90 best free Android apps 2014

Top free Android apps for your phone or tablet

61. Sky Cloud WiFi

This one's a great way of automating the process of signing into a Sky-managed mobile Wi-Fi spot, minimising stressful time spent NOT being connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot. The Sky Cloud WiFi app senses Sky-friendly hotspots, then signs you in automatically. So no more fiddling about with a crappy 3G signal when out and about or typing in passwords in a hurry to use a bit of internet.

Sky Cloud WiFi

62. Ticketmaster UK

After an age as a US-only exclusive, Ticketmaster UK is now live for Android users in the UK. It does what you might expect, offering a full database of events, complete with simple buying options from within the app. There's even a local search option for accessing a list of what's on near you, should you fancy taking a punt on some random artistic happening or gig.

Ticketmaster UK

63. Gumtree

The popular sofa-ditching site has finally joined the mobile age, with a very flashy Gumtree app. It's presented in the Ice Cream Sandwich design style, with a nice tab bar and clever floating and segmented item listings, and it looks even better when used in landscape orientation. Trawling for an executive massage in the local area has never been easier.

Gumtree

64. The Guardian

The Guardian's had an Android app out for a while, but it was significantly "first generation" in look and feel. A recent update took care of that, thankfully, boosting the layout to modern Android standards, adding in support for live blogs, enhanced section navigation, swipe navigation through photo galleries and much more. Nice. And free.

The Guardian

65. HotUKDeals

The amazing bargain portal, which has actually defied its purpose and cost us millions through encouraging unnecessary impulse purchases of discounted gear, is on Android, with a very posh and feature-packed HotUKDeals app now available.

You can search for local deals, submit ones you've spotted yourself, with the app including an easy category view and search facility for finding new ways to buy things you don't really need.

HotUKDeals

66. Amazon MP3

Amazon's MP3 service is surprisingly clever. Tracks bought from the retail giant are automatically stored within the company's "cloud" servers, from where you can instantly stream them back to your Android device.

Sadly you're a little limited in the number of existing MP3s you can upload from your own collection, but for building, managing and streaming a legit Amazon music catalogue the Amazon MP3 app is a great, stylish option.

Amazon MP3

67. TVCatchup

For those of you who still pore over listings and watch TV live, as it happens, and at the original time of broadcast, TVCatchup is for you. But it's not a "catch up" service at all. It's a simple re-broadcaster of the terrestrial Freeview channels, letting you watch everything, live, right there on a phone or tablet. A good test of how reliable your mobile data connection is, too.

TVCatchup

68. Barclays Mobile Banking

The big banks are gradually moving away from mobile web sites and embracing full power apps, with the Barclays Mobile Banking option a particularly fine example. Logging in is a simpler task than accessing the desktop site, with the app just requiring a PIN number to access your data. It also cleverly works as a PIN Sentry card reader, ideal for managing Barclays services that need its pain-in-the-arse card reader to grant access.

Barclays Mobile Banking

69. Amazon Appstore

There's only one reason to have the Amazon Appstore on your phone or tablet - free stuff. Amazon is enticing users to stick its alternate Android app store on their devices with the promise of a free app every day, with some classics like Sega's ChucChu Rocket and World of Goo featuring as previous daily freebies. The catch is these are unsupported releases, meaning no updates or fixes in the future, but you can't moan too much about getting some ace freebies every day.

Amazon Appstore

70. Flipboard

Flipboard is pretty much just a posh RSS reader, which does a superb job of pulling text and images from pages, sites and social networks, and presenting it in a gloriously sexy magazine-like manner. The Flipboard app has recently been updated with a full tablet interface style, for the ultimate in glossy media consumption.

Flipboard

71. BT Sport

The arrival of a new sporting season always brings with it a collection of new and exciting ways to keep up with action on your phone, with the BT Sport Android app one of the coolest to arrive this year.

