Essential Apps For Your New Android Phone or Tablet

By Tom Pritchard on at

The world of mobile gadgetry is constantly looking to separate you from your money, whether it's the announcement of new models or resplendent deals on the old ones. But what if you're new to this world? Where do you start, and more importantly, which apps should you be downloading? At Giz, we are here to help with our extensive list of essential Android apps. We'll be updating at the end of each month, so don't forget to come back for more then.

Android Phone Apps

Amazon Appstore: Google Play doesn't have the monopoly on Android apps, as Amazon has its foot firmly in the door too. This is ideal if you already have an account with Amazon and don't fancy handing your credit card information over to Google. Best of all though, the vast majority of Google Play apps are available here, plus a few extras Google doesn't want you to have. Speaking of which.... [Free]

Adblock Plus: It's hardly a surprise that Google doesn't want you to have this, given that a big chunk of its revenue comes from adverts. Amazon isn't so restrictive, and is quite happy letting you surf the web without the pesky apps stealing your precious bandwidth. Some people may have ethical issues with blocking adverts, but if you're not one of those people then you need this app. [Free]

avast! Mobile Security: Sadly, one of the downsides to Android is that it is vulnerable to malware, because there are some horrible people out there. avast! is a spin off from the well known desktop anti-virus software, and it will cover all the security you need on your phone. Functions include: password protecting various apps; blocking calls and text messages from illicit numbers; locking and tracking your phone in the event it is stolen, and of course, scanning your device for malware. [Free]

Battery Minder: A handy little tool for you to keep track of your phone's battery level. Battery Minder not only sticks itself in the notification bar to keep you constantly informed of your current power level, but it will also give you an estimate of how much time you've got left before the battery dies. [Free]

Android Device Manager: Ever misplaced your phone, or had it stolen? Having Android Device Manager installed will allow you to track your phone, reset the screen lock, or in a worst case scenario wipe all the data from the phone. [Free]

Malware Bytes Anti Malware: Another security app, Malware Bytes does exactly what you'd expect. It will detect and eliminate any malicious spyware or trojans that are hiding in your phone or tablet, as well as preventing any unauthorised access to personal and location data. Best of all every new app you download will be scanned, so you’ll never have to worry again. [Free]

AVG Privacy Fix: Privacy on the internet can be fickle, especially when social networks are seemingly making it their top priority to ensure that privacy and visibility settings are as confusing as possible. This is where AVG's PrivacyFix comes in. This handy little app can take a look at your Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts and show exactly what you're sharing to the public. Better yet, it can take you straight to the privacy settings to get it fixed. Most importantly though, it will tell you when policies change so you can readjust your privacy settings quickly and easily. [Free]

Applock: A great little tool to give a little bit of extra security to your apps. You get the option to lock any app on your phone with either a pattern, password, or passcode (but not more than one). Especially handy if you're planning on shopping, or banking from your phone. [Free]

Calls Blacklist: From time to time you may need to prevent someone from ringing you -- whether they be annoying cold callers, pesky prank callers, or people you just plain don't like. Calls Blacklist will prevent you from ever even knowing they tried to contact you. [Free]

Cam Scanner: Sometimes you might need to scan something but you’re not in a position to use one — it’s unlikely sure, but it does happen. CamScanner is a life saver in such a situation. Using your phone’s camera, you can use the app to quickly load a document onto your phone. Direct from the app you can then turn scanned documents into PDFs, email them and, for premium users, you have access to an OCR function that will transform them into a text document. [Free]

Google Goggles: A handy little tool that does a whole host of scanning-based functions. It will scan and decipher QR codes, scan barcodes to compare prices online, and rather magically, will find similar matches on Google Images if you scan an image. Never again will you be befuddled by the image round in the pub quiz. (Note: Gizmodo does not condone using technology to cheat in a pub quiz - even though everyone does it) [Free]

Google Maps: This one speaks for itself. Google Maps is vital if you don't know where you're going. The app has all the basic functions of Google Maps from a browser, with the addition of GPS navigation. Works great in the car, or on foot. [Free]

