Best Free Android Default App Replacements

Android App Freedom

Your Android phone came preloaded with a suite of apps designed to get you up and running. Some of those apps are good, but some of them only just pass muster. Unlike Apple’s iPhone, Android lets you choose your default apps for core smartphone functions. This freedom is one of the biggest draws for the platform. Check out these 6 apps that can make your Android experience better.

Email

K9 Mail

K9 eMail app

Other than making phone calls or text messaging, email is the most fundamental function of a smartphone. Your phone already has Gmail and another default Email app installed. However thee are better options available. My personal favorite is K9 Mail.

It has an attractive interface (I have my set to dark-theme) and supports, IMAP push, multi-folder sync, flagging, filing, signatures, bcc-self, PGP encryption, saving attachments to SD cards and more. It also  POP3 and Exchange 2003/2007.

Get K9 Mail on Google Play

Alarm Clock

Timely Alarm Clock

timely alarm clock app

If you’re anything like me, your smartphone is your alarm clock. The default alarm clock app on my Nexus 4 is functional but that’s about it.  I have since downloaded the beautiful app Timely and haven’t looked back. It has beautiful themes, all the same functions as alarm, better sounding alarms, and the ability to sync and manage alarms across all your devices.

Best of all it is free so you have no excuse not to try it.

Get Timely Alarm Clock on Google Play

Calendar

Cal

Cal calendar app

The default calendar that came with your phone was either designed by your the manufacturer or it is Google Calendar. These Calendars are fine but there is a better free option out there. That option is Cal.

Like Timely, Cal goes beyond the basic functions that came with your phone. First and foremost, it is simply better looking. It also has better looking widgets. Cal also lets you pull in your friends’ birthdays via Facebook and syncs with your Any.Do task list. My favorite thing about Cal is the way that it defaults to your daily agenda while showing you what’s coming up this week.

Like I mentioned before, it’s free so go check it out.

Get Cal on Google Play

Tasks

Any.do

Any.do widget

Any.do is what Google Tasks should be. It is beautiful, syncs across devices and integrates seamlessly into Cal. It has reoccuring tasks, reminders, notes, subtasks, Google Task sync and more.

Get Any.do on Google Play

Calculator

RealCalc

RealCalc app

Sometimes the basic calculator that comes with your phone is simply not enough. Enter RealCalc. This is hands down the best scientific calculator in the market. For those of you that need to calculate things in binary, octal or hex. This is your app. Other functions include RPN (Reverse Polish Notation) result history, trigonometric functions and more. All this in the free version. If you upgrade to RealCalc Plus you gain the ability to calculate fractions, degrees and decimal conversions. Degrees, minutes, and seconds are also available in the Plus version. As you can see, RealCalc is the real deal.

Get RealCalc on Google Play

File Manager

ASTRO File Manager

Astro file management app

Most Android users don’t ever need to use the file managing app installed by the manufacturer. Some phones, like Google Nexus phones, don’t even have a file manager app. This is where ASTRO File Manager comes in. The free version is very powerful, allowing you to browse file folders on your device. You can also access your cloud storage accounts via this app as well. This is in my opinion the best file management app on the market today.

Get ASTRO File Manager on Google Play

Do agree or disagree with this list? Let us know your favorite default apps in the comments below!

Kenny Larson
Onetime Apple/Android/Windows fanboy. Now a firm agnostic when it comes to OS. They all suck in their own special way.

"Be excellent to each other."
--Bill & Ted

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