Image: Supplied

The 50 Best Mobile Apps Everyone Should Own


There is not shortage of free mobile and desktop applications available on the internet. Unfortunately, most of them are either rubbish or trick you into parting with your cash via in-app purchases. But if you take the time to sort the wheat from the chaff, you'll find plenty of excellent apps that truly are free.

We're thankful every day for all the free apps out there that improve our lives (and the developers that make them!). Here are 50 our favourites.

1. Feedly

Category: News Readers

See also: The Best Extensions and User Scripts to Power Up Feedly, The Best New Features Feedly Has Added for Google Reader Switchers, Five Best Google Reader Alternatives.

Alternatives: The Old Reader, Tiny Tiny RSS

2. Google Maps

Category: Maps See also: The Best Extensions to Make Google Maps Even More Awesome, The Best Ways to Use Google's New(ish) My Maps Tool, How to Set Up the Ultimate Personal Google Maps, Make your GPS App Give You Better Directions, and Wean Yourself Off Your GPS Dependency.

3. Dropbox

Category: Cloud Storage

See also: The Cheapskate's Guide to Getting Free Dropbox Space, How to Get 8GB+ Extra Dropbox Space for Free with Google AdWords, Seven Downloads and Extensions to Make Dropbox Even More Awesome, Top 10 Clever Uses for Dropbox, How to Supercharge Your Dropbox with Wappwolf, The Start-to-Finish Guide to Securing Your Cloud Storage, and more Dropbox coverage

4. Google Chrome

Category: Web Browsers

See also: The Always Up-to-Date Power User's Guide to Chrome, The Best Packaged Apps for Chrome, The Best Chrome Apps You're (Probably) Not Using, The Secret Powers of Chrome's Address Bar, Speed Up Chrome for Android with this Settings Tweak, Lifehacker Pack for Chrome, and more Chrome coverage.

5. Firefox

Category: Web Browsers

See also: The Always Up-to-Date Power User's Guide to Firefox, The Best About:Config Tweaks for Making Firefox Better, Lifehacker Pack for Firefox, Speed Up Firefox By Enabling Its New HTTP Cache, and more Firefox coverage.

6. Gmail

Category: Email See also: How to Master Gmail with These Tips, Shortcuts, and Add-Ons, Top 10 Clever Tricks Built Right Into Gmail, Fix Gmail's Newest Annoyances with These Userstyles and Userscripts, Everything You Need to Know About Gmail's New, Super-Confusing Layout, How to Use Inbox by Gmail for More Productive Email and more Gmail coverage.

7. Onenote

Category: Notes

See also: How To Jump Ship From Evernote And Take Your Data With You, Seven Tips And Tricks To Get More Out Of OneNote.

Alternatives: OneNote vs Evernote, Springpad vs Evernote, Simplenote

8. Pocket

Category: Reading

See also: The Best Way to Save All the Useful Articles You Come Across Online, How To Use Technology To Get Through Your Reading List, How to Use Pocket Like a Pro to Save Everything from the Web.

Alternatives: Instapaper and Readability

9. Plex

Category: Media Centres See also: How to Stream Your Media Anywhere with Plex, Plex vs XBMC, RasPlex Puts Plex on the Raspberry Pi, and Create a Home Server with Plex.

10. Google Keep

Category: Notes See also: Not Just Another Notes App: Why You Should Use Google Keep, and Google Keep Adds Reminders So You'll Never Forget to Act on Your Notes.

11. Pushbullet

Category: Notifications

See also: How to Use Pushbullet to Get Notified of Anything on Any Device, How To Use Pushbullet To Get Notified Of Anything On Any Device, Send Text Messages from Your Computer with Pushbullet.

12. Skype

Category: VoIP

See also: Get Better Quality Video Chat, Disable Skype's Ads, The Five Best Webcams and more Skype coverage

13. Spotify

Category: Music Streaming

See also: The Best Spotify Tips and Tricks You're Probably Not Using, Why Spotify Apps Are Actually Pretty Useful and more Spotify coverage

14. Google Drive

Category: Cloud Storage/Office Suites See also: 8 Extensions That Make Google Drive More Powerful than Dropbox, How to Stream Your Media Anywhere with Dropbox and Google Drive, How to Make Google Drive Work Like a Desktop Suite, Google Drive Is Changing: Here Are The Details.

15. Google Calendar

Category: Calendars See also: The Coolest Things You Can Add to Google Calendar, Manage Your Money with Google Calendar, How to Use Google Calendar as a Project Management Tool, and 8 Great Experimental Features to Enable in Google Calendar's Labs.

