150 Best Android Apps Of Year 2012

Building on its hard-earned success from the previous years, Google’s mobile operating system, Android, continued to maintain its position as a leading name in the business all throughout 2012. Apart from the release of the powerful Samsung Galaxy S III and numerous other top-of-the-line Android devices, the recently-concluded year saw Google introduce the quad core-powered Nexus 4, and the first tablet in the Nexus series, the Nexus 7, followed by its 10-inch variant, the Nexus 10. Obviously enough, 2012 wouldn’t have been complete without adequate advancements on the software front as well. Thanks to the release of the Project Butter-powered Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and its enhanced iteration (4.2), Android became a much steadier, smarter, faster and secure platform. As a result, the inflow of apps in the Google Play Store (formerly Android Market) has continued to increase and so has the number of big names making their debut on it. This post, like the one at the end of last year, focuses on the best free Android apps of 2012 that were featured on Addictive Tips.

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Other than many a well-reputed developer releasing long-awaited Android variants for their popular mobile, web or desktop apps to the Play Store, 2012 has seen a huge shift in standard Android app UI, courtesy of the change in Google’s design guidelines. The resulting trend of Holo-themed apps continues to increase to the point of becoming commonplace, a glimpse of which you’re about to get in the following list.

1. Snapseed (Unquestionably, Snapseed deserves the number one spot on this year’s list for its innovative UI and the comprehensive set of basic and advanced image editing and enhancement tools on offer)

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2. Chrome For Android (Few would disagree that Chrome is hands-down one of the best Android web browsers to have hit the Play Store so far, especially for regular users of Google Chrome for desktop)

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3. 1Weather by OneLouder Apps (Arguably the best weather app available for Android in every possible aspect)

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4. Solid Explorer (It came, it saw, it conquered. Since its release, Solid Explorer has maintained its supremacy over most – if not all – rival root-level, dual-pane Android file management apps. Initially free, now offers a free 14-day trial.)

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5. Instagram (The wait might have been long, but 2012 finally saw the Android variant of the most popular social photo sharing and editing app arrive in the Play Store with all its revered vintage effects)

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6. Flipboard (It was about time that the hugely popular magazine-style new reader app, Flipboard, graced the Play Store with its presence)

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7. Wikipedia (Official Wikipedia Android app providing you instant access to the repository of the word’s largest online encyclopedia)

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8. Slices by OneLouder Apps (You might say Slices is the most feature-rich Twitter app to have ever come to iOS, Android and even the web)

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9. Quora (Official Android app of one of the largest Q&A based networks; sports Holo UI, social media integration, push notifications, home screen widget, universal in-app & system-wide search, topic following, etc.)

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10. Vimeo (Official Android app of the popular video hosting service)

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11. Moborobo (A remarkably feature-laden smartphone management desktop suite allowing wired and Wi-Fi access to Android and iOS device features; also allows transferring iPhone contacts & SMS to Android)

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12. SkyDrive by Microsoft (Put all the third-party SkyDrive Android apps to rest with its gorgeous layout, a Modern-Holo mixed UI, content uploading & downloading, multimedia streaming, folders support & more)

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13. Pinterest (It may have taken a long time coming, but the official Android app of the popular pinboard-themed social photo-sharing service couldn’t have made a better debut in the Play Store)

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14. RealPlayer (Exited Beta in some style; boasts universal media playback & streaming support, built-in download manager, metadata editing, crossfading, home & lock screen widgets, 7-band EQ and more)

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15. My Xbox LIVE (Access your Xbox LIVE account, edit your avatar, share messages with your XBL friends, get the latest news, check Spotlight feeds & reserve spot in XBL games, all via Android)

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16. uTorrent Beta (The official uTorrent Android app is a full-fledged mobile torrent downloader with built-in search engine, Wi-Fi only mode, RSS feed subscription, media playback, custom bandwidth allocation, auto-start on boot and lots more)

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17. Avira Android Security (Avira’s feature-laden and ever-reliable anti-theft and privacy protection tool for Android)

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18. Sports Republic (Justifiably titled ‘Flipboard for sports news’, this app stands head and shoulders above all other user-curated news reading apps for mobile devices. Now please add live scores!)

