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165 Awesome Android Apps for Summer 2014

Security and Utilities

Depending on what Android phone you own, you may have lots of utility apps, or none. Some phones come with flashlights and virus scanners, but others don’t. And do you really trust Samsung, LG, or HTC to give you the right apps? You shouldn’t. Most everything they stuff on your phone is from app makers who pay for it, or put on their by your greedy wireless carrier (they serve Wall Street, not home screens). If you really want security and a good slate of utility apps, check some of these out.

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Secure Your Phone

Avast!

(Google Play)

Avast-Mobile-Security-Android-apps-screenshotThis comprehensive package includes malware protection, privacy advice, anti-virus scanning, filtering to block nuisance calls, and anti-theft tools. There’s even a firewall for rooted devices.

Lookout

(Google Play / Amazon)

Lookout-Security-Android-apps-screenshotScan your apps in order to uncover viruses, malware, adware, and spyware with the free version of Lookout. For a fee, you can add backup tools, safe browsing, and remote lock and wipe.

360 Security

(Google Play)

360-Mobile-Security-Android-apps-screenshotYou’ll enjoy real-time protection with a superb detection rate if you let this app handle your Android smartphone’s security. Vulnerabilities are detected and fixed automatically.

Track Your Phone

Android Device Manager

(Google Play)

Android-Device-Manager-Android-apps-screenshotGoogle’s official phone tracking service helps you locate your phone, remotely erase its data, and reset the screen lock PIN, and it works with any device associated with your Google account.

Wheres My Droid

(Google Play)

Wheres-My-Droid-Android-apps-screenshotLost your phone? Track it down with GPS coordinates for Google Maps, or try bumping the ringer volume up. You can also remote control the app by sending predetermined text messages.

GPS Tracking Pro

(Google Play)

GPS-Tracking-Pro-Android-apps-screenshotInstall this app on your kids’ phones and you can get real-time updates on exactly where they are. It’s great for keeping in touch with family and friends with a map showing their locations.

Home Screen Launchers

Nova Launcher

(Google Play)

Nova-Launcher-Android-apps-screenshotYou can choose colors, themes, icons, and even animations with Nova Launcher, making it possible to create the home screen of your dreams. It offers customization options galore.

Go Launcher

(Google Play)

GO-Launcher-Android-apps-screenshotSmooth performance and more than 10,000 themes make this a tempting option. You’ll also find a choice of transitions, widgets, and some handy gestures that can be used to launch apps.

Smart Launcher

(Google Play / Amazon)

Smart-Launcher-Android-apps-screenshotDesigned with a distinct minimalist look that’s undemanding in terms of resources, Smart Launcher has all the features you need to give your phone its own unique look and feel.

Widgets

Widgetsoid

(Google Play)

Widgetsoid-Android-apps-screenshotCreate and customize your own widgets to get the exact look and functionality you want. There are more than 50 toggles to choose from and plenty of aesthetic options to get your Settings on.

Beautiful Widgets Pro

(Google Play)

Beautiful-Widgets-Pro-Android-apps-screenshotA few dollars gets you a massive set of customizable widgets enabling you to combine the clock, weather, battery, and toggle functions you want. There are also over 1,000 themes on offer.

HD Widgets

(Google Play)

HD-Widgets-Android-apps-screenshotPut together an attractive blend of clock, weather, date, time, and switches for functions with this app which has more than 100 carefully designed options for Android phones and tablets.

Basic Utilities

Timely Alarm Clock

(Google Play)

Timely-Alarm-Clock-Android-apps-screenshotTimely makes it easy to set alarms and you can snooze by turning your phone on its face, but the real attraction is the stylish and elegant night clock look that you can customize for yourself.

Brightest Flashlight

(Google Play / Amazon)

Brightest-Flashlight-Free-Android-apps-screenshotMost phones have a torch onboard, but this app will turn on all available lights, putting your screen at maximum brightness and turning on the flash. It times out after two minutes though.

Wi-Fi Analyzer

(Google Play / Amazon)

Wifi-Analyzer-Android-apps-screenshotIf you want to check out what’s happening with your Wi-Fi, then this app will show you the signal strength for different routers and indicate how crowded channels are. It’s easy to use, too.

Keyboards

SwiftKey Keyboard

SwiftKey_Android_apps_screenshot

(Google Play / Amazon)

You’ll never curse auto-correct again with the intelligent SwiftKey Keyboard. It’s packed with options, it learns your style, and it offers sensible suggestions and corrections that will speed your typing.

Wallpapers

Best Wallpapers HD

(Google Play)

Best-Wallpapers-HD-Android-apps-screenshotYou’ll find more than 17,000 high quality wallpapers listed in here covering various screen sizes, and they’re all neatly divided into categories, so you can easily find the kind of thing you want.

PicSpeed HD Wallpapers

(Google Play)

PicSpeed-HD-Wallpapers-Android-apps-screenshotAt least 100 new wallpapers are added to this collection every day, and there are more than 400 categories organizing over 500,000 backgrounds. It has something for everyone.

Galaxy Live Wallpaper

(Google Play)

Galaxy-Live-Wallpaper-Android-apps-screenshotLive or animated wallpapers really add something to your home screen and this spinning galaxy of stars is one of the best. You can tweak the frame rate and the color to get it just right for you.

Ringtones

Zedge

(Google Play / Amazon)

Zedge-Android-apps-screenshotIf you’re looking to customize your Android phone, you’ll find thousands of ringtones, notification sounds, and wallpapers in Zedge. You can browse by category and set ringtones from the app.

Ringtone Maker

(Google Play / Amazon)

Ringtone-Maker-Android-apps-screenshotThe easiest way to get the ringtone or notification sound you really want is to make it yourself and this app enables you to do exactly that with an easy to master touch interface that supports fade in and out.

Ringdroid

(Google Play)

Ringdroid-Android-apps-screenshotYou can create ringtones, alarms, and notification sounds with Ringdroid using your existing audio files or recording one. The original app is ad-free and open source; watch out for copies.

Benchmarking Apps

AnTuTu Benchmark

(Google Play)

AnTuTu-Benchmark-Android-apps-screenshotThis popular benchmarking app is widely referenced across the tech world and it covers CPU, RAM, GPU, and I/O tests. It also lets you easily compare your device to other popular choices.

Vellamo Benchmark

(Google Play)

Vellamo-Mobile-Benchmark-Android-apps-screenshotThis user friendly benchmarking tool is a good option. It has HTML5 tests, Web browser tests, and processor tests so you can find almost anything out. You need Android 2.3 or above.

3DMark

(Google Play / Amazon)

3DMark-Android-apps-screenshotDescribing itself as the world’s most popular performance test, 3DMark will push your GPU and CPU to the limit to see what they’re capable of. It comes with several different tests.

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