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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 the Swell app

(Image credit: Anecure Inc)


Is audio the future of social media? With the growing popularity of services like Clubhouse it very well might be, and an Android app called Swell is also trying to get in on the act.

Swell essentially lets you record and listen to mini podcasts. These can be movie or book reviews, reactions to a news story, interviews, advice, or any number of other things, and anyone can record and share their own.

While setting up a profile you’ll be asked which topics interest you. This will affect what appears on your feed, but you can also just search for anything else.

You can follow users so you never miss their content, and leave voice replies to peoples’ posts – essentially allowing you to build up an audio conversation. You can also set up invite-only groups, for more private conversations.

It’s a solid app, with the main issue currently being the one most new social networks and similar services face – the need to get users. At the time of writing there’s not a huge amount of content, but hopefully it will swell over time.

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.