Our favorite Android apps for working out, reducing stress and crafting meals.
Glug: Drink Water Reminders
Free + $2.99 / £2.59 IAP
Drinking enough water is one of those things that sounds simple but that a lot of people struggle with. It’s easy to simply forget to drink unless you’re desperately thirsty, but your body needs lots of hydration to perform at its best.
Glug is here to remind you to drink at regular intervals and hit your daily hydration goals. You start by telling the app how much water you want to drink over the course of a day (in milliliters or ounces), as well as the earliest and latest times that you’re okay with being reminded about it.
Once done, you’ll get regular reminders throughout the day to drink. Once you tell the app that you’ve had a drink, the next reminder will be scheduled.
You can enter each drink amount down to the milliliter, or just tap on one of the customizable presets for different drink sizes. You can also delay or silence reminders if you don’t want to hear from the app. A progress bar shows how close you are to your daily goal – and whether you’re where you should ideally be at by this point in the day.
All of this is completely free, but if you want to support Glug – and get rid of ads – then you can make a one-off payment of $2.99 / £2.59.
Mindfulness with Petit BamBou
Free + $8.49 / £7.99 monthly subscription
Mindfulness with Petit BamBou is a meditation app with a lot to recommend in it. There are guided meditation sessions lasting from between three and 50 minutes, and while they’re mostly audio, the app also makes use of cartoons to add a visual aspect.
The meditations cover a variety of areas, such as stress, embracing pain, and time management, and there are also some designed specifically for kids.
There are also unguided meditations, breathing exercises, and soothing sounds and stories, so Mindfulness with Petit BamBou is the complete package really.
Like most full-featured meditation apps it’s not entirely free though. For free you get access to a couple of programs of guided meditations, plus some stories, sounds, unguided meditations, and a few other things. The bulk of the guided content is hidden behind a paywall, but if you meditate much – and make this your main meditation app – then it should be worth the money.
$2.99 / £2.59
If you use tech to track your health and fitness then you might have encountered a problem – while there are numerous handy devices and apps for this, they don’t all talk to each other, which means your data can end up spread across a variety of services when it would be much more convenient to see it all in one place.
Health Sync is a solution, or at least a partial one. It lets you sync your data between Google Fit and Samsung Health, or sync a variety of other services with either of those, including Fitbit, Garmin, InBody, Oura Ring, Polar, Suunto and Withings.
It also lets you choose different services and sync directions for different kinds of data. For example, you could sync your weight from Withings Health Mate to Samsung Health, your sleep from Oura to Google Fit, and your exercise from Samsung Health to Google Fit. You can in many cases also sync the same data to both Google Fit and Samsung Health.
Health Sync doesn’t support all sources, and some sources only work for syncing certain things or syncing in a certain direction, which means it’s only a partial solution. But it should at least cut down on the number of apps you need to open to view your data. And while it’s not free, you do get a free trial, and then it’s just a one-off purchase.
Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulness
Free + $39.99/£29.99 yearly subscription
If you have a young child who often struggles to get to sleep then Moshi could help. The app contains a large selection of ‘sleep stories’, which take the form of soothing, kid-friendly audio stories, many of which are narrated by big names like Patrick Stewart and Brian Blessed.
And they’re well thought out. Each story becomes increasingly sleepy as it goes on, and slowly fades out at the end, rather than suddenly stopping. They also contain musical transitions that are apparently designed to be mesmerizing.
Moshi also includes tracks that are just soothing music, and even some meditations, and new content is added weekly.
All this doesn’t come for free – you’ll have to shell out $39.99/£29.99 per year, but you can get a seven-day free trial, and can you really put a price on ensuring your kids get a good night’s sleep?
Free + $1.99/£1.79 IAP
Keeping a consistent sleep schedule can be almost as important as getting enough sleep, and SleepTown aims to help with that by letting you build a colorful town if you stick to your goals.
When you set up the Android app, you tell it the times when you want to go to bed and get up. Then it’s a simple case of tapping a button in-app when you turn in for the night and when you get out of bed so it knows when you were asleep (or at least trying to be asleep).
