Best Android-exclusive apps that would make iOS users green with envy

Best Android-exclusive apps that would make iOS users green with envy
While many will correctly argue that iOS has a larger selection of exclusive apps, Google's Android also has its fair selection of apps that simply can't be had on the iOS platform. In this piece, we will shine light on a few of the very best Android exclusives you can find around.

Don't forget to also check out some of the best iOS-exclusive apps around

Without further ado, here goes:

Android Auto

Download it here (free)


Unlike Apple's CarPlay, Google's Android Auto platform is actually available as a standalone app on the Play Store. No, you don't necessarily need a compatible vehicle to make use of all of its driving-friendly functionalities -- all you need is an Android device. Best thing is you don't even have to hook up your phone to your car with a cable as everything works thanks to the magic of the Bluetooth technology. You can even have Android Auto automatically launch once your phone hooks up to your car's Bluetooth -- how neat is that?

With Android Auto, you can easily switch between simplified versions of your phone app, your preferred music or podcast player of choice, and of course, Google Maps. The nifty Google Assistant is on deck allowing you to do almost anything hands-free and it's also capable of reading out loud incoming message notifications from select popular messaging apps. 

The app is quite distraction-free -- if you use it too much at a time, it will automatically pause itself and urge you to keep your eyes on the road, which you should totally do. Once a couple of seconds have passed (and you have preferably paid attention to the road), the app will allow you to use it once again. All in the name of safety! Overall, a must-have Android app for those who spend a lot of time in their vehicles but still want to safely enjoy navigation, Spotify streaming, and the occasional phone call to mom and pop. 

We've also highlighted the best Android Auto-compatible Android apps you can download -- check them out right below.



Steam Link

Download it here (free) 


Valve's game-changing Steam Link app lets you stream your Steam library games to your smartphone or tablet, and is currently an Android-exclusive app. Apple shot down Valve's Steam Link app due to the fact that it doesn't allow competing app markets to be easily accessible through iOS apps, but Google has no such fascist countermeasures deployed. However, Apple revisited its rules and we expect Steam Link to be up and running on the App Store in no time. Until then, however, it's an Android exclusive.

With Steam Link, you can access all of your Steam games on your phone and play them with a compatible controller that's paired with the device itself, be it a Bluetooth one or a dedicated mobile gaming rig. Have in mind that you need to be on the same Wi-Fi network as your main Steam machine due to bandwidth reasons.


Tasker

Download it here (free trial, $2.99)


If you're using Tasker on a regular basis, the following description of its intended purpose will likely make you roll your eyes, but anyway, we need to showcase the beauty of the app to the populace.

Tasker is a super-powerful automation service that lets you do almost anything with your device by creating complex integration profiles triggered by different events, device states, and other definable triggers. It's as complex as it sounds, but that's the beauty of it -- once you master the basics, you will quickly realize how powerful Tasker actually is.

For example, here's just a super-basic sneak peek at what you can program Tasker to do:

  • Connect to a specific Wi-Fi network when you are at a certain location;
  • Launch a certain app when Bluetooth is connected to a certain Bluetooth device;
  • Disable auto-rotation in certain apps and force a specific system-wide orientation;
  • Automatically turn on your home's lights as soon as the sun sets;
  • Many others;

Truly said, Tasker is the best automation app and has no real flaws. The steep learning-curve is often-cited as its greatest 'issue', but the way we see it, that's actually a highlight of the app. 


Flynx

Download it here (free)


Chatheads, the layman's word for those nifty floating bubbles that a few Android apps utilize, are quite useful when it comes to multitasking. For what they're worth, apps that utilize chatheads are generally an enormous boon to usability.

Flynx is a neat Android browser that is wholly-based on this concept. With regular browsers, wherever you click on a link you get transported to the browser app itself, but Flynx is having none of that - the link automatically opens in a floating tab and loads in the background, making for an uninterrupted experience. 

You never leave the app you were initially using and the link is always available at a fingertip away. A little-known, but genius app nonetheless.


Nova Launcher

Download it here (free/$4.99)


Nothing surprising here -- Nova Launcher is an A+ app for Android. One of the very best, bar none. It's been a few years since Nova Launcher has been our go-to choice for a custom Android launcher. In mid-2018, this still holds true, now even more so.

Unlike other apps that have gradually degraded over time, Nova is still going strong, scoring new features and polishing existing ones to the point where it can safely serve as a model of excellence, an exemplar app that everyone should strive to match.

With unmatched customization and flexibility, Nova Launcher can be easily shaped to your heartfelt's content. While the app has a certain learning curve, but once you get past that, you will truly realize what Nova is capable of.

One of the very best Android launchers is available for free, but this version of the app lacks a bunch of customization options that are essential to the customization of your homescreen. Thus, we'd wholeheartedly recommend getting Nova Launcher Prime, which runs for $4.99.