It lets BT Internet users watch the company's new, live sport feeds on a phone or tablet. All you need are your BT login details and a bit of fuss to activate your account through the desktop site, and you're ready to go with live video on your mobile device of choice. More Claire Balding and rugby action than you can possibly handle awaits.

BT Sport

72. Google Play Games

Google and its many games developer friends have been adding its backend gaming services to apps for a few months now, meaning many Android games now have a unified, Google-backed method of matchmaking, monitoring achievements and keeping track of play sessions.

The Play Games app is a simple frontend for it all, giving gamers a central hub to keep an eye on their game collections, score leaderboards and lists of friends made through the system.

google play games

73. YouView

The new interactive digital TV system has finally launched its YouView controller app on Google Play, letting Android users join their iOS cousins in having fun with their new YouView boxes on phones and tablets.

The app features boring stuff like seven-day programme listings and information, but it's the remote record feature that's the main reason to have it. Once setup via a paired code input system, up to five devices can be granted the power to make the box record shows while you're out.

youview

74. BBC Weather

A substantial percentage of Google's 1,000,000+ Android apps are based around guesstimating what the weather's likely to be a bit like later today or tomorrow. But for a forecast that's perhaps slightly more locally aware and believable than others, head to the BBC.

The BBC Weather Android app's beautiful, featuring hourly breakdowns, a selection of smart Home screen widgets and UV/pollen forecasts thrown in too. Plus it uses the lovely old BBC weather icons, which add a touch of style to any overcast situation.

BBC weather

75. Vine

The madly popular social video phenomenon eventually hit Android earlier this year after an infuriating period of exclusivity on Apple devices, with Android fans now able to see for themselves what all the fuss is about.

Vine is about one thing - a simple interface that lets you start and stop recording by touching the screen, and a six-second time limit. Clips are then reviewed, processed and uploaded to the Vine servers, for others to rate.

You might become star. Or just clog up the world's internet pipes with a trillion clips of your cat not doing anything out of its normal behaviour range.

Vine

76. BBC iPlayer Radio

The BBC's iPlayer app was always a little poor when it came to representing the corporation's radio channels, a situation that's been fixed by this stunning little app.

It's designed well, with a strange little wheel system letting users navigate through the available listings, plus the Beeb allows streaming to be conducted over both Wi-Fi and mobile data networks.

There's also a catch-up selection of past shows, plus a nice little clock radio tool to have it wake you up with the station of your choice.

BBC iplayer radio

77. Guardian Witness

Witness is the Guardian's attempt at getting its users to generate endless list features on its behalf for free, with the accompanying Android app letting the paper's readers contribute photos and stories through a phone or tablet.

The app lets you sign in with a Guardian, Twitter or Facebook account, although don't go expecting to "troll" the world with your UFO photographs - every submission's vetted before being made live. There are some special missions reserved only for users of the app, so it's worth trying if you're into the whole crowd-sourcing thing.

Guardian Witness

78. Rando

Rando is sort of a social network, only with the social stuff removed. Its USP is that you share photos, which must be taken live, with random strangers around the world.

You have to take and send one in order to receive one back, making it into a weird form of photo-sharing tennis.

You might get something interesting from Japan, or a boring photo of a man's PC keyboard from closer to home. It's addictive. You can't help pinging them off and wondering what's going to come back in payment.

Rando

79. Runkeeper

Offers similar functionality to popular sports tracker Endomondo, only with Runkeeper you get a more Android-like design, integrated support for music playback and audio coaching, a camera option so you can include images with your workout details and much, much more.

There are also goals to set, customisable routes for tracking your favourite runs, plus it's compatible with physical heart-rate monitors if you take it all very, very seriously indeed.

RunKeeper

80. DashClock

DashClock is an extremely clever widget that completely replaces the lock screen on any devices running Android 4.2 or higher.