Stick to your goal and a random building will be constructed in your town each day. Fail, and construction of that day’s building will fail, though it does allow you up to two days off each week.
As well as building up a town over time, you’ll also be building up a log of the times and durations of your sleep.
There’s also a Pro version, which you can unlock for $1.99/£1.79. This lets you choose which building to construct next, back up your data, unlock achievements, and earn reward tickets, which can be used to increase the chances of getting rare buildings.
The sleep incentives offered by SleepTown certainly won’t work for everyone, but if you struggle to switch off the lights at a reasonable time or often hit the snooze button in the morning, and you like the idea of being rewarded with virtual buildings for your efforts, SleepTown could make a real difference.
Ever more people are becoming vegetarian and vegan, but while the availability of vegetarian and vegan food in restaurants is also increasing, you still won’t find it everywhere.
That’s why Android app Vanilla Bean is so handy, as it will tell you which nearby restaurants have vegan and vegetarian options. Using filters you can also search for places that are purely vegan or veggie, and places that offer some combination of gluten-free, organic, raw, fair trade, and locally sourced food, as well as filtering by price.
The results list shows you at a glance which of those things applies to a given restaurant, while tapping on a restaurant will provide an overview of it, along with its address, opening hours, photos and reviews.
Those last couple of points are where Vanilla Bean falters slightly right now, as there aren’t yet many pictures or reviews, but as a user of the app you can add your own.
$9.99/£9.99 per month
Curing snoring can be a tricky task, as the cause and effective remedies vary from person to person and often prove elusive.
One unusual approach that you might not have tried is mouth exercises designed specifically to reduce or completely stop your snoring. As you’ve probably guessed by now, SnoreFree contains exactly these exercises.
Created by Viennese speech therapist Dario Lindes, these exercises have apparently led to an over 80% success rate over the many years he’s been using them.
Each technique is explained in detail and accompanied by a demonstration video, so they’re easy to get to grips with, and you’ll be guided through a 10-15 minute routine every day. You do have to pay a moderately expensive subscription to use the Android app, but discounts are available if you commit for a year, and you can test out some of the exercises for free.
SuperBetter isn’t new, in fact it has been changing people’s lives for years now, but the fact that it’s capable of doing that makes it well worth highlighting.
The Android app essentially gamifies the process of looking after your physical and mental wellbeing, providing you with quests, power ups and bad guys to beat, all of which take the form of small tasks, such as drinking a glass of water, or walking around the block, or things to avoid, such as overeating.
Completing the challenges awards you achievements, unlocks new challenges, and helps level you up – in game, and in real life.
Sticking with SuperBetter can help you build good habits, kerb bad ones and generally become happier and healthier.
Free + $94.99/£87.99 yearly subscription
Meditation apps have flourished on mobile. At this point there’s quite a large number of high quality ones, but whether you’re looking for a change or haven’t quite found one that’s the right fit yet, Brightmind could be worth a look.
This Android app aims to tailor the experience to your needs more than some other meditation apps, as you can pick whether you want a male or female voice guiding you, and tell the app what your main goal with meditating is, be it to relieve stress, communicate better, or a number of other things. Doing this lets the app highlight meditation courses that it thinks are most relevant to you.
Once you actually get down to meditating, you can also choose the duration of the meditation, and if you don’t want a guided experience there’s also a self-guided meditation mode, which lets you pick a duration and optionally add interval bells.
Brightmind contains hundreds of meditations, but most of them require a subscription. This costs $94.99/£87.99 per year. The app supposedly also offers a monthly subscription, but we can’t work out how to access it. It does at least give you a seven-day free trial before charging you for the year though.
- Want an alternative? These are the very best meditation apps
Starts at €3.99 (around $4.50 / £3.50 / AU$6.50) per month
Recent Apple Watches and the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 have an ECG (electrocardiogram) built in, but phones so far are left out. FibriCheck though promises to be just as good, and it works on Android handsets with no special hardware.
