14 useful Google apps you should be using on Android
Adding a launcher icon
On Android, there are two signing keys: deployment and upload. The end-users download the .apk signed with the ‘deployment key’. An ‘upload key’ is used to authenticate the .aab / .apk uploaded by developers onto the Play Store and is re-signed with the deployment key once in the Play Store.
Create an upload keystore
This command stores the upload-keystore.jks file in your home directory. If you want to store it elsewhere, change the argument you pass to the -keystore parameter. However, keep the keystore file private; don’t check it into public source control!
The keytool command might not be in your path—it’s part of Java, which is installed as part of Android Studio. For the concrete path, run flutter doctor -v and locate the path printed after ‘Java binary at:’. Then use that fully qualified path replacing java (at the end) with keytool . If your path includes space-separated names, such as Program Files , use platform-appropriate notation for the names. For example, on Mac/Linux use Program\ Files , and on Windows use "Program Files" .
Reference the keystore from the app
Configure signing in gradle
Google app No. 4: PhotoScan
Further blurring the lines between our physical and virtual worlds is PhotoScan, which lets you capture impressively high-quality and glare-free images of physical photos with your phone’s camera and then save ’em as digital files. PhotoScan directs you through the process of capturing multiple angles of the print and then does all the dirty work of cropping it, straightening it, and generally just making it look good.
Action Blocks makes it as simple as can be to create your own custom home screen buttons for starting Assistant-connected actions or combinations of actions — things like adjusting allegedly smart devices around your home and/or office, hopping directly into specific functions within apps, or doing most anything else Google Assistant can manage.
Google app No. 7: Files by Google
Another relevant download mostly for the non-Pixel-ownin’ folk among us, Google’s self-made file management app — which comes preloaded on current Pixel phones by default — really is the best all-around Android file manager for most business users.
It’s clean, simple, and pleasant to use, and it makes it painless and almost even pleasant to look through your phone’s local storage and find, share, or organize any files you’ve downloaded or transferred onto the device.
Files isn’t as fully featured as some of the more advanced third-party Android file manager apps out there, but it’s pretty darn useful — and especially if your Android file management needs are relatively basic, it’s a nice little upgrade over the default file management service that came preinstalled on your device.
Movies and videos
Netflix isn’t just one of the best video-streaming services; it’s the video-streaming service. There’s a huge selection of Netflix movies and TV shows for subscribers and the performance is silky smooth. It’s not just restricted to old favorites either, as Netflix has produced a huge amount of excellent exclusive content — though if you’re anything like us, you’ll just put The Office on again. This is as entertained as you can get from just $9 a month, or $16 a month if you want access to 4K content.
Disney holds possibly the largest library of film and television properties in the world and they are all on Disney+. From Hamilton to The Mandalorian you’ll find something for every member of the family. As theatergoers are slow to return all around the globe, Disney has begun using Disney+ for major blockbusters like Mulan and Soul. You’ll also have access to original television shows like Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. There’s a seven-day free trial, and it’ll cost you $6.99 a month after that — though you can pay $80 for a year in advance to save $14.
With the streaming wars hotter than ever before AT&T wasn’t about to let Warner Media go without a fight. HBO Max launched in the summer of 2020 and brings with it all the HBO content audiences are already familiar with, with the added benefit of original content produced exclusively for the streaming platform. In 2021 HBO Max announced that all Warner property films will launch in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously as studios clamor for return on investments in this new theater-less world, so you can catch blockbusters like Mortal Kombat from the comfort of your living room.
Best Multimedia Apps
The modern smartphone is a multimedia powerhouse. It is more than capable of being a wholesome entertainment device thanks to a plethora of apps that let you watch movies, listen to music and even read books. Even though there are dedicated devices for all these activities, the fact that your smartphone can do these all without breaking a sweat is a testament to how far we have come from the days of the first cellphone which was merely an extension of your landline.
Best music streaming app: Spotify
Spotify is the most popular music streaming app on the planet for a very good reason. Apart from having a large library of music, it is a very good all-rounder that combines a large library, features and has really fair pricing to boot. Spotify is also available across a wide variety of platforms and there is very little going against it, frankly.
Best movie streaming app: Netflix
Our editor Antoine recently chose Netflix as the best movie streaming article in our detailed article on SVOD platforms and really, I do not have anything more to add here. If you were given the option to install only one movie streaming app on your phone, it has to be Netflix.
Best ebook reader app: Amazon Kindle
Kindle is an obvious choice thanks to the name it has in the world of eReaders. The Android app for Amazon Kindle lets you access millions of books and magazines without the need to buy separate Kinde hardware. The app is feature-packed and offers free samples to thousands of books. It lets you choose your preferred font for reading and has add-ons like the ability to view magazines in color images.
Best free music download app: Jamendo
Jamendo is a platform for independent artists and its USP is that it is completely free to use. It boasts of more than 40,000 independent artists from across the world. Access to all content is free with the only condition being to signup for an account. We also found Jamendo quite easy to use and completely recommend it because it offers free downloads of royalty-free music for commercial use!
Best Productivity Apps
Even though smartphones have been blamed for causing people to be hooked to them for hours, there is no denying that they can also be used as tools for increasing productivity. The Google Play Store is filled with several apps that let you be more organized and productive. But how do we separate the best from the rest? Well, that’s what we are here for! Listed below are the best productivity-centric apps across various categories
Best calendar app: Google Calendar
This one wasn’t a hard choice. Google Calendar is a great app and even people who do not really like Google sort of agree to this. The main advantage of Google Calendar – especially if you are deeply entrenched into the Google ecosystem is that you need to do very few manual entries to set your schedule. Google Calendar syncs information and data across several Google apps and does it all in a seamless manner. We can not, therefore, help but recommend Google Calendar over the other options available in the market.
Best email app: Blue Mail
Blue Mail is a universal email app that has received wide acclaim for being user-friendly and for having a clean UI. It supports several email services including Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL, iCloud, and Office 365 and gives you the ability to view all your emails in a single, integrated inbox. It also gets its own integrated calendar that syncs with data from across your email accounts allowing for the ability to access your Calendar events right within Blue Mail.
Best note-taking app: Evernote
Evernote has been the hot favorite among fans of note-taking apps for a really really long time now. Its popularity stems from the fact that it has a very simple, clean, and easy-to-use interface despite offering a large number of functions.
Best to-do apps: Todoist
Todoist is arguably among the most popular to-do apps on the Google Play Store and claims to have a user base of over 20 million. The app has a lot of features that appeal to those of you who take your to-do list very seriously. It has several additional features like the ability to remind you about deadlines and recurring tasks. You can also set priority levels for each to do and even have it sync up with your email accounts.
Google Play Store alternatives
Well, that sums up our article about the best Android apps across several categories. You will notice that all these apps can be downloaded from the Play Store. But did you know that there are Google Play Store alternatives from where you can download apps as well? Among the most important ones I can think of are the following: