2012 has been a great year for the Smartphone. In the UK it was the year in which Smartphones overtook feature phones for the first time in terms of popularity, and the industry responded with some absolute stunners. 2013 can only get more interesting, with hundreds of developers seeing the massive potential in Android phones and tablets. Here’s a list of my 6 Best Android Apps for the coming year.
Yes, Facebook’s been around on Android for years – no-one’s denying that. What I am denying is that Apple has ever included an inbox with their Android offering – until now. Having used the new app for a few days, it’s incredible to think that this fast, sleek app that lets you communicate in near real-time is in anyway related to that previous hunk of glacial coding. The new app is also beautiful, easy to navigate and incredibly user-friendly. All in all, a must have.
Google Sky Map
What with the tragic passing of Patrick Moore some few weeks ago, many will be left in a vacuum of understanding of the sky at night. But, never fear, Google are here to the rescue! By overlaying a complex map of the cosmos onto your live camera images, simply aim your phone at the heavens to see which constellations you’re currently straining the eye to see! You don’t even need to be outside to enjoy the app, as Google Sky Map utilizes your phone’s orientation sensors to work out where you’re looking you can enjoy the night sky from the comfort of your warm and cozy living room!
I remember when ‘augmented reality’ was the go-to buzzword in 2009. Smartphones were on the up and everyone wanted a piece of the action. I even had an earlier incarnation of Layar, one of the first aug-real apps on the market and, to be honest, I was a little underwhelmed. Fast-forward four years and the latest incarnation is truly a sight to behold. Laying useful content over the live images from your camera, Layar lets you know exactly where almost everything is – and now, with the new shop section, you can ever buy travel maps for first-visit holidays!
Although nothing new to the Apple crowd, Evernote is one of the finest note taking and group project apps on the market – now available for Android. Allowing you easy access to any of your uploaded work anywhere you happen to be, Evernote for Android is yet another step towards completely connected living, and that ain’t a bad thing (especially for a blogger like myself – but we’ll get to that in a second).
The jewel in the amateur blogger’s crown, WordPress is one of the most simple and powerful content management systems out there – yet until recently wasn’t offered to Android as an official app. However, following in-house takeover of the independent app, WordPress has returned bigger and better than ever. It’s never been easier to manage all your content and write posts on the go, so heavy procrastinators (such as me) will be increasingly hard-pressed to find excuses for missing deadline.
Google Maps Navigation
In the eternal war between Apple and Android, it’s never been better to be on Google’s side. What with iOS 6’s disastrous Apple Maps, Android users can now gloat fairly confidently about their ‘comes-as-standard’ Google Maps, complete with navigation that won’t leave you high and dry in the Aussie outback. This new incarnation of Google Navigation is absolutely incredible, especially if (like me) you’re a cyclist. The app can even show you inclines and depressions in the landscape, allowing you to prepare the most convenient (easiest) cycle route possible.
So there you have it, 6 great apps to help you out in 2013. Have a great New Year!
Michael Clark is a regular contributor and a freelance writer. He is a gadget freak and purchased a new Smartphone with android app. His leisure includes cooking and playing soccer.