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The 40 best free apps for Samsung

Discussion in 'Android Apps and Games' started by Alexey Trushkov, Mar 23, 2016.

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  1. Alexey Trushkov

    Alexey Trushkov Insane Poster Registered ✔ Verified ✔

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    Got a Samsung Galaxy S6, LG G4 or any other Android device? Then you need to download these 40 free apps

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    Citymapper
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    Google Maps might be the best mapping app around, but its public transport smarts leave a little to be desired. If you’re in a supported city (London, Hong Kong, New York City, Rome, Paris, and over two dozen more), you need Citymapper installed.

    It figures out where you are and plugs into all available transit information, enabling you to rapidly plan journeys via train, bus, bike, or ferry. Journey overviews enable you to compare how many calories or bucks you’ll burn, along with discovering which are ‘rain safe’, and those that’ll require you to hang around for ages before getting going.

    Download Citymapper

    Snapseed
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    We’ve long had a bit of a soft spot for Snapseed. Its intuitive interface was one of the most tactile on Android; moreover, the huge range of filters and effects made it perfect for all manner of photographic manipulation and fine-tuning. With 2015’s major revamp, Snapseed became further entrenched in must-have territory.

    The star of the upgrade was Stacks, which converts each filter you apply into an editable layer. This means each effect can later be tweaked, rather than being burned into your image when applied, thereby providing even more scope for experimentation.

    Download Snapseed

    JustWatch
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    These days, figuring out what you want to watch is less of a problem than where to watch it. Your TV and boxes might consider themselves smart, but not to the point they can help you dig into a dozen telly silos and quickly access shows you might be into. Enter: JustWatch.

    Tell it where you’re located and what you have access to, and it’ll make recommendations. Even better, if you’re the kind of person who still likes to buy stuff, JustWatch tracks price-drops on the likes of iTunes and Amazon.

    Download JustWatch

    Forest
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    The idea behind Forest is to use your smartphone less. You set a timer, and if you leave your phone alone, a little cartoon tree grows on the screen. Get tempted by Facebook or play Candy Crush, and you end up with a dead stick.

    Your daily forests can be compared, and each successfully grown tree nets you some coins. These can be spent on new tree types to grow. Alternatively, if you’re socially inclined and have amassed thousands of coins (which takes weeks of dedication), use them to donate to tree-growing projects around the world.

    Download Forest

    Yousician
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    These days, people are just as likely to pick up a tiny plastic guitar as a real one. Yousician takes advantage of the gamification of music, essentially spinning Guitar Hero 90 degrees and having a proper guitar be your controller. You therefore work your way through timing-based exercises that have you strum chords and pick notes at precisely the right moments.

    The free version limits how long you can play each day, but it’s a smart, fun way to pick up the basics and also to stop your inner Johnny Cash from getting rusty.

    Download Yousician
     
  2. Alexey Trushkov

    Alexey Trushkov Insane Poster Registered ✔ Verified ✔

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    GOOGLE TRANSLATE
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    We've seen a few clever translation apps in our time, but recently Google Translate has crushed them all. It now offers (sometimes clunky, word-for-word) translations of over 70 languages with input via text, handwritten words or symbols, spoken words or even text recognition via the camera. It can then give you the translation in the form of text or speak it for you.

    The core app can do all this with a data connection, and language packs can be downloaded for free so you can use it abroad without the need for Wi-Fi or the fear of roaming data charges.

    Download Google Translate

    NASA App
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    This isn't the best looking app in the world, but it's full of geek-level info and media from the NASA archive, along with news and updates on what's going on up there and back at base. Maybe one day they'll get a slick front end for it all, but for now this raggle-taggle collection of links, pictures, videos and news feeds has plenty to keep space cadets informed and entertained.

    Download NASA App

    TWICKETS
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    Twickets is a way to buy or sell spare tickets to gigs or events, but what makes it special is the rule that tickets can only change hands for their face value or less. That means the profiteering touts stay away and genuine fans get to recyle spares in good faith - great if one of your mates has dropped out and left you in the lurch, or you need an extra seat at short notice.

    You can browse what's available or offer tickets via the app and finalise the deal via Twitter (hence the name).

    Download Twickets

    Audible for Android
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    Long journey? Tired eyes? Audio books! A bit like radio shows that you actually want to listen to, a bit like podcasts before all the funny people stopped doing them, a bit like books being read to you (OK, mostly the latter), audio books are a treat to be savoured.

    Amazon's Audible app is a gateway to its own audio book service, drawing you in with free tasters of some of its best sellers. It's worth downloading even if it's only for those free nibbles.

    Download Audible

    Navmii GPS World
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    Yes, you’ve got Google Maps on your device, and the search giant’s hard at work making it possible for you to save chunks of maps for offline use, including turn-by-turn. But we still like Navmii GPS regardless.

    It’s based on an open-source map database and provides mapping and voice-guided sat-nav for no cash at all.

    You can load it with paid extras if you like, but it's fine as it is. Download the local variant for any country you're visiting before you leave and you'll always have a map and a sat-nav tool at your hip.

    Download Navmii GPS World
     
  3. Alexey Trushkov

    Alexey Trushkov Insane Poster Registered ✔ Verified ✔

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    Airbnb
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    Hotels are great when other people are paying, or if you have pots of cash to waste, but otherwise they're rarely situated where you want them. Airbnb is one of the stars of the so-called shareconomy, an accommodation network built around normal people offering up their unused rooms for a little bit of extra cash.

    The result? You'll be able to find somewhere to stay right in the heart of the city, up a mountain or even down a river, often for a very decent price. Just spend a minute browsing the amazing pads on offer and you'll be hooked.

    Download Airbnb here

    Any.do To-do list & task list
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    We're all busy. Busy creating Stuff To Do lists and sticking them in our bags, on the front door, in our back pockets and tapping them into note apps on our phones. Any.do is the best way to keep on top of all those loose ends, thanks to its cloud syncing and sharing skills. You can have it running as a live widget on your homescreen and also separate your tasks into different folders.

    Download Any.do here


    Evernote
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    Evernote is a dumping ground for everything. Got a quick idea for something amazing? Bung it in Evernote! Got a receipt? Chuck it in Evernote! Fancy recording yourself yelling “ARGH!” because you just forgot to save a receipt in Evernote and have since misplaced it? Upload it to Evernote!

    It’s clean, fairly simple, hugely flexible, *very* cross-platform, possibly a bit too green, and remembers stuff so that you don’t have to bother.

    Download Evernote

    Slack
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    It wears the beard of business, and talks about “all your team communication in one place,” and that is *a* side of Slack. It’s a powerful real-time messaging system, where you can talk all businessy about business things, and almost never drift into a conversation about jetpacks.

    But Slack also works nicely as a group communications tool for anyone: friends working on a project, or just wanting to talk using a system that’s compatible with multiple platforms and devices.

    Download Slack

    Cocktail Flow - Drink recipes
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    The best feature of this cocktail recipe book is the way you can tell it what odds and ends you've got lurking in the cupboard under the sink, and then ask it to suggest palatable ways to mix them up. It also comes with a library of popular cocktails, with additional packs that can be downloaded for a small fee.

    Download Cocktail Flow - Drink Recipes
     
  4. Alexey Trushkov

    Alexey Trushkov Insane Poster Registered ✔ Verified ✔

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    Money Tracker
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    Easily our favourite app for keeping a handle on incomings and outgoings, Money Tracker strikes a sensible balance between simplicity and features. As well as the basic sums, it lets you create your own folders and categories, so you can see where it all goes each month, and more easily define where you might be able to make savings in future. Did you really spend that much on coffee this week? Maybe you should invest in a flask this weekend.

    Download Money Tracker

    Hangouts
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    "Hey! Who wants brunch at Choochies today?" "Count me in! I've got tickets to the Nicks game, wanna come too?" Etc. Alternatively you can use Hangouts to message friends via text, video and emoticon-style "emojis" in a more realistic manner. "Train cancelled again", or "Dad, get on the video call so you can show me how to fix the boiler". That sort of thing. Woah! Hangouts rocks!

    Download Hangouts


    Duolingo: Learn languages free
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    Google Translate may be great, but the long-term aim should be to learn to speak all those languages yourself. Duolingo does an amazing job of making this fun, with a format that's a bit like a pub quiz machine. It currently supports Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian and English, and if you "play" it regularly you'll definitely pick up at least some competence in your chosen language. With more intensive use you can give yourself a week's crash course before a trip abroad.

    Download Duolingo: Learn Languages Free

    Houzz Interior Design Ideas
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    This one is all about inspiration. As you would hope from an app about design, Houzz itself is neat, logically laid out, smart and pretty in all the right places, making it the perfect distraction as you recline on your Eames lounge chair, feet up on the ottoman, contemplating the witty juxtaposition of that chandelier in your bedsit.

    Download Houzz Interior Design Ideas

    FxGuru: Movie FX Director
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    This slightly gimmicky special effects app is nonetheless very clever, verging on useful. It comes with a batch of free effects (the kind of things you'd see in a disaster movie) with additional packs as in-app purchases.

    You point your phone or tablet at a scene (say, your office, the street or your garden), and then the app records a short video clip with a destructive missile attack or perhaps a hovering UFO superimposed over the live action. Motion tracking allows you to pan as you film, too.