By placing your finger on your phone’s camera, the FibriCheck app can measure your heart’s rhythm and detect any abnormalities – which could be signs of atrial fibrillation, among other things.
The Android app generates an instant report that you can download and – if you wish – share with your doctor, and optionally you can also get your measurements reviewed in-app by medical experts (though this costs more).
After a 1-day free trial, which is worth doing just to get a one-off reading, you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription to keep using Fibricheck. The basic subscription starts at €3.99 (around $4.50 / £3.50 / AU$6.50) per month, while getting a review of each reading by medical experts along with a more detailed report starts at €10.99 (roughly $12 / £10 / AU$18). In both cases that’s if you commit to a year upfront. The prices go up if you pay monthly.
It’s not cheap then, but it is a remarkable feature to have access to on your smartphone. And if you’re skeptical of the accuracy it might reassure you to know that FibriCheck has been CE-certified and FDA-approved.
Many of us have struggles in our lives, but you don’t need to struggle alone. With Wisdo, you can join one or more groups focused on an issue you might be facing, such as anxiety, depression, or eating disorders. Though there are also groups for things like learning to meditate and becoming an activist, so it’s not all directly tied to health.
You can optionally share more details of what you’ve been through on your profile, while within groups you can post messages, and read and reply to other people’s posts, offering support and guidance.
You can also have private conversations with people in the app, with the idea being that people who have been through the things you’re struggling with can help guide you, or vice versa.
It’s an Android app that’s clearly connected with a lot of people – so much so that it’s a ‘2019 Google Play Award Winner’ for ‘Social Impact’, so if you think you could use a friendly ear – or offer one – then it’s definitely worth downloading.
Free + £9.99 (roughly $13) monthly subscription
If you run, cycle or even like to track your walks then there’s a good chance you’ve come across Endomondo before. As one of the oldest, biggest and best apps in the business - it stays that way thanks to regular updates; at the time of writing the app was updated less than two weeks ago.
Even if you don’t run or cycle you might still want to check out Endomondo, as - despite its GPS-tracking specialities - it can also track more than 60 other sports, such as golf, climbing and ice skating.
Alongside route and distance tracking, Endomondo can also track your speed, pace, calories and more. Ff you’re doing a sport that can’t be tracked with GPS then you can manually enter your workout, so you’ve still got a log of your achievements.
Additionally, you can link Endomondo to heart rate monitors and cadence sensors to incorporate their data into your records. The app can also be connected to auxiliary fitness accounts such as Google Fit, Garmin Connect and Polar Flow, so all your health and fitness data will be in sync.
Endomondo also lets you create goals for individual workouts or for your week, so you have targets to hit - the Android app will even alert you when you achieve a personal best. Plus, you can create and participate in challenges against friends and other users of the app.
And if all that isn’t enough then you can also subscribe to Endomondo Premium, which adds heart rate zone analysis, interval training, personal training plans, access to advanced statistics (such as how far you’ve run in total each month), and more.
Free + $9.99/£9.99 monthly subscription
Meditation apps are meant, among other things, to relax and de-stress us, but if you’re anything like us they run the risk of doing the opposite, becoming chores that we feel guilty for neglecting.
Simple Habit doesn’t completely solve that problem, but it gets some way there, by offering short 5-minute meditations, that you can easily fit in at any point during your day.
Other meditation apps have short sessions too, but there are usually only a few of them, mixed in with longer meditations, while they’re all short in Simple Habit (though we do have to point out some stretch beyond 5 minutes to cater for those that do want a bit more relaxation).
Simple Habit also has a variety of different teachers to guide you, so if you don’t get on with one (or just get bored of their voice) there are plenty of others to choose from.
The rest of the Android app is as you’d expect, with meditations designed around specific life circumstances, goals or moods, and a simple interface that doesn’t get in the way.
Like Headspace, most of the meditations are locked behind a subscription, but you can listen to a handful for free to see if Simple Habit is for you.