16. Google Play Music

Category: Music Streaming

See also: All Of Google's Confusing, Intertwined Music Services, Explained, Google Turns YouTube into a Streaming Music Player with Music Key.

17. Google Assistant

Category: Personal Assistant

See also: All The Things You Can Do With Google Assistant That You Couldn't Do Before, Everything You Didn't Know You Could Do with Google's Voice Commands, Speed Up Google Now with This Simple Tweak.

18. Swiftkey

Category: Keyboards

See also: How to Improve Your Predictive Keyboard, SwiftKey Adds Custom Keyboards You Can Resize and Move, and Improve Your Typing with SwiftKey's Heat Map.

Alternatives: Five Best Android Keyboards and iOS Keyboards.

19. Any.DO

Category: To-Do Lists

See also: The Coolest 'Extra' Features In Any.DO, Adds A Smart Assistant To Help Plan And Complete Your To-Dos, and Finally Unveils A Web App, Brings Your To-Dos To Any Browser.

20. Signal

Category: Messaging/Video Chat

See also: Signal, The Encrypted Chat App, Is Now Available On The Desktop, The Best And Worst Encrypted Messaging Apps.

21. LastPass

Category: Password Managers

See also: The Intermediate Guide to Mastering Passwords with LastPass, You Can Now Use LastPass On Multiple Devices For Free and Behind The App: The Story Of LastPass.

22. Kodi

Category: Media Centres

See also: Create a Kickass, Seamless, Play-Anything Media Center: The Complete Guide, How I Built the Media Center of My Dreams for Under $US500, Turn a Raspberry Pi Into an XBMC-Based Media Center, How to Make XBMC Easier to Use (Especially for Non-Geeks), XBMC vs Plex, Top 10 Ways to Power Up Your Home Theatre PC and more XBMC coverage.

23. VLC

Category: Media Players

See also: The Best Hidden Features of VLC, Set a Video as Your Wallpaper with VLC, How to Fix Movies that Are Really Quiet, then REALLY LOUD, and more VLC coverage.

Alternatives: PotPlayer


Category: Automation

See also: How to Supercharge Your Favourite Services with IFTTT, How to Post to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ at the Same Time with IFTTT, All the New Stuff in IFTTT for iOS and Android, and What You Can Do with Them, Make Your iOS Notifications Smarter, The Best Uses for IFTTT's Location and Feed Channels, and more IFTTT coverage.

25. Authy

Category: Security

See also: Here's Everywhere You Should Enable Two-Factor Authentication Right Now, Authy is a PIN-Protected Manager For Your Two-Factor Authentications, Authy Brings Two-Factor Authentication to Your PC, No Need for a Phone, and The Best Two-Factor Authentication App for Android and iPhone.

26. TeamViewer

Category: Remote Access

See also: Use Your Home Computer from Anywhere: A Comprehensive Guide to Remote Controlling Your PC, How to Get the Best Experience from TeamViewer, and How Do I Troubleshoot My Parents' PC Remotely?.

27. Avast! Free Antivirus

Category: Antivirus

See also: The Best Antivirus App for Windows, and How to Disable Avast's Annoying Sounds and Popups.

Alternatives: Five Best Antivirus Programs

28. Trello

Category: To-Do Lists

See also: How To Organise Your Entire Life With Trello, and Get Both A Focused And Bird's Eye View Of Your Tasks With Trello.

29. Ubuntu (and other Linux Distros)

Category: Operating System

See also: Getting Started with Linux: The Complete Guide, How to Find the Perfect Linux Distribution for You, Five Best Linux Distributions, Build a Killer Customised Arch Linux Installation (and Learn All About Linux in the Process), Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginners?, Turn an Old Computer into a Networked Backup, Streaming, or Torrenting Machine with Ubuntu, and more Linux coverage.

30. MusicBee

Category: Music Players

See also: The Best Music Player for Windows, Five Best Desktop Music Players, Top 10 Underhyped Windows Apps, and Music Player Showdown: Which Desktop Player Is Best for Syncing to Android?.

31. uTorrent

Category: BitTorrent Client

See also: How to Completely Anonymise Your BitTorrent Traffic with a Proxy, How to Disable Ads in uTorrent, How to Monitor Your BitTorrent Downloads from Any Computer or Mobile Device, How Do I Torrent Safely Now That Demonoid Is Down?, How to Add Automatic Virus Scanning, Video Conversion, and Remote Downloading to uTorrent for Free and more uTorrent coverage.

