May 03 AT 4:35 PM Taylor Wimberly 50 Comments

The first 10 Android apps I install when I get a new phone


I am not your average smartphone user. Every other week I get a new Android device and I’m constantly swapping out SIM cards to test out a new smartphone. Android has a feature that syncs up your apps from Google Play, but I always cancel it out since I have hundreds of junk apps that I download to my devices. I have found that I normally install the same groups of apps over and over, so I felt like I should share them. These are the first 10 Android apps I install when I get a new device.

1. Google Voice



Google Voice is always the first app I install and setup because it links my Google Voice number to my current device. I switch phones and SIM cards all the time, so I always have a new temporary number, but Google Voice instantly connects me with my existing number and all my stored contacts.

2. Swiftkey



I was always a fan of the stock Android keyboard, but most non-Nexus phones exclude it. Several months ago I finally decided that Swiftkey is the best alternative keyboard, and I think I actually prefer it over stock now. Its next word prediction is awesome and I love that it learns from my Facebook, Twitter, RSS, and other social accounts.

3. Facebook



I’m not a huge Facebook user, but most of the other Android apps I use have Facebook login and it’s super simple to login if I have the official app installed. Seriously, nothing beets the one-click login of Facebook.

4. Twitter



Everyone hates the official Twitter app, but I love it. Twitter has made some great strides with recent updates and it gets the job done for me. I know it doesn’t have all the features of some 3rd party clients, but I still prefer the experience to any other app.

5. Instagram



When Instagram was an iOS-only app I thought it was kind of silly, then it finally hit Android last year and I instantly became a fan (follow me). The Android version is frequently updated and it’s one of the better designed Android apps around.

6. Springpad



When it comes to blogging, Springpad is my most used tool. I browse thousands of sites and pieces of content every day and I use Springpad notebooks to keep track of all the things I find around the web. It’s also constantly updated with new features, and I love their use of the share intent.

7. Feedly



Now that Google Reader is being shut down, I have migrated over to using Feedly. It has most of the features of Google Reader, and it adds some new things like the ability to see the number of social engagements that each story has. The developer constantly updates the app and I can’t wait to see where they take it next.

8. AppAware



I’m an app junkie, and AppAware is my fix to keep up with newly released apps. They have filters for listing just released Android apps and games, and the ability to search by popular or newly updated. The community is still pretty small, but it’s active and one of my favorites.

9. Lookout



Lookout gets a space on my device just for the locate my lost phone feature. It’s free and it gets the job done. I’ve never had an issue with Android malware or viruses, but it’s nice to have an added layer of protection just in case something goes wrong.

10. Twilight



Rounding out my Top 10 is Twilight, which is the newest app on this list. This slick little app makes your phone’s display easier on your eyes before you go to bed, and it has helped improve my sleep. There is a free version to try out, but I suggest paying for the Pro version which includes some custom tweaks and full screen mode.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • jaxidian

    Wow, I don’t use a single one of those!

    • kevinseeger


    • Josh5310

      The only ones I use are Lookout, Instagram, & Twitter

  • carney villas

    I’m agree

  • PhaseBurn

    Aside from Google Voice, I don’t use any of these apps.

    I use Smart Keyboard Pro in place of the stock keyboard, & Falcon Pro for Twitter. I don’t have a Facebook or use Instragram (they’re owned by Facebook).

    Springpad seems interesting – never gave it a try, but I might. Feedly I hate because the scrolling drives me nuts. It likes to scroll whole pages of content, making me read from top to bottom on my tablet before scrolling to the next page – I prefer Press, which lets me scroll an item at a time, and keep my eyes fixed at a central point on my tablet, reading left to right only, rather than left to right, up to down.

    I used to use AppAware, way back in the day, when it leaked new versions of Gmail and such on it. Since that isn’t the case any more, I ditched it, as I didn’t see a practical purpose for it.

    Lookout isn’t bad, and it gets the job done. I use Google Apps, which has the Device Policy Manager capabilities, and effectively replaces Lookout for me.

    Twilight seems like an interesting idea, but I have a Tasker profile set up to do similar, and while it may not be as effective, it’s good enough for me.

    You should post a screen shot of your default home screen, Taylor, I’d love to see how you organize it. It’s probably way different from mine, based on your app choices, too…

    • Taylor Wimberly

      My homescreen is a big Google Calendar widget to keep up with my appointments, then a bunch of folders to group my most used apps.

  • HempCures

    Melatonin is spelled wrong on the last App suggestion.

    • Futureboy

      I particularly enjoyed the “nothing beets the one-click login” in the Facebook description.

  • cb2000a

    Don’t use any of those.

    • Pal_Peleng

      Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – when I saw these, I closed this article. Make some food photos, put into FB and Twitter and spam Internet. Boring.