Unified Remote: Fantastic tool for those of you who want to have a remote control for their computer for watching TV, or maybe for listening to music. Unified Remote will connect to your computer and turns your phone into a mouse, keyboard, or media remote. [Free]

Google Translate: Another one that speaks for itself, Google Translate is a mobile version of the browser tool, with support for 70 languages. Better still, it also has speech recognition, so if you're on holiday you can use it to help you translate some of the local lingo straight from the source. [Free]

Google Keep: Google Keep isn't your typical note-keeping app. Rather than just being a place to write things down and leave them, it's a way to organise your thoughts more effectively. Colour code them based on whatever categories you wish, and even dictate your thoughts for the app to transcribe for you. The clincher here though is that every note you create will be saved in the cloud, so if the worst happens, you won't lose your thoughts and musings. [Free]

InNote: Another notes app, but InNote is more traditional than Google Keep. The difference is that it has a rather cool feature. Rather than having to type it out, InNote uses the touchscreen for you to write out your notes by hand using your finger, or a stylus. I’m sure many people out there will prefer typing out notes, but if you’re like me and prefer to write them out by hand, InNote is the app for you. Free]

Amazon: One of the world's best known internet retailers, Amazon should be a staple part of your mobile life. It's everything you can do on the full version of Amazon, but with the added bonus that you can use it to compare prices on the go. [Free]

eBay: Everybody's favourite auction site, right there on your phone. Search, bid, buy -- everything. Especially useful for managing those bidding wars on the move. [Free]

PayPal: If you're going to buy on eBay then you'll need a PayPal account. It may not be an obvious choice to stick on your phone, but it's still useful. You can send payments securely and safely, withdraw any unspent funds, pretty much everything you could do on PayPal, but in the palm of your hand. [Free]

The Trainline: The Trainline isn't just for buying tickets, although that is one of the main selling points. The Trainline has a database of pretty much every single train running in this country, otherwise it would be useless, right? You can use this to your advantage -- you can look up trains, see when they'll leave, and more importantly how long they'll take. Whether it's for your own journey, or if you're giving a lift to a friend, it's pretty handy to have. [Free]

Shazam: You might be sitting in the car, or wandering through a shop when you hear a song you like. But you don't know who it's by, or even what it's called! Shazam will listen to a sound-byte of the song and compare it to a central database, letting you know everything you need to know about the song: Title, Artist, Album, and where to buy it from. [Free]

Soundhound: Functioning in much the same way as Shazam, Soundhound has an extra cool little feature. Had a tune stuck in your head all day but don't quite know where it's from? In addition to figuring out the song from a clip, you can also sing or hum the song and Soundhound will tell you what's been bugging you all day. [Free]

Facebook: The world's biggest social network, available in the palm of your hand. Upload photos, message friends, and keep up to date with your timeline. There's not much more I can add, it's just Facebook on the go. You know what Facebook is, right? [Free]

Twitter: A friend of mine once said, "there's no point to Twitter unless you have internet on your mobile." It's sort of true when you think about it. Micro-blogging is the kind of thing you update as and when you have a thought, making Twitter a staple part of your mobile life. [Free]

Google+: Google has pretty much made it mandatory for you to have a Google+ account. You need it to leave reviews on Google Play, or to comment on YouTube. Might as well download the app so you can manage your account on the go then. [Free]

Instagram: The world's favourite app for taking photos of your food, Instagram is a social network devised around your photos. Think of a Twitter where photos are an integral part of every post. You can even apply filters to give your photos that faux historical look if that's your thing. [Free]

Snapchat: Snapchat is one the new "big players" in social apps, with even the likes of Facebook wanting in. The idea is that you can send a picture to a friend and they have up to 10 seconds to view it before it's deleted forever. Simple, fun, and it doesn't hog all your phone's storage space. [Free]

