The year is winding down and that means it’s time to round up the best new Android apps of 2019. There were a ton of app launches this year. In fact, we narrowed down this list from a prospective list of over 120 total apps launched anywhere from the last week of December last year through December 15th this year.
2019 was an excellent year for apps. We saw some outstanding releases across a multitude of categories. In fact, this year’s list is one of the most varied we’ve ever put together for a year-end app list. That said, there are three new browsers this year and that’s more than we’ve seen in previous years. There are no duds on this one and everything here has seen success. Here are the best Android apps from 2019. Please note, these apps all launched in 2019 and we didn’t include any re-brands such as LiveXLive or re-releases like Newton Mail. None of these apps existed in 2018 or if they did, it’s because they were in limited access betas.
More posts about previous best of the year lists!
Price: Free / $1.99
Abstruct is one of my decent wallpaper apps from 2019. This one is by Hampus Olsson, the official wallpaper artist of OnePlus. The app includes a decent array of abstract style wallpapers and every one of them are at 4K resolution. It also has every OnePlus wallpaper from the OnePlus 2 through the OnePlus 7 along with Paranoid Android wallpapers as well. The backgrounds are vibrant, colorful, and there are even some for AMOLED fans who like predominately black wallpapers. Vectorify de Home and Artwalls were two other excellent wallpaper apps from 2019, but we think people liked Abstruct the most.
Adobe Premiere Rush
Price: Free / $9.99-$52.99 per month
Adobe Premiere Rush was Adobe’s big release for 2019. It’s a video editor and it seems to be the one Adobe plans on improving for the foreseeable future. The app boasts a near-professional experience with full video and audio support along with a multi-track timeline, various templates for things, and even some niche tools. It doesn’t have everything the desktop version of Premiere Pro has, but we expect the feature set to expand over time and for Adobe to fix most of the bugs. This has a very good shot at being a near-desktop class editor someday. We just hope it’s sooner rather than later.
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Apex Weather is a clean and good looking weather app. It covers all of the basics, including current weather, a weather radar, a 7-day forecast, severe weather alerts, and you can track multiple cities at once. You also get some niceties like weather news and daily weather briefs in your notifications. The app actually has a large selection of weather widgets that you download as add-ons. It also works with a Windy.com radar that it encourages you to download so prepare yourself for that. In any case, this is the strongest showing in weather this year, although Appy Weather is also a decent 2019 weather app for fans of minimalism.
Calendar Widget by Home Agenda
Calendar Widget by Home Agenda is an excellent calendar widget option and one that was surprisingly popular among our readers. The app has an exhaustive laundry list of features including themes, various widget layouts, the ability to show older events, a weather function, the ability to group events together, and various other customization options. Both the app and widget are super clean and should work on most types of home screen layouts. It also works in over half a dozen languages. Calendar Notify was another such app from 2019 that we thought was pretty good too.
John NESS and John GBAC
Price: Free / $4.49 each
John NESS and John GBAC launched in early 2019 and immediately became two of the best console emulators on the Play Store. The developer, John emulators, already had successful emulators for the Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and a few others. However, John NESS and John GBAC combines all of those efforts into two simple apps. John NESS covers the SNES and NES while John GBAC covers Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance. Both apps comes with cloud storage support, fast forward and slow down modes, save states, turbo buttons, customizable layouts, hardware controller support, and excellent compatibility. They are a tad pricey, but with both apps you get class leading emulation of four total consoles. We think it’s worth it.
More posts about the best new android apps and games every month!
Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier by Google
Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier are two new accessibility apps from Google. Sound Amplifier is rather simple. It boosts the sounds from the phone in order to help those who are hard of hearing. Live Transcribe is arguably the more exciting app of the two. It lets a deaf individual transcribe whatever someone is saying in real time as they talk. Both apps are available in the Play Store and come baked into Android 10 natively as well. Google paid attention to accessibility in 2019 and it showed with these two apps. Live Transcribe is available at the button below and Sound Amplifier is downloadable here. Lookout is an app that uses a camera to see things and then tell blind people what it sees. You can find that one here.
