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5 essential apps to download to your new Android phone or tablet

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If you just got a holiday update, you'll want to download these top five apps (Google)

If you just got a holiday update, you’ll want to download these top five apps (Google)

If there’s a new Android device in your life, courtesy of the same jolly man (or a particularly generous family member), you’ll want some apps.

Gone are the days when Android couldn’t muster the same level of quality or choice as Apple’s iPhone app store.

There are millions of apps on the Google Play Store to choose from. And while there’s a lot of junk, Android has its fair share of wheat, too.

We have picked out some of our favorite apps here that you can try over Christmas.

The usuals are a given – we hope it will automatically download the likes of Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Maybe even TikTok.

But chances are there are some great gems that you may not have heard of.

Download one, two, or all of the following apps to turn your new Android phone or tablet into a Swiss Army knife of 21st century functionality.

Windscribe

Keep your IP address safe, free (Google Play Store)

Keep your IP address safe, free (Google Play Store)

The cyber threat is very real and one of the best ways to protect yourself is with a virtual private network (VPN).

These apps mask your IP address to give you an extra layer of security when you use things like public Wi-Fi networks. As a bonus, you can change the route of your geographic location to take advantage of additional content on Netflix.

There are many VPN apps to choose from, but Windscribe is one of the best. It gives you 10 GB of free bandwidth every month (you can pay if you want more) and it has a simple and intuitive user interface.

Free, download it here.

Anchor

Anchor is your one-stop shop for podcasting (Google Play Store)

Anchor is your one-stop shop for podcasting (Google Play Store)

If you’re sick of listening to other people’s podcasts, why not try recording your own?

Anchor contains everything you need to get started. The application allows you to record yourself or with a group of friends and create full episodes only from your device.

There are even some basic audio editing tools that you can use to cut out anything you didn’t mean.

Better yet, Anchor has also started adding monetization options. So people can even pay you to speak. Or shut up. We are not here to judge.

Free, download it here.

Knight Touch

Touch Knight on the Google Play Store

More than an average user (Google Play Store)

While Tap Knight undoubtedly has a lot of idle gameplay components, including the experience of winning while the app is closed, its game demands considerably more attention than most idle tappers.

Choose a mission, each of which has increasing difficulty, then set the frequency of mob spawn and watch your knight destroy them. However, you need to keep an eye on his health bar – if he’s overwhelmed by enemies, you lose all the gold you’ve collected on that exit.

Naturally, the rewards increase along with the difficulty and you can eventually ‘prestige’ too, resetting your character in exchange for significant initial bonuses. If you’re a fan of incremental games, this one is well balanced with a strong sense of risk versus reward.

£ 1.79, download here.

Fiit

The Fiit application is like Apple Fitness + but for Android (Google Play Store)

The Fiit application is like Apple Fitness + but for Android (Google Play Store)

If 2022 is going to be your year to get in shape, then you may wonder if there is an Android alternative to Apple’s Fitness + service.

The answer is Fiit, which includes hundreds of exercise videos (added more regularly) that you can enjoy without wearing an Apple Watch. Of course, if you have a compatible fitness tracker, you can connect it to the app and display your metrics on the screen in real time.

There are leaderboards to conquer and the option to stream the workouts to your TV if you want a bigger screen.

Fair warning here: there is a price involved. It will cost you £ 10 a month for an annual membership (£ 120 in a lump sum) or £ 20 if you prefer to pay monthly. However, you can take advantage of the 14-day free trial to see if it’s for you before handing over cash.

£ 20 per month, download here.

PicsArt photo and video editor

It never hurts to have a decent editing app on your Android phone or tablet (Google Play Store)

It never hurts to have a decent editing app on your Android phone or tablet (Google Play Store)

There are many Android phones on the market. Some have great cameras and some don’t.

Either way, you can add a lot with a competent photo editor and PicsArt stands up to Photoshop as one of the best out there. You can use a host of effects, add layers, and use drawing tools to add to your photos.

You can also quickly add stickers, remove and swap backgrounds, and add popular edits like Golden Hour, Mirror Selfies, and VHS or Y2K retro filters on your video.

If you want to take your smartphone photography to the next level during the Christmas holidays, this is the app to use.

Free, download it here.

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