Firefox: Firefox is the ever-popular web browser, but here it's for your phone, rather than on your computer screen. Boasting speedy responses, and the option to sync all your bookmarks, tabs, and history to your phone, it's ideal for any regular Firefox user. [Free]

Google Chrome: Another browser, this one is pretty much a miniature version of the Chrome you may be used to using on your computer. While this may seem strange, it comes with its advantages: like Firefox, you can sign in and sync all your bookmarks, settings, and even the tabs you have open. Chrome is definitely one to have if you like an easy transition. [Free]

Opera Mobile Classic: One more browser to keep your options open, Opera Classic may not be able to boast the syncing options of Firefox and Chrome, but it is a great little browser if you're not too fond of the native browser app included on your phone. [Free]

Viber: Phone networks aren’t always forthcoming with the number of minutes you can have on your contract, and if you go over the limit your bank account is going to take a serious hit (believe me I know). Viber works exactly like an ordinary phone call but instead of eating through your allocated network minutes, the call is sent via the internet. So if you’re connected to Wi-Fi, or out of minutes – Viber is there to help out. [Free]

Whatsapp: WhatsApp is very similar to Viber, but instead of doing phone calls it’s a messaging service that aims to replace your texts. The principle is all the same though; rather than using your allocated texts, you can instead use a smidgen of data – fantastic if you have an unlimited data plan. [Free]

EverythingMe Launcher: EverythingMe is designed to anticipate what you need your phone for, and when you'll need it. The prediction bar will try and determine when you'll need apps, news and weather in the morning, train schedules in the evening for instance; Smart folders will automatically organise your apps based on your interests; The search function will also learn based on your usage, so searching for D will bring up your dad's number, or possibly directions--whichever you use the most. [Free]

Superbeam: This is a very clever little app that I think could revolutionise file-sharing. Superbeam will let you share files via Wi-Fi through the magic of QR codes. Those of you who choose to pay 93p to go pro will also get the bonus of sharing via NFC. This is great, no more hassle with lousy Bluetooth connections or online storage to share your files. [Free]

Time Pin:  A nifty way to ensure people can't watch and learn your phone's precious PIN (believe me it happens). Time Pin will ensure that the security number to unlock your phone changes regularly, based on either the current date, or time. It is a cool way to keep access to your device restricted, but obviously telling other people about the app turns it into a massive hole in your security. [Free]

Travalarm: If you're anything like me, if you're going somewhere in the morning you tend to get up at the last minute, so any road obstacles have a very good chance of making you late. Travalarm is an integrated alarm clock and traffic monitor. So if there are any reported delays on your route it'll wake you up earlier to compensate. If you commute via public transport it'll also alert you when you're nearing your stop, so you can nap on the way. [Free]

Web PC Suite: Everybody hates wires. They get in the way, and use up valuable USB ports. But USB cables are the only way to mass organise your device's data, aren't they? Not any more. Web PC Suite allows you to connect your device to your computer wirelessly with the magic of QR Codes. We saw something similar a few weeks ago with Superbeam, but that was limited to file transfer. Web PC Suite lets you access and organise all of your device's files from a browser without the need for an annoying wires. All you need is a Wi-Fi network and you're good to go. [Free]

mac.remote: This one is designed to be easy to use, but at the same time providing a great user experience. Straight out of the box you can control a number of programmes on your Mac, including iTunes, VLC, Spotify, Quicktime, and iPhoto. But customisation is key, and you can add control to other programmes, or custom commands. mac.remote is free from ads for five days, after which you can purchase the ad-free version or submit to a sometimes-necessary-evil. [Free]

Link Bubble: A mobile browser specifically designed for mobile devices and makes opening links much much easier than it is in some browsers. Have you ever opened a link from an app and had to sit and wait for it to load? Link Bubble will load it in the background so that you can continue doing whatever you're doing until it's ready. Find an embedded YouTube video? Link Bubble will redirect you to the native YouTube app. If you've ever found mobile links to be a pain then this is one for you. It even totals how much time you've saved. [Free]

