Over the course of the past year, a lot of new Android apps came out. A LOT OF APPS! The problem is, how do you know which are good and which aren’t? In this 2012 year-end roundup, we’ll show you different categories of Android apps and some of the best or most popular apps to try in 2013.
SwiftKey 3 Keyboard
SwiftKey 3 is one of the most intuitive keyboards you can download for your Android devices. The predictive text is phenomenal, and there’s even a tablet version which offers a split keyboard for landscape mode.
JuiceDefender is a must-have app for anyone who wants to get better battery life from their Android device. There are three different versions—one free and two paid—to give you the right amount of adjustments to fit your needs.
Business Calendar is the most feature laden calendar you can get. Between the widgets and easy change from month to week day view and drag-and-drop appointment changing, there isn’t much Business Calendar can’t do.
Splashtop Remote Desktop HD
Sometimes there’s a need to access your computer after you’ve already left the office. Splashtop lets you access your computer from everywhere you can get an internet connection, and it’s the only application out there that shows the entire computer screen vs. a shrunk-down or partial version.
Paperland Pro Live Wallpaper
An extremely customizable live wallpaper that looks like a diorama come to life. Choose the settings for the scene, weather and time. Each of these tabs have multiple options to change to make a really unique background.
HD Widgets gives you A LOT of widget choices. Everything on the widget is customizable, from the fonts and colors to what is displayed. There’s even a huge 6×2 widget that works with larger screens like tablets.
Nova Launcher Prime
One of the newer home screen launchers out there, Nova Launcher Prime, integrates gestures and has some pretty cool plug-ins available. Another cool feature that Nova has is the ability to hide application icons for apps you don’t use.
ZEDGE is a phenomenal application for finding backgrounds, ringtones, and notifications. Recently, games and live wallpapers were added to the items available to be downloaded.
Spotify lets you listen to just about every song you could ever want to hear. Use the radio to play similar artists to what’s on your playlist,s or similar to a specific song or artist. Free and paid versions are available.
Poweramp is the ultimate music player application for Android: the 10 band EQ and support for most popular music file formats and gap-less playback set Poweramp apart from the others.
iHeartRadio was recently redesigned and came out as a spectacular customizable radio app. Not only does it play local live radio stations, you can create customized radio stations based on your musical tastes.
When you hear a song playing and like it, use Soundhound to figure out who the artist is and the name of the song. When Soundhound figures out what song this, you can bookmark it for later and even see the lyrics as you’re listening to as the song plays.
News and Social
One of the most anticipated social media apps of all time, the official Pinterest app lets you upload your own Pins as well as view your Boards, Like and Repin items. This has great integration with Android devices.
A really great way to get your news, Flipboard pulls in information from your Facebook, Twitter and other social feeds to bring you news you will actually be interested in. News is also shown from feeds like BBC and USA Today.
A great video and audio calling app with a messaging option, Tango is a great alternative to apps like Skype, and communication between Tango users is free.
This is a great app for curating your favorite articles on the web. Save pages in your Pocket account and view videos or webpages from any of your devices, including your computer.
Tracking down members of your family isn’t always an easy task, especially when they’re spread out over different continents and time periods. The Ancestry app links to your Ancestry.com account and lets you create new additions to your family tree.
Trulia – Real Estate & Homes
Looking for a house to buy or apartment to rent is a lot of work—Trulia is a big help in showing you what is available in the area you are thinking of moving to. Set your criteria, and see what’s out there.
Sleep as Android
Knowing how well you slept is important, and by using an app like Sleep as Android, you will be able to see how long you were in a deep restful sleep vs. light sleep. Also, there’s an alarm to wake you up when you’re not in a deep sleep, thus making you less groggy in the morning.
BeerSmith 2 Lite
Brewing beer can be pretty satisfying in more than one way. The problem is, making a good beer can take lots of trial and error. BeerSmith 2 is your beer cookbook with thousands of different beer recipes ready for you to use.
This is a great physics-based game where you are a elderly old lady chasing down apple thieves. With fun graphics and spectacular crashes, Granny is hell on wheels as she wreaks all kinds of havoc trying to save her apples.
Nun Attack is a good way to eliminate some of that pent-up Catholic guilt. Take on the forces of evil by controlling four nuns with guns and special powers—you can even use miracles to your advantage.
Not the PITFALL! you remember playing on your Atari: the basic combination of running and jumping and using the web is still there, but it’s a lot more graphically-intensive and challenging.
Zen Bound 2
Zen Bound 2 is one of the most unique puzzle games of the year: using a rope, you must try to cover as much of the surface of the 3D wooden sculptures as possible. This seems like an easy task, but takes a bit of strategy and forward-thinking to accomplish the task.
Instagram is the most well-known of the camera apps on the list. Its claim to fame is the way you can filter the image and share your camera art with the Instagram community.
Add cute little touches and stencils to the pictures you take, and then share your images with over 17 million users all over the world or on your favorite social network with LINE Camera.
Camera360 is a super-powerful camera application for Android devices with high-resolution cameras. Camera360 is also front-facing-camera compatible. It’s great for taking self-portraits on phones with higher quality front-cameras.
Transforming your image into a drawing can really add a unique look, and Pencil Camera does just that. You can take a picture and immediately see what the pencil-sketched version of the picture will look like in the preview.
With action photography, timing is everything. Using Actioncam lets you take several pictures right in a row to make sure you capture just the right pose, plus it has a variety of frames and filters to enhance the photos further.
Sometimes, to take the perfect picture, you have to take it as silently as possible. Silent Camera eliminates the shutter noise all great cameras make when you take a picture—with no noise, it’s easy to take continuous pictures without being noticed.