Google finished 2014 with millions of Android applications on its Google Play store, and each app, ranging from games to productivity tools, made great additions to the Play Store. Of these apps, the year 2014 also saw a notable set of high-quality Android apps, from lifestyle and entertainment apps through to productivity tools, and these apps gained enough admiration that they may be sustained for years.
Last year, we covered Must-Have Free Apps From A–Z! This is the companion article, wrapping up the best non-game apps for Android smartphones and tablets of the year. In this article, we have listed some applications that were announced as the ‘best stuff of the year’ on Google Play for 2014 and other award winning apps from the Play Store and other Android marketplaces that are must haves for your Android Phones. As in the previous piece, each app’s title has a download link.
If you think something is missing or shouldn’t be here, or you have spotted an excellent app that should be on the list, let us know about it in the comments section! We would love to hear from you!
The Google Play Store comes as the default app marketplace with each and every Android based smartphone. Many users, however, are quite unaware of the other stores that can be used as a substitute to this default store.The application MoboMarket, developed by Moborobo, is an one-stop application store for Android mobile users. It is basically a third-party Android Market Application with a lot of applications that are not available on Google Play. The newer version of the app features Geo-location and content pushing systems that help users find all the relevant apps based on their geographic location, such as events, offers, discounts, etc. MoboMarket comes with a wide range of apps and games with a nice and easy user interface.
Afterlight, a powerful photo editing app, and one of the most loved iOS apps, is now available on the Google Play Store as well. This application comes with dozens of powerful photo editing tools such as cropping, rotating or the addition of borders for tweaking your pictures. Afterlight features nearly five dozen filters, special effects, and lots more surfaces that can make your photos really stand out.
Mailbox, the most popular email application for iPhone, is now available on Google Play Store for Android lovers. This application is so popular that it was bought by the cloud storage company Dropbox few months after the launch for about $100 million. Mailbox is an alternative way to cope with spam emails. This application is compatible with Gmail and iCloud email accounts. Mailbox enables you to manage emails more effectively in a SMS-like chat system. Features like swiping, annoying senders, reminders and more put this amazing tool among 2014’s most impressive apps released so far.
SwiftKey is a free, award-winning keyboard application for Android Phones that learns from the user and delivers the best next-word prediction autocorrect feature, over 800 emoji (emoticons) and much more! It’s the most useful smart keyboard for Android Smart Phones for fast messaging, chatting, texting and emailing, becoming the default across all your apps. The Swiftkey keyboard has perfect features including over 30 colorful themes, different layouts for different devices screens, and supports over 80 languages.
Flipboard is one of my favorite apps because it’s a tailored miniature magazine for internet content. Flipboard also won 2014 Tabby Awards competition in the News & Magazines Users’ Choice category.This useful app takes top stories from the web and re-formats them into an app through text and images, so you can easily read them by swiping up and down. Flipboard also lets you plug in your Twitter or Facebook profiles so that you can pull links that people talk about on social media.
6. Google Keep
If you want a quick way to pen down your thoughts, Google Keep is certainly worth having. It allows you to create notes with text, by voice (automatic transcription) as a list or with photos. These notes will then appear in chronological order. The amazing thing is that these notes will be saved online automatically, so you can access them on your computer’s web browser.
The most useful tool for students and business people is Microsoft’s office suite. It used to cost $99 per year, but, thankfully, it’s free now. The free Microsoft productivity suite for Android users allows you to view Office documents and make edits. This app also lets you save all your documents on OneDrive cloud storage, so you can access them on your computer.
Many of you like to read articles on the web. Sometimes, though, when you find an interesting article, you’re at work or too busy to read it right away. By using Pocket extension or bookmarklet in your browser, you can save the story to read it later. Pocket’s Android app lays out web pages in a simple, book-like view and stores the article off-line so you can still catch up even while in a non-coverage area. Pocket was also announced as the best news application of 2014 by Evernote Platform Awards.
DuoLingo has been chosen as the best in the education category app of 2014 by Google. It allows you to learn numerous languages like English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Irish, Dutch, and Danish. Moreover, DuoLingo is absolutely free and has no annoying advertisements.
Ultimate Study Timer is a dark themed, sleek pomodoro technique study timer. Like most pomodoro timers, it’s designed for students and book lovers to keep track of study periods and short breaks. The customizability and its alarm method make Ultimate Study Timer special. The app lets you hand-select the duration of each study and break period individually. The app reminds you through unique vibration patterns when it’s time to study or break. The icon in the notification bar also indicates the running time. It’s simply the most effective and useful pomodoro timer application yet.
Featured photo credit: close up of woman hands using smart phone at the bar via shutterstock.com