Telegram: It's been available on iOS for a while, but the official Android version is now here. Telegram is aiming to fix problems that have been plaguing similar messaging apps that are available. Their prime motivation seems to be not having gaping holes in their security and providing a fast, efficient service. It's definitely one for those of you who are worried about Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp. Plus they're offering unlimited cloud storage, so you can access your message archives from any of your devices. All that, and it has no ads. Bargain! [Free]

IFTTT: Another app that has finally made it to Android from iOS. IFTTT lets you create "recipes", which are basically commands that let you do cool things with your phone. Maybe you want all your Instagram photos automatically shared to Flickr, or a text message whenever you get a Twitter notification -- well IFTTT will do it for you. Fantastic tool to make your device a little bit more interesting. [Free]

Chrome Remote Desktop: Nice and simple, this one will let you access your computer (provided it's online) from your Android device. No messing around and no games, all you need is the app on both your phone and your computer. [Free]

Our Favorite Android, iOS, and Windows Phone Apps of the Week

Fleksy Keyboard: An alternative keyboard to the standard built-in keyboard app, Fleksy is designed to learn your typing habits and intelligently determine what you meant to type, even if you hit the wrong keys. There is also gesture control, and customisable options to make it better suited to your typing style. The goal is to ensure that you can type accurately without having to look at your screen -- handy, eh? The latest version also brings in more keyboard layouts including DVORAK and Colemak. [Free]

Javelin Browser: Now this is one I like, so much that it's become my default Android browser. Javelin is a mobile specific browser with one very important function -- it has an ad blocker built in. You could install the AdBlock app, but that involves using the Amazon App store which can be a hassle. Javelin also includes a reading mode, which removes all the useless clutter on webpages, and One Touch navigation for everything. Honestly, you can't go wrong with this. [Free -- with optional proxy subscription]

Focus out Distractions: Procrastination is fun while it lasts, but sometimes you need to be motivated to work and can't afford to waste time messing around playing stupid games on your phone. Focus out Distractions is there to give you a hand by preventing you from using certain apps for a set period of time. Simply pick which apps you want to block, and set the timer. You can of course unblock them manually, but it will require typing a long piece of text. I mean, who's got time for that? [Free]

Secret: iOS users don't have a monopoly on Secret any longer, it's now available on Android. Secret is a way of expressing your inner most thoughts completely anonymously -- I don't mean like Snapchat where you have no nefarious corporations peering at your messages, no. The secret will get shared to your friends, and if they like it it will get shared to their friends, and so on. It's a way of speaking openly and honestly without the negative repercussions. A bit like 4chan, but without all the hardcore porn. [Free]

Slyde: Got some apps that you use all the time? Isn't it a pain to have to go through your menus or home screens to get back to them? Slyde is a quick menu that hovers over your screen and gives you easy access to five of your favourite apps. It's non-intrusive so it won't affect your day-to-day Android fun, but it can help you save a few seconds here and there. [£0.59]

Mobile Compare: Looking to buy a new phone but don't know what to look for? Comparisons are great but you might not be able to find the right one for you. Fortunately, Mobile Compare is there to make sure you're informed. The best part is it'll transform those confusing technical details into something you understand. [Free]

Flynx Beta: You'll never have to worry about waiting for pages in a browser to load anymore. Flynx will take that page and load it in the background while you do something more productive than stare at your screen in anticipation. But don't worry, it'll tell you once it's done. [Free]

Copy Bubble: The problem with a computer's standard clipboard is that you can only copy and paste one thing at a time. Copy Bubble gives you an easily accessible copy menu where you can store everything ready for when you need it. No more jumping around to get every little thing you need. [Free]

Digify: Sharing files isn't always easy, and you might not want to give someone permanent access to your shared DropBox folder. Digify make sharing files easy, but with a brilliant feature. Rather than allowing someone permanent access, the sender has the ability to wipe the file from the other person's phone. It's a little bit like a manual version of Snapchat, but for files. [Free]

