Open thread: What are the top 5 apps you use on your Android phone?

Google’s Android Play store now has over 1 million apps to choose from, but there are only so many we can try, and even fewer which we will use on a regular basis. What are the top 5 Android apps you use?

What are the top 5 apps you use on your Android phone?

No matter if you have one of the latest cell phones or you are using an Android phone from years ago, chances are you have a number of ‘go to’ applications with various uses which suit your use and needs.

In this open thread we would like to hear what some of your favourite Android applications are so others can discover apps that perhaps they would never of thought of, of find apps they can use in ways they didn’t think were possible. I’m sure that many of us are going to have similar apps (social network apps, news apps etc) but there are going to be a few surprising ones which you might want to try.

As is the tradition with the GizChina open thread articles, I will go first and list my top 5 Android apps which I have on my phone and use most often.

1. WeChat

wechat logoIn China WeChat is the way everyone with a smartphone communicates, and it is catching on internationally also and for good reason. WeChat is similar to Whasapp, in that you can send written messages, voice messages and photos to your friends over 2G, 3G or Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi being free).

In addition to regular messaging WeChat can be connected to a QQ account (Asia’s equivalent of Microsoft Messenger) and has a ‘moments’ feature where you can post photos and messages to share with your contacts. There is also a groups options allowing you have a number of friends in a chat to organise events etc.

Since the launch of WeChat everyone has ditched SMS messaging in favour of it!

2. Instagram

instagramI think Instagram is going to be on a lot of your lists. It is a great way to share photos with friends and family and also meed people with the same interests as your own. In China it has the added benefit of being able to update your Facebook without the need to use a VPN or proxy!


3. Ladder

ladder trialThere are times that I need to get on sites such as Facebook and Youtube on my phone but as they are blocked in China a VPN is a must. I have the Ladder Trial app on my phone which offers you 7 minutes of VPN access (more than enough for me to have a quick browse through Facebook), and once the 7 minutes is up you can just start another 7 minutes. You can also pay to have a constant connection, but for that I have OpenVPN, but the UI on Ladder and speed of connection is much better.

4. My Tracks

my tracksI have used Google’s My Tracks application since it launched as an experiment some years ago. I use My Tracks when mountain biking or jogging to log the distance, speed and keep a record of any new places to ride for future reference. My Tracks also connects to your Google Drive now allowing you to easily open tracks from your computer too.


5. Maluuba

maluuba_icon_imageAlthough I have Google Now on my phone I find it unreliable and very slow to use, plus I don’t like the fact I cannot ask it to do things such as open an app, etc. Maluuba is a free app which I think offers much more than Google Now, and is more akin to Siri on iOS. Speech recognition is spot on with very few mistakes, and the ability to open apps, send messages, and set reminds is all very good. The only downside is that Maluuba doesn’t speak answers, but hopefully this will come in future updates.

What are your top Android apps?

Now it is over to you guys, what are your top apps (don’t worry if you have more or less than 5 we still want to hear) how do you use the apps and how do they compare to their rivals? Let’s see what interesting Android applications we can uncover in the comments section below!

Previous The Super TV S40 is a 39" LCD TV that costs just $247!
Next Renders of the Vivo Xplay 3S leaked ahead of today’s launch


  1. tweetycontrabajo
    December 17, 2013

    none of this.

  2. Oz
    December 18, 2013

    WhatsApp, Skype,GoogleMap, Email and NavFree.

  3. Alex
    December 18, 2013

    I have more then 5 that I like and use…

    Tune in radio
    Total recall call recorder
    Fastburst camera
    Next launcher 3D
    Wifi tether trevE mod
    Google maps, navigator

    I’m sure I missed a few…

    • December 18, 2013

      Ah! Fastburst is a great app!

  4. December 18, 2013

    1. Chrome
    2. WhatsApp
    3. Feedly
    4. WeChat
    5. Tasks

    And of course Google apps (Gmail, gtalk, maps)

    • December 18, 2013

      I can’t believe I didn’t mention Chrome and Gmail…..

      • December 18, 2013

        You’re using your laptop too much maybe 😉

  5. tmxturuu
    December 18, 2013

    im sure most people just use youtube, facebook, twitter, maps or something like that, maybe skype, viber. basic apps

  6. Xiaolu
    December 18, 2013

    WeChat, Google Translator, Pleco (because I live in China)… and Dungeon Hunter 4!

  7. highwind
    December 18, 2013

    whatsapp, chrome and candy crush for “active apps”
    greenify and swiftkey pro for “passive apps”

    dont even have facebook, instagram, google+ and all these “other people really NEED to know what I am doing”-apps installed

  8. DragonDragon
    December 18, 2013

    Facebook now ( vpn like app)
    Blood brothers etc etc

  9. Quetzal
    December 18, 2013

    Evernote, Feedly, Todo Cloud, Foursquare, Weather Pro, Facebook (and of course Mail, Contacts, Calendar)

  10. Ivo001
    December 18, 2013

    Fine Volume Control V2.0 (steps of 1% instead of the regular 7/8)
    Moboplayer (great videoplayer)
    JAYZ Headset Control (for configuring my Xiaomi Piston button functions)
    Adobe Reader

  11. Finn
    December 18, 2013

    1. Spotify and music
    2. WhatsApp
    3. Outlook
    4. Feedly / Flipboard
    5. Google Now / Search

  12. Zalzala
    December 18, 2013

    Whatsapp, Line, Offline Dictionaries, Memo & Chrome

  13. Irv
    December 18, 2013

    Google Translate / Pleco
    Sleepmeter (sleep tracking)
    Strava Cycling (My Tracks gave me some problems in the past)
    Titanium Backup
    and of course Google apps (Gmail, Maps)

  14. Allanitomwesh
    December 18, 2013

    Opera Mini
    Titanium Backup
    ADW Launcher

    Most used would be whatsapp,I don’t really install that many apps. I also like Moon+ Reader for when I have a book I’m reading. I also play Bubble Blast to pass the time,fun little game that.

  15. daniel999
    December 18, 2013

    Firefox, gmail or yahoo mail, kingsoft office, alarmdroid, inoreader.

  16. Android Lover
    December 18, 2013

    Whatsapp, Life360, Facebook/Messenger, 4D/TOTO, Phone Bill/Data,

  17. Dai_Shan
    December 18, 2013

    On my phone and tablet:

    1. Pleco (also living in China, OCR is a life saver)
    2. Moon+ Pro
    3. Mantano Reader
    4. TuneIn Radio
    5. Hangouts

    Usually exclusive to my phone:
    1. Wechat
    2. Tiny Tiny RSS
    3. Tapatalk
    4. Chrome + Gapps
    5.沃行讯通 (Awesome app for finding bus routes and where the buses are at, so you can chose alternatives if need be)

    On my tablet:
    1. Lightning Browser
    2. Dice Player
    3. Plex
    4. Youku
    5. Skype

  18. Evgenij Nebotov
    December 18, 2013

    1. financisto – for finances
    2. gtasks – for notes
    3. vk – .ru social net
    4. igo 2012 – for offline navi
    5. agoda/booking – when i’m travelling

  19. res gomez
    December 18, 2013

    Clean Master,
    Download MP3,
    iHeart Radio,

  20. December 19, 2013

    1. Viber (who need to pay for call? use internet 2$ = 1GB 100% internet connection in country HF)
    2. ES file manager (manage files and add custom ring-tones 2 phone
    3. Yahoo weather (nice design)
    4. Some BUS schedule app for travelling
    5. Nova Launcher (maybe will change some day)

  21. ludo
    December 19, 2013

    My apps:

    #1 Greenify, it should be in stock Android by default
    #2 GravityBox, who needs a custom ROM with GB?
    #3 FBReader, best ebook reader ever
    #4 MXPlayer, could not live without it
    #5 Backgammon NJ, I’m a backgammon addict

    And of course all the standard google apps, plus the awesome Xperia keyboard.

  22. ApSoL
    December 19, 2013

    Facebook Messanger

  23. no name
    December 20, 2013

    1. backup to gmail (absolutely must have)
    insensibly backups your sms/mms/call log to gmail account. no settings, no bugs, no battery drain. just works

    2. mx player (pro)

    best video player for android i ever used

    3. poweramp

    best audio player for android i ever used

    4. ES file explorer

    best file manager and much more than simple file manager

    real swissknife “all in one”. replaces bunch of apps

    5. CoolReader
    best ebook reader for android i ever used

  24. bianca
    December 24, 2013

    i might have facebook, skype, oovoo, twitter, gps, inastagram

  25. February 24, 2016

    Download our app post free ads India

  26. Satbeer Singh
    April 10, 2017

    Post Free Classified ads on