    Download FxGuru: Movie FX Director
     
  5. Alexey Trushkov

    Alexey Trushkov Insane Poster Registered ✔ Verified ✔

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    BBC Cbeebies Playtime
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    A lot of free apps for children are beset by confusing prompts for in-app purchases that can seriously hamper the fun. CBeebies Playtime is an ad-free lucky dip of educational games and activities for pre-school children, based on some of the channel's biggest shows and characters, including Mr Tumble, Tree Fu Tom, The Octanauts and real-life actual people such as Andy and Nina.

    Download BBC CBeebies Playtime

    SoundCloud
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    SoundCloud is great because it's not just the same old music rehashed in a new, futile money-making shell. It does hold a lot of full-length commercial tracks but it's the unique user-generated music that makes it special. That means DJ mixes, remixes, cover versions, live recordings and recitals, snippets, sounds and spoken word contibutions. If you want to listen beyond the sphere of Spotify, cock your ear this way.

    Download SoundCloud


    Met office weather application
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    All UK weather forecasts are based on information and predictions from the Met Office, so why not get your forecast from the horse's mouth? This app doesn't go in for swanky visuals but does give it to you straight, with timeline breakdowns of the changing skies plus map-based predictions of advancing weather systems. If you're less of a weather geek, try the BBC Weather app for a prettier presentation of much the same stuff.

    Download Met Office Weather Application

    VLC
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    Wouldn't it be lovely if there was one video format to rule them all, like MP3 is to music? Well, dream on... Until that day you'll be thankful for VLC, which aims to play every video format you'll ever encounter. If you like to source your movies from varied locations you'll find this one of the most useful apps on your phone or tablet. It's ad-free and doesn't try to harvest all your personal data either, which makes a nice change.

    Download VLC For Android

    Dropbox
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    As Android moves closer to home computer territory, syncing photos, music and work documents is increasingly important. As a free service, Dropbox offers 2GB of pleasingly simple online storage which is automatically synced whenever you log in from any of your devices – very useful for occassional file transfers, semi-permanent documents and shared folders. The Android app is nothing fancy but it doesn't need to be, getting the job done without fuss.

    Download Dropbox
     
  6. Alexey Trushkov

    Alexey Trushkov Insane Poster Registered ✔ Verified ✔

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    Runkeeper - GPS Track Run Walk
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    If you're putting yourself through a fitness grind alone, this virtual back-patter will help spur you on. It tracks all your runs, walks and rides, then does the maths to tell you (and the entire world via social media) how many calories you've burnt, how far you've gone and generally how heroic you've been over the past week or so. The in-app purchase model keeps it all nice and tidy too, so even in the basic free format it's a very neat app to use.

    Download Runkeeper - GPS Track Run Walk

    WiFi File Transfer
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    Google's liberal management of the Play store leads to some strange situations, such as the presence of six apps with exactly the same name. Here we're referring to the one developed by smarterDroid. We find it the easiest way to move files wirelessly to and from a computer and an Android device on an ad-hoc basis. The free version has a file size limit of 5MB, but you can buy the full, unlimited version for £0.88.

    Download WiFi File Transfer


    Peppa's Paintbox
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    We don't review childen's cartoons, but if we did, Peppa Pig would get five stars because it's consistently brilliant in its own little way, full of practical education wrapped up in addictively snappy episodes. Like the CBeebies app, this porcine painting app has no hidden agenda so your kids can paint away without being tripped up or led astray by ads, links or in-app purchases. Madame Gazelle would certainly approve.

    Download Peppa's Paintbox

    TuneIn Radio
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    Take a break from the endless banality of UK radio and tune in to a different point of view or musical selection. So long as you have a half-decent data connection, this app will tickle your ears with audio streams from all over the world, browsable by location, genre or what's trending. It also works as an on-demand podcast player. It's brilliant for in-car entertainment, so long as you have a data contract that can take the strain.

    Download TuneIn Radio

    CamScanner
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    If anyone would claim we currently live in a paperless age, we’d like to laugh in their face, but only after briefly being a bit sad that we don’t actually live without paper.

    CamScanner at least tries to shift you in the right direction. Using your device’s camera, you can scan notes and receipts, and the app auto-enhances the result to make it clear and sharp. This can then be shared. (Stump up for the paid version and you also get OCR, to extract text from your scans.)

    Download CamScanner
     
  7. Alexey Trushkov

    Alexey Trushkov Insane Poster Registered ✔ Verified ✔

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    Instapaper
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    The web, increasingly, isn’t geared towards reading. It’s geared towards quickly taking in information, and seeing what else is on offer. For long-reads, you’re often bombarded by other things, trying to make you click away. Hence ‘read later’ systems, the original of which is the superb Instapaper.

    You send content to Instapaper from a browser, and it arrives stripped of extraneous junk, leaving only the article’s text and imagery. Start scrolling and the app subtly shifts to full-screen, providing one of the most pleasing reading experiences on the platform - for whatever web pages you send to it.