Mint Browser is a surprisingly good mobile browser. It hits all of the basics, including an incognito mode, bookmarks, a night mode, and low storage requirements. However, it also adds some of the better extras, including ad-blocking, the ability to download videos from various websites, and a data saver mode. The data saver mode basically just blocks ads and restricts image loads in articles but that still helps more than most browsers for those with slow or tiered data plans. It keeps things simple and small so don’t expect Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox levels of power here. It’s a serviceable mobile browser with just the right selection of features.
MiXplorer Silver is a seriously powerful file explorer app. It can handle almost anything you can throw at it, including music, video, images, and more. The app supports over a dozen archive file types, can link to cloud storage accounts from 19 providers, and it even includes ebook file support via EPUB, MobiPacket, and native PDF support. You also get a VLC codecs add-on so you can view basically any video or music file on the planet. The price is a bit steep and this is easily overkill for most people, but it’s definitely among the best Android apps of 2019.
MyScript Calculator 2
MyScript Calculator 2 is one neat calculator. It’s the successor to the original MyScript Calculator and it adorned our best math apps list for a long time. The second iteration works similarly to the first. You open the app, write down an equation, and the app solves it for you. It works with basic operators such as addition and subtraction along with powers, roots, exponents, and some basic trigonometry, logarithms, and it can even recognize constants. This is an excellent calculator for middle and high school students and some lower level college math as well. It runs for a flat $2.99 with no additional in-app purchases or ads. Microsoft did something similar to Photomath in December 2019 with a ton of potential as well.
Spark Mail had a fortuitous start. It launched the same week Google took down Inbox by Gmail and has many of the same features. It does the email basics so we’ll skip passed those. The app also allows you to snooze email, schedule emails to send later, an AI function to sort your mailbox, and you can set reminders just like Inbox by Gmail. Some other features include pinning emails, undo sent mail, and a reasonably decent mailbox search. It also works for most popular email clients so it’s a good change from something like Gmail or Outlook.
More posts about the most controversial apps and games!
Steam Link and Xbox Game Streaming
Google Stadia launched this year and its major competitors aren’t giving Google any quarter. Steam officially launched its Steam Link app this year and Microsoft launched a beta of Xbox Game Streaming. Both apps do more or less the same thing. You can play your PC games (Steam Link) or Xbox games (Xbox Game Streaming) on your device. Unlike Stadia, these services use your existing hardware to play the game and your local area network to shoot it over to your mobile phone. Of course, you need the hardware in order to make it work and that’s the biggest con for these over Google Stadia. Both of them still need work, but performed admirably in testing and could be excellent alternatives to Stadia. Steam Link is linked at the button below and you can pick up Xbox Game Streaming here.
Tor Browser received an official launch in 2019 and automatically became the most private browser in the Play Store. It uses Tor’s volunteer network to encrypt and hide your footprint from basically everybody. The browser also blocks trackers, helps you avoid surveillance, and features not one, but three layers of encryption. Those who value privacy above all else have virtually no other options unless they use a VPN. Of course, it’s a new app and still needs a bit of work, but it seems to have overcome most of its early issues.
Vivaldi Browser is one that swings at the bigger names in mobile browsing. The developers are previous employees of Opera Browser so this isn’t their first rodeo. The app has a desktop variant and you can cross-sync between mobile and desktop just like the big dogs. Additionally, the app includes a built-in note taking function, the ability to screenshot entire webpages, multiple search engines, a dark mode, an ingognito mode, and more. Both the desktop and mobile versions use Chromium as a base and build on top. This is not a lightweight browser, it’s a full-featured browser.
All those punch hole camera apps for Samsung phones
Price: Free / Varies
Samsung inspired a fairly significant number of app releases in 2019 with its punch hole camera. Unlike the notch, which is universally panned, people actually seem to like the punch hole cameras on 2019 Samsung flagships. In fact, they like them so much that there is a mini app ecosystem specifically for them. The app list includes Hidey Hole (linked at the button), Energy Ring, WallPix, Punch Hole Wallpapers, Notification Light, and many others. The punch hole impact is likely temporary as more OEMs develop under-display cameras, but in 2019 we talked about another one of these punch hole apps every other week for a few months and it was fun.
