Android is an operating system that has grown enormously in recent years, and its growth also increased the quantity and quality of the applications that inhabit this ecosystem. With more than 700,000 applications in the official Google Play Store, you may find it a bit overwhelming to investigate which are the best of each category, that´s why in AndroidADN we configured a list of the top 50 Android applications for 2012.
The analysis and ranking of the apps was compiled based on our own analysis, number of downloads and user feedback on Google Play. They will be divided into categories to make it easier to find.
Best Launchers for Android
Launchers are applications that allow you to customize our device from the icons to the home screen with various effects and transitions. They are particularly useful when we are tired of always using the same interface and we want to renew the look of our Android.
LauncherPro is a simple launcher simple, fast and with great customization options. Its developer, Federico Canales, has taken the best features of the launchers and has united them in a fantastic application that is simple, fast, clean and easy to use.
LauncherPro has the dock bar at the bottom so you can upload your frequently used applications without taking up screen space, and can make managing to slip in the dock to customize shortcuts to applications even more. Plus you can set gestures to open tons of different shortcuts created by Launcher Pro or different activities.
With this launcher you can get up to 7 home screens and two different boxes of applications, a 3D and another 2D (+ other movable). Also added an effect of fly in the box so when you open, applications come flying at you.
The paid version of Launcher Pro also includes widgets that can be added to the home screen for things like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, contacts, etc.. This application also has hundreds of themes and even widgets have themes.
LauncherPro is a free application that requeire Android 2.0 or higher. You can also download LauncherPro Plus Unlocker which is priced at 3.45 dollars.
GO Launcher EX
GO Launcher EX, an extra version of Go Launcher, offers plenty of options, but keeps everything pretty simple compared to others. For starters, we have access to over a thousand subjects, allowing us to customize the appearance of our device as we want. In addition, GO Launcher EX comes with various widgets and screen lock options.
Among other things, we find user-defined folders to customize and organize applications and shortcuts in an easy way to use, transition animations, possibility to change the icon size, and more.
One of the main advantages of GO Launcher EX is your development team. GO Dev has released tons of other applications that can be used in the stand with other launchers, or your own to match perfectly with the characteristics of GO Launcher EX.
This application can be downloaded for free from Google Play and requires Android 2.0 or higher.
ADW Launcher, although a reduced ADW version, is even more popular. While it lacks many features, the most important features are: hidden dock bar, hundreds of themes to customize your mobile phone, two drawers of customizable applications, drag and drop customizable action buttons and several more!
ADW.Launcher is for free and can be downloaded from Google Play. It requires Android 2.0 or higher.
Apex is an ICS launcher that works pretty well in both tablets and phones as it provides a wealth of customization options.
With Apex Launcher you get a home screen customizable network, with up to 9 home screens, you can set transition effects that are visible when you slide between them. We also have docking at the bottom of the screen where you can place up to 7 icons with a maximum of 5 pages, that is, no more and no less than 35 icons in the Dock for quick access to all your common applications.
In addition, Apex Launcher allows you to hide items like persistent search bar, search bar, and even lets you hide the dock if you want to use. Also you have different styles and backgrounds folders as well as various styles of drawer and effects. Will also be able to hide applications from the dock application if you want privacy.In addition, this launcher shares several gestures on the screen and start backup and restore options with Nova and other classic features of other launchers.
In short, Apex is an excellent launcher that has much to offer and really worth checking out if you use a device with Android 4.0 as it is a free application.
TSF Shell 3D
TSF 3D Shell is a great launcher that is known for being quite unlike any other we’ve seen. The entire interface becomes a 3D playground. Also, instead of the box application that we usually have, on the main page we have all our applications, and four remaining pages to be customized, along with interactive widgets and 3D transition effect you get when you change screens.
Esthetically, TFT Shell 3D is a wonderful launcher, and in terms of functionality has several of the features found in other launchers such as creating folders, support for Android widgets, customization, and many others.
Now, what distinguishes TSF Shell 3D from other launchers? TSF is the first launcher that allows multiple operations such as self-corrections, multiple options, add folders and multiple deletions, and all with the swipe of a finger. And also you can create several shortcuts to applications faster, drag them to any page anywhere you want and turn the shortcuts of applications at an angle to get more screen space. You can even overlap the applications and widgets to save space.
