Now-a-days, mobile devices are like mini computers. Technology is advancing rapidly, so it’s no wonder there are many options to stay connected, read the news, or work from your phone. Here are the 20 Best Apps of 2012.
Facebook for Android is lacking in features compared to Facebook itself, but a recent update added Inbox support to the Android app, finally allowing its users to communicate in almost real time. The app’s fast and stable, and has incorporated the new Time-Line features.
TweetDeck for Android an amazing little tool. As well as presenting your timeline, DMs and replies in separate side-by-side panels that you swipe the screen to flip between, it can also pull in Facebook status updates. And mix it all in together. And it does Foursquare. And Buzz.
3. Astro File Manager
ASTRO is nothing more than a Windows-style file explorer, but if you’re into tinkering and directly installing Android APK files yourself, it’s useful to stick something like this on your phone. It makes your phone feel like a computer, and makes you feel like you’re in control of it.
This app gives users a simple, clean interface, push notification support and even lets you manage multiple Hotmail accounts from within the app. If your email needs haven’t yet been assimilated by Google, it’s a useful option.
5. Google Sky Map
An amazing app that uses your phone’s orientation tools to give you an accurate representation of the stars and planets on your screen. Point your phone at the sky, then learn what constellations are visible and if that’s a UFO or just Venus. Google Sky Map even works indoors.
This augmented reality app has recently gone commercial, adding an online shop that allows users to buy AR content such as travel guides, local house price apps and much more. But you’re still able to use the numerous free Layers to pop data up over real-world locations, delivering a satisfying futuristic experience.
This Foursquare app on android, with the Google app, offers easy one-click check-ins, integrated Google Maps for a seamless Google-branded experience and home page shortcut options to all your favourite places.
8. WordPress for Android
WordPress for Android started out as independent creation wpToGo, before WordPress decided it liked it so much that it needed to be enhanced. It’s feature-packed with the latest version offering full integration with other apps, letting you spin content and send it directly to the app for easy updating.
9. BBC News
There’s a stylish grid-based front page, plus you’re able to swipe from left to right to switch between stories in your chosen specialist category. A recent update also added a couple of home screen widgets, too, plus the ability to submit your own news tips.
Swype is not available through the Android Market – the only way to install is is via a direct download from the maker. The odd line-drawing alternate keyboard Swype is a love-it or hate-it kind of thing, with the significant amount of re-learning required to make the most of it quite offputting to some users. Once you’re familiar with the idea, though, it’s genius – with advanced prediction options further speeding your line-typing.
After the Android version of Dropbox, the next best solution for keeping all your ‘business’ in one place is Evernote – which lets you stash and sync all your text notes, voice memos and files on your phone and access them through a desktop computer.
As well as supporting Flickr uploading, this app also lets you capture photos from within the app and comes complete with a set of filters. It supports sharing with Twitter and Facebook as well.
Music on the go. Listen live to over 850 real radio stations or create your own based on millions of songs and artists.
14. Google Maps Navigation
An absolute must-get. As long as you have Android 1.6 or above, the latest update to Google Maps introduces turn-by-turn voice navigation, simultaneously devastating the satnav industry while boosting the in-car dashboard dock/charger accessory scene. Route calculations are done at the outset of your trip, minimising data transfer en route and keeping you on target even when the GPS signal drops.
The Android version of the insanely popular stuff-syncing app has arrived. Files have to be specifically downloaded to your phone to be edited or shared, which is not quite the automated dream offered by the desktop tools, but it’s still Dropbox on Android.
The Google-owned Blogger platform is simple, supports image uploads, geo-tagging and imports the settings of all blogs associated with your Gmail account.
17. Google Reader
Google has brought its RSS feed tool into the app era, launching its Google Reader for Android. It’s got some great functionality built in, with support for multiple Google accounts and plenty of thread customisation options.
The series of tech talks, in which they try to explain high concepts in a way the likes of us can understand, is now represented on Android. The TED app lets users browse its database of well over 1000 TED talks, all free to download.
19. Amazon Kindle
Amazon’s Kindle app is a great e-reader, which is linked with your Amazon account. Support for magazines and newspapers is limited at the moment, with only a handful of niche publications in Android-friendly format. But for books it’s great, with plenty of screen and text display options.
Yelp is social reviews about local businesses, only here you also get an augmented reality screen display, so you can point it at the skyline and see what five-star eating establishments are in the area. Places are backed up by user reviews, too, making it easy to get an up to date opinion from local users.