QCast: QCast is a way of creating and controlling shared playlists on a Chromecast stick. Anyone who can connect to the Chromecast in question can add a song to a shared queue, and anyone can downvote songs they don't want to hear. Songs can be removed by the host, the person who queued them, or if the majority of people downvote it. You will need a Google Play Music All Access Subscription to host though. [Free -- with subscription]

Heads Up! - notifications: The Android L preview might be available now, but unless you're a developer with a Nexus device you're missing out. Fortunately if you have a device that has Android 4.3 and above, you can download Heads Up! which is an unofficial version of the notification system featured in Google's latest offering. [£0.58]

Commandr for Google Now: Google Now is fantastic for hands-free searching, but it's not that good for hands-free everything else. Commandr is a way to fix that, by utilising Google Now and allow you to control more aspects of your phone. Say you're driving and you want read a text you've just been sent? Commandr will read it for you. It doesn't give you total control yet, but users get to vote on future voice commands in the many updates to come. [Free]

WeTransfer: Transferring big files isn't that easy; your only real options are to use cloud storage, or perhaps even share using a torrent file (which is highly frowned upon for no good reason). WeTransfer aims to take the hassle out of it, and will let you send files up to 10GB in size absolutely free. All you need is an email address. Better yet, you can share from anywhere on your device; just hit the share button and you're good to go. [Free]

Endless Jabber: You may recall that back in May I covered Notifyr, which lets iPhone users get their notifications on their Mac. Endless Jabber is similar, except instead of simply reading things like texts you can send them from your computer. But that's not all, you can also do things like check your contacts, and even check the status of your phone's battery life. [Free]

Olocode: The problem with handing out business cards is that you can't really update them once they've been printed and given to people. Olocode is a way of getting around that, by linking people to a digital business card. As it's all digital, if you update your info, the app will automatically update the information other people have on you. But not everyone is willing to transfer to digital, so if you receive any paper business cards, you can scan them into the app and store them in one handy place. [Free]

TapPath: An app that can be used to customise what happens when you click a link on your phone. A single tap may open a web browser, a double click might send it to Pocket, and a triple click might send it to another device via Pushbullet. It's all up to you, but no longer do you have to fiddle with menus to do something with a link. [£0.59]

Castround with Twitter: Twitter is a fantastic platform, especially for tracking news in real-time. The issue is filtering searches it to a specific thing. Sure keywords are useful, but they don't always get you what you want. Castround is a nifty little tool that will show you a real-time view of what's going on in a particular area so you can find out what's going on in the places that matter to you. [Free]

Horizon: I've talked about the iOS version of Horizon before, and now this important tool has made it to Android. The key feature of the app is that regardless of how you hold your phone, the camera will always record video horizontally. We've all had to suffer through the god-awful vertical videos on the web, and hopefully apps like this will fight back. [Free]

Hangouts Dialler: Google Voice? What's Google Voice? That's what people will be saying in a few years, because Hangouts has just made it redundant by offering VoIP calls. While you do need to have the app downloaded, you'll be able to make the calls from the regular Hangouts messenger app. For the three of you who actually used Google Voice, don't worry: Hangouts will use your existing Google Voice number. [Free]

Trinus Gyre Test - screenshot

Trinus Gyre Test: A great way to get the Oculus level of quality on mobile VR devices. Essentially you'll be streaming PC games to your mobile, and the free version will only work for up to 10 minutes meaning you can try it and make sure it all works before you spend anything. If you've wanted some great VR games without having to shell out a lot of cash, this is a great one to try out. [Free]

Snowball Beta: Messenger apps are all the rage, yet we still always tend to use the same one or two. Snowball isn't another messenger that none of your friends are using, rather it's a hub to use all your messenger apps. One inbox, that's only one tap away from everywhere in your phone. Cool eh? [Free]

RingSmart: Whatever your phone's ringtone preference, silent or loud, sometimes our location dictates what option we must use (like needing it to be silent at the cinema). By using RingSmart you can set your phone's ringer to adjust automatically depending on your location and time of day, saving you the hassle of remembering to do it yourself. [Free]

Fotoswipe: Remember a few years ago when bumping iPhones together was a novel way to share content? This is a bit like that, except it's multi-platform. Fotoswipe lets you share photos by swiping them across to each other. You can select up to ten photos to send each time, and they can be sent to any smart device that has the app installed. Of course 'any smart device' does not include Windows Phone because the app isn't available there. [Free]

Nokia Z Launcher Beta: A different way to use your Android device with the new launcher that's set to appear in Nokia's N1 tablet. The launcher learns how you use your phone so it can get you to your apps faster, while also letting you scribble letters on screen as a searching mechanism. [Free]

Mirror Beta: There's not much to this one since it does one of two things. First of all it records your device's screen and saves it as a video file, and secondly it lets you cast your screen to Chrome, Fire TV, Apple TV, or another Android device. The only issue is that if you don't have a device running Android Lollipop you will need to root it for the app to work. [Free]

Greenify: Apps are what makes having a smartphone worthwhile, because without them we might as well have a phone that only makes calls and texts. The problem is that some of these apps enjoy guzzling on power and memory more than others. Greenify identifies those apps and sticks them into hibernation mode when you're not using them. It's just been updated, it's got a UI inspired by Material Design and stability has been improved. Just one note, while it does work without, this app does work better on rooted devices. [Free]

Floatify: If you don't have Android Lollipop then you're missing out on a brand-new notification system, which is where Floatify comes in. Floatify will give you the Lollipop notification system that displays a head-up window from which you can interact with your notifications as and when they arrive. [Free]

Minuum Keyboard: This one is a smaller keyboard that takes up much less space on your screen, and has an advanced autocorrect that means you can type quite poorly without things going wrong. It's been updated with a Material Design-style interface, and the aforementioned improved autocorrect. [£1.10]

Action Launcher 3: If you're tired of the basic app launcher that comes rolled into Android, you might want to give this one a try. Not only does it combine the best elements of Action Launcher 3 and Google Now Launcher, it throws in some Material Design-inspired interfaces to keep it looking pretty.There are a bunch of new features here (not all of them included in the free version), and I encourage you to check them all out. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

AZ Screen Recorder: Some Android phones have features that let you record the screen, while others do not. This is firmly for phones in the 'do not' category, just as long as they're running Lollipop. It's all free, there's no watermarking, and you can even record audio for a commentary at the same time. [Free]

Zapya: A cross-platform app (iOS, Android, and Windows PC) that lets you share a variety of files without necessitating a network or Bluetooth connection. They can be music files, video files, pictures, and many other things, and the transfer itself promises to be 128 times faster than your average Bluetooth connection. [Free]

Pushbullet: Whatever did we do without Pushbullet? I know I spent a lot of time hunting for a USB cable or emailing files from my phone. It's an invaluable asset, and it's just got even better.The Pushbullet team has updated it to let us sync messages from messaging apps to our computers as well. That includes Hangouts, WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook, and Line. [Free]

atHandTuner Wearable Tuner: Musicians everywhere have to deal with tuning their instruments on a semi-regular basis, so why fret about remembering extra kit when you can just use your phone or smartwatch? That's what atHand Tuner is, a tuner for a variety of musical instruments that's safely kept on your phone and watch. [£0.96]

Smart Notifications: Spam is all over the place, and now it's starting to sneak into your device's notification bar. Deactivating notifications on an app-by-app basis can be tricky, and might even deactivate the useful notifications that you want to see. Smart Notifications is a system that prevents notification spam, powered by the community. It should stop spam getting through, but if it doesn't just report it to make sure nobody suffers it again. [Free]

Moovit: There's nothing worse than standing at the bus stop for ages waiting for the next one to pop along, especially if the bus stop inconveniently doesn't have a timetable. Moovit is an app that aims to get rid of all that hassle by giving you detailed information on travel routes. This is the fourth version of the app, which comes with new features like searchable transport directions to any place you like, a favourites menu, and live ETA information. [Free]

reTxt: Ever sent a text and then wish you hadn't? Maybe it was embarrassing, or maybe you made a grievous typo. With ordinary texting and messenger services there's nothing much you can do about it, but reTxt is different. It's a cross-platform messaging app (iOS and Android) that works exactly like any texting app, except for the fact that it lets you delete or edit texts you've already sent. There are other features too, like the option to leave and rejoin group texts as you see fit, and one-swipe requests for clarification. [Free -- with subscription]

Atari Fit: It was announced a while back, and it's actually here now. Atari Fit aims to give you an incentive to do some exercise, by rewarding you with points that you can spend on classic Atari games. Those games in turn allow you to unlock extra exercise routines. Exercise is important, but it can be hard to stay motivated, so this system could be a great help. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

drupe: There are so many different ways of getting in touch with people these days – too many in fact. It's especially annoying when you have different tools to talk to different people, so why not bundle them all together in one place? Drupe will keep all your contacts in one place, and lets you set your preferred method of communication which you can access with a swipe of the screen. [Free]

SMSmart: You can't always be online, and sometimes you have a phone data-limit to think about. You know what a lot of contracts come with these days? Unlimited texting. So why not have a system that lets you use your apps without needing any data? SMSmart does all that for you with a whole variety of apps, including data intensive things like mapping. [Free]

Videostream Chromecast: Mobile: If you want to be able to stream media from your computer to your Chromecast without using a media server, then this is the app for you to try. No fiddling about with extra services, just find the file you want and have it play in the big screen thanks to the Videostream Chrome Extension. Where does the app play into this, you might ask? It turns your phone into the remote for controlling the playback. [Free]

Android Tablet Apps

Kindle: Amazon's eBook store makes it easy and convenient for you to purchase, download, and read books all in one place. Fantastic if you don't have a Kindle and don't fancy finding space for brand new paperbacks. [Free]

Dropbox: A cloud storage service, intended as a backup and/or transfer method for your files. Keep your files nice and safe on the off chance that you lose your tablet, or if you need that important work document off your computer. [Free]

MEGA: Kim Dotcom’s new data storage service, offering a remarkable 50GB of free space. Designed to be secure and easily accessible, it should have ample room to back up all the important data you store on your phone. But say 50GB isn’t enough? For £8 a month, you can upgrade to 500GB of storage, with 1000GB of bandwidth a month. Bargain. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

OneDrive: Another data storage app, this time from Microsoft. OneDrive isn't very different from the other two, but it is handy to have it available as an option, or as an extra backup. [Free]

ES Task Manager: Apps often have a problem in that they don't close when you tell them to. Multiply this over dozens of apps and suddenly your tablet will be running a darn sight slower than you'd like. ES Task Manager will close all these for you, as well as cleaning out your device's cache, and optimising the amount of power you're using. [Free]

Adobe Reader: PDF is pretty much a universal format nowadays, and having Adobe Reader on your tablet will make it that much easier to view them. Not only can you open and view PDFs that you have saved, you can also create your own, or convert PDFs into editable word processor filetypes. [Free]

Adobe AIR: AIR is a gaming platform that will allow you to play a variety of web apps wherever you are with minimal fuss. [Free]

Kingsoft Office: One of the handy things about tablets is being able to use them as a mobile typing device. Kingsoft Office has all the basic packages you'd need: Word Processor, Spreadsheets, and Presentations. There may well be better Office apps out there, but this is one of the best free ones. [Free]

VLC Player: VLC is well known for being able to play videos of any file type. The Android version is no different. Simply transfer the video onto your tablet and you can watch it at your convenience. [Free]

Microsoft Remote Desktop: I have often found myself in situations where I really need my computer but I just don’t have it with me, like if I’ve forgotten a file, or I need to do some work whilst out and about. With Microsoft Remote Desktop this will never be an issue ever again. You can connect to a PC remotely and access your files and resources from anywhere – provided you have a steady internet connection. [Free]

