In a recent video, HowToMen unveiled the top 20 best Android apps of 2016. Many of them are surprisingly beautiful and relatively unknown. They’re also all totally free.

What are the best Android apps you should consider downloading to your device in 2016? Here’s the complete list:

Backdrops (FREE)

This is a wallpaper app that features hundreds of hand-crafted wallpapers. The wallpapers are colorful and tend to be of the minimalistic variety. There’s also the wallpaper of the day – so you can freshen up your wallpaper constantly if you get bored. The app also helps to share the artwork of individual content creators. It’s free, but there’s a Pro Pack with an exclusive collection of backgrounds.

Native Clipboard (FREE)

Native Clipboard is the best copy/paste tool on Android. Double tap text then choose from dropdown options. It’s stupidly easy.

native clipboard android

Portal (FREE)

Portal makes sending photos, videos, and files between your phone and PC as easy as dragging and dropping. You open up a website at on your computer, then transfer data over your WiFi connection. You can even transfer files over 1GB in size, and all photos are automatically placed in your phone’s gallery.

Solid Explorer File Manager (FREE)

Solid Explorer is a solid file management app that uses Material Design in all its glory.

Monospace Writer BETA (FREE)

Want a minimalistic note-writing app? Monospace Writer is basically like Notepad for your Android. It supports bold, italics, H1, H2, Bullet, and Quote formatting and displays it all without distractions.

monospace android

Enpass Password Manager (FREE)

Manage your passwords across platforms securely and easily.

Micopi (FREE)

Micopi is a nifty little app that will assign a randomly generated picture to everyone in your contact list. The app uses the numbers, name, and other contact data to randomly generate an abstract image based on that person. The end result is a brand new image that you will immediately associate with that contact.

Phonograph (FREE)

Phonograph uses Material Design and a floating play/pause button to make Android music playback easier and more attractive than ever.

Doze (FREE)

Doze is a battery life optimization tool that prevents your apps from sending or receiving data when the screen is off. It can add hours onto your standby battery life. Apps resume their normal activity when the screen is back on.

doze android 2

Mathway (FREE)

Mathway is a math problem solver that literally lets you take a picture of your math problem on a piece of paper and then watch as those problems are solved. You can also take pictures of graphs. The app can handle basic math, pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus, statistics, linear algebra, finite math, and even chemistry.

Custom Quick Settings (FREE)

Custom Quick Settings lets you add as many quick settings to your notification screen as you like. You can use those quick settings buttons to launch apps, launch a URL, or activate custom settings.

Texpand (FREE)

This text expansion app lets you save time by assigning shortcuts to your frequently used texts. For example, you can type in the word pst into a message to automatically insert whatever is on your clipboard. You can type in cell to automatically post your cell number. And you can type in tdy to automatically generate and insert today’s date. If you’re lazy and find yourself repeating the same information a lot, Texpand is the right choice for you.


Audify Notification Reader (FREE)

Audify is an app that speaks and reads your notifications out to you, which means you can hear your notifications over your headphones or have them read out to you over your car’s Bluetooth connection. Useful if you’re on-the-go or exercising and don’t want to whip out your phone.

RoundMe (FREE)

RoundMe lets you “explore the world from the comfort of your sofa”. It integrates with Google Cardboard, Oculus, and other virtual reality headsets to give you a motion-sensitive panorama of your surroundings.

Khan Academy (FREE)

Khan Academy has over 10,000 videos and explanations covering a wide range of educational topics – like math, science, economics, history, and much more. If you’re sick of wasting time on Facebook or Twitter on your phone, then Khan Academy is an educational alternative.

khan android app

ADV Screen Recorder (FREE)

ADV Screen Recorder lets you record, pause, and resume video recording on your Android screen. You can also use your front and back video cameras while recording your screen, which is pretty cool if you’re doing tutorial videos.

Kodi (FREE)

Kodi is formerly known as XBMC media center. It’s an open source media playback platform designed to let you manage your media over devices like your living room TV.

Office Lens (FREE)

Office Lens lets you trim, enhance, and make pictures of whiteboards and documents more readable. If you’ve ever taken a picture of a printed out document and were disappointed by the coloring, glare, and other imperfections, then Office Lens is a great way to solve that problem.


Gallery Doctor (FREE)

Gallery Doctor is a free photo cleaner app that lets you free up valuable storage by identifying bad and similar photos in your Android gallery. The app claims it can free up to 35% of your device’s storage because users have, on average, “2GB worth of bad & similar photos” taking up space.


Overclock your Android CPU speed or underclock it to save battery life. Works especially well on rooted Androids.

Are there any other apps you’d want to add for a must-have list in 2016? Let us know in the comments section below!

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