You can check out many other notable launchers in our ultimate pick of the best ones, available right below:



Muzei

Download it here (free)


Muzei is one of the very best live wallpaper apps on the Google Play Store, and due to the specifics of iOS, such apps are not permitted on Apple's tight ecosystem. To be honest, Muzei is not a live wallpaper in the clearest sense of the term - it's not animated or anything like that, it's just a super-customizable wallpaper slideshow app.

With Muzei, you can choose between a trove of wallpaper sources and have the app change your background at a predefined amount of time. You can choose among a hefty trove of Muzei sources which are available as addons, such as Unsplash, Reddit, National Geographic. NASA, Bing, and many others. 

Overall, a must-have!


Flud

Download it here (free)


When no copyrighted material is involved in the mix, torrents are a perfectly legal and safe means of downloading or distributing large amounts of data around. Apple, however, decided that it doesn't want any of that on its pristine platform and outright bans torrent apps. 

Google is more lax in this regard and has a rich torrent client selection on the Play Store. Of all these, Flud is quite possibly the most fleshed-out one. 

Based on the BitTorrent protocol, Flud comes with a trove of essential features, like the ability to download select files and prioritize downloads, download magnet links, sequential download, and many others.


Cerberus

Download it here (free)


Who needs Find My iPhone when you can get Cerberus, an app that puts anti-theft protect at the next level. Aside from locating your lost device after it has been taken away from you. Aside from letting you track your device, Cerberus also lets you remotely see what Wi-Fi network it is connected to, check out the latest incoming and outgoing calls, take pictures, video and capture audio that will be helpful to identify the thief, and finally, wipe the storage and memory of the handset should all else fail. 

Cerberus will only allow a pool of pre-approved SIM cards to be used with the particular device and will immediately alert you over email with the phone's location; the app will also do that if the wrongdoer thinks they're smart enough to start the phone in Airplane Mode. You can also remotely control your device through the Cerberus dashboard website.

Finally, the app protects itself by asking for a username and password if anyone tries to uninstall it and hinder its functionalities.


Bonus: Various Emulators


Truth be told, some emulators exist for iOS, but the process of setting them up is so convoluted that we choose to 'forget' about their existence at all. Nothing beats the relatively straightforward emulation of retro games on Android -- you simply get the game's ROM, load it up in one of the many A+ emulators on the Play Store, and you're pretty much good to go. 

Some of the best ones are:

FEATURED VIDEO

32 Comments

1. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

Fortnite is still iOS-exclusive, and that's all that matters right now. And frankly, the release date on Android is still vague. Some folks say "Summer", at least two news report say it's September. This is concerning because for all we know, no one will be playing Fortnite by Summer or September and everyone's moved on to the next big game - Android has been left to feast on crumbs...

2. japkoslav

Posts: 1505; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

"and that's all that matters right now" FPS on a touchscreen? Not thank you. I am not touching that garbage with a two meters long pole on my iPad Pro ... let alone any of my Android devices, when it came out on Android.

7. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

Yeah, 1. Fortnite (and PUBG to a decreasing extent) has made mobile gaming great again - a mobile game that's not pay-to-win is like a Unicorn. 2. Android has SIGNIFICANTLY better and more forgiving support for Bluetooth controllers. 3. Razer, Xiaomi, Nubia, and ASUS wouldn't be releasing "gaming phones" if they knew it'll only go towards a card game, some IP cashgrabs, and Pokemon GO. Fortnite's popularity have renewed interest in mobile gaming, which resulted in phones with 120Hz displays, RGB lighting, and innovative external add-ons.

10. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Mobile gaming was and is already a billion dollar industry. Fortnite has zero influence on gaming phones being made. Why would they create a phone for a game that doesn't even run on that platform.

12. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

If it wasn't for Fortnite, the mobile gaming industry would still follow EA's or Gameloft's monetization model - lootboxes, wait times, double currency, and nickel-and-diming players at every single opportunity. Fortnite showed that you can make a good, profitable game withOUT nickel and diming players at every single opportunity. I rest my case.

14. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Oh please, like that was only because of Fortnite and not things like it being illegal in a lot of countries because it fell under the gambling rules. And what case, even if Fortnite was responsible for showing the world you can do without loot boxes (which it has though), it isn't responsible for the billion dollars mobile gaming industry nor is it responsible for gaming phones being created. You know.. the case we were talking about?

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

PS Fortnite on mobile isn't even going that strong. Most of the money it makes, comes from consoles. https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2018/06/26/fortnite-made-over-300-million-pokemon-go-still-going-strong/#624ae1b534fa

16. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1420; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

The mobile gaming industry already knew that, but they know they can make even more money the other way. Why make a gamer pay once for a game, when you can get them to pay 10 times more with in game purchases and such? Fortnite didn't reinvent the wheel or anything. The problem with the in-game purchases is that on the long term it frustrates users an they're more likely to turn away from the game when you keep making them pay for it. Another problem is that lootboxes are being outlawed, because it's considered a form of online gambling.

