It's been over a decade since Google first released Android, and back then it was hard to imagine how many apps we would have today.
There are apps for everything, and many of them are completely free, which means you're only a few downloads away from supercharging your smartphone at no additional cost.
Granted, the sheer volume of apps doesn't mean they're all good – far from it, in fact, and finding the right ones can be difficult.
There are tools and techniques to help you, with various lists in the Play Store providing you with editor selections in a range of categories, new releases, and even apps that are specifically recommended for you based on your previous installations. .
You can also search for apps similar to your favorites by searching for an app you own and seeing what appears.
And checking user reviews and ratings can save you from downloading a file from an app.
But even with all of that, the sheer number of apps on Google Play means that many of the best can often get lost, while the weakest sometimes reach the top.
So to make sure you never install a duff app, here is our pick of the best you should install right now – each one carefully chosen to ensure you have a whole suite of fun, engaging, and, dammit, apps useful on your phone or tablet.
We have categorized them so that you can more easily find what you are looking for. But be sure to check back every few weeks for the latest selection of apps, which you'll find below.
Best new free Android app
Every few weeks we add a new app to this list and you will find the latest addition below.
Color by number Oil painting
There are many coloring apps on Android, but Color by number Oil painting is one of the best, as it contains hundreds of stunning complex images across a range of categories (such as “birds” and “still life”), with more images added each day.
The coloring of these images is simple and intuitive. There are numbers at the bottom of the screen, each representing a color and the part of an image that must be filled in this shade. Tap a number to highlight all relevant parts of the image, which you can then tap to fill in the correct shade.
It sounds easy, but when the images can have dozens of different numbers with many small sections of the image taken by each, it can take a long time to fill them all.
To make things simpler, you can tap a compartment icon to automatically fill in all parts of the image related to a given number, but you have to watch the ads to do it unless you want to pay, and anyway, it looks a bit like cheating. Better to fill in each image manually. It's more satisfying this way, and more of a project.
The only problem we have with Color by Numbers oil painting is the large number of ads, because you also have to watch at least one when you start a new image, and at various other times. The subscription removes these items and unlocks even more images, but at $ 19.99 / £ 19.99 per month or $ 39.99 / £ 39.99 per year, we can only really recommend it if you use really great application.