2019 app of the year: Disney+
Price: Free / $6.99-$12.99 per month / $69.99 per year
There are times where it’s a better idea to bow to popular opinion and this is one of those times. Disney+ easily made the largest impact of any app in 2019 and it’s not close. The service had tons of interest basically all year until it was announced and then immediately gave us Baby Yoda and a billion tweets from people re-watching the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Plus, the ad-free Hulu, ESPN+, and Disney+ bundle linked here is one of the best deals in the history of streaming. The Disney+ app is a bit clunky, but it’ll definitely improve over time. It hit ten million subscribers in less than a week. Only Pokemon Go and Apple Music has incited that kind of excitement in the mobile app and game space over the last half a decade.
Of course, there were way more than 15 good apps this year and, thus, we thought an honorable mentions section was a good idea. These apps are all still really good, but they just didn’t squeeze into the top 15 along with the other apps we linked up there. These apps deserve an honorable mention.
- 1Gallery – This is a gallery app with a gallery vault option. It boasts encryption, support for power user image types like RAW, and subtitles for video. It uses encryption to hide all of the files from other people. It’s not bad as far as gallery vault apps go.
- Appy Weather – A minimal weather app with more than enough features for basic use, but not a ton of extra, useless fluff. It explains the forecast in plain English for easy comprehension.
- Checketry – Download managers are a super niche market, but the Checketry was the best one of 2019. It features cross-platform support, support for Steam, and support for both Firefox and Chrome.
- DoodleLens – An AR app that lets you doodle things and place them in real photos. It’s not overly productive, but it’s kid-friendly, fun, and it’s a good example of AR technology in use.
- Firefox ScreenshotGo Beta – This app only didn’t crack the top 15 because it is still in beta. There is no better app for managing your screenshots than this one and it’s not even at a stable release stage yet.
- Memoria Photo Gallery – Memoria is a beautiful gallery app with a lot of neat features. It’s success is hampered by some bugs that we hope the developer fixes. If they do, this is going to be among the best third party gallery apps on mobile.
- Montessori Preschool – This is an educational app for kids. It covers math, logic, shapes, colors, arts, and a bunch of other subjects. It aims at children aged 3 through 7.
- My Board Game Collection – A super niche, but surprisingly polished app for cataloging your board game collection. It launched during December 2018 just a bit too late for the 2018 list.
- Post-It – We found it amusing that Post-It made a note taking app. The app uses graphics that look like actual Post-It notes. Plus, it’s actually a decent note taking app. It needs a bit of work, but it’s coming along nicely and competes in the note taking market.
- Remote Fingerprint Unlock – This one is a power user app for security. It lets you use the fingerprint reader on your phone to unlock your PC. The setup is a bit complicated and it only works for Windows right now, but it actually works really well.
- Ruff – Another note taking app with some decent functionality and excellent design. It won Google Play’s Material Design award for theming and we agree. It’s an excellent, if somewhat basic, note taking app.
- Sphaera – Sphaera is a unique 4K wallpaper app. It uses screenshots of a map and stylizes it to your tastes. You can search for any location and use it as needed. The wallpapers are crisp and there is live wallpaper support.
- Spotify Stations – This is an offshoot of Spotify. It works a lot like old Pandora where you pick a station and just listen to what it gives you. It’s an experimental app and it may not be around forever, so we thought it was better as an honorable mention.
- Threads from Instagram – Threads from Instagram is an offshoot of Instagram. It aims to be a more personal version of it for just your close friends and family. It’s a neat premise but it needs more work.
- Volume Control Panel Pro – This app intercepts your volume keys and uses different volume control. The new menu shows all of your various volumes every time you press the button. It works well and fixes some annoyances with the stock volume controls.
More posts about our latest Android app and game lists!
If you didn’t see your favorite app on this list, tell us about it in the comments and why it should be there! Also, check out our latest Android app and game lists here!