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19. Dragon Mobile Assistant By Nuance (One of the most polished Android voice assistants with commands for app launching, hands-free texting, online searching & media playback, etc.)

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20. Pimp My ROM (For rooted devices only: A free Android app for power users that offers complete control over tweaking your preferred stock or AOSP-based custom ROM to your own liking through its extensive set of tools)

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21. Autodesk ForceEffect (A powerful engineering mobile app packed with freehand sketching, object scaling & dimensioning, photo-based result reporting and numerous other supporting tools)

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22. Reddit Sync (An insanely feature-rich unofficial Reddit client that keeps improving with each subsequent update. Was included in our list of best Reddit apps for Android.)

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23. Norton Cloud Zone (Among the companion apps of numerous cloud services released this year, it was Norton Cloud Zone’s mobile app that impressed the most with its secure cross-platform syncing.)

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24. Songify by Smule (App that converts recorded audio into music and lets you listen to musical bits shared by other worldwide users)

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25. Vonage Mobile (Viber-like free VoIP and texting app for Android with a number of nifty features)

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26. Maluuba (Android virtual assistant with Modern UI, event management, extensive category-based searching, text and voice input, connectivity, widgets and lots more)

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27. “α” CLOCK for Mobile by Sony Corporation (Unique photography Android app featuring several HD quality time-lapse images powered by Sony’s innovative Time-Shift UI)

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28. AppBrain Ad Detector (Real-time monitoring of privacy concerns regarding all apps installed on your Android device)

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29. Holo Launcher (Gives your Android 2.2 / 2.3 device a taste of the ICS or Jelly Bean home screen; has scrollable dock, app drawer & home screens, resizable widgets, automatic folder creation & plenty more)

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30. EasyTodo (Easy pickings there! Quite possibly the best to-do list and reminders management app released this year. Supports Google Tasks sync, automatic task creations out of missed calls and more.)

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31. OneNote Mobile (Official Microsoft OneNote app for notes management and sharing)

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32. Swype Beta By Nuance (A brand new beta release of Swype for Android supporting 4-way text input: swiping, tapping, speaking and drawing. Also offers next word prediction and better Dragon Dictation.)

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33. Smart Settings by Root Uninstaller (Allows ultra-customizable sound and system profile definition and event-triggered automated profile switching on Android. It’s a power saver with context-aware settings.)

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34. jetAudio Basic (A gorgeous music player for Android equipped with arguably the most extensive set of features you’ll ever find in an app belonging to this genre)

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35. Zillow Rentals (A comprehensive tool that helps you find apartments available for rent and lets you specify locations of interest on map)

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36. AfterFocus (One of the best tools around to apply DSLR-like focus effects to your photos)

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37. PopBot Radio (Automatically recognizes new songs being played on online radio and eliminates ads to record complete tracks non-stop from many stations)

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38. GMD Smart Rotate (Brings the Galaxy Note II-style Smart Rotate, SGS3-style Smart Stay and a plethora of advanced screen rotation controls to almost any Android device)

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39. Maxthon Cloud Browser (One of the few cross-platform supported web browsers to have been released in 2012, Maxthon Cloud Browser impresses with its extensive cloud sync and sharing support.)

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40. WordWeb Dictionary (One of the highest-rated Android dictionary & thesaurus apps loaded with tons of features)

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41. SwitchApps (A fully gesture-controlled, customizable & omnipresent multitasking and app launching solution; supports 1-tap screen lock, launching of recent apps, favorite apps & system toggles)

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42. Pixlr Express (A well-crafted photo editing app by Autodesk Inc. featuring arguably the largest set of effects, filters, frames and various image enhancement, adjustment and beautifying options)

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43. Microsoft on{X} (A brand new take on wireless & personalized rule-based task automation on Android; you define your own rules via the ON{X} website and these are then automatically added as tasks on your device)

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44. 1Tap Quick Bar by Root Uninstaller (Easily the most effective and powerful Android notification panel customization tool; can add multiple user-defined system & app shortcuts to the notification drop-down)

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45. Droid Manager (Although not as comprehensive as AirDroid, Droid Manager is special in that it lets you remotely manage multiple Android and iOS devices over Wi-Fi and internet right from your browser)

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46. Steam (Official Android app of one of the world’s biggest online gaming distribution and discussion platform)

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47. million moments by Sony Digital Network Applications (Peach of an Android gallery replacement app with smart labeling, Facebook Albums import and flip-style transitions)

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48. Scribd Reader (Sift through the vast online document repository of Scribd and share your favorite documents on the move)

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49. MediaMonkey (A comprehensive media player & library management app with UPnP/DLNA support to allow you to remotely stream music from directories on your desktop computer over Wi-Fi)

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50. Playboard (A Flipboard-style, customizable Android app discovery and sharing tool equipped with numerous modes of app exploration)

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51. Kii Keyboard (A viable custom Android keyboard replacement for those wanting the best of Swype, SwiftKey, stock JB keyboard and even more in a single package; has split views, themes & more)

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52. Mantano Reader (While last year it was Aldiko Reader, this time around, it’s Mantano Reader that emerges as one of the most feature-rich eBook readers with annotation and cloud sync support)

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53. Klip (Official Android app of Klip – a popular social video sharing service; won’t be wrong to dub it as Pinterest for video sharing)

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54. Stereomood (An innovative and beautifully-designed online music discovery app that automatically aggregates and seamlessly streams tracks as per user-specified moods)

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55. AireTalk (Free cross-platform video & voice calling, instant group messaging, file & location sharing and PTT-based walkie talkie app)

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56. MiHome Launcher (The latest build of MIUI v4.0 custom home screen replacement app officially released for Android 2.3+ with tons of features, downloadable themes, transition effects and more)

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57. Battery Doctor (One of the most effective & reliable Android battery status monitoring, saving and maintenance tools released this year)

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58. Magisto (A magical video editing & sharing app that automatically analyzes the best parts of your recorded video clips and lets you add soundtracks & effects to them accordingly)

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59. Smart Volume Control (An insanely feature-packed Android sound profile management, customization and automation app with an innovative and immensely helpful ‘Speed Volume Mode’ and widgets)

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60. SomNote (Elegant Evernote alternative with cloud sync, folders, password protection, gestures, a widget and lots more for your personal note taking and sharing needs)

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61. Smart RAM Booster By Root Uninstaller (One of the most versatile and highly customizable standalone Android memory optimization tools with multiple system performance boost modes)

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62. Autodesk 360 Mobile (Lets you view and annotate 2D & 3D DWF models on Android)

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63. Wondershare Player (Finally, the likes of MX Player got some serious competition with the arrival of Wondershare Player – an all-in-one media playing, streaming & discovery app)

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64. Deep Sleep Battery Saver (Root Uninstaller at it again! A real godsend app that puts you in complete control over tweaking one of the most vital aspects that impact Android device battery life: the Deep Sleep mode.)

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65. ShoeBox by 100memories (A photo scanning, aggregating and sharing app with an automatic edge and perspective correction tool)

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66. Songkick Concerts (Scans your mobile music library to offer location-specific calendars and notifications for your favorite artists’ concerts and live events; has NFC Beam support, widgets & more)

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67. Send Anywhere (Perhaps the most convenient way to wirelessly transfer files across devices over Wi-Fi and internet through a web browser; sharing possible through QR code scanning, secure key & more)

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68. Alarm Clock (Easily one of the best alarm apps with plenty of customizations, snooze methods, egg timer, themes, widgets and lots more)

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69. LogMote (A personal accounts vault that lets you scan barcodes to remotely and securely log in to various websites on your desktop browsers via your Android device without having to feed passwords manually)

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70. Photo Editor by Aviary (Standalone photo editing app with all the tools, enhancements and effects provided by Aviary)

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71. Bandsintown Concerts (A well-built preference-aware musical events tracking app featuring a unique concert cloud feature to get automatic recommendations for the best concerts nearby)

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72. Current Caller by WhitePages (A truly wonderful social caller ID app that displays updated user profiles and status updates; boasts relevant infographics, data logs and more)

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73. AntennaPod (A feature-rich, Holo-themed podcast and vodcast manager with Miro Guide integration, OPML support, MP3, simple & VorbisComment chapters, sleep timer, widget, etc.)

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74. Retune (Remotely control playback of iTunes and other popular DACP servers with your Android; features lockscreen controls, support for iTunes 11 Up Next, U courses and more)

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75. DjRun (Android music player capable of automatically detecting and playing local and online tracks with tempos that match your walking, jogging, running or sprinting pace)

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76. Wave Control (Enjoy touch-free music playback on Android by waving your hand across the proximity sensor)

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77. Super Video (Perhaps the very first free standalone floating video player for Android with multiple windows, basic playback controls, universal file format support and a 3D media gallery)

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78. Floating Browser Flux! (A free multi-window floating Android web browser featuring all the rudimentary tools one would expect to get in a quality mobile browser)

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79. Floating Audio Player (A useful little floating music player that can come in handy in situations where the conventional notification shade music controls simply won’t suffice)

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80. AirCalc (A simple, resizable and floating calculator app)

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81. DeskNotifier (Receive all sorts of Android system and third-party app notifications on your desktop computer)

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82. Notif (Create you own personalized JB-compatible expandable notifications in multiple ways; set custom icons for individual notifications, set a notification as temporary or permanent/ongoing)

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83. AirCover Security Suite (An all-in-one Android optimization, security and online data backup tool)

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84. Scan Master (Easily one of the best free yet option-rich document scanners and PDF managers; boasts built-in document gallery, automatic edge detection, document enhancement, merging & more)

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85. ezNetScan (A comprehensive Wi-Fi network monitoring tool; can send ping requests to connected devices, scan active TCP ports, trace network routes, send Wake on LAN requests, etc.)

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86. Boot Animations (For rooted devices only: Tired of looking at the same old boot animation on your Android? This marvel by JRummy Apps has way more quality alternatives to offer than you’d ever need.)

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87. Flakka (The choice was tough among wireless photo streaming apps, but Flakka emerges as the winner due to its in-built IM, clientless streaming, custom timeline & a unique ‘laser point’ feature)

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88. Anfish (Presents a wealth of information about worldwide Android devices under various categories and via relevant infographics)

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89. Let’s Create! Pottery (Try your hand at the art of pottery making by designing various 3D ceramic models)

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90. Infinite Painter (A true artist’s dream app, Infinite Painter is among the few feature-heavy and tool-laden drawing/painting apps available in the Play Store for free)

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91. BlingBoard (Sleek Android home screen widget offering brief call, messaging, mail and social network updates)

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92. Ultimate Special FX (Apply high-quality video effects to your recorded clips to make them look like a scene from some action flick)

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93. yasp! (Probably the best student planner Android app of 2012)

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94. Cymera (Handy camera replacement app with face detection, auto-retouch, filters, effects, borders, multiple capture modes, stickers and lots more)

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95. Launcher8 (A fantastic Windows Phone 8-style Android home screen replacement app with live tiles, widgets, a dedicated screen lock tile, themes, multiple app drawer views and loads of customization)

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96. Smart Statusbar (Take a peek at your Android device’s status bar in full-screen apps. Provides the option to adjust time after which status bar is automatically hidden.)

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97. Airport-Flight Tracker Status (A comprehensive travel management and real-time flight tracking app for Android users)

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98. LINE Camera (Photo embellishing app for fans of graffiti effects, stickers, brushes, filters, frames and stamps)

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99. aCheckin (An interactive Android game check-in & discovery-based social platform that also lets you play games and share progresses with friends)

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100. Facelock (Unlock Android screen and favorite apps via facial recognition)

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101. App2Zip (Create flashable ZIP files of your favorite Android apps to install them right from within recovery mode; particularly useful at the time of flashing of your favorite custom Android ROM)

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102. ZeroPC Photo Connect (A comprehensive local, social & cloud photo manager and browser from the makers of ZeroPC Cloud Navigator)

