Best 2012 Android Apps


Applications have come a long way, and now, a smartphone or tablet would be nothing without apps. As such, we’ve collected 25 of the best Android apps, both free and paid. From essentials to games, these apps will keep you glued to your smartphone and maybe even make your day a little better and easier.

Cut The Rope

Cut the Rope began as an iOS app in late 2010. Finally, after the Android community patiently waited in agony, Zepto Lab brought the game to Android.

The main objective of the game is to catch at least one star per level before delivering the piece of candy to Om Nom (the hungry little green monster). To get around saws, spiders, and spikes, you have to cut ropes, pop bubbles, and fly through magical hats. According to the game’s Google Play Store description, over 60 million people have already played Cut The Rope, and it currently holds a 4.7 star average rating.

After purchasing the game for 99 cents, you will be able to play 250 levels of Cut the Rope with “New Levels Coming Soon”. New boxes (groups of 25 levels) are released about every few months, and the game itself is highly addicting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JpdW-D6c14

Price: $0.99

Requires Android: 1.6+

Download: Cut the Rope on Google Play Store

Speedtest.net

It seems like a new type of “G” comes out every year. To see how your internet connection stacks up, Speedtest.net has always been the #1 testing program.

The app is available on all Android 1.6+ devices and is 100% free. Upon downloading Speedtest.net, you will be able to test your ping and download and upload speeds. In addition, the app automatically saves every test that you record on your device, along with the type of data connection (Wi-Fi, 3G, etc.), the date the test took place, and all of the recorded information. Finally, if you’re all about your data speeds, Speedtest.net even allows you to export your results as a CSV file right from your Android device.

Price: Free

Requires Android: 1.6+

Download: Speedtest.net on Google Play Store

GifBoom: Animated GIF Camera

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) images allow pictures to come to life through animation. In simple terms, a GIF image allows several “frames” to be lumped into one image and displayed one after another, resulting in an animation.

GifBoom: Animated GIF Camera brings GIF image creation to Android in a very simple and easy to use app. The app will “Wow your friends with high-res, cool Animated GIFs!”

The app takes a bunch of pictures at a set shutter speed. Then, after you have chosen the pictures you would like to use (including access to your local photo gallery), GifBoom quickly turns those photos into an animated GIF. Finally, you can play that animation backwards and forwards in addition to “One Tap Instant sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Email and MMS”.

Price: Free

Requires Android: 2.2+

Download: GifBoom: Animated GIF Camera on Google Play Store 

SMS Popup

Notifications are great. And, now that you know how to control the LED light with Light Flow, the SMS Popup app, along with Light Flow, will create an incredible notification tag team.

SMS Popup is a free application that displays your incoming SMS messages in a nice “popup” dialog. In addition, the app allows for custom notifications by contact and has convenient buttons located just below the message. After receiving a message, SMS Popup puts you one tap away from sending a quick reply. Furthermore, after you close the popup box, the message is automatically marked as “read”. An optional privacy mode is available to hide the sender’s name and message contents.

Price: Free

Requires Android: 1.5+

Download: SMS Popup on Google Play Store 

Chrome Beta

If you’re a true fan of Android’s daddy Google, you would be quite familiar with the Chrome series. Chrome has evolved from a web browser (number 2 most used) to an operating system (for “Chromebooks”). And now, soon after the release of Ice Cream Sandwich, Chrome has become a mobile web browser.

Chrome has become famous for its speed, simplicity, and syncing capabilities. Furthermore, Chrome Beta for Android features Google’s signature omnibox (the single search bar for web history, Googling stuff, bookmarks and more). Omnibox only takes up about a 1/4″ of the screen. If you’re familiar with Chrome, you know that above the omnibox is all of your open tabs. Google knows that you want to maximize your screen and has taken the standard tab system away. In its place is a very cool swiping feature that is similar to a deck of cards. The gestures are subtle, fast, and work with an unlimited amount of tabs.

Finally, you can sync up your Google account and see all of the tabs that you have open on any other one of your Chrome devices.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVjw7n_U37A

Price: Free

Requires Android: 4.0+

Download: Chrome Beta on Google Play Store 

 ColorNote

A lot of people claim to have “photographic memories”. But for the rest of us, even the most important things go in one ear and out the other. ColorNote is the best notepad experience for your Android device.

ColorNote allows you to write text, checklists, and notes and also assign each note a different color. If you’re keeping secrets, you can also lock your notes from outsiders. Furthermore, if writing a note simply is not good enough to help you remember daily tasks and other info, ColorNote allows you to set reminders and even pin a notification to your status bar. Finally, ColorNote even allows you to stick your notes to your homepage with the ColorNote widget.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQCKCSS9eAM

Price: Free

Requires Android: 1.5+

Download: ColorNote on Google Play Store 

Words with Friends

Games have always been a cornerstone of the Android app market. And, being able to play with your friends has made games even more addicting than ever.

