I’ve been using the Google Play Store for 10 years – these apps were good enough to keep – TechRadar | Hot Mobile Press

Ten years ago, Google swept all of its Android products, including the Android Market, under the Google Play banners. At that time, according to Google, there were just 400,000 active Android users. Today the company claims 2.5 billion people Have access to Google Play. App tracking site Statista reveals that the Android Market has taken a leap 600,000 apps 10 years ago on well over three million apps today. The Google Play Store is more than 50% larger in the number of apps than the Apple App Store.

To celebrate the anniversary of this precious Android app storefront, I decided to take a look at the apps installed on my current Android phone, a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, and determine which ones have been a staple on my device since the early days of Google Play. These are the apps I’ve kept for 10 years:

Wave Live Wallpaper

Wave Live Wallpaper app icon

(Image credit: Google Play)

Wave Live Wallpaper (opens in new tab) (released: April 2012) is not the wallpaper I use all the time; It’s the wallpaper I use when I want to show off. Live wallpaper was an Android trick that dates back to the earliest days. Sure, it consumes a lot of battery, but if you want to impress iPhone friends without saying a word, just let them take a look at the gorgeous, undulating waves of color and patterns that dance as you flip through your home screens.

IMDB – The Internet Movie Database

IMDB app icon

(Image credit: Google Play)

I keep watching TV and I’m like, ‘Who is that? I know I saw her in something else.” Hence IMDB (opens in new tab) (released: June 2010) has been on my phone’s home screen for 10 years. It offers an extensive database of cast and crew from movies, TV shows, video games and more. You can even tune in to specific episodes of a show to find guest stars. There’s always the IMDB website, but with a dedicated app it’s easy to log in and follow your favorite shows, remember your searches, and share what you’ve found.

sound hound

SoundHound paid app icon

(Image credit: Google Play)

On the heels of IMDB, SoundHound (opens in new tab) (released: June 2010) keeps answering my question “What song is that?”. I have a SoundHound widget on my phone’s home screen so I can quickly tap it while watching a commercial or movie on the couch to identify the title of that elusive tune. If you’re brave, you can even try humming SoundHound and it will give its best guess. Once you’ve found your song, you can easily link it directly to your favorite music player to hear it in full.


Zillow app icon

(Image credit: Google Play)

I admit a guilty pleasure – when I’m driving around and see an intriguing house, I check it out on Zillow (opens in new tab) (released: March 2010). House on the mountainside? Check the last sale price. That weird modern place that was for sale? Zillow has the photos. I’ve also used Zillow to search for homes to buy and rent, but mostly I use it to find out how much the only mansion in my neighborhood costs.

couch up to 5K

Couch to 5k app icon

(Image credit: Google Play)

When I was in high school, I couldn’t jog a mile without stopping. Not sure what motivated me to try jogging again, but the couch on 5K (opens in new tab) Application (releasedMarch 2012) was a big help and I actually got the result of being able to jog 5 kilometers straight without a break. What helped the most was that the app took control of my pace so I didn’t burn out in the early days trying to run too hard. By following the program I actually worked my way up to the big/small run.

Libra – weight manager

Libra - Weight Manager app icon with measuring tape around a scale

(Image credit: Google Play)

Scale (opens in new tab) (releasedAs of March 2010) is a very simple weight tracking app. Using Libra was the first time I looked at my weight loss with an accompanying trendline, rather than just my weight as a simple graph. I’ve had numerous smart scales, fitness monitors, and health tracking services, and they all do what Libra can do, but keeping one app for my weight tracking has helped me as I’ve been switching back and forth between all the others to make sure I don’t lose my story.


Untappd app icon

(Image credit: Google Play)

My favorite social network is Untappd (opens in new tab) (published September 2011), not because I love beer that much (I’m a craft beer fan) but because it’s a social network that does exactly what I want it to and nothing more. It helps me find beer, make friends who like beer and share experiences. It’s not going to be political. No news or products unrelated to beer will be promoted. It helps me keep track of my history to remind myself of what I liked and what I want to avoid. Seriously, if every social network could stay this focused and useful, the world could be a better place.

A decade of innovation

Leave a Comment