100 Best iPhone & iPad Apps Of 2012

Best-iOS-iPhone-iPad-iPod-touch-Apps-Of-2012

Google Play Store drew level with the iOS App Store in terms of quantity this year, but iOS still holds a slight edge over its most fierce rival when it comes to app quality. At the end of each year, one feels all good app ideas have already been used up, but there’s always something new and innovative on offer in the App Store. Some very long-awaited apps and unique concepts came to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch during 2012, a lot of which were or have recently been optimized for the larger display of the iPhone 5. Here is our list of free iOS apps that stood out from the lot we covered during 2012.

1. Google Maps (Just like YouTube, Google Maps disappeared in iOS 6. It was a huge relief to many when the official Google Maps app was released towards the end of the year. The app has Street View, turn-by-turn voice-guided directions, route planning and various other features)

Google Maps iOS 6 Directions Google Maps iOS 6 Turn by Turn

2. Chrome (The famous web browser from Google arrived for the iPhone and iPad this year, making its mark as one of the best third-party browsers on the platform.)

Chrome iPad

3. YouTube (Unless you have been living under a rock for a year, you must know that Apple removed all pre-installed Google apps from iOS this year. YouTube was the first app to make its way back to iOS in the form of a third-party app.)

YouTube iOS App Menu YouTube iOS App Home

4. iTunes U (Provides free books, course outlines and support material for almost all subjects taught in colleges all around the world)

iTunes-U iTunes U Materials

5. Smartr Contacts (Integrates social networks with your address book; users are also offered the complete history of their interactions with all contacts)

Smartr-Contacts-Info Smartr-Contacts-History

6. CloudMagic (Search for anything in several online accounts with a single query; supports Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, GDocs, Dropbox and many other popular services)

CloudMagic-Android-iOS-Manage-Services CloudMagic-Android-iOS-Mails

7. Google Drive (Official app to create and manage documents in your Drive account; comes with detailed options for collaborative file viewing)

Google Drive _iPad (7)

8. Speaktoit Assistant (This customizable virtual assistant answers all your questions about the weather, sports, general knowledge and almost any other field you can think of)

SpeakToIt_Assistant (6) SpeakToIt_Assistant (3)

9. Steam (Manage your Steam account, purchase games, interact with gamer friends and discover deals)

Steam-Android-Catalog Steam-Android-Catalog-Specials

10. Podcasts (After the announcement of iOS 6, Apple separated podcasts from the Music app by giving them an app of their own. The Podcasts app has several playback options and makes it really easy to discover interesting shows)

Podcasts iOS Player Podcasts iOS Episodes

11. Jasmine (iOS 6-exclusive YouTube client with a gorgeous interface and loads of features)

Jasmine iOS Video

12. ChatOn (Samsung’s very own cross-platform messenger that can be used for group texting, media sharing and leaving offline messages)

ChatOn Buddies ChatOn-Chat

13. Madefire (An innovative take on comic book reading; combines animations and sound effects with comic books that are specially made for the app)

Madefire iOS Comic Madefire iOS Comic Settings

14. WinZip (Official iPhone client of the popular archiving tool)

WinZip-iOS ZIP File iPhone

15. Streamified (Merge feeds from social networks, RSS clients and popular websites to create your one-stop shop for all the latest news items and updates that matter)

Streamified Feeds Streamified Stream

16. TuneWiki Lyrics (A music player from TuneWiki that lets you translate the lyrics of any song to more than 40 languages; also has scrobbling and album art enhancement options)

TuneWiki Lyrics Languages TuneWiki Menu

17. Scribd (The official Scribd client for browsing through its online repository of books and articles and downloading content, complete with a comprehensive reader)

Scribd Menu Scribd Featured Scribd Recently Read

18. Camera Awesome (Camera replacement with multiple effects, grid overlays, independent exposure and focus selection and a ton of other options)

Camera Awesome iOS Camera Awesome Presets Camera Awesome Awesomize

19. Readability (Save a stripped-down, clutter-free view of webpages for offline reading and change their text size, font or background)

Readability Browser Readability Offline List Readability Article

20. about.me (Create an online résumé for yourself by writing about your personality and linking social networks with the written description)

about.me Featured about.me Page about.me Details

21. Autodesk 123D Catch (Create an interactive 3D rendition from a series of images)

123D Catch 3D Viewer

22. Linxy (Dictionary that incorporates augmented reality; point your device at a word written anywhere, and you will see its definition at once)

Linxy AR Cam Linxy Word Lookup Linxy Web Lookup

23. Get Tofu (Collaborate on projects, manage team members easily by assigning them different tasks and set reminders for them)