Best Browsers for Android
Browsers are essential applications since they optimize and improve our experience when we browse the web. Each has its advantages and specific options so depends on each one to choose for his personal use.
Chrome for Android
Chrome for Android is the fastest of all the browser and has all the main options, its interface is attractive and intuitive and it is supported by Google which ensures we will always be updated and optimized.
In addition to this, given that with Android will necessarily have a Google account the synchronization with other devices is important, therefore if you want your smartphone directly related to our PC , this application has wonderful options.
As in its desktop version, Chrome has a high speed of page loading, an intuitive tabs management and has the ability to synchronize with our desktop´s Chrome which can be very useful for remembering passwords, open tabs and other data.
In the new tab page allows you to choose among the most visited websites and personal bookmarks. Chrome for Android also gives us the ability to view in full mode the sites optimized for mobile pretending we’re in a PC.
Undoubtedly, Chrome for Android is one of the best browser that exists at the moment, useful for the novice user as for the expert, is fast, comprehensive, simple to use, intuitive and free. What more could you ask?
Dolphin Browser HD
Dolphin Browser HD is undoubtedly one of the most complete in terms of characteristics included in the application because only in the home screen gives us the possibility of setting Flash, the browser demand, the ability to emulate a desktop or the appearance of an iPhone or iPad.
It also offers the ability to make gestures to enter predetermined sites like YouTube or Gmail (choice), multi-touch zoom and the voice search with Sonar is also highly configurable.
Dolphin Browser HD is also a very fast browser with a simple but attractive interface that is intuitive when we navigate and offers many configuration options like emptying the cache or history by simply pressing the button go back. Undoubtedly one of the best browsers for Android.
Opera Mobile is the default browser of Nokia and has its well deserved place in Android and must be said that they have done more than fine with this application.
It is chosen by many users mainly for its Opera Turbo compressor that offers the possibility of reducing consumption and speed up the loading of data, which is especially useful if you surf without WiFi. In addition to this, it has a version of lower requirements for low-end devices called Opera Mini so that all the Android can have Opera Mobile installed.
Its user interface is very attractive and intuitive and provides the main needs when surfing the web. Undoubtedly a browser very solid and interesting.
This is the default browser in the Nexus devices and can also be seen in those who have installed CyanogenMod 9 or 10 that while not the same is almost equal (AOSP).
It is a quick and simple browser that synchronizes data with our computer´s Chrome such as pages and markers, and in terms of appearance is simple and practical. This makes loading fast and allows us to control cookies and other data.
While not very complete in terms of features contains the bare minimum to get the job done efficiently and without errors possible. It also has an option to save the pages. A simple and efficient browser, much like Jelly Bean.
You can find a similar version of this browser on the link below:
Surely you know the desktop version of this popular browser, now we can enjoy Firefox in Android.
While it is true that Firefox does not stand out for its speed, I must confess that it turned out to be an excellent application. It has the main features of Chrome such as sync with our desktop browser, view content in full mode and not in mobile format, and incognito mode transitions are effective although not as accomplished as in Chrome.
In my consideration is one of the best browsers because besides all the aforementioned allows you to add the large number of plug-ins that Mozilla has thus if you are a user of the desktop version this is the browser for you.
Best Keyboards for Android
The way we write is always very personal, from the words or phrases that we use to the speed or writing habits. That is why a good keyboard is essential, especially in the various situations in which we must answer quickly such as holding the device with one hand or in landscape or portrait mode.
As it could not be otherwise, the top of the podium is occupied by the queen of all applications on Google Play Store, we talk about SwiftKey, and I say queen because leads in the ranking of highest-grossing apps, and no doubt they´ve earned that right.
SwiftKey 3 is an incredible predictive keyboard that literally revolutionizes the way of writing on our mobile devices. This lets you type without lifting your finger, making, writing with one hand greatly facilitated, especially in devices with large screens, where lifting your finger could make it fall from our hands.
Among its features SwiftKey 3 corrects typographical errors if you do not enter any space required to write and since its new version includes a bigger space bar, quick scoring key and other gestures.
The keyboard is able to learn the way we write with usage and the words that we use, so its predictive ability improves with time
Swype is one of the best keyboards for Android, and the fact that it is still in beta is the only thing that makes it position itself below SwiftKey 3.