One of the most popular games on the Google Play Store is Words With Friends. The game has the same idea as that of Scrabble. After signing up for an account and registering with your Facebook account, Word with Friends will be able to tell you which of your friends are playing.

If you enjoy word games and being able to play with your friends, Zynga has also made Hanging with Friends for Android (Hangman) and will also be releasing Scramble with Friends very soon

Price: Free

Download: Words with Friends on Google Play Store 

Google Music

Android users have not had a definite platform for listening to and buying music until now.

Google Music is a music player and storage service that lets you keep your music collection online so you can save space on your Android device. Best of all, if you’re going to be without Internet connection, Google Music lets you save any or all of your songs and playlists locally for offline playback. Furthermore, Google Music offers the easiest connection between the Google Music Store and your Android devices. You can also upload up to 20,000 songs straight to Google Music from your computer and listen to all of your songs and music from any Internet-connected device.

The Google Music interface also completely destroys its competition. Google Music is definitely the best Android music player out there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrNhKcxBbZo

Price: Free

Requires Android: 2.2+

Download: Google Music on Google Play Store 

Flick Kick Field Goal

Flick Kick Field Goal brings all of the pressure of being a field goal kicker to the Android. Flick Kick has quickly become one of the most popular games on the Google Play Store. Furthermore, within several game modes, the objective of the game is to flick the football in between the uprights (the two poles on the field goal).

While you are playing the game, wind and distance will constantly try to knock the ball away. But, with the right amount of power and angle from your finger, you can beat all 3 game modes and your friends.

Price: Free

Requires Android: 2.0+

Download: Flick Kick Field Goal on Google Play Store 

Wikipedia

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, has become known as the Internet’s #1 source of information. Wikipedia has been accessible from mobile devices since 2004. However, the true mobile website for smartphones did not come out until 2007.

Now, with the Wikipedia app for Android, you can get all of the information Wikipedia has to offer in a very easy to use application. The Wikipedia app houses over 20 million articles in 280 languages. If you find an interesting article that you want to keep on your phone, the app allows you to save it for offline reading. If you’re multilingual, Wikipedia for Android allows you to read any article in any other language.

Price: Free

Requires Android: 2.2+

Download: Wikipedia on Google Play Store 

Home Switcher

If you enjoy downloading and playing with multiple launchers, including your standard Android one, Home Switcher is an app that you must have.

Home Switcher lets you see all of your installed launchers (homes) and pick which one to open. In addition, Home Switcher allows you to choose which launcher you want to set as your default one. For example, when you press the home button on your phone, this launcher will come up.

If you’re still puzzled about what a launcher is, check out Go Launcher EX, SPB Shell 3D, or LauncherPro.

Price: Free

Requires Android: 1.5+

Download: Home Switcher on Google Play Store 

Battery Indicator

Have you ever noticed that the standard Android battery indicator does not include the percent battery remaining?

Battery Indicator shows your battery charge level (percent) as a small icon on your notification bar, with battery temperature, health, voltage, and time since it was plugged / unplugged. Battery Indicator is the best way to find out exactly how much battery you have left without opening the Settings menu or other applications. It is very simple, does not have any advertisements, and displays the battery percent in 1% increments for accuracy.

Price: Free

Requires Android: 1.5+

Download: Battery Indicator on Google Play Store

Iris

Surely, we have all heard of Siri, Apple’s personal assistant that is sweeping the nation. Although it is definitely not the first of its kind, it does offer the ability to decipher your sentences rather than only accepting certain commands.

Iris, Siri spelled backwards, was released soon after Siri and even the developers claim that it is a Siri clone. Iris allows you tell your phone to
Call or text someone
Search nearby locations
Play music
Find news
And many more

To show just how amazing the app is, the Iris team put Iris up against Siri. With the help of ChaCha and other information databases, Iris seems to be giving much better information without having to launch the browser. Take a look for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77B8DF0XMGc

Note: You need to have “Voice Search” and “TTS library” installed in your phone for Iris to work. Most phones have these pre-installed; if not, please install them from the Google Play Store before you try Iris.

Price: Free

Requires Android: 2.1+

Download: Iris on Google Play Store 

SPB Shell 3D

One of the best features about Android is having total control of customization. More specifically, launchers and skins give Android users access to tons of new user interfaces and also features.

Putting aside some of the more well-known launchers, SPB Software recently release SPB Shell 3D. The app, which will cost you $14.95 in the Android Market, will bring a whole new look and feel to your Android 2.1+ device. Over 100,000 people, including us, have already downloaded the launcher. Don’t be scared off by the steep price tag — SPB Shell 3D packs dynamic folders, custom widgets and panels, sweet animations, and a full 3D experience. Once you download this app, no additional skins or plugins are needed.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVU84J1ShSQ

Price: $14.95

Requires Android: 2.1+

Download: SPB Shell 3D on Google Play Store

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