The majority of people now look at their smartphone several times every hour and spend around three hours a day browsing, watching videos and interacting with apps, so there is no better device to call on during those times when you have nothing else to do. During downtime, you could download and enjoy one of these eight Android apps.
TikTok is the new kid on the social media block. The Chinese video-sharing platform was a viral sensation in 2019 with its short lip-sync and talent videos wowing younger audiences eager for engaging, bite-sized content. If you want to be an active part of the community, you can record your own 15-second clips just by clicking the + button and setting up a timer.
TikTok also makes it easy to cycle through the best creations on the app. Just a single tap on the home page will take you to the next video. This is great for passing time as there is an endless stream of clips and some of the biggest names in music and entertainment now have profiles, so you are always likely to see a famous face.
Smartphones are ideal for content consumption, and Feedly, a news aggregator, will bring articles and breaking stories from your favorite websites together in one place so you can browse and read from a single hub rather than navigating to each one via a browser. You can use the ‘save for later’ option to create a reading list for when you want to kill time and can also add a widget to your home page to get the latest news updates.
If you want to make more productive use of your downtime, learning a new language is a great option. Duolingo is one of the leading language-learning apps on Google Play with 94 courses in 23 languages and more than 300 registered global users.
The app will ease you into speaking, listening and writing a new language with ‘basics’ and ‘phrases’ before progressing to more advanced words and sentences. You can complete a section in around five to ten minutes, so this app is perfect if you only have a small amount of free time during the day.
Fancy reading a best seller but don’t want to carry a physical book? With the Kobo app, you can download and access more than six million ebooks on your smartphone, so you could read one of the classics or a Booker Prize winner while on the go. The app allows you to customize the style and size of text and offers recommendations based on what you like. Your progress also syncs across devices so that you will never lose your spot.
QuizUp was so popular on iOS that venture capitalists raised funds for an Android release in 2014. Since then, it has become one of the most popular mobile games. QuizUp is a mobile trivia app that plays out in a similar way to the legendary board game Trivial Pursuit.
To start, you just select a topic of interest from the 1,200 options available and then go through seven rounds of timed multiple-choice questions. Daily challenges and multiplayer tournaments up the ante further and you can invite friends and family for your own private battles.
For a more traditional gaming experience, try Monster Breakout. The concept is simple, you just have to hurdle numerous sharp-edged objects and swinging axes using the “one touch stop control” system to get to the end of the level and advance to the next one. The hurdles become more complex and difficult as you go along, but you do get level saves so you can always come back if you only have five or ten minutes to kill.
Sand Draw Sketch
Sand Draw Sketch is one of the most popular art and design apps on Android with more than five million downloads. It gives you a virtual sand canvas to doodle on and get creative with, which is perfect for making a more relaxing use of your downtime. You can save your artwork to the gallery on your phone or share it with others on social media.
Perfect365: One-Tap Makeover
The Perfect365 app allows you to see yourself with a range of haircuts and makeup styles. To get started, simply upload a selfie and get to work with the different filters and options which can be applied in seconds for “instant pro” looks. These virtual makeovers can provide inspiration if you are ready for a real-life change at a hairdresser or the beauty salon.