As main characteristic has the option to slide your finger over the keyboard to go “drawing” the letters you want to put to form words. We can write short sentences without the need to enter the spaces and has dictionary packages by region and also one for adding our own personal words. It is particularly easy to write while holding the device with one hand in portrait mode.
As it is not in the Google Play Store we must enter the Swype website, register and we will find the download. It seems a bit cumbersome, but it is worth as it certainly is one of the best keyboards for Android.
Thumb Keyboard is a predictive keyboard that uses normal input method. This is available for both smartphones and tablets.
The advantage of this keyboard are the great configuration possibilities we have for its interface. This has several organization modes of keys that allow you to customize the keyboard according to your device and tastes.
Also gives you the possibility to choose between several themes that come by default as Honeycomb or ICS that you can try without installing any plugin. Also this allows you to set the size of the keyboard, supports multiple languages, and has other functions as predicting keyboard and voice input.
Perfect Keyboard PRO
Perfect Keyboard is an excellent keyboard which has been developed by one of the users of XDA. This is slightly in appearance configurable allowing you to select the background color, the colors of suggestions and even put a background image.
Perfect Keyboard offers a wide number of configuration options for the suggestions, sounds and vibrations, layouts and even gestures.
Best Photo Apps for Android
The camera on smartphones increasingly look more like handheld cameras and In line with this the applications to improve our photographs have increased their development and productivity. To get the best out of our camera is essential to have the best applications for it.
PicsArt – Photo Studio
PicsArt – Photo Studio is the perfect application for those who have a creative mind and want to give a modern twist to their photos.
Like other photo applications, PicsArt includes a variety of effects such as Stenciler, Sketcher, Cartoonizer, Lomo, Orton, Vintage, Cross Process, HDR, Pencil, Fattal, Watercolor, Holgaart, Old Paper, Pastel, Color Splash, and many more. The hallmark of this app is that you can do a painting of your own photos. Yes, as you read.
The application consists of the following drawing functions for adding some personal touches to your photos: you can add stickers, throw some paint on your face, and add custom text in the edited images.
When finished, you can easily share your masterpiece on social networks like Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, Dropbox, Foursquare, Tumblr, Blogger and WordPress.
If you have not tried PicsArt – Photo Studio, I recommend that you do. Undoubtedly, the best photo editor for Android.
This app can be downloaded for free in Google Android Play and requires 1.6 or higher.
Pixlr-O-Matic is a great application that lets you edit your pictures instantly with one touch. A notable feature of this application is Randomizer.
Some photo applications for Android has tons of effects and impressive features. It is sometimes difficult to decide what to choose and what effects are most suitable for our photos. But with Pixlr-o-matic, you can easily edit your photos with just a single blow.Just a single tap and the application will automatically select the proper lighting, the effects and limits to suit the images.
In addition, Pixlr-o-matic offers a lot of possibilities with over 100 effects, 280 overlapping and 200 edges to choose from. With hundreds of effects and combinations, you can transform your photos in a variety of ways. You can also instantly post your artwork on Facebook or imm.io.
Personally, Pixlr-o-matic is one of my favorite applications. It seems just great. It offers a wide variety of effects and photos are beautiful. Highly Recommended.
Instagram lets you choose between variety of filters and apply them instantly in our photos. Furthermore, it is a social network, the news flow is Instagram photos of us, your friends and / or relatives. With Instagram, you can easily share your life taking pictures.
Similarly, you can also get in touch with friends and family to view your photos Instagram. You can also post your photos on other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare.
Instagram can be downloaded for free in Google Play and requires Android 2.2 or higher. You can also download the APK for the latest version from here.
Cartoon Camera allows us to transform photos into cartoons and unleash the dhildish aspect in everyone. The application also has its own effects that enhance the image: cartoon, drawing color, Sepia, Strokes, White, Dark Strokes and colored borders. The application also supports autofocus, front camera supports and flash of the camera, and quickly allows you to save images at the touch of a button. Can also adjust the resistance of the edges and the color sensitivity.
Cartoon Camera is a fun way to take pictures although some Android devices that face some problems with this application. Smartphones like the Motorola Droid RAZR or Samsung Galaxy Nexus have problems using the application with the front camera, but works flawlessly with the back camera.
Best GPS Navigator for Android
One of the most interesting features of smartphones, is their ability to be used as a GPS device. However, the ability to exploit this feature is limited directly to the GPS applications that we have installed.