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103. Jelli Radio (A completely user-controlled social radio app where you decide via voting which track should play next)

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104. Clickfree (Allows manual and scheduled backup of select or complete mobile content on local as well as cloud storage without requiring you to root your Android device)

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105. Viki (Official Android app of the popular online video streaming and multilingual subtitling service)

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106. Trend Micro Longevity (One of the most power-packed and effective Android battery optimization tools released in 2012)

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107. Andmade Share (Enhanced Android file sharing menu supporting sharing of select files via multiple apps at once)

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108. Babylon Translator (Official Android app of one of the world’s largest online dictionaries and translation software; comes with built-in with clipboard management capabilities)

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109. MyScript Calculator (A unique handwriting-based calculator that lets you write mathematical problems like you would on a piece of paper to perform basic mathematical operations, and scribble to rectify erroneous entries)

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110. Bitdefender Power Tune-Up (A powerful Android optimization tool by Bitdefender with emphasis on mobile data usage monitoring)

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111. Pudding.to (Instagram-like Android photo editing app with mood markers and plenty of filters)

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112. Cool Converter (One of the few option-rich dual-pane unit converters out there with Holo UI)

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113. Yahoo! Cricket (Perhaps the next best thing to the official ESPNCricinfo Android app for cricket lovers)

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114. Quick Launch (Lockscreen replacement app with quick shortcuts, media playback controls, widgets, social feeds, instant sound profile switching, camera access, iPhone-style lockscreen notifications and more)

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115. SMS Flash (Receive text messages as toast notifications and respond via various proximity sensor gestures)

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116. MP3dit (The ultimate music tag editor for MP3 files; supports batch-editing of metadata and album art)

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117. PicCollage (One of the most well-crafted, user-friendly and highest rated photo collage creators for Android)

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118. SwitchMe (For Rooted devices only: Create & switch between multiple Android user profiles)

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119. Airbnb (Official Android app of one of the world’s largest accommodation discovery, check-in, reservation & listing services)

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120. N7 Music Player (Probably the next best thing to the likes of PowerAMP and other feature-filled Android music players)

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121. Shareable (One of the few P2P-based data transfer solutions for wireless sharing of files across Android, Windows, Mac and iOS over Wi-Fi; supports public and private sharing)

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122. Home Network Settings (Allows automation of WiFi and data toggling, mobile security settings and sound profile toggling based on your device’s connection status with your home WiFi network)

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123. BuildApp (Comprehensive 3D house modeling app for Android; supports saving projects, checking floor plans, 3D walkthroughs and lots more)

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124. Send It (A handy file sharing tool that uses the combination of Google Drive and SMS; uploads user-selected files to GDrive and forwards download URL to recipients via SMS)

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125. Mathway (Android users’ one stop shop for solving Mathematical problems on the go)

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126. IntelliScreen (Set separate screen timeout intervals for individual Android apps)

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127. YouSpin (Photography app to create and share high quality panoramas & interactive 360-degree images)

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128. GMD Gesture Control (For rooted Android tablets only: Adds various iPad-like multi-touch gestures to Android tablets)

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129. InstaMusic (Elegantly built Android audio player replicating looks of Windows Phone’s Zune Music Player)

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130. Sing! Karaoke (Another amazing Android and iOS app by Smule! that lets you sing karaoke with users from around the world)

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131. Cartoon Camera (Offers 12 awesome real-time sketch effects for your photos)

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132. Bluetooth On Call (Automatically activates Bluetooth when on a call as well as while charging, allowing you to receive your calls on your Bluetooth device; saves adequate battery life in doing so)

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133. Recast (Easily the most customizable weather app for Android offering various multi-sized home screen widgets)

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134. Mobile9 (Official Android app of one of the oldest and largest mobile content discovery services, Mobile9)

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135. SpeakerProximity (Utilizes your Android device’s proximity sensor to automatically switch calls back and forth between speaker and earpiece)

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136. AROMA File Manager (For rooted devices only: A fully touch-enabled root-level file manager that runs within your Android device’s custom recovery)

