The front page of the Play Store is home to many great apps, but in realistic terms, there are a few types of apps that you can always expect to see. Mobile games dominate much of the real estate, and there will inevitably be some health and productivity apps dotted around as well. You may even see educational apps along the lines of Duolingo depending on the day.
While other kinds of apps will occasionally break through onto the recommended listings, there are a large number of great apps with more niche functions like what we have at Android Headlines. Below are some of the most interesting categories of apps that a casual Play Store browser would be really missing out on.
Have you ever wanted to try your hand at gardening but just had no way to start or keep track of things? Thankfully, there are plenty of amazing apps linked to gardening available, whether you’re a complete beginner with a single cactus or an experienced gardener tending dozens of plants at once.
One of the most comprehensive options out there has to be the iNaturalist app, which takes the major project from the website to your phone. You can share photos and notes with fellow gardeners, track and manage your plants’ growing cycles and even access an entire plant encyclopaedia with entries on virtually every plant around the world.
We would also recommend Leafsnap if you’re just starting out, an app that can help you distinguish the plants you have in your garden and let you know if any are weeds that should be removed. It works by identifying leaf shapes from a photo, and its own library of plant images covers everything you might find in a normal garden.
While streaming apps like Spotify may offer the exact songs you want on demand, there is something inherently charming about being surprised by songs that crop up on the radio. There’s also the added bonus of picking up new songs that you may not have ever heard before, especially if you can listen to stations beyond your own country.
There are numerous global radio apps to cater for exactly that experience. For instance, the My Radio app covers over 50,000 radio stations worldwide in every language you could want. It primarily caters to music and news apps, and can even be set up to work as an alarm clock with your favourite station.
For a wider range of content, the MyTuner Radio app is a popular choice as it not only covers music and news but also has an extensive podcast collection on all manner of topics.
You may have seen several mobile games at the front of the Play Store, from mobile-orientated shooters to daily puzzle games like Wordle. The mobile game industry has boomed in recent years, and as the technology powering these games continues to develop, it’s clear that more advanced games will be made available.
In the near future, it’s highly likely that mobile games could compete with the level of immersive gameplay and graphics features on console heavy-hitters like God of War or The Last Of Us have but usually, these are just regular casual games that use card games or slots as a game mechanic.
One of the more difficult game categories to find on the Play Store is online casinos, although sites like Vegas Slots Online work well as libraries of the biggest casino sites out there. Many of these providers will then have apps that can be downloaded directly, linked to the casino account and used as a more streamlined version. The game quality natively on mobile is usually higher, and deposits and withdrawals are often easier thanks to instant wallet app integration.
There is an old saying that there has never been a single person who can’t make art, and while you may hear some people claim ‘I can’t draw’, the reality is usually just down to time and practice. With a large collection of apps now available on the Play Store, there’s now even less excuse.
The list includes popular apps like Sketchbook, which is entirely free, has most of the capabilities of professional art software and works just as well on a smartphone as it does on a tablet. For those looking specifically for a comic creation platform, there is also MediBang which comes with a library of pre-made comic assets like text boxes and panels. This one does have a subscription fee but it is far lower than any professional tool you would find.
Remember to keep these in mind the next time you find yourself poking around the Play Store, and keep in mind that there’s always something fantastic to find just by taking a look under the surface.