What are your favourite apps of 2012?

Daniel Bader

December 25, 2012 5:35pm

We use our phones for everything, from playing games to planning our lives. And, of course, we all have our preferences. Unless specified, all apps mentioned here are available for Android and iOS.

Personally, I couldn’t go a day without the official Twitter or Facebook apps. And, yes, I use Instagram, Path, Foursquare and LinkedIn, too.

But many users prefer to go the third-party route, and in that case I choose to use Falcon Pro for Android and Tweetbot for iPhone. I couldn’t survive without Evernote, Astrid, Pulse, Kobo and Starbucks. For music I switch between Rdio and TuneIn Radio, with the occasional Songza session thrown in. For Reddit, I use Reddit Sync for Android and Alien Blue for iOS.

When I play games I prefer puzzles. This year, I’ve been engrossed in Gyro, Letterpress (iOS-only), Scramble With Friends, World of Goo, Pudding Monsters and Where’s My Water? The times I prefer a bit of action in my gaming experiences I go with Ski Safari, Canabalt and Rayman Jungle Run. Granny Smith, Whale Trail, Gravity Guy, Waking Mars and Jetpack Joyride are good, too.

Because I’m always looking for story ideas, I live on Google Reader. Reeder for iOS and Press for Android have a lot in common; they are beautiful, quick and functional. The official WordPress app is good, but if you’re on iPad, Blogsy is even better.

Chrome for Android is the best browser on the platform, but there’s Dolphin Browser Beta and Firefox Beta, too, both of which have their advantages. On iOS I use Atomic Browser, though Chrome is growing on me.

When taking photos on my iPhone I use Camera+; on Android I use either the stock app or, when I need a bit more control, Camera Zoom FX.

For weather, give me The Weather Network any day.

I love HD Widgets and Beautiful Widgets on Android; they provide some of the best added functionality to the customizable OS.

When travelling I prefer to use Hipmunk for flights and Expedia for hotels. For movies, iMDb and Flixster. Cloud storage: Dropbox, though Google Drive is improving and Sugarsync‘s new Android beta is pretty outstanding.

If you want a second opinion, Google has posted its own Best of 2012 list, and there are some gems in there, too.

There are a lot of apps I left out here. I don’t want to include everything; I want ideas from you! So let us know: what are your favourite apps of 2012?

  • Sai

    Alien Blue FTW.

    • SAM

      of-course Apple Map its 100% useless app

  • MickLiq

    Flipboard for both iPad and Android. It’s a killer app for both platforms. Best way to read your Twitter feeds, Facebook timeline, LinkedIn updates, RSS Feeds, and of course all kinds of first-party content.

  • Kevin

    Definitely have to vote for an app like Evernote which I use all the time at work.

    Nova Launcher deserves credit along with Tapatalk, Mango (manga reader), gmail, Tablet Talk, and Tasker!

  • guy

    -Nova Launcher (liking action launcher too)
    -Beautiful widgets
    -Android Pro Widgets
    -GAPPS (including gmail, maps and music)

  • EvanKr

    Definitely Poynt on Windows Phone, ever since I’ve installed it about 4 other apps have become obsolete.

  • Sketaful

    For keeping an eye on my phone I think Cerberus is awesome.
    Whn it comes to apps I can’t live without it’s:
    Solid Explorer – Miles ahead of any other app in that category
    Plume – Love the way it handles the tweets
    DropBox – Even more since I got 50 gig space from Samsung
    Mobile Admin for Minecraft – Cause I’m a geek with a server 😛
    BlowTorch – Because MUD is still my other geekish drug
    MX Player – Plays anything and everything
    JellyBean 4.2 stock Camera – Had to flash it myself but great
    Play Music – 20k songs online, for free. Yeah. 🙂
    Snapseed – Beats any other quick-editing/sharing photoapp
    OfficeSuite – Was for sale for 0.99 and manage all documents
    Screencast – Cause I’m a geek I tell u…
    SMS Backup & Restore (and the Call logs version) – Backitup!
    Titanium Backup – For removing the junk I don’t want
    Total Recall – Yes, I record all my calls

    Carcassonne – Awesome game that’s true to it’s rl version
    Rope Escape – Try it and you just can’t stop playing…

    • Dimitri

      “Yes, I record all my calls”


      If you were my friend, you’d be stricken off my list in an instant! That’s just creepy as f*ck.

  • Coop

    DS Audio – Streams all of my music from my Synology server, no need to have it on the phone.

  • Will Lam

    Both Android and iOS: Flipboard, Pocket, Mint.com, Instagram, Flixster, Evernote, Songza, Dropbox, BufferApp, Yelp, Google+, Shazam, Chrome, Foodspotting, Waze, Yelp

    Android: SwiftKey, Atooma, Google Talk, Voice Search, Google Now, DoubleTwist

    iOS: Rocket Radar, Cue, BlogTO, Timehop, Fitocracy

  • 2cf

    Any app that isn’t Blackberry. RIP RIM!!!!!! 😀 😀

  • Regie

    For me, it’s an iOS app called “OSL G1 Ontario”. It helped me pass my G1 test a couple of months ago.

