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4 brilliant Android apps you’ve probably never heard of

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:49PM EST
Best Underrated Android Apps

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There are so many mobile apps out there — and most of them are terrible — that it can be hard to find those rare diamonds in the rough. To get a better handle on which apps out there are actually good, we periodically check out apps that Android fan communities are recommending to help you discover apps that are vastly more useful than the latest Flappy Bird or Yo clone. With this in mind, we’ve combed through the latest thread highlighting under-appreciated apps over at Reddit’s Android community to pick out four gems we think are worthy of your attention.

Xtended NavBar

This is a pretty straightforward little app that could nonetheless make using your phone a lot more convenient. Essentially, Xtended NavBar adds more options to the navigation bar that appears at the bottom of your Android devices home screen by letting you swipe in different kinds of navigation bars. So for instance, if you want to switch over from your standard call-camera-SMS navigation bar, you could swipe it right and get a navigation bar for connectivity options, while swiping left could bring up a navigation bar for your music player.

Download Xtended NavBar right here.

Type Machine

We’ve all been in the middle of typing something when we’ve been rudely interrupted by an app crash or some other software failure. This is where Type Machine comes in: It will remember every single thing you type into all of your apps and keep it stored it as backup in case something goes wrong. While this sounds potentially invasive, Type Machine’s developers say that all old entries are automatically deleted and you can make a blacklist for apps where you don’t want TypeMachine to collect info.

Download Type Machine right here.



is mobile-centric PDF reader that comes highly recommended as one of the fastest PDF readers out there. MuPDF developer Artifex Software says that the app “is tailored for high quality anti-aliased graphics” and that “it renders text with metrics and spacing accurate to within fractions of a pixel for the highest fidelity in reproducing the look of a printed page on screen.” This should really be a great resource for any college students who want to read enormous textbook PDF files.

Download MuPDF right here.

atmosHere Weather

Sure, you can get the latest weather forecast on your home screen with the Google Now widget but for those of you who want weather forecasts that are infinitely more detailed, there’s atmosHere Weather. Among other things, this app gives you “hyper accurate powered weather data” that updates by the minute, real-time weather alerts for dangerous weather anomalies such as tornadoes and flash floods, and weather projections for the next week that are updated every hour. And as you can see above, the app also gives you information on the latest earthquakes near you, the skiing conditions for nearby mountains, your local air quality, and much, much more. The app costs $3.99, but if you really want to have the most detailed weather info, this looks like a good option.

Download atmosHere Weather right here.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.