The clever thing about it is its support for additional plugins that are available on Google Play, so you can further adapt your phone or tablet's lock screen to include weather data, a shortcut to a torch, advanced battery data and more. An incredibly versatile system that adds loads more fun toys to Android's standby modes.

DashClock

81. Delicious

Social bookmarking site Delicious now has its own official app, letting users sign in with their existing account then manage their saved and shared bookmarks on Android. It integrates seamlessly with the Android sharing menu auto-filling submission pages with article headlines, making it super-easy to add stuff and your own comments and tags from a phone or tablet.

Delicious

82. Snapchat

Snapchat is the messaging app that's taken the world by storm, or at least taken the teen market by storm. The USP is empowering users to send photo messages that "self destruct" after being viewed, leaving no evidence of the crime you may have just committed. Of course, images can be screen-grabbed should someone send you a particularly well-lit image of their little chap, but that's considered cheating and rather poor form.

Snapchat

83. Facebook Messenger

If you take a more old school approach to harassing people over the internet, give this one a whirl. Facebook has busted its messaging tools out into a standalone app - called Facebook Messenger. So if your main use of the social site is chatting with people, this helps avoid the cat and baby photo laden traditional Facebook interface. It also rifles through your contacts too, letting you message people not on Facebook via SMS -- much like popular chat app Whatsapp - while "chat heads" place pervasive icons on the Home screen for instant access to message threads.

Facebook

84. BBM

The best thing about the old BlackBerry ecosystem has been pulled out and stuck on Android, with BBM providing access to the majority of the chat and messaging tools that BB users have enjoyed for years. The key differentiator here is the use of a PIN system, plus users must pre-approve contacts before receiving their incoming messages. It's a bit more secure, so they say, and it has delivery notifications so people can't lie about not getting your important communiques.

BBM

85. VSCO Cam

VSCO Cam is not just a collection of filters, but an entire replacement camera and gallery app for Android. It claims that "innovative processing technology" creates better photographs than the stock imaging systems on other phones, which we've not really noticed, but it does have some clever editing tools and is generally quite a slick experience.

VSCO Cam

86. uTorrent

If you regularly download entirely legitimate and wholly legal work and learning torrents, then uTorrent is for you. It can open the magnet links provided by some of the internet's largest torrent sites, then away you go, queuing and managing torrents and download/upload speeds just like you might on the desktop client. Ideal for stealing things using other people's connections.

uTorrent

87. PlayStation App

The future is finally taking shape. The official PlayStation App from Sony lets you manage and view your Trophies, chat with friends and so on, but the killer feature is the ability to browse the PlayStation Store on your phone or tablet and initiate game downloads to your PS4 from within the app, so they're all installed and ready to play when you get home.

PlayStation App

88. Xbox One SmartGlass

Or, if you do your next-gen gaming through Microsoft's larger box, there's this. The Xbox One SmartGlass app does much the same as the PlayStation App, only it brings in full navigation of the Xbox One dashboard itself, making it function like more of a Wi-Fi media remote. Plus it can work as a browser interface, making it easy to display web pages via the Xbox One on a TV.

Smartglass

89. Tumblr

Tumblr, the next-gen blogging format has arrived on Android, with its custom app coming with support for the multiple blogs of prolific internet kings, built-in messaging, the usual range of text, image and video sharing, plus there's a really nice landscape layout when using it on a tablet. All you need to provide is an idea. Photos of biscuits on cats? Fish fingers on a gerbil? Depressing lines of dialogue from your favorite soap?

Tumblr

90. Bitstrips

The interminably tedious animated image generator Bitstrips has been blowing up big time of late, with the entire world seemingly in love with the concept of cartoon representations of themselves doing mundane things with their friends. If you are yet to experience it, that's probably for the best. And if you really, really must try it, it's available on Android. Just don't overdo it, or everyone will end up hating you.

Bitstrips

  • Now that you're all loaded up with Android apps, why not see which is the best Android phone for you.