Since its launch, the Play Store has received a lot of flak for being clunky and painful to use. There are scores of Android users out there who want to get the most out of their devices, and a big part of that is being able to find, track and buy the latest and greatest apps available. Thankfully, there are solutions out there for all our app-hunting and tracking needs, and today we’re looking at 10 of them that help us get our fix.
Only want to look at app curators and alternatives to the Play Store? Check our previous roundup of 10 Other Ways to Discover Android Apps.
Find yourself spending way too much on apps and games? AppSales keeps an eye on price drops on items in the Play Store and presents them in a neat interface, so you can save on apps you really want. This clever tool not only shows you the hottest apps on sale, but also lets you add apps to a personal watchlist so you can track their price over time and snag them when the price is especially low. This is also a novel way to find apps you might like, especially if you’re in the market for quality games.
I like keeping tabs on when my favorite apps update, so that I can try out new features and fixes as they’re released. Changelog Droid lets you do just that without having to pop into the Play Store every time you notice your apps have automatically updated. You can even add apps that you haven’t bought by sharing them from the Play Store into Changelog Droid. Best of all, it shows you which apps have new versions out while displaying what each of the updates bring. There’s even support for a DashClock extension, and you can choose to use either the free or paid version (which removes ads).
As if the NSA spying on your online activity isn’t enough, there may be apps lurking within your device leaking your personal information, without you knowing about it. That’s where Clueful comes in — it’s a clever little app that utilizes the BitDefender Cloud to identify which of your installed apps collect and share information about you and your usage.
The app first shows you a Privacy Score to let you know how much danger you’re in, and then lets you browse through your apps, categorized on the basis of the kind of information they’re sharing. With just a few taps, you can check out which apps are sharing your phone number, device ID, texts and phone calls, or even sending across your password without encryption. When you come across a sketchy app, you can uninstall it from within Clueful and protect yourself quickly and easily.
This app makes it a cinch to check on ratings and ranks for apps you’re rooting for. Apart from showing you stats for the Top/Top Grossing Free and Paid apps in the Play Store, it also allows you to add up to 10 of your favorite apps to a personal list so you can check on them quickly. The detailed view for each app shows rank and rating history for up to 30 days as well as the difference over time, along with easy-to-read graphs.
If you’re an app fiend like us and are always on the lookout for great new apps for your device, you should definitely check out Playboard: it’s a social network of sorts that allows users to curate Android apps into Channels for others to discover. For instance, our editor Dr. Rita El Khoury has a bunch of channels featuring tablet apps suitable for reading, enjoying multimedia content, and for keeping your kids busy. The mobile app currently supports browsing and searching for channels and apps, as well as signing in to curate your own channels.
Wouldn’t it be great if, instead of having to hunt down apps, the best ones just came to you? That’s what Appreciate attempts to facilitate. This app guide scans your device to find out which apps you like and even connects to Facebook to see what your friends are using, and then sends quality recommendations your way. You can also check out regularly updated lists of apps suitable for guys, girls, kids, and even a bunch just for tablets.
Whether you’re managing multiple devices and want the same apps on both, or want to keep certain versions of apps and their data, Helium is the tool you’ve been looking for. The app lets you select which of your installed apps (and their data) you’d like to backup, and also allows you to schedule backups if necessary. The free version only works with your computer and your device’s internal storage, while the paid version removes ads, allows app syncing between devices and cloud backup/restore to Dropbox, Box and Google Drive.
We mostly complain when apps and games aren’t good enough — but we also make a fuss when they’re so good we can’t stop using them. Fear not, fellow procrastinators: AppDetox comes to the rescue with a simple solution. Simply create rules to lock yourself out of apps you use way too much for an adjustable amount of time and AppDetox takes care of the rest, so you can focus on what you’re actually supposed to be doing instead.
Isn’t it about time you got some cred for all the app love you’ve shown since you got your Android device? Phonechievements rewards you with points and badges for everything from making and receiving calls/texts, having apps installed and basically using your device like the ubergeek that you are. Naturally, you can show off your badges to friends and family on social networks — just make sure you don’t overdo it and become ‘that’ guy/girl.
Let’s face it: as it stands, the Apple App Store still has a few better apps and games for mobile users. If you occasionally suffer from iOS envy, or if you want to find popular iOS apps that might have slipped under the radar on Android, this ingeniously-named app might be just what you need: Compare Between The Stores shows you top apps available for iOS for each country and lets you search the Play Store for Android versions with a single tap. It’s not very well built, but it gets the job done.
That’s a wrap, folks! We hope you find these tools useful in your quest for the ultimate app collection on your device. Be sure to let us know how you find your favorite apps or tame your app addiction in the comments below.