10 Android Apps To Download For Your New Device

Alien Invasion

Once the novelty of that shiny new Android device wears off, there are plenty of great apps out there to make the phone or tablet more useful. Here are 10 great apps to download now for the alien that landed on your lap over the holidays.

FireEye Mobile Security

Before installing anything else, it's important to protect Android devices from viruses, malicious apps and other forms of malware. Among the best security apps is also one of the newest to hit the market. For companies using the FireEye enterprise solution, FireEye Mobile Security is a free tool that once installed immediately scans software already on the device and reports any known threats in real time. The tool then performs an analysis of any incoming apps to make certain they're safe and that they use libraries that have been certified as safe by FireEye's team of analysts. FireEye Mobile Security won CRN's Enterprise App Award this year for security. For a good stand-alone security tool, we recommend Lookout Security and Antivirus.


Here's a free and highly rated app that might also be helpful for keeping one of those New Year's resolutions. Duolingo uses visuals and audio to teach Danish, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and other major languages. It makes learning fun by teaching by in small, manageable doses with plenty of rewards along the way.

ES File Explorer

Here's an app that some people will use a lot and others just once in a while. But when it's needed, it's a godsend. ES File Explorer is a free file management tool that provides visibility and control over all Android device files regardless of whether the device is rooted. Features include cut, copy, paste, move, and compress files, plus the app has the ability to easily send files to others. It supports more than 30 languages and works with any version of the Android OS.


Devices that come with a data plan that are used by anyone who drives simply must have a copy of Waze installed. This free app uses the real-time feedback from motorists to help other drivers find ways around traffic jams. When running the app while driving, it feeds GPS data to a central server and a pop-up asks whether the current slowdown is traffic-related. Other people using Waze can then be rerouted around that jam.

PlayerPro Music Player

If music and/or movies are on tap, replace Android's so-so media player with PlayerPro Music Player, which offers features that more than justifies its $5 price tag. The app creates playlists in seconds. Just sort songs by artist, album title, song name, or genre and long-press any to add it or whole albums to the list. It fetches and stores album art and song lyrics, has a five-band equalizer with bass and volume boost and can remove gaps between songs. A pair of lock screen widgets and skins are available as free downloads. Just about every aspect of PlayerPro Music Player is customizable, including the programming of device volume controls to control tracks.


There's no longer any need to head outdoors to have a meeting or just hang out. Hangouts is Google's free app that lets as many as 100 people join and message each other with images, and up to 10 people can start VoIP or video conferencing sessions, all for free.


Here's a way to use programming logic to improve productivity without becoming a code geek. If This Then That (IFTTT) is an app that automates tasks that would otherwise have to be repeated manually. For example, if posting on Facebook and Twitter are part of one's normal daily routine, IFTTT could perform one of those postings automatically after the first one was done.

Kindle app

Disappointed that a Kindle wasn't under the tree? Remedy that by downloading the free Kindle app and gain access to more than a million books plus magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals, thousands of which are free. For people with more than one device, Kindle can sync reading materials across several devices and always keeps track of where you left off. The Kindle app even retains furthest page read, bookmarks, highlights, and margin notes across devices running Android, Blackberry, iOS, Mac OS, and Windows. There's also a built-in dictionary (just tap-and-hold a word) and direct search links to Google and Wikipedia.

Kingsoft Office

If editing Office-style documents is required, one standout is Kingsoft Office 6.0 for Android, a mature app for phones and tablets. It includes a file manager, integrates with mail and can open, edit, save, and print Office documents on Box, Dropbox, and Drive. There also are versions for iOS and Windows, and all support a wide variety of file formats for working with and printing all major Office modules and PDF.

Sci-Fi Scanner

For Star Trekkers (don't call them "trekkies"), this is the first app they'll want to install and fire up. Once you hear that signature Tricorder sound, you'll swear you're on an away mission standing next to "Bones." (But we hope you're not wearing a red uniform; those guys are always toast). There's an iOS version of this app called Tricorder that doesn't actually do anything except look cool and sound like a Tricorder. And while it lacks the Tricorder name, the Android version also measures Wi-Fi signal strength and ambient noise, reports the weather, and displays solar info.