The official Google application offers one of the best user experiences through the package of features including the voice search, indoor maps, public transportation information, and other interesting features.
Could be said that this is no longer just an application, but an ecosystem of services among which include Google Now, My Places, Google Places, Street View, Indoor Maps etc.
Google Maps is able to rapidly detect your position through GPS or mobile network signal and display it on the map. This has several layers of information that may include traffic, terrain, traffic lines, points of interest, information, satellite imagery and cycling routes. The map view is available in both two and three dimensions and since the latest version is possible to zoom by double tap or pinch.
On the other hand, one of the most remarkable features of Google Maps, is the ability to search not only for directions, but in places, such as cities, shops, museums and tourist sites. The results are often incredibly accurate, saving you the need to enter addresses.
As for navigation options, Google Maps offers the possibility of going to the point on foot, bicycle, car or using public transportation for what you can select if you prefer to take a train or bus.
If you select the option of driving, Maps has a navigation app assisted called Google Navigator. This provides a detailed guide with or without speaking of the actions taking place we go along the proposed route.
In addition, Google Maps now offers the ability to save maps in the memory of your device, so you do not need to have an internet connection during the trip. This is really useful because in many countries mobile connectivity is usually very expensive and not available in remote areas of the city.
Sygic GPS Navigation
Sygic GPS Navigation is a GPS navigator for Android designed specifically for automobiles. This has a voice guidance system that can be configured for different languages and allows you to store the maps on your device to use them offline mode.
Sygic is able to use TomTom maps and provides a significant amount of functions among which highlights the 3D view, landscape, and interactive maps. Like most GPS, Sygic lets you download maps to your device so you can use them offline.
After several years of absence, TomTom came to Android. This is one of the most famous offline navigation apps.
Its main features are the instructions turn-by-turn available in several languages, notifications of radars, alternative routes to avoid traffic, fast and reliable maps that require no phone coverage or data connection.
The application is great but we had say its price is really excessive. Versions for the U.S. and Canada and Western Europe are currently available at a price of $ 49.99 or 44.99 euros each, that is $ 10 cheaper than the iOS versions. As advertised, this is “introductory offers”, so it is expected that the price increases in the future to match the iOS.
It is clear that to install this application will need a lot of space on your phone: for example, TomTom with the maps of U.S. and Canada requires 2.3 GB of storage space for the installation.
BEST MESSAGING APPS FOR ANDROID
One of the main uses of our smartphone is messaging either by SMS, multimedia or internet; constantly we are communicating and it is always important to have the best applications for it.
WhatsApp Messenger is not only one of the most downloads applications in Google Play surpassing 100 million, but is also one of the most downloaded on the other platforms for which is available such as iOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry, which makes it the ultimate messaging application worldwide.
With a simple and intuitive interface, WhatsApp Messenger allows us to connect with our friends and family the easiest way using the internet connection either through WiFi or data package. It works very well, even better than the SMS service of the operators, which turns obsolete the traditional messages. If we consider that the user community grows every day, then it is very likely that in the near future WhatsApp will be The messaging application .
Its main advantages are the ability to share images, audio and video with a compressor of the application its own to reduce the size of files, group chats, automatic synchronization with your device contacts and the ability to receive messages even when off. WhatsApp Messenger also inform us when the message reaches its destination and when it is read, also notify us if a person is online or when was the last time It did.
Should be noted that one of the historic disadvantages of this application was the lack of security of the messages since they were not encrypted and could deciphered if one was on the same WiFi network, but since this has been fixed I must confess that I find no counter to this application. In fact I would say that is the application number 1 as far as smartphones are concerned, you can not not miss it on your device.
Facebook Messenger is the official facebook application for messaging. This is available for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone, and lets you communicate with all your social network contacts, automatically synchronizes with Facebook messaging service on computers.
The main advantage of this application is that it allows us to use our Facebook account as a chat platform, thus no need to enter our wall to talk to our contacts. With Facebook Messenger we can send individual or start group conversations, get notifications, know who sees our messages and share photos and our location.
Spotbros allows you to “Shouts” a kind of question that is sent only to people who use the service and who are near that area, with a maximum radius of a mile. This way you can make a Shout, for example, to find out about a restaurant or to try to find out what happened somewhere.