31. ZombieHunter

Posts: 265; Member since: Oct 13, 2013

Gotta love it when children post stupid things without their parents permission...

32. Loveneesh

Posts: 432; Member since: Jul 14, 2015

PUBG is available before fortnite on both OS. And how fortnite creates intrest in gaming in Android when it's not even available? And Razor phone with 120hz displays came much more earlier than the launch of fortnite and Black shark, Red Magic, and even Asus ROG phones is actually launched because for the demand of gaming phones (a phone with new concept needs at least 9-10 months to manufacture) not because of fortnite. You are just posting pointless comments.

29. worldpeace

Posts: 3133; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

And still no controller support..

3. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

It's not an iOS exclusive, there are many platforms (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, MacOS) you can play it on. But you can keep your Fortnite, I can always stream it to my Android device. And I doubt it will be over in September. The other platforms had it for months before it came to iOS and you didn't see it fade away there. Apps like Tasker are exclusive indefinitely and no iOS app comes close to that one. It's one of the reasons I prefer Android over iOS. Btw why is it concerning it might be September since the iOS version is all that matters now?

4. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

Because potentially no one will be playing Fortnite and it will be infested with cheaters and exploiters, like other MMO mobile games like PUBG or Mobile Legends.

8. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

You think no one will be playing it, but other platforms were using it months for the iOS release and the game is still going strong. And cheaters/exploiters aren't an Android exclusive, there are wallhacks & aimbots and modded versions on iOS too. Also, Fortnite is cross-platform so you would have had cheaters & hackers already.

11. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

But that's because the average Joes and Janes are still interested in the game. And how do we know Fortnite will remain popular by Summer or September? Didn't we say Minecraft and Angry Birds were "still going strong" a few years ago when Flappy Bird became a thing? Also, iOS exploits can nearly only be used with JAILBROKEN devices. On Android, you can cheat on a game with something as simple as Lucky Patcher or Googling a "Modded" APK. And look at how PUBG Mobile went to complete s--- within a few weeks of release - out of the 100 players dropped off the plane, probably half are bots, 40 are cheaters, and only 10 are legit players.

13. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

You are using a bad example here since there are still over 60 million monthly players in Minecraft. So you can't tell if fortnite will stay strong or not. And nope, not true. Most exploits or modded versions can be easily installed without jailbreak. You just need to trust the developer and reinstall the app every once in a while. And do you have any numbers on how many of those cheaters are on Android and who are on iOS? Also, there are a lot of 'cheaters' who are using a kb and mouse on a mobile platform, giving them an unfair disadvantage.

17. perry1234

Posts: 645; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Not a fan of touchscreen fps games. And emulation is great ! Wish my iPad Pro 10.5 had some great emulation capabilities. Games like Tekken 3 would be a blast on this !

18. theunspoken

Posts: 310; Member since: Jul 06, 2017

Bitch please, we have PUBG

24. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

I couldn't give two s**ts about a single game, especially not something as ridiculous as a full-fledged FPS on a tiny touch screen. There is a reason those games are played with a mouse and keyboard. You have all of these amazing apps in this article that actually massively improve your overall smartphone experience, but you're saying that the only thing that matter is a singular game out of millions? You're being such a ridiculous Android hater. Only kids care about having games like Fortnite. No grown up cares about Fortnite. How on earth is this comment being upvoted? This just shows the delusional hatred for Android on this site from Apple fanboys.

5. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

All these Apps are either meh, illegal or just useless. So no thanks.

6. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Your comments are always meh and useless

9. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Hahaha and once more you show you don't know what you are talking about. And none of the apps are illegal btw.

19. theunspoken

Posts: 310; Member since: Jul 06, 2017

I don't agree that anything can be more useless than you.

21. NateDiaz

Posts: 1088; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Yet you replied him.

23. theunspoken

Posts: 310; Member since: Jul 06, 2017

It was to let him know what I think about him, don't worry you are next after him in the list of most useless people.

26. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

You're definitely right about that. If you look at NateDiaz comment's, then he is never able to provide anything constructive. The only thing he spreads is Apple propaganda and Android hate.

20. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Do you know the meaning of “illegal”? Kiddo......

28. sissy246

Posts: 7111; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Waiting to here why you own the s9 and a s9+ when you hate Samsung so much. Oh, and why you are still posting when you said you were done with PA for deleting your posts, that they also deleted.

22. tomn1ce

Posts: 247; Member since: Mar 12, 2012

Glad to see Nova Launcher on this list....I've been using Nova Launcher Prime for years now and got my family to use it as well on their devices. This is one of the 1st apps I install on a new device.

25. TheOracle1

Posts: 2259; Member since: May 04, 2015

I've tried my best to like Nova Launcher but keep going back to the Asus Launcher (which does everything Nova does but for free) and FastKey Launcher. Cerberus is always installed on all my devices. Oh and Piyath wouldn't be talking that garbage if he'd ever tried Tasker or Cerberus.

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