The best Android apps of 2015, according to Google

Every year, the editors at Google hand-select a list of the best Android apps of the year.

They take a bunch of criteria into consideration, including number of installs, which apps have high star ratings, and whether an app either launched or had a big update in 2015.

We’ve collected all of Google’s top picks in one neat place so you can learn more about each one and download your favourites.


The ecommerce site (and corresponding app) Jet launched earlier this year to take on Amazon by offering lower prices, thanks to its dynamic pricing engine, which gives shoppers additional discounts based on their location, payment choices, other basket items, and more.

Touting itself as 'the biggest thing in shopping since ... shopping,' it promises savings on just about anything.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)

Microsoft Word

Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

It's kind of funny to see Google selecting another mobile word processor other than Docs for its 'best of' list, but it's with good reason that Microsoft Word made the cut.

The app connects to the cloud and lets you reap many of the benefits of Word free of charge: You can read, edit, and create your own documents, complete with charts and images.

Price: Free, although to use all of the features you need an Office365 subscription (Android, iOS)

Doodle: Schedule Maker

Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Forget about having to rely on one of this

Doodle will make planning your next meeting or group dinner date a cinch.

Instead of starting an email or text chain where everyone throws out their free time and unavailabilities willy-nilly, you can use Doodle to make everyone mark up a shared calendar. That way, it's simple to see when everyone can meet.

Price: Free (Android)

Attack the Light

Attack the Light

This easy-to-learn roleplay game takes you on a magical adventure through the world of Cartoon Network show 'Steven Universe.'

Collect treasures, fight bad guys, and, best of all, don't worry about running into in-app purchases because this game doesn't have any.

Price: Free (Android)


Myles Aronowitz/Netflix
We've heard 'Jessica Jones' is worth a holiday binge watch

If you pay Netflix's monthly fee, downloading the companion app is a no-brainer.

You can watch all your favourite TV shows and movies on the go and switch seamlessly between desktop and mobile without losing your spot.

Price: Free to download, need a subscription (Android)

ZEDGE Ringtones and Wallpapers


If you're going to spend a ludicrous amount of time staring at your smartphone, you might as well have a wallpaper background that you're obsessed with.

This app lets you deep-dive into a comprehensive selection of customisable backgrounds and ringtones, so you can tailor your Android until you feel like it really reflects 'you.'

Price: Free (Android)

YouTube Gaming


YouTube dived much deeper into the gaming world earlier this year when it released this gamer-focused app.

Although YouTube has long been chock-full of gaming videos, YouTube Gaming puts all that content in one place, giving more than 25,000 games their own branded channels, and -- more importantly -- giving users a simple way to stream their gameplay live or chat with other viewers.

Price: Free (Android)



Google may have got into gaming this year, but Twitch is the incumbent that gamers have long been obsessed with.

Twitch also hosts both live-streamed and video-on-demand (VoD) content, and lets users chat with each other live. At this point, it has been downloaded about 10X more than YouTube Gaming.

Price: Free (Android)

Khan Academy

Khan Academy

Khan Academy's app is designed to help the masses learn for free. There are more than 10,000 videos and explanations that cover topics such as maths, science, economics, and more -- all of which can be bookmarked to watch offline. You can even sync your app with to easily switch between a mobile device and desktop to pick up where you left off.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)

Action Launcher 3

Action Launcher

One of the best things about Android is you can download 'launchers' like this one, which are essentially home screen replacements that let you customise and personalise the look and feel of your phone as much as you want.

Android Launcher 3 plays real nice with material design, the sleek, bright aesthetic that Google released last year.

Price: Free, with in-app purchases (Android)


Brooks Hassig
Someone edited this photo using VSCO

Sorry Instagram: VSCO now reigns supreme among artsy youth who want to make their normal pictures look like mini-masterpieces.

This is a seriously great photo editing app that adds filters far more subtle than Insta's Valencia or Hefe. Learn how to use it with our handy guide.

Price: Free (Android)

My Very Hungry Caterpillar

Hungry Catepillar

Based on the classic children's book by Eric Carle, the My Very Hungry Caterpillar app lets kids feed their own little pet insect, while also completing other tasks like watering the flowers and growing fruit.

Its gorgeous graphics and educational challenges have clinched it a spot as the #1 kids app in more than 20 countries.

Price: Free (Android)



This camera app is more than just another filter tool.

EyeEm is designed for photographers who are looking for exposure past Instagram. It connects individuals with a community of 15 million similar-minded people to help them gain exposure and sell their work.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)


Reconnect with your inner child.

This free colouring book lets you explore 'colouring therapy' as a way to decompress when you just want to do a mindless task. You're never too old for a colouring book.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom


With Adobe Photoshop Lightroom in your pocket, you have access to some of the best photo editing tools out there.

Named the best photo app this year by the Professional Photographer Hot One Awards, Lightroom includes everything from one-tap presets to manual advanced adjustments. Save your favourite edits and upload your pictures to your social media accounts.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)

Kitchen Stories

Kitchen Stories / YouTube

Kitchen Stories is designed for amateurs and professional chefs. It helps you discover new, easy recipes, which are accompanied by pictures, step-by-step instructions, and video and how-to guides.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)



Never miss the latest sports updates with theScore.