AROMA-File-Manager-Android-SplashView in galleryAROMA-File-Manager-Android-SenseView in gallery

137. Nandroid Browser (Manage individual files within your Nandroid backups)

Nandroid-Bacnkup-Android-HomeView in gallery Nandroid-Bacnkup-Android-ActionView in gallery

138. Premier League Live or Football Fans By Vubooo (A must-have app for Soccer fans to get real-time match alerts, interact with fans, check-in to matches, post updates and stay updated with all the action)

Vuboo-Android-Live-EventsView in gallery Vuboo-Android-MatchesView in gallery

139. BT Controller (Use your Android device as a Bluetooth gamepad for another)

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140. Color Grab (A simple yet extremely handy and accurate color picker tool that displays detailed on-screen information about colors identified through your Android device’s camera; logs color history)

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141. ICS Browser + (Extended version of the stock Android 4.0 browser with a fan-like menu overlay)

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142. TuneSync HomeStream (Remotely stream iTunes playlists & tracks from desktop To Android)

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143. No Touch (Prevent accidental touches on your Android device’s screen)

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144. Remote Shot (Remotely control the camera of one Android device to capture shots with another device via Bluetooth pairing)

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145. Movie Twist (A well-laid out movie exploration app that gives suggestions based on user-specified mood, tags, genres, keywords, movie concepts, ratings and lots of other parameters)

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146. Koalcat’s Clear (A fully gesture-controlled to-do list management app replicating the looks and functionality of Clear for iOS)

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147. toastr (Forget about forgetting! This app displays your most important reminders via customizable toast notifications whenever you unlock your Android device.)

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148. Talkover Messenger (Chat with Facebook friends, share stuff privately and publicly)

TalkOver-Android-FeedsView in galleryTalkOver-Android-Media-LibraryView in gallery

149. Super Missed Call (A new take on responding to missed calls by using various motion gestures instead of sifting through menus or navigating across multiple screens)

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150. Smart Screen Off (Uses your Android device’s proximity sensor to automatically turn off the screen)

Smart-Screen-Off-Android-Home2View in gallery Smart-Screen-Off-Android-ProView in gallery

Once again, this particular list mainly includes our favorite free apps from last year. However, we won’t forget the likes of Google Currents, Google Search, Google+, MX Player, Facebook, Twitter, Speaktoit, ADW Launcher, Claystone Launcher and countless other great apps that underwent some massive changes during this time.

Plucking all these titles out of a huge repository was by no means an easy task, but we’re hopeful that you’ll appreciate the quality and variety of apps listed above. As with the previous year, it was an absolute pleasure taking this trip down memory lane for our readers.

Before we conclude this roundup, we’d like to request you to express your thoughts about our collection and mention your favorite apps out of the entire lot or the apps that you feel have been missed. Have a great year!

You might also want to check out our other end-of-year compilations:

150 Best Windows Apps Of 2012

35 Best Windows 8 Store Of 2012

100 Best Mac Apps Of 2012

100 Best iOS Apps Of 2012

50 Best Cydia Tweaks Of 2012

40 Best Windows Phone Apps Of 2012

  • solar_fan
  • iUsman

    Great collection, I’m already downloading a ton of new apps for my phone 🙂

  • My favorite Android apps of 2012 are:
    – Press, a must have Google Reader app.
    – Falcon Pro, probably the best Twitter client out there.

  • Thank You!

  • Joe

    Awesome list! Thanks for putting it together.

  • and still people don’t suggest “TouchPal keyboard”. This is a very underrated but an awesome keyboard app.

  • Saran

    Nice collection and thanks for your efforts on bringing this together.

  • tarun

    Great collection ever saw 😀

  • c

    Instagram?! Seriously?!!? If you people think that Instagram is one of “the best photo editors”, what would you say about Pixlr-o-matic and Pixlr Express? What would the description be then? “Out of this universe photo editor”???!!!!

  • Andy

    If you guys are looking for a great app that is free to download music with search gomp3 all one word it is simply amazing

  • james braselton

    hi there 100 live tiles on ios android 10 live tiles on mac ox