2012 was an eventful year for Android overall. Samsung dominated the smartphone market, Apple sued everyone over anything and everything, HTC’s profits dwindled, and Google released the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10; all high-end devices for budget-friendly prices.
So it’s natural that we recap which moments and creations were our favorite for the year of 2012. Here’s a list of my five favorite, stand-out apps of 2012. These all contributed to making my Android experience much more delightful.
5) Temple Run
I was first introduced to Temple Run from a friend of mine who owns an iPhone (shame). I was hopelessly addicted to outrunning those half-monkey/half-demonic creatures, and it was depressing when I found out that I couldn’t download the game onto my Android device.
So of course you can imagine my excitement when Temple Run announced that they were releasing a port of their awesome game to Android. As soon as it hit the market, I downloaded it onto my phone and I saw hours of my life disappear right into this game.
It’s a fast pace game where you have to quickly make turns, jumps, and slides to ensure your survival. There’s also awards for certain achievements for those of you who like a challenge.
If you ever need to kill time, you should download Temple Run. You’ll notice time flies by really quickly when you’re running away with an artifact you stole from a group of angry, demonic monkeys.
4) 100 Doors
Another time killer, and one that I am hopelessly addicted to. Let me preface this with how stupid I thought the description of this game was.
For a game titled, “100 Doors”, I could not for the life of me figure out why it only featured 85 doors. Of course “100 Doors” sounds more catchier than “85 Doors”, but still… I think it would’ve been smarter to initially release this game with 100 available doors to open. It’s false advertisement!
Anyway, if you can overlook that minor detail, this game is actually really awesome. Every door involves a puzzle you have to solve in order to open it (except for the 1st door… if you can’t get through the first door, just uninstall this game right now).
The puzzles are always different and most of the time challenging. You could be finding a secret code to input into the control panel, you could be breaking down brick walls to reveal hidden numbers, or you could be shaking up the area to reveal hidden keys.
As you get higher and higher in the levels, the puzzles become more complicated, and this results in a lot of fun and a lot of time wasted. I totally recommend this game.
Most of you are probably going, “Seriously?”. Yes, I’m serious. Instagram (or as my friends call it; Hipstergram) is my guilty pleasure.
I’m a social media fiend, and I was always jealous of iPhone users who could use this “exclusive” app while the rest of us Android users were left out of the loop.
As soon as this app became available for Android, I jumped onto the bandwagon, and yes I began taking pictures of my lunch. I know that there are like 20 different mediums in which we can socialize with our friends, but I’m always welcoming to more.
I love seeing the different types of food my friends post on Instagram (I love food) even though at times it feels like I’m just torturing my empty stomach. I love the different filters you can use to make your food, or other pictures, look more appealing. I also love how simple and user-friendly the interface is.
However I will admit, I hate those people who post like 20 self-portraits on a daily basis. How many pictures of a bathroom mirror do they honestly need? Why do they feel the need to post hundreds of identical pictures of themselves? This, however, is an easy fix. It’s as easy as clicking “unfollow”.
So if you’re a food lover like me, and you enjoy keeping up-to-date with your friends, I recommend using Instagram.
2) Swiftkey 3
This keyboard is purely amazing. It just knows you like no other. I can type, “Im srinting for droifn rifsjt niw” and it translates correctly to “I’m writing for DroidDog right now”.
It’s a very intuitive keyboard and you can make it even more better by having it import information from your social media and e-mail accounts. That way it’ll know the names of your contacts as well as your most commonly used words.
The only real issue I have with this keyboard is that I almost always accidentally swipe left when I’m typing. What this does is it deletes entire words and that can cause a lot of frustration. If any of you know of a way to disable this feature, I will be forever grateful to you.
The keyboard is $3.99, but it’s always on sale. I bought mine for $0.99 during Google’s anniversary sale. I believe it’s $1.99 right now for Google’s Holiday sale.
Also if you purchase this keyboard now, you can have access to Swiftkey Flow as soon as its released. Swiftkey Flow combines the already-awesome Swiftkey 3 with Swype capabilities, possibly making it the best touchscreen keyboard out there.
1) Google Drive
Cloud storage is very important to me and I honestly don’t know how I did things without it. That’s why I was extremely excited when Google decided to release it’s own version of cloud storage; Google Drive.
Google Drive is so simple to use, and it offers double the free space DropBox offers (5GB vs 2.5GB). It automatically syncs with my Google account, so there’s no registration process, and I can make certain files viewable offline. I also like how it is capable of viewing all types of documents, including PDFs. It’s just very convenient.
I’m pretty lazy, so instead of hooking my phone up to my computer to transfer files over, I prefer to just drop the files into my Drive and download it via my phone wirelessly. I don’t know why, it just seems more convenient for me. I also like having access to my files from any web browser. I leave important documents in my drive so that if I somehow misplace those documents, I have a contingency plan via Google Drive.
One feature that I hope Google will implement is automatic photo uploads. That’s one feature in DropBox that I really love. Whenever I take a picture, I like how it automatically uploads to my DropBox so that I can view it on any device right away. If Google can implement that feature into Google Drive, this application would be perfect.
If you’re looking for free cloud storage, it doesn’t get easier or better than Google Drive.
2012 was a great year for Android apps. I know that my list is a little strange, and a little unorthodox, but these 5 apps are what make my Android experience more enjoyable. I’m sure your top 5 apps of 2012 will vary greatly compared to mine, and I would love to hear what they are in the comments below.