Get Tofu List Get Tofu Mission

24. Lightt (Create and share short, looping animations with the world and view them in an endless timeline)

Lightt iOS Lightt iOS Animation Lightt iOS Comments

25. Cinemagram (Lets users create and share cinegraphs, which are still images with an animated portion)

Cinemagram Popular Tab Cinemagram Finished Design

26. HomeSnap (Take a photo of any house to get price estimate and details regarding its surroundings)

HomeSnap Home HomeSnap Stream

27. Flixel (Instagram for animations; lets you create GIFs, edit them and share with friends)

Flixel Featured Flixel Share

28. Snapguide (The ultimate source of step-by-step and image-supported tutorials regarding any subject)

Snapguide iPad

29. Book Wall (An app that helps book-lovers discover titles that are worth a read)

Book-Wall-iOS Book Wall List Book Wall Filters

30. SongFreaks (View synchronized lyrics for songs from your library)

SongFreaks Lyrics SongFreaks Info

31. Photo Editor by Aviary (After lending its plugin to various iPhone apps, Aviary launched a standalone photo editor of its own this year. It has stickers, filters and other adjustment options for photos.)

Photo Editor by Aviary iPhone Gallery Photo Editor by Aviary Menu Photo Editor by Aviary Filters

32. Strum (An iOS 6-exclusive app by Smule that lets you create short videos with Instagram-like effects and background music of choice, and share them over the app’s own network)

Strum-iPad-Popular_

33. Maxthon Cloud Browser (The popular PC, Mac and iPad browser came to the iPhone this year. Offers a download manager, bookmark management and a minimalistic reader mode.)

Maxthon Home Maxthon Options Maxthon Settings

34. TouchPal Keyboard (The iOS variant of the popular Android keyboard replacement; supports Swype-like gesture input and smart next word prediction that gets more accurate with time)

TouchPal Keyboard iOS Swype TouchPal Keyboard iOS Sugestions TouchPal Keyboard iOS Settings

35. Seed Mail (Mail client with gestures and support for creating quick reminders right from within a message)

Seed Mail iOS VIP Seed Mail iOS Message

36. Sing! Karaoke (Another innovative music-related app by Smule that lets you choose from among thousands of songs and sing along with other users)

Sing! iOS Map Sing! iOS Songs

37. 365Scores (Comprehensive sports news app with video highlights and live video updates for all major games)

365Scores iOS Menu 365Scores iOS Leagues

38. Duolingo (An excellent virtual foreign language tutor that helps you learn Spanish, French, German and Portuguese the fun way)

Duolingo iOS Skill Tree Duolingo iOS Word Duolingo iOS Suggestions

39. AR-MAPS (Overlays an augmented reality view with Google and Apple Maps to help users discover nearby places with ease)

AR-MAPS iOS AR-MAPS iOS Directions AR-MAPS iOS Settings

40. M.dot (The easiest way to create and maintain a detailed website for small businesses or personal use)

M.dot iOS Blogpost M.dot iOS About

41. Fleksy (An intelligent and gesture-based keyboard that learns new words with the passage of time)

Fleksy iOS Fleksy Keyboard

42. my facecard (Create business cards, complete with your photo and personal details, and share it with other iPhone users by bumping the two devices together. The card gets updated automatically if you make changes to your Facebook profile.)

my facecard iOS my facecard Fonts

43. Last.fm Scrobbler (An app from Last.fm that automatically creates playlists, offers multiple album art options for all songs/artists, and displays lots of extra details about the music in your iPhone)

Scrobbler iOS Playlists Scrobbler iOS Player

44. SloPro (A video capturing app for shooting high quality videos in slow motion)

SloPro Settings

45. Consmr (Purchase the best products of any genre by reading their reviews from other purchasers)

Consmr Product Page Consmr Results

46. Weebly (Offers an extremely easy way to create your own website and track its traffic)

Weebly iPhone Text Editor Weebly iPhone Photo Editor Weebly iPhone Post

47. Inkflow (Create drawings or scribble notes and then edit them with ease by moving whole chunks to new positions)

Inkflow Editor

48. Masatu (Shoot geotagged photos that no one can view unless they point their device at the exact location where the picture was taken)

Masatu-Android-iOS-Augmented-Reality

49. Hojoki (Combines updates and notifications from cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, etc.)

Hojoki-Android-iOS-Accounts1 Hojoki-Android-iOS-Cloud

50. Yahoo! Axis (Web browser that lets you sync with the desktop browser and view search results without leaving the current webpage)

Yahoo! Axis iPad

51. Facebook Camera (Facebook’s own app for quickly editing and uploading photos to your account; sports Instagram-like effects)

IMG_1177 IMG_1181

52. Sports Republic (A highly customizable, user-curated sports news reader with push notifications, reminders, moods and live updates)


Sports-Republic-Android-iOS-News Sports-Republic-Android-iOS-Mood

53. Symbaloo (Manage your desktop web browser bookmarks on your iPhone; can be linked with almost all popular browsers on PC and Mac)

Symbaloo-Android-iOS-Web-Webmix Symbaloo-Android-iOS-Web-Browser

54. SpinCam (Easily create and share interactive 360-degree photos)

SpinCam-Popular SpinCam Photo

55. App in the Air (Benefit from the travel experiences of other users, and view flight information, airport details, etc.)

App in the Air Destination Details App in the Air Destination Tips

56. WNM Live (A very public social network that can help you make new friends living in your area of residence)

WNM Live Online People WNM Live Post

57. Magisto (Turn videos into movies, replace their original sound with music from your device’s library or the app’s own repository)

Magisto-Genres Magisto-Video

58. Viggle (A virtual TV guide that awards you with real prizes for watching shows)

Viggle Show Viggle Deals

59. PlayMood (Gauges your mood via facial recognition and automatically plays appropriate music on your iPhone or Mac)

PlayMood set mood PlayMood settings

60. Autodesk Pixlr Express (An iOS and Android photo editor by Autodesk that has arguably the largest set of effects, filters, frames and image enhancement tools)

Pixlr-Express-Android-Home Pixlr-Express-Android-Adjustments

61. InstaTalks (A chat client that allows messaging between Instagram friends)

InstaTalks InstaTalks (11) InstaTalks Gallery

62. Relevance (This app shows your Facebook and Twitter feeds in one place. It is preference-aware and culls out updates that are similar to those you ignored or disliked in the past.)

Relevance iOS Tweets Relevance iOS Facebook Relevance iOS Ratings

63. Twist (Tracks your location and automatically notifies anyone waiting for you if your ETA has changed)

Twist Home Twist Map

64. Foap (Lets you show your iPhone photos to the world, have them rated and sold)

Foap Home Foap Tags

65. Ptch (Combine your photos, audio clips, music and videos to create a short movie; comes with a sharing network of its own)

Ptch iOS Ptch Music

66. Beat Slice (A quick and easy way of adding sound effects to a song and tinkering with its audio properties)

Beat-Slice-iPhone Beat-Slice-Song

67. Social Radio (Listen to your Twitter timeline along with background music)

Social Radio Trends Social Radio iOS Player Social Radio Settings

68. Trapit (Combines podcasts, articles and videos to provide a customizable news feed)

Trapit for iPad Search

69. Everyme (Create groups of friends from LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to easily share updates and content with them on the go)

Everyme Groups Everyme Circle Post

70. Permissions (Manage the list of services that can access your personal accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Google, Dropbox, etc., all in one place)

Permissions iOS Permissions iOS Apps Permissions iOS Twitter

71. YouTube Capture (Instead of putting an upload option within the YouTube app, Google released a standalone app for that purpose. Capture comes with the added bonus of video effects, stabilization and other shooting options.)

YouTube Capture iOS Camera YouTube Capture iOS Settings

72. Whoovie (Share your thoughts on any movie with your friends and other users)

Whoovie Movies Whoovie Profile

73. 9GAG (Although a lot of decent third-party clients of the service have been around for iOS for quite a while, 9GAG finally came up with an official app of its own for iPhone users.)

9GAG_Official (5) 9GAG_Official (6) 9GAG_Official (7)

74. Opacity Browser (This app copies the simplicity and interface of the popular to-do list app Clear, but applies them to web browsing. There are almost no buttons at all, as everything can be done via gestures.)

Opacity Browser Typing Opacity Browser Home Opacity Browser Website

75. Everyday.me (Too lazy to maintain a journal? This app scours your social network feeds to create a diary automatically.)

Everyday.me Feed Everyday.me Note Everyday.me Settings

76. WebDisk (Use your iPhone as a flash drive by sharing even non-supported file types between your device and any computer over Wi-Fi)

WebDisk iOS WebDisk iOS Viewer WebDisk iOS Open With

77. DLTTR (Manage your Twitter history more easily by deleting tweets from any specific period of time)

DLTTR-Android-iOS-Home DLTTR-Android-iOS-Verify

78. Avocado (A great collaboration, photo sharing and chat app for couples)

Avocado iOS Feed Avocado iOS Options

79. Lift (Share your resolutions and personal goals with your social network so that you get more motivation for achieving them)

Lift iOS Habit Page Lift iOS Calendar

80. DishPal (Share recipes, photos of food and discover others who have the same culinary tastes as you)

DishPal tags

81. Weather Now (A weather app that lets you play with the globe to view any area’s conditions in a graphical format)

Weather Now Home Weather Now Info Weather Now Forecast

82. Givit (Create video highlights out of long clips, throw in some background music and effects)

Givit iOS Camera Givit-Transition Givit-iOS-Music

83. Voicepic (A sharing network that combines photos with sound effects)

Voicepic iOS Home Voicepic iOS Image Effects Voicepic iOS Audio Effects

84. FlipToast (View events, updates, photos and notifications from both Facebook and Twitter in one place)

FlipToast iOS Home FlipToast iOS News Feed FlipToast iOS Post

85. Streamweaver (Combine camera views of all your friends to get a video that covers every angle of a scene)

Streamweaver Featured Streamweaver Profile

86. Chirp (Share photos with other iPhone users via sound; no Bluetooth pairing or Wi-Fi connection required)

Chirp iOS Feed Chirp iOS Photo

87. Brewster (Lets you view contacts from all your accounts in one place; offers smart lists and comprehensive search options)

Brewster Home Brewster Search Brewster Lists

88. Blurtopia (Create polls and discussion forums on any subject to get responses from your friends and others)

Blurtopia iOS Tags Blurtopia iOS Post

89. Remote Shot (Remotely access another iPhone or Android device’s camera to shoot photos with it)

Remote-Shot-Android-ViewFinder Remote-Shot-Android-Views

90. Kidfolio (Get parenting advice, share baby photos and interact with other parents in this social network)

Kidfolio Feed Kidfolio Comments

91. Tumblr Photoset (An app that focuses on sharing of photosets to Tumblr)

Photoset iOS Home Photoset iOS Data Photoset iOS Share

92. Via.Me (A variety of stickers, photo filters and tagging options are available in this photo styling and sharing app)

Via.Me Filters Via.Me Post Via.Me Feed

93. Facebook Poke (Like Snapchat for Facebook; lets you share self-destructing messages, photos and videos with Facebook friends)

Facebook Poke iOS Threads Facebook Poke iOS Camera

94. FixYa (Video tutorials to help you fix gadgets, cars, household items and other stuff)

FixYa iOS FixYa iOS Answers

95. PhotoWithMe (Let users create their own augmented reality stickers to be superimposed over the scene in the camera’s viewfinder)

PhotoWithMe iOS Seeds PhotoWithMe iOS Post

96. Boca Video (Add commentary to photos and create beautiful slide shows; perfect for short tutorials and presentations)

Boca Video iOS Save Boca Video iOS Home

97. beamr (Share a batch of photos in the form of a magazine. Preserves the original resolution of each photo in the batch and presents them all in a beautiful viewer on the web.)

beamr iOS Select beamr iOS Cover beamr iOS Shelf

98. Stereomood (Mood-based music discovery and streaming)

Stereomood-Android-iOS-List Stereomood-Android-iOS-Player

99. Yahoo! Mail (Official Yahoo! Mail client with universal search, infinite scrolling and attachment previews)

Yahoo! Mail iOS Inbox Yahoo! Mail iOS View Message

100. HERE Maps (Nokia’s official map client with voice directions, route planning and multiple map layers)

HERE Maps iPhone Directions HERE-Maps-iPhone-Voice Navigation

So, that ends our list of the 100 best apps of the year 2012. This list consists solely of the free apps we have covered during the course of the year, which is why you won’t find a few very big names in the list. If you think we missed something apart from these, do let us know in the comments section below.

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

150 Best Android Apps Of 2012

50 Best Cydia Tweaks Of 2012

40 Best Windows Phone Apps Of 2012

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  • Boca Video

    We’re psyched that our Boca Video app made it on your list! Glad you guys like it. – The Boca Video team

  • Ayden

    Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful apps! I have not heard about most of these either, so I’m definitely looking forward to checking them all out soon. My favorite app didn’t come out last year, but it did receive a bunch of cool updates that I feel would still make it one of the best apps around. It’s called DISH Remote Access and among all the things it lets me do I like the streaming the best. One of the gals I work with at DISH got me a Sling Adapter some time ago, so I mainly use the app to watch all of my shows from home, live or from off my DVR, anywhere I go in the world. I do travel a lot of the time, so it’s especially great to have when I’m half way across the country and want to watch a show premiering at home! :)