      • Tetracycloide

        The Facebook reasoning from the article is actually even worse than your made up narrative. It’s literally “install facebook so I can start telling facebook every time I sign into something on my phone.” Ugh.


    Chrome if it is not pre-installed.

  • Stella

    I use the first two, Google Voice and SwiftKey. Thanks for recommending Twilight. I have to give it a try since I love reading on my phone before bed.

  • Jorge Vieira

    Ggoogle voice is a must! An Swift key also but I have been digging the swype offical launch it seems really smooth on the one.

  • jplafleur

    For me, SlideIT is my favoured keyboard. I find SwiftKey good on the phone, mostly for prediciton, but it still has a few bugs that are wuite annoying.
    SlideIT allows me to switch between languages, instead of combining them. I am just as fast sliding as I am with predictions, and the dictionary management is much easier with SlideIT.
    It is definitely the first (or one of the first) app I install.
    Dropbox, Quick Office Pro, Business Calendar, Evernote, Google Voice, Facebook, CamScanner Pro HD, Netflix, mSecure, Wunderlist 2, RealCalc and One Browser. That’s pretty much my suite of favs.

    • Futureboy

      Nice list of apps, jp.

      Excluding the Google apps, I typically start with Dropbox, Evernote KeePass, Contact Owner (“owner info” and “ICE” options on the lock screen should be baked in if you ask me), Any.Do, Llama and Gas Buddy. For business it’s Expensify, Zoho Invoice, TripIt and PolyClock (awesome widget).

  • xaml

    Security, voice over IP, a custom keyboard and a feed reader… it started promising. However, there doesn’t have to be “social” everywhere just because that’s what’s in according to those who will take advantage of one for it.

    Did number ten, writing about bio rhythms, really manage to misspell “melatonin” as “malatonin”?

  • JaylanPHNX

    I install one app first and only. Titanium Backup! It goes like this, open phone»root phone» flash TWRP»flash AOKP» install titanium backup» restore and enjoy!

    • Trev


      The first thing i do when i get a new phone usually a Nexus device is root it then install Titanium Back and restore my apps

      I dont necessarily flash a custom rom right away

      • Hmm

        I’m not a fan of rooting or custom roms….too many bugs or issues may surface. Is it my phone causing this problem or is it the fact it’s hacked? Unless your device is out of warranty and no longer has any firmware updates, I avoid rooting and custom roms like the plague.

  • Chip

    SwiftKey is the best! The rest i dont use except facebook, i prefer g+

  • jamal adam

    I use most of those apps with the exception of Lookout,Twilight, and Twitter (i use Falcon Pro). I love SwiftKey, can’t really see myself using any other keyboard. I’ll check out Twilight and see how it is. I also use feedly a lot, it’s my go to for all things android, tech and sports.

  • HeadDoc

    This article is great. EXTREMELY helpful, even though I have been an Android user for a while now. Aside from Feedly, I now have them all (though I use Advanced Mobile Care instead of Lookout). Also, people should be aware that some devices have issues with Twilight. In my case, I have to disable it when I use the Amazon App store on my HTC One X+, or it won’t allow me to tap Install.

  • donger

    Would say I use only 4 of the 10 apps myself.

  • Cliff

    Isn’t Facebook loaded already on the phone? I use SwiftKey, too. It’s the best keyboard out there!

  • ihatefanboys

    Instagram is a waste of an app. I had it for a week before i got bored of it.

  • jamesyb0i

    Cyanogenmod, Chrome, Fb, Twitter, baconreader, drive, kakao talk, keep, play music, translate, wifi file transfer pro

  • Wahyu

    I think Swype is better than Swiftkey.

  • Artificial Bacon

    Lately, I’ve actually been using the newer version of Swype far more than Swiftkey even though they both offer a very comparable experience to one another.

    As for a Twitter app: I have been using Falcon Pro as my main app, Twicca and Carbon as back ups of which I rarely, if ever, use. I keep Carbon around in hopes they’ll begin rolling out newer features but it’s beginning to feel like they abandoned it again. Falcon Pro just feels like a well-rounded app for the time being until something better rolls around. I actually bought the donation app for the widget as well but primarily for the feature to post a tweet straight from my notification drop down at any time.

    Feedly is a nice reader app but I’m not sure what it is about it that keeps turning me off from keeping it around. I used to use D7 Reader Pro for my Google Reader needs but since it’s being shut down and the app developer abandoned it, I’ve been on the look out for a replacement. Where I have been using Minimal Reader Pro for light reading, I feel like it really doesn’t get the job done and am pretty close to taking the plunge and purchasing Press.

    Another app to take a look at as a first install app is Helium by ClockworkMod (formerly Carbon by ClockworkMod). It allows for you to make app backups without the need for root similar to how Titanium Backup works.

