Best Android apps

As the Android Market roars past the 250,000 apps mark, we collect our favourite tools, services and games into one mammoth list.

Joseph Hanlon
Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies.
Joseph Hanlon
1 of 8 CBSi

As the Android Market roars past the 250,000 apps mark, we collect our favourite tools, services and games into one mammoth list.

This collection is a mix of paid and free Android apps, with a bunch of business and fitness apps.

If you're looking for a phone to run these apps on, check out our Best Android smartphones feature.

2 of 8 CBSi

News of the world

Google Reader: still our favourite way to access our Google Reader subscription. Recent changes by Google have made this app look sharper and cleaner than previously, and displays better on tablets.

Australia Newspapers: as the name suggests, Australian Newspapers is a great shortcut to Australia's online news sources, with customisable lists of destinations.

BBC News: one of the slickest dedicated news apps, the BBC has an excellent user interface with tonnes of video content, too.

DoggCatcher: is one of a handful of great podcast-listening tools, with built-in search to help you discover brand new streams to listen to.

TED Air: there are a dozen ways to watch the inspiring videos shot at the now regular TED conferences, but with Adobe Air in the background, this app is our pick of the litter.

Pulse News: while we don't find Pulse great for reading through huge news feeds, it is one of the more attractive RSS readers available and it looks superb on tablets.

Read It Later: if you find yourself outside of internet coverage frequently, Read It Later can help by caching your feeds offline.

Onion News Network: proof you shouldn't always believe what you read, the Onion is the best satirical news service around.

Sky News: like the BBC, Sky provides a slick user experience to make getting to the news of the day that much easier.

ZDNet Mobile: OK, a bit of shameless self-promotion here, but for the best tech news with a business skew, you can't go past ZDNet.

3 of 8 CBSi

Time killers

Robotek: great graphics bolster this excellent turn-by-turn robot combat sim. Loads of fun, even if it relies heavily on luck rather than skill.

Nano Panda: there is a resemblance to Angry Birds, but Nano Panda has a physics twist all of its own.

Gurk, the 8-bit RPG: hear ye! Travel back in the time machine of your mind with this awesome retro-feel medieval RPG.

Penny Parlor: gorgeous antique shop graphics matched with challenging gameplay make Penny Parlor one of our favourite discoveries of 2011.

Scre4m: based very loosely on the film franchise, Scre4m has you playing the ghost-face killer, trying to maximise your horror movie villain cred with kills.

Order & Chaos: a MMORPG for iOS and Android that is so much like World of Warcraft it should be illegal. This is the same reason why we love it.

Karoshi: probably the most twisted game you'll play on Android, Karoshi has you try to kill its ill-fated protagonist, not save him.

Battleheart: challenging and well presented, Battleheart is one of the best games we've seen. Don't let the early stages fool you either, this game is hard.

Words With Friends: still very much an addiction in the CNET office, the word play in this game offers endless entertainment for Scrabble lovers.

Super Stickman Golf: more like the PC classic Worms than a round of golf, Super Stickman Golf has you driving and putting on courses that would give Greg Norman nightmares.

4 of 8 CBSi

Got game

Minecraft: Pocket Edition: Minecraft maniacs are rejoicing at the mobile launch of the online gaming phenomenon.

BackStab HD: a real swashbuckling adventure with full 3D environments and some cheeky, salty-mouthed dialogue.

Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack!: play as the evil Headless Kamikaze and chase down Serious Sam. Like the best mobile games, this one is repetitious and fast-paced.

Emissary of War: far more engaging than most mobile titles, Emissary of War matches awesome graphics and music with fun gameplay.

Reckless Getaway: rob from the rich and get away with it if you can, Reckless Getaway has more in common with Grand Theft Auto than with other racing titles.

Cross Court Tennis: a deep mobile tennis sim wrapped in simple graphics and a shallow tournament mode. Great fun, however.

Pocket League Story: just like Football Manager for the PC, but way, way cuter.

Lane Splitter: on the surface this is a simple reflex tester, but just try to stop playing once you have a high score to shatter.

Falling Fred: your goal is to guide the tumbling Fred as he falls down a tunnel filled with vicious traps. Gory and macabre, but so much fun.

Zombie Juice: slicing fruit was so 2010. Test your skill and protect yourself from a truly frenetic zombie invasion.

5 of 8 CBSi

Photo fun

Little Photo: what seems like a basic photo filter app is actually a rich and useful tool for camera phone photographers.

