Android owner? Whether you’re new to the wide and wonderful world that is the Android marketplace, or a veteran by all rights, if you own a smartphone you probably know by now that apps make life easier. There are must-haves, like Google Maps, Spotify and Facebook, that it’s likely you already use – and often. But what do you know about all the other thousands of Android apps out there, who exist to help make your everyday routine all the more bearable?

From to-do app’s to weather updates, Android really has it all. Which ones to pick, though? We’re kicking off this delightful summer with a handcrafted assortment of our favorite, best Android apps – served piping hot.

Our Favorite Android Apps of 2018

Life’s nuts. No one can dispute that. There is so much sensory overload that those of us in contemporary society undergo in any given day. For instance; did you know that the average American is subtly exposed to more than 1,000 ads on an average day? When you really sit back and think about it; those numbers are staggering. And that’s just in our subconscious. Add in all the constant technological communication, in-person interactions, and responsibilities we carry and it’s too easy to feel overwhelmed.

Which is why we all could use a dash of mindfulness amidst our busy, manic routines. Introducing app for Android phones that will help…

  1. Headspace

A guided meditation app, Headspace’s model is a bit of a dream. Made highly appealing by a very sophisticated, clean design and basic user experience, Headspace offers short, daily programs intended to take you through meditative techniques and mindfulness. It also incorporates a system of reminders to help keep you on track with your new practices. Headspace uses well-made animated graphics to explain meditative ideas in a way that encourages active participation.

Aimed at new or recent beginners in the world of mindfulness, Headspace takes the user through courses which are tailored for not only beginners, but also more advanced levels, as the core product offering focuses on identifying mindfulness in everyday activities, and in performance. This includes practices taught about how to be mindful with daily tasks like eating or working out, and with exercises of personal creativity; such as happiness or finding balance in life.

Concerning price – this awesome Android app is initially a free product, but if you really want to get the most out of it, you probably want to go for the paid plan. That can total anywhere from $5.74 to $14.95 a month, which features vary depending on the type of plan you decide to go with. If you want to start with just the free, Headspace offers ten minutes daily of guided meditation over the course of ten days.

Bottom line? Headspace is a fantastic solution for helping increase your personal productivity, and well worth the investment.

  1. Pocket

This app began as a service called Read It Later – which did pretty much what you’d expect, based on its namesake. RIL allowed users to speedily save articles to, well, read later. Pocket became the new brand based on the core concept when RIL expanded to include more than just written text, but videos and the like. Outfitted with a sensational design, the app is partially Web-based; meaning, in order to use the Pocket app itself, one must first use it on their desktop. How it essentially works is pretty straightforward; once you sign up, you install Pocket via web extension or install a bookmark link. The desktop is where you’ll be saving all the articles, videos, or pages you want to read later. Here’s where the mobile app comes in – once you’ve downloaded Pocket to your computer, you can view all the things you’ve saved via any device, using the app for Android phones.

As for pricing, it’s free, and the free product makes it one of the best android phone apps (in our humble opinion). But, Pocket also offers a premium model, costing an annual fee of $44.99. This particular advantage allows for an ad-free experience, creates a permanent resource or “library,” of all the things that you’ve saved, and finally, it gives you an Advanced Search operator/topic search so you can find things you want, and quickly.

So – we put our stamp of approval on this handy-dandy app, as overall ease of navigating the Internet is significantly improved thanks to Pocket.

  1. Zomato

Clean design, and navigation-friendly interface? Check. Fresh and innovative take on a tried-and-true product offering? Check. An app that just makes life a lot more enjoyable? Check.

Zomato is a Blackberry app which ranks high on our “best android phone apps of 2018,” list. A free app that basically does all the decision-making for your food preferences, Zomato is comparable to a really slick, restaurant optimized, Google Maps. When you click on the app’s home screen, you have the option between three simple choices. The first is “Discover;” which basically spotlights your location on a map, and has Zomato spit out a random high-rated restaurant nearby for you to give a go. The second option is, “Explore;” for those of us who want to find our own restaurant, this option merely lists all nearby food eateries in the area. Finally, the third option goes by, “Search;” which, as you’d expect, gives the user a chance to find restaurants by name, type of food, or even a location. Whether you’re based in Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Austin, Seattle or anyplace in the United States, or if you’re based out of the 22 other countries that Zomato operates in, this app is the one to get.

Zomato is a winner for all of us out there who are just happy to have an easy, free way to discover great eats in our vicinities.

Top Rated Android Apps

Can’t really discuss the Best Android Apps of 2018 without bringing in those with fire reviews, though. We perused the Internet, high and low, to find a few of the top rated Android apps of the year, both new and old, for you to consider.

With no further ado – here those are:

  1. ESPN

Lover of sports? According to TechRadar, this is the best Google Play app for you. A free way to keep up with all the sports hype and cycle of news updates, ESPN lets you pick your favorite teams in basically every main sport and get instant access to team stats, performance scores, and any big news attached to them in the blink of an eye.

It’s basically one nifty area for everything you could possibly need to know about your fav teams at a glance – decorated with breaking news in relation, headlines, videos, notifications for updates and more.

  1. Microsoft Word

Did you know that there’s a handy Microsoft app for those of us who are well accustomed to working on our phone’s or tablets? It’s there, and available, and according to those who use it – this one’s another top pick for best Android apps.

Basically what it offers is the full Word version in your mobile app – including all base features of font, style, and flexibility, equal to its desktop counterpart. Reportedly, its pleasantly easy to use, too!

You do need a Microsoft Office subscription to use the app, but if you have one, you can get the app for free, or if you don’t, you have the option to get one and pay anywhere from $6.99 a month.

  1. Yummly

Recipes are as easy to access as a simple Google search. The tricky part is when we want a combination of great food, with dietary limits or exclusions. Or perhaps when we are particular about the ingredients we like to cook with. That’s when Yummly comes in. The free mobile app allows you to set up a user profile, saving all of your dietrary restrictions or requirements, and overall food preferences. Don’t like onions? Not a fan of avocado? The list is endless with our food preferences, and Yummly is there to cater to us; pun intended.

It gets even better – the app offers filters of high-level specifics for those of us that want our food to be JUST right. It lets you select how spicy or sweet or salty something is, if you want to control the number of calories or carbs per dish, what equipment you want to use, and even specifics around dish cooking time. According to its rave reviews from a big loyal userbase, Yummly is ideal if you know what you want and don’t want in a meal. From start to finish!

The app boasts over a million recipes in its library for you to select from once those filters are all in place, which again boosts it to yet another good app in a sea of average ones.

  1. Letterboxd

It ain’t all about food though. What else do We the People adore, if not good cinematic entertainment? Introducing one of the top rated Android apps – the one and the only Letterboxd. This is the Android app for film lovers. It’s like a Tumblr/Pinterest hybrid of a social media page that allows film buffs to swap and share film reviews, track what movies have been seen and which ones are on that “to-be-viewed” list, and to learn about other films you’ve never even heard about.

Letterboxd operates in a list-like style function – where users make tons of lists that are easily browsable by others. Following other people and their lists are a given, and this is how the network builds up connects between its customers. Reviews rave about accessibility and layout, with a hint of critique about function at times, but overall the response is pretty strong.

  1. Amazon Alexa

We’d put our money on the fact that this isn’t the first time you’ve come across the “Alexa,” brand on the world wide web. It’s probably not the first, and it’s definitely not the last, either. A walking and talking personal assistant for your home, Alexa is a lot like the Amazon Echo device, which controls a smart home, and helps increase personal productivity, except the key difference is that Alexa is a standalone app with a screen, something which Echo lacks. What makes that handy is that you can use the voice assistant when you’re away from your house, too.

More on 2018’s Best Android Applications

While we know our list of personal picks of this year’s top Android Apps, mixed with a few of the highest rated apps for Android in general is pretty stellar, there are heaps more Android apps out there that can really drive up your personal efficiency, productivity, and ease that you’d want in a digital space.

We could go on for ages about which apps to look for, but the few that we’ve noted here are genuinely great apps for Android, so we hope that our insight can help narrow things down. For even more brilliant lists and how to’s in the app marketplace, we’d recommend checking out our snazzy Rootstrap blog (which has some pretty stellar content – if we’re allowed to say that ourselves!) here. Aside from us, it’s always good to expand what sources you’re referring to for advice, so these are also some superb lists of the best Android apps of 2018 for your reading pleasure: Digital Trends, “The 100 Best Android Apps of 2018,” and Fossbytes “21 Free and Best Android Apps for 2018 To Get the Most Out of Your Smartphone.”

From other great Android apps like Evernote to Shazam to Last Pass, smartphone apps in general exist to help a person utilize and digitize basically everything. We would be foolish if we didn’t take advantage of the sheer possibilities such awesome apps offer, and this is a fundamental part of what Rootstrap tries to preach to businesses and customers alike. A great app is a gamechanger – not just for the business who thinks of it, but for the user who benefits. Got questions about how to make a brilliant Android app of your own? Give us a shout – making apps and bettering businesses is what we do best.