Almost all Android smartphones come with a bunch of default apps pre-installed for various functions—play music, videos, manage files, camera and so on.

ET Wealth lists some free alternative apps that are superior to the default ones in features as well as performance.

1. Music player

Pre-loaded music player apps on your phone have limited features. The Pi Music Player app has a clean interface and comes with a built-in equaliser. You can edit metadata of music tracks and it offers a homescreen widget for controls plus shows album art and controls on the lock screen.

Other features include audiobook and podcast support, ringtone cutter, smart playlists and easy music sharing. The app has a sleep timer function—you can set the duration of music playback after which it will stop. For something basic, check out Music Player by InShot Inc.

2. Video player

For videos just opt for MX Player instead of the default app on your smartphone. This free app offers support for multiple formats and is light on resources. There are easy to use in-app controls such as pinch to zoom, swipe for volume control, swipe for brightness control and to seek forward/back.

You have the option to choose audio track, enable/disable subtitles, hardware/software decoder as well as sleep timer to stop playback after a set duration. You can also consider the VLC player.

3. Photo gallery

Google Photos is a fantastic gallery app and comes preloaded on most Android smartphones. However, if you prefer a cleaner alternative, check out the Simple Gallery app. Our favourite is A+ Gallery.

The big advantage is this app supports photo display from your phone as well as various cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive and even Facebook. There is an option of a secure vault to keep photos and videos you don’t want everyone to see. Plus there is a fast scrolling option available—great if you have hundreds of photos stored.

4. Email

Almost everyone has multiple email accounts today and to manage them from a single app, you need a third-party app. We recommend Blue Mail. It supports almost all email services. It can add any other third-party email service and manages to auto-configure all settings—you just provide the email id and password.

What we like is the unified folder option where you can view email from all accounts in a single place. There is a dark theme, configurable left/right swipe options, smart push notifications, option to lock the app with passcode, control notifications and other customizations.

5. Camera

The default camera on most phones gives you a set of features including HDR, filters, face beauty etc. If you want extra features, we recommend Open camera. The app is great for amateurs as well as serious photographers and offers a variety of controls including white balance, ISO, exposure and so on.

It has multiple remotecontrol option, voice commands, configurable volume keys, grids/crop guides, support for external microphone and works with third party control via smart wearables. Also check out VSCO Came, A Better Camera and Free Camera. Selfie lovers can consider Candy Camera and Cymera.

6. Launcher

Launcher is the main user interface you see on smartphones. Various brands offer their own custom interface—Xiaomi has MiUi, Honor and Huawei have EmUi, OnePlus has Oxygen OS, Samsung has TouchWiz etc. Each user interface adds a few features and tweaks for the user over and above the stock Android interface.

With a free launcher app, you can change the interface and even customize it to your liking. We recommend Nova Launcher as it offers a plethora of features and the option to customize almost everything. As a secondary option you can check out Evie or Apex launcher.

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