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The best free Android apps of 2021: the best apps in the Google Play Store

The best free Android apps
(Image credit: SoundCloud)

We've collected together the best free Android apps you can download today, so you can find exactly what you need without trawling through the Google Play Store.

It has been over 12 years since Android was first launched by Google, and back then it was hard to imagine the sheer number of apps we'd have today. There are apps for everything, and many of them are completely free, meaning you're just a few downloads away from supercharging your smartphone at no extra cost.

Admittedly, the huge quantity of apps doesn't mean they're all quality - far from it in fact, and finding the good ones can be tough.

There are tools and techniques to help, with various lists in the Play Store providing you with Editor's Picks across a range of categories, new releases and even apps that are specifically recommended for you based on your previous installs.

You can also hunt out apps that are similar to your favorites by searching for an app you have and seeing what else comes up.

And checking out user reviews and ratings can save you from downloading a dud of an app.

But even with all that, the sheer number of apps on Google Play means many of the best can often get lost, while weaker ones sometimes rise to the top.

So to make sure you never install a duff app here's our selection of the best you should install right now - each one carefully chosen to ensure you'll have a whole suite of fun, engaging and, dammit, useful apps on your phone or tablet.

We've sorted them into categories so you can more easily find what you're looking for. But make sure to check back every few weeks for out latest app selection, which you'll find below.

Best new free Android app

Every few weeks we add a new app to this list and you'll find the latest addition below.

Screenshots showing WellPaper

(Image credit: OneLab by OnePlus)

WellPaper

When is wallpaper more than just wallpaper? When it’s WellPaper, an app from an experimental software team within OnePlus – though you can install it on just about any Android phone.

WellPaper gives you a choice of three wallpapers to choose from for your phone, which isn’t many, but they’re all designed to visualize how you use your phone.

One of the wallpapers has six neon rings of different colors, with each representing a different app category (games, social, lifestyle and communication, tools, information and business, and entertainment). The thickness of each ring will change based on how much you use apps in each category.

The other two wallpapers are much the same idea, but one presents the data in colored tiles, and one in colored circles.

So you’re getting wallpaper that gradually shifts as the day goes on, and gives you an insight into which apps you’re spending the most time with. Then within the app itself you can see a detailed breakdown of exactly how much time you’ve actually spent using different apps and app types.

Each wallpaper looks good too, and it uses very little battery life, unlike some live wallpapers.

James Rogerson
James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps.