These days making and receiving phone calls seems to be the least most important requirement of any smartphone, as it’s become all about the apps we download and use. An app, which is short for application, is, in essence, a standalone programme that has a specific function or purpose, and there are thousands of them already, with thousands more in development.

There’s an app for just about anything you can think of including game apps, restaurant, hotel and flight apps, messaging apps, photo sharing apps, no deposit bonus apps, review apps, file sharing apps, gambling apps, reading apps, drawing apps, recipe apps, game apps, translation apps, dating apps, music download apps, shopping apps and the list goes on and on.

Most Apps are Designed for Android and iOS

Most apps are designed to run on the world’s most popular smart phone platforms – Android and iOS (Apple), and to a lesser extent Windows, Amazon and BlackBerry. The operating system of your smart phone or tablet determinesthe app store youcan download your apps from. For instance, the Google Play Storeis for Android deviceswhile the App Store is for iOS devices.

Of the many different app categories, the most popular include games (fun and gambling), business, education, lifestyle, entertainment, utilities, travel, books, health and fitness and food and drink. And within these categories, you’ll find two main types of apps – paid for and free. Be aware that some free apps (free to download and use) do come with in-app purchases.

For example, most free game apps have in-app purchases, where once you’ve finished your free coins or credits, you can buy more within the app using a credit card or various other payment methods. For this article, however, we’ve compiled a list of 10 free things you should be trying on your smartphone(for Android and iOS) which are not only popular, but essential globally:

1. WhatsApp Messenger

Who needs to make telephone calls when you can use WhatsApp Messenger or just WhatsApp for short. Not only does this free to download and use smartphone app let you send messages, photos, images and videos, but it lets you make VOIP (voice over IP) telephone calls. If you use WhatsApp on a Wi-Fi connection all of your voice calls, texts and multimedia messages will be 100% free. Connect to WhatsApp via 3G 4G or LTE, however, and additional data and roaming charges may apply.

2. Google Maps

Thanks to the free Google Maps app, long gone are the days of unfurlinglarge and unwieldy paper maps across the dashboard of your car as you attempt to identify your route and destination while avoiding a head-on collision. Google Maps has revolutionised getting from A to B as it uses your GPS co-ordinates to show you the quickest route based on the time of day and if you’re on foot, in a car or on a train. It also highlights businesses, gas stations, restaurants and a whole lot more.

3. No Deposit Bonuses

Changing things up a bit, if you’re an avid online casino fan you can use your smartphone or tablet to access the most generous no deposit bonuses that are 100% free to claim. In other words, these are free no deposit bonuses you can claim on your mobile or tablet 24/7, where all you have to do to unlock them is register for a free new player casino account. This only takes a few minutes and then you can access your free cash bonus or set of free spins to use on one or more slots.

4. Dropbox

Dropbox was launched a few years ago to alleviate the problem of sending and/or storing large files around the world. Billed as an ‘a cloud storage pioneer,’ a basic Dropbox account is free and comes with 2GB of storage space you can use to store your most prized photographs or important files. Its file sharing facility allows you to send files to other people whether they have a Dropbox account or not, while its shared folders facility lets people you choose share and edit your folders.

5. Facebook

Love it or hate Facebook, with over 1.4 billion active users it’s the world’s most popular social media platform which is 100% free to sign up with and use. While you can access your Facebook account on the internet (on your particular browser) the free to download app is designed with smartphones and devices in mind, and as such is faster and easier to navigate. Once part of Facebook, Facebook Messenger is now a free standalone app with loyal users despite the success of WhatsApp.

6. Quik

Considering that virtually every smartphone these days has a built in video camera, it’s not surprising that free video editor Quik is so popular around the globe. Quik turns your videos into a work of art. You can choose up to 200 pics or video clips on your smartphone or tablet and Quik does the rest. It compiles a video from your selection which it can even match it to music. You can then add various effects, titles or text to your video before sharing it across a host of social media channels.

7. Kindle

Developed by US ecommerce and cloud computing giant Amazon, the Kindle app is a free e-book reader and marketplace app that lets you build up a library of e-books that you can access and read on a multitude of mobile devices (using the same username and password). While most Kindle books come at a price, if you do a search on Amazon for ‘free books’ your efforts will be rewarded with a list of books that are 100% free to download, some of them tremendous classics of literature.

8. Google Translate

Considering how multi-cultural the world is today, it seems only fitting that we make some kind of effort when it comes to communicating with people of different backgrounds who speak languages different to our own, which is where free to download and use Google Translate comes in handy. On your smartphone simply dictate or type in a short phrase or sentence and voila it will be instantlytranslated into the language you specified in text form or as a synthesized audio sound bite.

9. Instagram

Free to download and use, Instagram is one of the world’s most popular apps and for good reason – it’s a user-friendly platform where you can showcase your creativity in the form of photos or videos. It lets you follow other Instagram users so you can enjoy their posts, whether they’re close friends, family, acquaintances or celebrities. Instagram is specially designed to allow you to share your posts and exploits with other leading social media channels including Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter.

10. Twitter

Last but not least thereis Twitter, a free to download app that allows you to share your innermost thoughts or opinions with fellow Twitter users across the globe. Using a maximum of 140 characters to get your message across (including hash tags), Twitter gives you access to a platform where daily mounds of new information are unceremoniously deposited online, which you can read, respond to, re-post, or call out as you see fit. You can do all of this on your favourite smartphone or tablet.

Founder, editor, and contributor at Technosoups. Shubham has been a gadget freak since longer than he cares to admit and loves everything to do with technology. He loves to address tech issues​es and write tech how-to's in a way that it can be followed by everyone.