Topic outline

  • Apps that come with your Android phone

    In this course, you’ll learn about the apps that come pre-installed on an Android phone. These are free, and include apps that help you in everyday life, help you communicate, help keep you organised, and help to get you where you’re going. You'll also learn how to keep these apps up to date.

    This course is for people who are already familiar with how their smartphone works, know how to find and launch an app from the Home screen, and how to use the Google Play Store. You can get a refresher on the basics of apps in our All about apps course.


    Welcome to "Exploring your Android phone's built-in apps". An Android phone comes with lots of useful built-in Google apps that help you stay organised, keep in touch, and find your way around. An Android tablet comes with a similar set of Google apps. Built-in Google apps are pre-installed on your mobile device and are ready to use as soon as you finish setting it up. Depending on your device, the number and type of built-in Google apps will vary but if you're missing any, you can download them from the Google Play Store. Lani uses several built-in apps every day. She has the Google Wallet app set up so can use her Android phone to make contactless payments at stores just like a credit or debit card. The Google Wallet app has been designed to be very secure so it's safe to enter your banking details. These aren't shared with the device manufacturer or other third parties. With the Chrome web browser app, Lani can search the internet and browse her favourite websites. The Google Files app lets her store and organise important documents and images downloaded from the web or received by email. Because these files are saved to her phone, Lani always knows where to find them and can open them even when there's no internet connection. For communicating with others, Lani uses the Gmail app for emails, Google Meet for video calling and the Messages app for sending text messages and images to other mobile devices. She uses the Google Contacts app to store people's numbers, email addresses, birthdays and personal notes. For other types of notes, there's the Google Keep app. Lani uses this app to type to-do lists, phone numbers, addresses, and other information she needs to remember. The Google Calendar app helps her stay organised by showing when appointments and bills are due and whose birthday is coming up. For managing her many photos and videos, she uses the Google Photos app. This app works with the cloud storage that comes with her free Google Account and helps her find photos by date or search photos according to the people, places and things they include. It also means the photos and videos on her phone automatically back up and synchronise to her other devices. So when Lani takes a new photo on her phone, she can also view it on her computer and tablet. If she edits her photo, the change will sync across all devices too. The Google Calendar app works with Google Cloud in a similar way, as does Keep, Contacts, Gmail and Chrome. The Find My Device app also uses Google cloud and helps Lani find the location of her phone if it goes missing. With the Google Maps app, she can type in an address or the name of a place she's looking for and see her route drawn on a map. It will show her travel time to get there and provide directions for driving, walking or public transport. Apps that use maps require the Location feature. You can switch this on and off in your phone settings and control which other apps have access to your location. When it comes to getting around, staying in contact with others or keeping her life and files in order, the built-in apps on Lani's Android phone help to show the way, every day.