Alternative: Transmission

32. CCleaner

Category: Utilities

See also: What Should I Be Cleaning With CCleaner?, The Maintenance You Need to Do on a Windows PC, and CCleaner Enhancer Makes CCleaner Even Better, Now Cleans 270 New Apps.

33. HandBrake

Category: Video Conversion

See also: How to Rip a DVD to Your Computer, The Hassle-Free Guide to Ripping Your Blu-Ray Collection, and Calculate the Perfect HandBrake Video Encoding Settings for Your Device.

34. VirtualBox

Category: Virtualisation

See also: The Power User's Guide to Better Virtual Machines in VirtualBox, The Beginner's Guide to Creating Virtual Machines with VirtualBox, Should I Run a Second Operating System in a Virtual Machine or Dual Boot?, and How to Run Mac OS X Inside Windows Using VirtualBox.

35. CyanogenMod

Category: Android ROMs

See also: Everything You Need to Know About Rooting your Android Phone, How to Flash a ROM to Your Android Phone, Are ROMs Really Necessary on a Nexus?, Android ROMs vs Xposed, and CyanogenMod Unveils New User Accounts for Remote Find and Wipe.

Alternatives: Five Best Android ROMs

36. F.lux

Category: Utilities

See also: Make Your Computer and More Friendly to Use at Night, and Prevent Eyestrain at Your Computer.

37. GIMP

Category: Image Editing

See also: Top 10 Photoshop Tricks You Can Use Without Buying Photoshop, How to Make GIMP Work More Like Photoshop, and Build Your Own Adobe Creative Suite with Free and Cheap Software.

Alternatives: Five Best Photoshop Alternatives

38. LibreOffice

Category: Office Suite

See also: Battle of the Office Suites: Microsoft Office and LibreOffice Compared, LibreOffice Updates, Doesn't Look Like Crap Anymore, and Four Skills That Will Turn You Into a Spreadsheet Ninja.

39. Outlook

Category: Email

See also: 10 Outlook Tricks You Need To Master, How To Master Outlook.

40. Google Photos

Category: Photo Manager

See also: How The New Google Photos Makes Your Picture Library Awesome, Google Photos Can Now Free Up Space On Your Phone, and Picasa Now Offering Virtually Unlimited Photo Storage, Brings Google+ Tagging.

41. Twitter

Category: Social Networking

See also: Top 10 Uses for Twitter (That Aren't Self-Indulgent), How to Fix Twitter's Biggest Annoyances, How to Mute Retweets from Any User on Twitter, Navigate the New Twitter Like a Pro with Keyboard Shortcuts, Why's Everybody So Pissed About Twitter, and Should I Care?, How to Deal with Your Biggest Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ Annoyances and more Twitter coverage.

42. AutoHotkey

Category: Utilities

See also: The Best Time-Saving AutoHotkey Tricks You Should Be Using and more AutoHotkey coverage.

43. Launchy

Category: Utilities

See also: Why You Should Be Using an App Launcher (and How to make It Do More Than Launch Apps) and The Best Application Launcher for Windows.

44. Quicksilver

Category: Utilities

See also: Turn Any Action Into a Keyboard Shortcut on Your Mac.

Alternatives: Alfred

45. Crashplan

Category: Utilities

See also: There's No Excuse For Not Backing Up Your Computer: Do It Now, and Speed Up CrashPlan Backups And Free Up CPU Power With These Scripts.

46. Titanium Backup

Category: Utilities

See also: How to Set Up a Fully Automated App and Settings Backup on Android, How to Upgrade to a New Android Phone and Take Everything with You, and How to Speed Up Your Old or Sluggish Android Device

47. Notepad++

Category: Text Editors

See also: How to Get More Plus Out of Notepad++, The Best Programming Text Editor for Windows, and Make Notepad++ an Even Better Editing App with Powerful Plug-Ins

Alternatives: Five Best Text Editors

48. 7-Zip

Category: File Compression

See also: From Saucy Pics to Passwords: How to Share Sensitive Information Over the Internet.

49. Rolling Sky

Category: Game

See also: The Best Offline Android Games, 8 Classic Games Actually Worth Playing On Your Phone, App Deals.

50. MenuLog

Category: Food delivery

See also: Menulog Makes It Easy To Order Takeaway, KFC Is Launching A Home Delivery Service In Australia.

This story has been updated since its original publication.