I’ve had a lot of problems with my phone recently.

Random restarts, the system apps closing down. A right mess.

Don’t get me started on the clown-fest that is the Samsung Customer Care Team. What an almighty mess they were to deal with. I ended up fixing the phone myself.

I had to rebuild the phone on three occasions, and it’s during those times when you learn which apps you really can’t do without. There’s the obvious ones, like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc, but there are also some other ones you may not be aware of.

Here are my current must-have Android apps:

NoRoot Firewall

Android

This is great for those who want precise control over what can and can’t access wifi and / or data.

By routing all phone traffic through this app, you can select which are allowed to access the internet when connected to the wifi, or when you’re on your precious data plan.

Alerts tell you when an app is trying to reach out to the www. It surprised me how many apps, which I thought were purely local, tried to go through the firewall. Now, I’m in charge and I get no nasty surprises when it comes to my monthly data bundle.

Bluemail

Android

I was on the lookout for a decent email client for quite a while before I found Bluemail.

The Gmail app is perfect for my Gmail addresses, but it didn’t seem to do the necessary housekeeping when it came to other domains. My lookingforthepostman.com email addresses needed something different.

Bluemail gives me everything I need. It’s well laid out, quick and easily adaptable. It’s intuitive and has never let me down. Perfect email solution!

Evie

Android

This app replaces your phone’s default launcher. That’s basically the home screen and app drawer.

It provides a lot more flexibility over how your phone looks than the stock app launcher. I like to have my most popular icons on the home screen, but unlabelled. (I know what the apps are from their icons. I don’t need their name spelled out underneath. Too cluttered!)

WatchuGPS

Android

When partnered with the Watchu, this reassuring little app allows me to both see where my young daughter is at any point, but also see where she’s been during the day. It alerts me immediately if she goes outwith designated safezones (ie more than a certain distance away from her home or school).

It also allows me to phone my daughter, and she can speak to me through her watch. It really is a great use of tech for parents. I wouldn’t be without it.

Netflix

Android

My train journeys into work owe much to the Netflix app. There’s a life-saving option in the menu to see content that you can download. So, on an evening, I can download content which I can watch on my phone the next day.

Netflix content varies so much that you can download a whole bunch of different choices, and just pick whatever suits your mood!

FYI – my current to-watch list includes new sci-fi thriller The Expanse, the new Star Trek, Black Mirror and Hinterland.

FotMob Pro

Android

This is the ultimate app for keeping track of football scores. Once you’ve set up which leagues & teams you’re interested in, it’s plain sailing. Tell the app what you want to be updated with, and it’ll bong you whenever something happens.

You can choose to be updated on goals, red cards, penalties and team news. If you tell it which teams you support, the app will even groan when they concede a goal.

My go-to app for a Saturday afternoon.