Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Android smartphoneThere are only 24 hours in the day and you don’t have a second to spare. Twiddling around with the settings or looking up that address for the 37th time can waste precious moments that you could otherwise be using to be more productive and more effective in the work you do. Tools and shortcuts can help you recover those precious lost seconds and these free Android apps are a great place to start.

We’ve already covered a number of awesome apps for getting more done on your smartphone. Now, you can focus on the actual work that needs to be done without having to meddle around in the messy details.

Custom Quick Settings

Making your quick settings shade much more powerful

Making your quick settings shade much more powerful


Download from the Google Play Store

Pulling down from the top of your smartphone screen typically reveals a settings shade that can you can usually expand even further with a second downward swipe of the screen. That’s great, but the baked-in functionality of this settings shade can be a little limited. The Custom Quick Settings app unlocks far more possibilities, as you can add as many quick settings as you’d like, including those that aren’t normally available, like quick launching a URL or app. Change the name, icon and placement too. Unfortunately, compatibility is somewhat limited as this app won’t work on skinned phones (like HTC Sense or Samsung’s TouchWiz). You’ll also need Android 6.0 Marshmallow if your phone is not rooted; it’ll work on Android 5.0/5.1 with root.

Enpass Password Manager

The only password manager you need

The only password manager you need


Download from the Google Play Store

It’s highly recommended that you use strong, complex and unique passwords for every online service you use. Unsurprisingly, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember all these passwords. Enpass could be one of the better solutions out there, because the data is fully encrypted (AES-256) and is stored only on the phone. This makes you safer from hackers compared to some other password management apps. You can also use Enpass to save other useful information, like credit cards and driver’s license numbers, as well as generate new passwords.

Native Clipboard

A more robust clipboard for copying and pasting

A bigger and more robust clipboard for copying and pasting


Download from the Google Play Store

Do you know what’s the single greatest problem with the native clipboard on practically all devices? It can only save one item at a time. As far as free Android apps go, Native Clipboard could prove to be the most indispensable. It goes beyond the basics of copy and paste to let you save dozens of clipped items, accessing them with a quick double-tap on any text field in any app. Need to save a phone number, an address, a business name, and a tracking number? You can do that. Frequently used strings of text can be “pinned” for easy access at any time too.

Portal WiFi File Transfers

Push files from PC to smartphone through the WiFi portal

Push files from PC to smartphone through the WiFi portal


Download from the Google Play Store

Not to be confused with the game featuring a malicious computer and companion cubes, Portal is an Android app by Pushbullet that makes it as easy as possible for you to send files from your computer to your smartphone. You don’t need to grab a USB cable and you don’t need to use a cloud storage service as an intermediary. Instead, after you’ve paired your computer to your phone using a QR code, you simply drag and drop to deliver files (and folders) over Wi-Fi. If you’ve got Android 5.0 or above, the files can also be saved to your phone’s SD card instead.

Texpand Text Expander

Save precious seconds with macro text expansion

Save precious seconds with macro text expansion


Download from the Google Play Store

You may find yourself typing certain text strings on a relatively frequent basis, perhaps in emails, text messages, or through your instant messenger of choice. What Texpand does is allow you to define custom macro shortcuts that can then insert either static or dynamic text as you type it. If you have a particularly long name, you might make it so that “fname” will automatically expand to your full name. Dynamic values, like the current day or month, can also be utilized. Best of all, Texpand is compatible with any virtual keyboard, including Swiftkey and Google Keyboard.

Image credit: Andri Koolme / Flickr

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