.
2018-07-20: Removed ES File Explorer & Apex Launcher, added Solid Explorer & Nova Launcher. New screenshots.
2018-06-30: Removed Yatse and Power Toggles. Added Kore and Gboard.
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 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.