Let’s face facts. Some apps are just pointless. They make little noises, do little tricks, and show fun colors. However, at the end of the day, they don’t do anything useful. They lose their charm quickly like those little doo-dads you buy from that one store at the mall. Or they pretend to do something useful but it’s really just hindering your life. Here are the most useless apps for Android.
Some honorable mentions that didn’t make the list are OEM backup apps, antivirus apps, and a few other types. Generally speaking, these kinds of apps have a function, but they’re superfluous to some better option. For instance, OEM backup apps pale in comparison to the built-in backing up that Google does. Instead of antivirus apps, you could just not do things that put your phone at risk. Stuff like that. Let’s get started!
The Abu Moo collection of apps may be among the most useless apps ever. There are six apps in the collection and each one costs $400. What do these apps do? Not a damn thing. They sit in your app drawer. You can put a poorly constructed gem widget on your home screen to show people how rich you are, but otherwise the app doesn’t actually do anything. The developer seems aware of this and the descriptions for these apps are pretty goofy. You can check them out, but we don’t recommend you buy them. For real.
Here’s the thing. Clean Master used to be a pretty decent app. It was a minimal app that let you clean out your junk and give your device more storage. Over time, though, the app added a bunch of pointless, useless features that actually do more harm than good. Now, Clean Master (and similar boosting apps) try to overdo everything by including an antivirus (which isn’t really necessary), booster functionality (which doesn’t really work), task killer functions that don’t really work (none do anymore), and makes promises it can’t possibly keep like those medicine salesmen from the 1800s. There are plenty of cleaner apps disguised as regular apps (looking at you, ES File Explorer) which only adds to the mayhem of trying to avoid them. These are useless apps at best and battery draining lies at worst. Avoid them.
Coloring book apps are starting to make a splash in the Android ecosystem. Unfortunately, some of them have some problems. Many of them, including the popular Color by Disney, want you to pay a subscription service in order to use their coloring book app. Here’s how they generally work. You get a little bit of content for free (which usually isn’t very good) and then you have to pay every month to get the good stuff. Some of them charge as much as you’d pay for Netflix or Hulu. Subscriptions on some types of apps are perfectly okay, but coloring books aren’t one of them. It’s a little strange coloring something digitally and thinking that you pay every month for it. It’s silly, honestly. We don’t recommend these.
Fan Cooler (and apps like it) are cute, but ultimately pointless. These are gag apps where it makes your phone look like it’s doing something that it isn’t actually doing. Some of the more popular ones are fan coolers like the one we have linked, fake fingerprint scanners (which are especially silly since phones have real ones now), fake warnings, fake phone calls, etc. They’re used mostly to fool your friends once or twice and then you end up uninstalling them because people don’t fall for the same lame tricks more than like three or four times. They’re okay for what they are, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t useless apps.
Google has some of the most useful apps on Android. They include Gmail, Google Maps, Youtube, Google Translate, Google Home, Google Play Games, Android Auto, and many others. However, there is a dark half to Google that usually ends up useless. We’re talking about Allo, Hangouts, Google+, Inbox by Gmail, and the swatch of failed Google projects we’ve seen before. The apps weren’t useless when they existed. However, due to their short life spans, spending time getting to know these apps ends up being an exercise in futility.
Hold On (and similar games) are extremely pointless. These games usually have some sort of super simple mechanic that it tries to excite you into doing a bunch of times. Hold On has a button that you press and hold to see how long you can go. The joke is on you, though, because pop up ads break your streak eventually anyway. These are different from games like Flappy Bird because the mechanic isn’t challenging whatsoever. Holding a button down on your screen while a timer ticks up is the virtual version of having a contest to see who can go the longest without blinking. It’s ultimately a waste of time and loses whatever charm it had very quickly.
We talked about random apps that don’t do real things. However, we felt like apps that did that to animals deserved its own slot. There are a variety of human-to-animal translators, dog whistles, animal sound effects, fake laser pointers, and whatever else people can think of. Obviously, they don’t work which means these are just really fancy noisemakers that your animals probably hate anyway. You can get squeaky toys at the pet store that make the same obnoxious noises, but at least you have the comfort of knowing your animal will eventually destroy them. We won’t tell you not to get these useless apps, but we really should. Please note, these don’t include apps that make animal noises for the purposes of education for kids.
S.M.T.H., or Send Me To Heaven, is one of the most useless and potentially dangerous mobile games we’ve ever seen. The point is to throw your phone as high into the air as you can. Now, the game actually does work and you can measure your phone throwing strength. Actually, the game is pretty fun, we highly recommend it. Android Authority is not responsible for when you inevitably break your phone, though. Don’t ask us for replacements.
This app is so delightfully useless that it made me laugh out loud. Even the creator’s attempt at a properly capitalized title is useless. Okay, so let’s dig into the details. The Play Store listing appears to have no icon image and no screenshot. The app has no buttons, no controls, and does literally nothing. Sounds good so far, right? Here’s the kicker. The app auto-kills itself upon launch. This fulfills all of the qualifications on this list and then some. I loved the added bonus that the icon and screenshots the creator uploaded were just solid white images, giving the appearance of nothing. Classic. This might be my favorite app ever. This is the best useless app we could find.
Does anyone remember Yo? If not, here’s a reminder. Yo is a messaging app where all you can say is Yo. It is left up to the person receiving the message to figure out what you actually meant. The developer had some fun ideas with this one initially but none of them ever really took off. What we’re left with is an app that was last updated in 2015 that just bounces Yos back and forth forever. When Google Allo came out and everyone proclaimed that it was a useless messaging app, it became clear that all of those people forgot about Yo.
If we missed any of the most useless apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.