30 exceptional Material Design apps for Android

Ready for more Material Design in your life? These 30 Android apps make Google's latest design standards look amazing -- and they have the functionality to match.

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Material Design apps, part 4: Weather

17. Weather Timeline ($0.99)

material design apps android weather timeline

Yes, weather apps are a dime a dozen -- but Weather Timeline isn't your average Android weather app. Weather Timeline displays the current and upcoming weather in a clever timeline format, showing you colorful boxes with current conditions followed by boxes with the forecast for the next 24 hours and then the next seven days. You can tap any box to expand into a new timeline with more detailed info. Design aside, the app has cool features like interactive radar, a moon viewing calendar, and optional "umbrella warnings" for when rain is headed your way.

18. Simple Weather (free with optional $1.99 ad-free upgrade)

material design apps android simple weather

Its name says it all: Simple Weather gives you the latest weather in a simple and attractive Material Design UI that's clean, clear, and easy to read. If basic weather info is all you need, this app might be just what the meteorologist ordered.

19. Material Weather Widget (free)

material design apps android material weather widget

If you want Material-looking weather widgets, the aptly named Material Weather Widget is the source to snag. The app itself could use a little spit and polish, but once you get things set up and find the widget you like, you'll have the forecast right where you want it -- with a fresh and modern design that feels right at home on your home screen.

Material Design apps, part 5: Organization

20. Google Calendar (free)

material design apps android google calendar

Google's own Calendar app for Android has gotten really good over the years -- so good that it makes you wonder why manufacturers keep brushing it aside and loading up devices with their own second-rate alternatives. Material-esque visuals aside, Google Calendar has loads of useful touches -- like graphics and maps that are automatically added to events and a simple auto-suggest system that makes adding new appointments a snap.

21. Today Calendar (free with optional $4.49 pro version)

material design apps android today calendar

Today Calendar takes the Google Calendar concept and adds in some interesting enhancements like custom theming support, a variety of excellent and fully customizable widgets, and a slew of slick-looking animations all throughout the application. Think of it as a souped-up version of Google Calendar, with plenty of extra pizazz.

22. Cabinet (free)

material design apps android cabinet

File managers have long been a favored tool of Android power users, but many of the apps are overly involved and complicated for what most of us actually need. Cabinet takes a more minimalist approach, with a simple but polished Material Design UI that makes it easy to view, move, and manipulate files on your device.

23. LastPass Password Manager (free app with $12/year service subscription)

material design apps android lastpass

If you aren't using a password manager, you should be. LastPass is one of the best and most secure options around, and its newly redesigned Android app provides a simple and effective way to access your passwords from your smartphone or tablet. Material Design aside, the service's strong encryption, local-only decryption, and built-in support for two-factor authentication make it easy to recommend.

24. Google Keep (free)

material design apps android google keep

Google Keep is a great app for quick on-the-go note-taking and list-making, and its clean Material Design UI is a big part of what makes it so pleasant to use. Keep gives you easy tools for taking and organizing plain text notes, voice-inputted notes, notes with images, and notes with checkable lists. Everything's synced to your Google account and accessible from any device -- including computers, via the Web -- while native tie-ins to Google Now allow you to set and manage reminders based on time or location.

25. Simplenote (free)

material design apps android simplenote

Simplenote is a no-frills note-taking app with a dead-simple UI and cross-device syncing via the company's own servers. Other than the ability to add tags to a note, there's not much here in the way of advanced features -- which is actually Simplenote's big selling point: It's fast, it's efficient, and it's free from any distractions or extraneous features.

26. Wunderlist (free with optional $4.99/month pro subscription)

material design apps android wunderlist

Lists are what Wunderlist is all about -- and it does them exceptionally well. The app uses Material Design yet maintains its own distinct identity. With top-notch tools for making and managing lists, it's a smart solution for a narrow but highly relevant focus.

27. Evernote (free with optional $5/month premium subscription)

material design apps android evernote

Evernote is probably the best-known note-taking app of any platform, and its Android app doesn't disappoint. With all the options and tools you could possibly want and a distinctive yet familiar Material Design interface, this is the app for note-takers who need all the bells and whistles.

Material Design apps, part 6: Device customization

28. Nova Launcher (free with optional $4 prime version)

material design apps android nova

Nova is the ultimate way to take control of your Android device's home screen environment. It starts with Google's clean Lollipop-level Android base -- something that may come as a refreshing change, especially if you're using a phone or tablet with manufacturer-modified software -- and then adds in the ability to change and enhance almost every piece of the puzzle to make things look and work however you want. (Note: The Material Design elements of Nova are currently available only in the beta version of the app, so make sure you sign up to use that version if you want the full Material experience!)

29. Action Launcher 3 (free with $5 upgrade for full functionality)

material design apps android action launcher

Action Launcher takes the concept of a Lollipop-style launcher in a decidedly different direction. Some of the app's marquee features include a streamlined sliding app drawer, an instant-theming option that automatically styles your entire home screen to match your wallpaper, and an option to keep widgets available on demand -- via a swipe upward on any icon -- without having them take up permanent space on your home screen.

30. Minima Live Wallpaper (free with optional $0.99 pro version)

material design apps android minima

Last not but not least, give your phone or tablet an extra dose of Material Design with this very cool Material Design-inspired live wallpaper collection. Minima gives you dozens of fun Material-esque backgrounds that subtly shift around as you tilt your device and move from one home screen panel to the next. You can even customize the colors of each wallpaper and tweak practically every element imaginable, if you're so inclined.

And there you have it, gang: thirty exceptional Material Design apps for Android. Pick and choose the ones that make sense for you, and get ready to see your device in a whole new light.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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