  • Dalex

    Flipboard: Amazing looking news reader that is on my home screen

    Jetpack Joyride: Don’t know why its so freaking addictive

    IMDb and Flixter: big movie buff so they are self explanatory

    RBC Mobile: Not half bad for a banking app

    Google Drive: For university. Google docs is tremendous in university, especially in group projects

    Tunein Radio and Songza: For when I want to listen to music

    XDA: because, its unbelievable what people can do with Android

    Honestly this makes me realize how few apps I actually use. There are more than 700k apps on Google Play and its so irrelevant to me. Only a few apps matter.

    • lolz

      “Honestly this makes me realize how few apps I actually use. There are more than 700k apps on Google Play and its so irrelevant to me. Only a few apps matter.”

      Well said….

  • @maikelparets

    S Note for note 1 and 2 adw and nova launcher titanium bsck up pro

  • 15ive

    -Go Launcher
    -Go Keyboard
    -Go Messenger
    -Zlango Messenger
    -Power Amp
    -Transit Now Toronto (TTC APP)

  • MattyMattMatt

    Kids Place. This app is boss. Without it I would not have been able to hand my niece and nephew a tablet and not worry about it. I have control over what they can access and they cannot break out of the app. Love it.

  • bembol

    TuneIn for The Herd with Colin Cowherd.

  • Milpool

    Dropbox, Flipboard, Chrome, and AirDroid. All very well done and leaders in their app category (for Android)

  • rick

    For me its Tasker.

    I got rid of a lot of smaller apps and use Tasker instead. It takes a while to get to know how to use it, but once you get the hang of it, its great.

    I’ve actually learned quite a bit from using it.

  • Vic Singh

    Amazing Alex. I have my 4 years nephew paying it and he loves it.

  • Val

    CamScanner, K-9 for emails, Tomorrow’s Gas Prices, Fongo/Dellvoice, Sipdroid,

  • sanchela

    ES Explorer is #1 as you won’t need any Box or Sugarsync or any other browsing junk to access your files anymore. And guess what, it’s totally free!!!
    Cool Reader is the best book reader ever. You can also download free books from the web directly from the app.
    TuneIn Radio – I can’t even understand why somebody would pay for apps like Rdio etc.
    My Backup Root simply does everything you need to switch ROMS and backup apps and settings.
    MX Player is hands down the best player for Android. I can’t add anything to that.
    Skype and TextMe is a must for communicating.
    Hope my set of favourite apps will help people to make the right choice.

  • sanchela

    Oh, yeah and Tomorrow Gas Prices Today never lies

  • new_tradition

    Mobilesyrup did a review on “Transit Now Toronto”, a TTC schedule stop countdown time app, and I’m so glad I saw it.

    I’ve been using this app almost every time I go out since that review. I’ve changed routes on the go a bunch of times after I realize the wait time would be longer than even walking!

    And while it sounds silly, it actually gives me a bit of peace of mind. I’m sure many other transit users have felt frustrated or anxious waiting for their bus/street car, and the online schedule isn’t always accurate. Knowing how long I have to wait makes it easier. Sometimes I duck into a near by Tim’s and come back with a snack or drink before the bus shows up. The amount of time I’ve skipped breakfast to catch a bus is… X_x

    Though not a 100% accurate and reliable, the rate of accuracy is almost scary. I feel like saying the app is 9.25/10 times being perfect. I’ve defintely been less late in 2012 than I was in 2011 xD

    • Sting

      Thanks for posting this review; I had no idea a TTC targeted app existed for any platform! I own the BB Bold 9900 and your post inspired me to look on app world for a similar tool for my platform. Sure enough there is one called “where’s my bus”, I’ve downloaded it and hope to find it works as well as yours does 🙂

  • Mike

    WOW I’m really surpised no one has listed any of my Must Have apps…

    My Coffee Card – Kicks the starbucks apps butt for Canadian users imho.

    Boid for twitter (love the speed/features/default halo theme)


    Slacker Radio for music streaming.. LOVE this cause I find it has a great selection of stations, easy personalization, and its free accounts work just as well with the exception of only having 6 skips an hour

  • Songza fan

    Songza best app of the year!

  • tom

    Its a poor name, but a great game for iOS or Android. Works great on the nexus 7.

  • Slype

    On Android:

    Tasker for automation
    Harvest for Timetracking
    Emit to access my media collection ANYWHERE
    Steam so I don’t miss any sales
    mSecure for master password list
    Ski Safari / Jetpack Joyride / Hill climb Racing for quick games