Top 8 Utility Apps Android

Utility apps is almost like a forgotten category on Google Play and iTunes, or at least it probably should be. I remember when the app stores first launched, and this particular category was often filled with useful little apps that worked around one basic premise and one premise alone. The ability to scan barcodes to get info on products, for example, or to translate a given phrase into your language of choice. These apps still exist, or course, but it seems these days that users require something more complicated or at least want more features for their money. The category has also become something of a dumping ground for those apps that don’t offer much besides one feature, or those that don’t fall into any other category, and as such crafting a list of the best utility apps for Android becomes difficult. We’ve tried to represent all kinds of apps on this list, but I’m sure have left out quite a few that deserve a mention. Why not check out our list and then suggest your own favorites in the comments section below?

8. AppLock (Free)

We’ve all probably come across and had some experience using the various authentication apps that are out there on the market for Android devices, most of which basically gather all your login and credit card info under one single pin code so you don’t have to remember them all. But what about locking up specific areas of your smartphone or tablet that contain specific material that you would rather others not read? AppLock is one utility app that does just that, allowing you to lock up things like SMS messages, your photo roll, settings and call details, among other things. It’s really an excellent way to keep your Android phone safe, but without having to rely on a general lockscreen to do so. – Download from Google Play

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7. Valet (Free)

Valet is one of those apps that I earmarked for this list early on, since it’s the perfect example: something that offers a specific albeit limited function, but one that is very useful indeed when you’re out and about. What Valet does, rather than provide a valet that will take your car away and park it for you, is remember where your car is parked. All you do is simply drop a pin down once you arrive somewhere and allow the app to remember where your car is. It will then provide turn by turn navigation back to your car, so that you don’t have to worry about remembering where it’s parked. Some might say that this is most useful in a big city’s complicated web of downtown streets, but I’ve found myself relying on the app in those big parking lots, too. The app will remind you if a parking ticket is about to expire, and you can even sync the app to your audio system and let it drop a pin automatically whenever it senses that you move away from your car. – Download from Google Play

6. AirDroid (Free)

Ever thought what it would be like to access your Android files and messages wirelessly from your computer? Well, AirDroid allows you to do just that for free. The app is synced to your PC and then will allow you to access and even send SMS messages, but also to import and export APK files, view and manage our photos and even view your Android screen in real time. – Download from Google Play

5. Google Translate (Free)

One of two different Google apps to make the list, Google Translate remains perhaps the best translation app out there for when you are traveling in a different country and can prove a real lifesaver if you don’t know the language and find yourself in difficulty. There are basically three different kinds of translation provided with the app: that being text, verbal and new visual transalation. The text is fairly straightforward, and allows you to input data or simply select it when browsing documents or web pages and receive an accurate translation almost immediately. The verbal translation makes use of your Android’s mic, meaning that if you don’t understand someone you can have them speak into your device and receive a translation. The new visual translation allows you to take photos of street signs or foreign menus, for example, and tranlate that way. – Download from Google Play

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4. GasBuddy (Free)

There are a few gas price apps out there, but GasBuddy is perhaps the best on the market right now for Android users. It keeps you aware of gas prices in your area, and will stay updated so that you know when prices drop or increase. The great thing about this app is that it is crowd sourced, meaning that a lot of the info comes from its users. This way you know it’s reliable. The app is great for exploring your local area and finding good prices for gas, but is equally useful when travelling – if you’re on a road trip, for example, and are looking for a gas station on your route. – Download from Google Play

3. Clean Master (Free)

One breed of utility app that I often turn to on my desktop computer is that which will clean up or defragment data and keep the machine running smoothly. It’s a shame that there aren’t more of these applications available for mobile devices, but one nice option is Clean Master. This app has become very popular for its ability to remove the kind of data that often gets left on your system upon removing an Android app. Clean Master lives for seeking out this loose and now useless data and getting rid of it. The app also has an app manager, task manager and fairly simple antivirus options for those who want to keep their device safe from malicious external threats. – Download from Google Play

2. Google Goggles (Free)

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Google Goggles has been around for some time now, but I believe is worth mentioning as one of the more useful utility apps available for Android devices, should you have the hardware. It’s a technology that works around image recognition and does so innovatively, allowing users to quickly recognize and note object, landmarks, products, works of art and a whole lot more. In many ways this is the ultimate reference app, since it sees what you see and gives you immediate feedback without you having to pull out your smartphone and search with Google. Another fantastic feature of this particular image recognition software and technology is the ability to understand words and then provide an immediate translation, which is great when you are travelling. It can also look at written info and immediately store it to your device, such as the contact details on a business card, for example. – Download from Google Play

1. Nova Launcher (Free)

There are many launchers out there for the Android, a few of which we’ve tried and a few we haven’t. Without filling the list, we figured we’d post our favorite here and allow you, the reader to go and test it out or find others. Nova Launcher is one of the more customizable launchers out there, allowing you to do all kinds of things that regular users can’t do. – Download from Google Play

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