  • Follower

    Except SwiftKey, I consider all these apps as bloatwares!

  • kip

    Twitter, Feedly, Facebook – yes to those three. I also use Twilight. Odd thing I’ve noticed with this app is that when it’s active, I can’t install anything from the Amazon Appstore. The ‘next’ or ‘install’ buttons don’t respond. Pausing Twilight in notifications allows installation…

  • lou2cool88

    I use most of the ones mentioned… My top 10 first installs would have to be (in no particular order): Facebook, Feedly (used to be Google Reader but I’ve been weaning myself off…), Twitter, Amazon Appstore, Foursquare, Twitter, ChatOn, Spotify, SlingPlayer, Pocket.

  • Jorge Eslava

    First app I download is Tinatium backup and the pro key for it.

  • Paul Atreides

    I use 4 out of 10. Maybe 5 soon once I make the jump to SwiftKey.


    How so you easily transfer data, settings, apps from one Android to another? I found it to be such a time water that it’s another reason pushing me to iPhone. I don’t want to have to manually re download every app, manually set all settings, lose all progress on any game where I’ve unlocked levels or gotten to a certain point, lose all days on other apps that don’t let you save data via an account (is ColorNotes or a stock app as just quick example). My Galaxy a nexus voice actions isn’t working.. The Google microphone Or text to speech isn’t working 95% of the trine and you have to turn the phone over and speak director into the phone just for a chance. If in going to have trio go through all this work, I might add well get an iPhone and never have to worry again. Now I d have to quickly save all my photos, videos, wallpapers, ringtones etc to my computer and then manually transfer then to another phone. From what I’ve been told, with an iPhone, you save everything to iTunes and then just reload it to a new iPhone. So if there’s av easy way to do that with android, please let me know. (It also doesn’t help that there’s no direct support for Android while iPhone users can call Apple for support or better yet speak to a real person at a store).. I don’t see how you’d easily transfer from a Samsung to an HTC…. But is there even a simple way to go from Nexus to Nexus? I have a spare galaxy u Nexus but the idea of having to do all of this work doesn’t seen with it if I have to do it every time I switch phones

    • z0phi3l

      Root your phone and buy Titanium Pro, Pro version does batch installs for you and installs all your precious settings

      The rest of your “issues” can be fixed by getting a new decent phone, sorry but a Galaxy Nexus is a fairly old device at this point in time

  • calib
  • Rene Rendon

    I use 2 thru 5 but I might have to try some of the others.

  • Jauhari

    For me, Swype much better than SwiftKey…. Swype + Dragon is awesome…

  • Hunter

    These are some great apps, Taylor. Swift Key has been with me on several phones now, but AppAware and Twilight are new to me; I’ll check those out later tonight after I get home from my shift at DISH. Another app that has been with me through several upgrades is the DISH Anywhere app. It streams live TV or recordings from my DVR, so I have full access to my favorites anywhere I go.

  • Christopher Rogers

    I had a question about Google Voice services. I have recently ported my number over to google voice. i have wanted to do this for quite some time now. my question is what you use for texting. i know that there is google voice app, but the interface is not the best and receiving mms is still an issue. I have found one app, Messaging plus voice that costs 4.99 but it integrates into the existing messaging application so it is a nice view and interface. I was just wondering while applications in addition to google voice that you may use. any help is great help. thanks

  • Tarcisio Sturmer

    Gostaria de baixar o aplicativo de leitor de código QR como faço . Meu telefone é Nokia 710

  • sakakunk

    1. Usually installed, but useless
    2. I haven’t boutght it
    3. You don’t have to install it, it’s on your phone (usually), anyway I use it
    4. Useless, if I had Twitter, i would use it from browser
    5-10. WTF are these, I have never used any of them (and I use android phones for 2 years)

  • Reina B

    Drippler helps mobile users to get to know their device better by sending them personalized updates, news and apps. I think it belongs to this list:

  • Viola

    I use most of them except Lookout because I use Advanced Mobile Care by IObit.
    Besides, dropbox is also quite useful. It also should be in the list somewhere.

  • Derek

    To conserve battery life. Install none of these.

  • Aguy

    ” I switch phones and SIM cards all the time, so I always have a new temporary number”
    Wow… I don’t get the fascination, but sure whatever makes people happy!

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    Wow good site, you shared very useful apps..i had bookmarked your site for further posting..Keep updating like more apps

  • Harsh

    I had recently bought a moto e but now it is showing some problem. The problem is that when I want to install an app it shows the option for it but when I click on the install option nothing happens and phone doesn’t install the app but this problem doesn’t appear if I install the app immediately after restating the phone.
    Please help?..