YouTube: YouTube hardly needs an introduction, but it should be a staple addition to your tablet. Manage your subscriptions, watch a variety of videos. Standard stuff. [Free]

Netflix: The popular on demand service is a great addition to your tablet. No longer will you be tied to your computer, or your games console in order to stream your favourite shows or movies. Having it on your tablet is a great way to go on those television/movie binges. [Free -- with subscription]

Sky Go Tablet: Designed specifically for Android tablets, Sky Go Tablet is designed to let Sky customers watch the latest in Sky programming. Whether it be movies or TV, the app will let you stream or download them to watch at your leisure. [Free]

BBC iPlayer: With the last two weeks of BBC television available at the tap of your finger, iPlayer is one app that you should not be without. [Free]

4oD: Like iPlayer, 4oD allows you to catch up on the latest programming from the last few weeks of Channel 4 programming. What is different however, is that 4oD contains a lot more than the last two weeks, with full series of some classic and much loved Channel 4 programming available. [Free]

iTV Player: ITV’s on demand service is available so that you can catch up with Coronation StreetThe X Factor and countless other programmes without being tied to your computer or television. [Free]

Demand 5: There isn't much more that can be said about on demand programmes. Demand 5 is Channel 5's offering, ensuring that you will never miss a thing -- and a nice way to complete the terrestrial TV set. [Free]

Virgin TV Anywhere: A companion app for Virgin TiVo customers, Virgin TV Anywhere allows users to set programming to record on their box, view listings up to two weeks in the future, and catch up on the last seven days of television. Even better though is the ‘Wish List’ function which will automatically record programmes featuring specific actors and directors, or based on a broad subject. [Free]

AllCast: There are plenty of apps that will stream videos and pictures to Chromecast, but not many that stream to other devices as well. AllCast will stream to pretty much every device imaginable: Apple TV, Roku, Smart TVs, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and more. [Free]

Parallels Access: Many remote access apps are focused on one type of computer, but you might have more than one. Parallels Access will give you full access to the software on either a Mac or a Windows PC. So wherever you are, or wherever your files are, you'll be able to access them from anywhere. [Free -- with subscription]

Treehouse: A great way to learn to code in Java, Python, HTML, CSS, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Swift and Objective-C. That covers you for web design, writing apps for Android and iPhone, and more. With over 1,000 videos to help you along the way, Treehouse is a great way to help you learn and remember a brand-new useful skill. [Free]

Heads Up: The thing about notifications is that if your phone is doing something that takes up the entire screen then you might not be able to see the notifications bar. So you have to stop what you're doing to see if it's even worth responding to. Head Up will keep you in the know with a little pop-up to let you know what's going on, and giving you the option to open the notification directly. [Free]

Gallery Doctor: Sick of having to sift through your phone's picture album to decide what to delete? Gallery Doctor will do that for you, by deleting any duplicate photos, or photos that it deems 'bad'. That's incredibly handy, and should save you quite a lot of time. But if don't trust it, there is a tool to sort through the photos Gallery Doctor deleted, so you can save them before it's too late. [Free]

JotterPad (Writer): A plain-text word processor designed specifically for creative writing whether it's poetry, novels, or whatever you like. The new updated has a new Material Design-style look, typewriter mode, and new typefaces. [Free -- with in-app purchases]

Google Handwriting Input: Sometimes typing on a keyboard isn't enough; sometimes you actually like to write things down as you would on paper. That's what Google Handwriting Input is for. As the name suggests, it's a keyboard extension that lets you input using handwriting in one of 82 languages. [Free]

BitTorrent Sync: BitTorrent's alternative to cloud storage, which lets you sync files between devices without size limits and storage capacities. This new version includes a Pro version for businesses users, the option to select which devices you'll back-up to, and more details about your synced folders. [Free -- with optional subscription]

List updated 4th May 2015