PicSay Pro: PicSay has been around for nearly as long as Android itself, but it's still one of our favourite post-production tools for phones.

Snapbucket: more photo editing with a built-in social networking feature.

Pro HDR Camera: a high-dynamic range tool is a great way to make your camera phone photos into something really amazing.

Paper Camera: this is one of those apps that will make your jaw drop the first time you use it, as it converts your photos into realistic-looking sketches.

RawVision: an awesome tool for photographers, RawVision lets you view RAW image files on an Android tablet or phone, if it has enough grunt.

Qik: turn your smartphone into a live vlogging camera. Qik streams your videos as you shoot them to the world wide web.

Pixlr-o-matic: another great photo-editing tool for Android, with a high-quality user interface and the option to upload to Facebook.

Cloud Print: got a document on your phone or tablet that you really need to print? Cloud Print uses the new Google Cloud Print service to make that happen.

8-Bit Camera: that's right! Make your photos cuter by multiple factors by converting them to 8-bit graphics.

6 of 8 CBSi

Media mania

RockPlayer: far from the slickest app, Rockplayer gives Android devices access to a wider range of media files, including XviD and DivX.

YouTube Remote: if you prefer digging up vids on YouTube, to running the gauntlet of free-to-air TV, this is the app for you.

doubleTwist Player: One of the better third-party music library apps for Android.

AirSync by doubleTwist: if you like doubleTwist, then you'll love the ability to sync your tracks over Wi-Fi using AirSync.

VLC Direct Pro: if you use VLC on your PC, this app will have you streaming to your phone or tablet in no time.

mVideoPlayer: another awesome tool for extending the basic Android media playback experience, especially for media with subtitles.

Pocket Casts: a fantastic podcast library manager, with built-in search and great syncing tools.

Music Unlimited: plugging into Sony's streaming content services, Music Unlimited is easily our favourite music subscription service.

Winamp: this app isn't just a blast from the past for PC users, but one of the better music players on Google's OS.

TuneIn Radio: expand your music collection by thousands and thousands of live radio stations from across the globe.

7 of 8 CBSi

Happy and healthy

Calorie Counter: keep track of your eating habits and weight loss, both on your phone and on your PC.

Endomondo: this app can help to motivate your exercise regime with accurate GPS tracking of your runs or rides.

Sleep as an Droid: don't let the grammatically incorrect name put you off trying this sleep monitor app.

Calorific Diet Tracker: another option for tracking and managing the calories you eat and those you burn.

C25K: our favourite Couch to 5km app for Android.

SkyDroid — Golf GPS: using your phone's GPS, SkyDroid maps the distance between you and the green using downloaded map data.

JeFit: an awesome collection of workouts and body-monitoring tools, tapping into a huge database of workouts and data.

Power Nap with Andrew Johnson: catch up on lost sleep by taking a power nap with the soothing tones of Andrew Johnson.

Noom Weight Loss: if you're in the middle of a weight-loss journey, Noom will keep you on goal by creating charts of your success.

iTriage: it's nearly impossible to exercise without an occasional injury, so stay safe with this excellent first aid guide for your phone.

8 of 8 CBSi

Busy bodies

Quickoffice Pro: if your business uses Microsoft Office then you won't regret the $15 you'll spend buying this app.

Splashtop Remote Desktop: this app is like something from a sci-fi movie, turning your smartphone into a remote terminal for your PC.

Work Calendar: the app that shift workers have been dreaming about, Work Calendar lets you set up repeating calendar entries without having to shift everything around manually.

Fill and Sign PDF Forms: the perfect tool for couriers, or anyone who needs a signature confirmation.

Call Log Calendar: if your business relies on accurate time management for billing purposes, this app is for you.

Remote Web Desktop: the opposite of SplashTop, this app lets you manage and use your phone on your PC.

SketchBook Mobile: created by the kings of computer graphics, SketchBook is a powerful drawing tool for Android.

Google Apps Lookup: if your business uses Google Apps, this free tool is a must for quickly finding anyone on the employee roster.

Citrix Receiver: remotely access XenApp apps and documents so you can keep working even when you're away from your desk.

How to Tie a Tie: a must-have skill for every man, but not something you're taught in school.

More Galleries

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera
A houseplant

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera

20 Photos
Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

10 Photos
The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum
Samsung Galaxy S24

The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum

23 Photos
Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design
The Galaxy S24 Ultra in multiple colors

Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design

23 Photos
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

34 Photos
17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone

18 Photos
AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

17 Photos