You can follow the NFL, NCAA Football, MLB, NBA, NHL, EPL, and more while receiving customisable stats, scores, and news alerts. theScore even has an app for your Android Wear device or Apple Watch.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)

Google Photos


If you take a lot of pictures on your phone, prepare to fall in love Google Photos.

The app has free, unlimited storage, and automatically organizes (and even edits) your photos, while simultaneously making them searchable by specific image or geography (for example, you could search 'tacos in Hawaii') thanks to Google's machine vision chops.

Price: Free (Android)



Robinhood wants to turn you into a stock trader. For free.

The app lets you buy and sell stocks without a trading fee, while also giving you access to real-time market data, personalised watchlists, and historical charts.

Price: Free (Android)

Star Wars


Every Star Wars nerd should have this app on their phone.

As your 'official mobile connection to a galaxy far, far away,' it keeps you up-to-date with all the breaking news, social updates, and special events happening with the series.

You can even get a Star Wars-themed five-day weather forecast or, if you have the cheap virtual reality headset Google Cardboard, immerse yourself in space.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)

Office Lens

Office Videos / YouTube

Created by Microsoft, Office Lens is 'like having a scanner in your pocket.'

You can snap a picture of a whiteboard, receipt, business card, and more, then the app will digitize all the notes for you. Office Lens then allows you to convert images to PDF, Word, or PowerPoint files and upload notes to your OneNote or OneDrive account.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)

SwiftKey Keyboard


SwiftKey is a digital keyboard powered by artificial intelligence and designed to 'kill your typos.'

Over 250 million people have downloaded the customisable swipe-to-type app, which can autocorrect in over 100 languages and even offers an emoji keyboard.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)


Flipagram / YouTube

Flipagram breaks down editing your music videos or slideshows into three easy steps.

All you have to do is select your photos or clips, add music, filters, and text, and then share on your favourite social media account.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)

Nova Launcher

Sam Beckman / YouTube

Why be stuck with your basic home screen when Nova Launcher allows you to create one?

Control and customise your phone with different icon themes, layouts, animations, and much more.

Price: Free (Android)

PicsArt Photo Studio

PicsArt / YouTube

With PicsArt Photo Studio is more than a photo editor.

It has hundreds of editing tools, customisable filters and effects, and image overlays to capture and create photo collages or digital drawings.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)

djay FREE


djay combines your Android device with your Spotify account to make you the ultimate DJ.

The remixing app allows you mix and remix your all your favourite songs or playlists instantly. Create loops and effects in real-time as you keep the party going.

Price: Free (Android)

Backgrounds HD

Backgrounds HD / YouTube

Is your phone's wallpaper starting to bore you?

Try Backgrounds HD, which gives you access to thousands of wallpapers, plus, it will send you new suggestions every day to make it easy to switch things up.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)

Memrise Learn Languages Free

Memrise / YouTube

Designed by memory coach Ed Cooke, Memrise Learn Languages Free puts you in contact with thousands of native speakers to help you learn over 200 languages.

Using scientifically proven memory-enhancing techniques, the app gives you access to games and example videos so you can speak your second language like it's your first.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)

Ginger Keyboard

Ginger Software / YouTube

For those who use more emojis than letters when sending messages, the Ginger Keyboard is the perfect app for you.

Put your own twist on your keyboard by selecting from hundreds of themes and thousands of emoji art, stickers and animated GIFs. If you're bored, you can even kill some time by playing one of the mini games available within the app.

Price: Free (Android)


busuu / YouTube

Language Learning helps you master one of 11 languages with the help of 50 million people worldwide who use the app.

Set personal goals and learn the proper vocabulary and grammar for your selected language.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)


This is an essential app for any cord-cutter. Access HBO's original content and movies right from your mobile app any time you want.

Price: Free to download but $14.99/month (Android, iOS)

WPS Office + PDF

WPS Office + PDF is a mobile office suite designed to fit on your phone.

It is fully compatible with Microsoft Office and can be synced with Google Drive and Dropbox. Now you can view, edit, and create documents anywhere.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)

Dashlane Password Manager

Dashlane / YouTube

It is more important than ever to use proper passwords to protect your accounts. The hard part is remembering what you actually chose.

That's where Dashlane Password Manager comes in handy. The app uses encryption to keep track of your passwords and personal information, including credit card information.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)

Toca Nature


Toca Nature allows you to go outside and appreciate nature without having to leave your house.

This digitised version of the outdoors allows you to explore different landscapes, climb a mountain, collect berries, and feed animals. With this app, you have the power to build your own ecosystem and explore.

Price: $2.99 (Android, iOS)


With the Showtime app, you can gain access to all of your favourite Showtime content where ever you have an internet connection.

Price: free to download, $10.99/month subscription (Android, iOS)


Peak / YouTube

Fine tune your mind with Peak, a brain-training app that offers minigames and personalised daily 'workouts' to keep your brain in tip-top shape.

The app tracks progress with memory, focus, language, mental agility, and problem solving.

Price: Free (Android, iOS)

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