With over two million Android apps available in the Google Play Store, it can be difficult to decide which programs to install on your smartphone or tablet.
After all, Google claims the average consumer has just 35 apps installed on a smartphone.
And since each installed app will require a certain amount of storage space and processing power, it’s advisable not to install programs without good reason.
Selecting which apps to install onto a new device (or which ones to retain on an existing handset) is a hugely personal decision.
The device’s storage space will play a part, as will your hobbies and interests, technical expertise and a variety of other factors.
However, we reckon these ten Android apps deserve consideration for any smartphone or tablet…
Gboard. A superior alternative to the stock Android keyboard, Gboard offers features including glide typing – eliminating any need to lift your finger off the screen.
Google Search is integrated as well, enabling you to obtain information and send it to people without having to switch between open tabs.
There’s also a robust voice typing interface, for verbal dictation and note-taking.
LastPass Password Manager. To prevent phishing and hacking, the requirements for new account passwords are becoming steadily more complicated.
Remembering each online account’s blend of cases, characters and symbols is often impossible, which is why LastPass handles account logins on your behalf.
It generates unique, impenetrable passwords for individual sites, and logs you in using a single account across desktop and mobile devices.
Greenify. Battery life is a perennial problem, which Greenify tackles by eliminating unnecessary resource drains.
It regulates individual app usage, freezing unused programs and recommending ways to optimise remaining battery charge.
The Aggressive Doze mode has received particular praise in recent Play Store reviews.
Google Translate. If you’ve ever struggled to be understood abroad, you need the Google Translate app.
Like a modern-day version of Douglas Adams’ imaginary Babel Fish, Google Translate orchestrates live translation between 70 different languages.
Its algorithm is constantly improving (which means it’s often imperfect), but it’s brilliant at conveying the core elements of a message, in real time, anywhere in the world.
Tasker. One of the most versatile apps ever launched for Android, Tasker is basically an automation tool.
It enables the phone to perform specific actions in response to a particular event, such as launching a music player when headphones are connected.
It can change the screen’s DPI resolution for specific apps, close WiFi connections when leaving the house and automate dozens of other helpful life hacks.
Opera. It’s tempting to rely on the default web browser provided by your handset manufacturer, but this will inevitably be less efficient than Opera.
Opera’s Android browser performs numerous tricks to reduce data usage and accelerate webpage displays, from image and video compression to ad blocking.
The Opera Mini Android app has been receiving poor user reviews following a recent update, so we’d recommend installing the main version instead.
Poweramp Music Player. There are numerous reasons for listening to MP3s rather than streaming services – portability, data usage, personalisation, and so forth.
Poweramp provides a superior alternative to any pre-installed Android apps, with support for a wide variety of file types and automatic album art sourcing.
A ten-band graphical equaliser and separate bass/treble are great for customising sound settings.
Kindle. Rumours of the book’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, with e-readers complementing (rather than competing against) paperbacks and hardbacks.
The Kindle app synchronises with registered Amazon Kindle devices, meaning you can read your latest page-turner (page-flicker?) wherever you happen to be.
With over 900,000 titles in Amazon’s online store, train journeys won’t seem long enough.
Google Maps. The world’s finest satellite mapping service represents an essential installation on any mobile device.
As well as offering turn-by-turn navigation for pedestrians and motorists alike, Google Maps also delivers peerless 3D and aerial satellite imagery.
Few online activities are as addictive as Street View, which is activated in the Android app by dragging and dropping a pin figure onto any road highlighted in blue.
AirDroid. Being able to mirror your phone onto a desktop computer is a useful twist on remote sharing platforms like Splashtop SOS.
Unlike Bluestacks, you don’t need to make an either/or choice between receiving messages and updates to your handset or desktop interface.
However, some advanced AirDroid functionalities require your handset to be rooted.