    Download Instapaper

    Feedly
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    With the demise of Google Reader, the world needed an alternative RSS reader - and Feedly fits the bill nicely.

    It does pretty much everything you'd want an RSS reader to do, presenting the latest stories from your favourite media outlets and blogs in an attractive, easily browsable list. You'll find every site you might ever be interested in - yes, Stuff.tv is in there - plus it integrates neatly with the likes of Pocket and Evernote and sharing stories to social media is but a matter of a click.

    Download Feedly


    Flipboard
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    The basic idea behind Flipboard is that turns your social media feeds into a constantly updating magazine, displaying the latest updates from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and many more in a lovely grid-based design. But there's a lot more to it than that, with the ability to add content from specific RSS feeds or just by subject making it a truly personalised digital mag.

    It's ridiculously simple to use and works so well that Samsung used it to power its My Magazine app for its latest smartphones. High praise indeed.

    Download Flipboard

    LokLok
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    Now here's an interesting idea: an editable lockscreen that you use to share pictures and notes with your friends. Confused? So were we to start with.

    Basically, you set a picture as your lockscreen then scribble on top of it. Whatever you draw or write will then appear on top of the lockscreens of all those in your LokLok group.

    The app is (presumably) intended to be used for swiftly sharing notes and pics between people, without them even having to unlock their phone. But of course we used it to share juvenile scrawlings with each other. Ahem.

    It's currently in beta, so expect a few bugs, but hopefully they'll be ironed out soon.

    Download LokLok

    RouteShoot Video and GPS app
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    Like a blend of GoPro, Strava and Google Streetview, RouteShoot lets healthy types create map-based videos of their latest adventures then share them for route guidance, improving technique or simply entertainment.

    You'll need a smartphone mount to get the most out of it - certainly if you plan to use it on your bike - but once that's sorted it'll use your phone's camera to shoot footage of your latest off-road excursion, linking it with a map of where you've been and providing data on elevation and speed.

    An in-app purchase adds HD video, but really the quality of the footage is less important here than the ability to share routes with your mates.

    Download RouteShoot Video and GPS app
     
  8. Alexey Trushkov

    Alexey Trushkov Insane Poster Registered ✔ Verified ✔

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    Sketchbook Express
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    Finger painting’s for kids. At least, that’s what everyone thought until smartphones proved otherwise (or, more accurately, when artists using smartphones proved otherwise). Once David Hockney started showing off compositions made using his devices, that was that, with Jorge Colombo’s New Yorker cover art, created in Brushes for iPhone, a coda with a painterly flourish.

    Today, even free apps provide massive scope for artists on the go, and SketchBook Express gives you layers, opacity control, 15 preset brushes, and a transform tool. And if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, you can always use it for adding stupid cartoon glasses and beards to pictures of cute kittens.

    Download SketchBook Express

    Movies By Flixster
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    If you’re still brave enough to venture out to the cinema, rather than taking in movies via the magic of your smartphone or tablet, Movies by Flixster is a must-install. The app figures out where you’re located and then enables you to see what’s on at local cinemas; alternatively, you can select a film and get a list of where and when it’s playing nearby. Conceptually, it’s all very simple; technically, it’s mightily clever; and from an efficiency standpoint, it’s superb.

    Download Movies by Flixster


    SwiftKey + Emoji
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    The default Android keyboard is perfectly decent, but SwiftKey’s a popular alternative for good reason. Along with boasting excellent predictive typing, it enables you to more rapidly type by swiping your fingers across the keys rather than laboriously pecking away at them individually. Initially, you might find yourself facing some oddball typos, but with some practice, SwiftKey can hugely speed up banging out some words on your device.

    Download SwiftKey + Emoji

    Retrica
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    There are so many camera apps, social networks pretending to be camera apps, and camera apps pretending to be social networks, that it takes a lot to stand out. Retrica manages to do so due to its straightforward interface, slew of live filters and effects (so you can see what you’re going to get at all times) and excellent multishot mode.

    Use the last of those when you’re zooming along in a car (er, as a passenger, obviously) and you get some really amazing photo strips. The free version burns Retrica’s name into whatever you shoot, although this ‘advertising’ can be dealt with for a piffling £0.63.

    Download Retrica

    Pixlr Express
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    There are loads of free photo editors available for Android, but Pixlr Express goes above and beyond. First, it’s entirely ad-free, so whatever you’re editing is never suddenly half-covered by a banner for a rubbish game; secondly, it has an absurdly huge range of tools, enabling you to do anything from subtly adding radial focal blurs to wrecking your image with all kinds of grunge and crazy effects.

    All the usual suspects are present and correct, too - crop, rotate, and basic adjustments - and you can share your finished masterpieces to social networks, save them to your device, or combine them into collages.

    Download Pixlr Express here