These are the apps that help you connect with like-minded people, for work, learning and play
Google has released their ‘Best of 2017’, showcasing the most popular games, books, films, TV, and apps of the year!
The 12-month period has seen some of the best Android apps to date. They’re rapidly becoming an integral part of life. They help us connect with people, find where we’re going, teach us new things and help us teach others.
Apps have come a long way since the days of the one dimensional Snake. And they continue to entertain us and help our lives every day with new and innovative uses of technology.
Let’s break down Google Play’s Best Apps of 2017 and see which new mobile apps you should download onto your smartphone.
Google Play’s ‘Most Entertaining’ category highlights those apps that aren’t just for amusement, but productivity and inspiration as well:
PicsArt Animator: Gif & Video ~ Animation is adored by many people. And now the power of animation is available for everyone! This app allows you to create doodles, cartoon videos, and GIFS. You can even add voiceover to your animation creation.
Anchor – Podcast & Radio ~ Anchor is a platform for voices. Whether you want to listen to radio or podcasts, or even be the star of your own audio shows – it’s all possible with this brilliant app. Radio shows can even be interactive, allowing you to connect with your audience wherever they may be.
HOOKED – Chat Stories ~ There’s nothing quite like getting hooked on a good story. With this app, you can do just that in bite-sized bursts. Each tap reveals a text which furthers your journey into the voyeuristic chat stories. An essential app for lovers of suspense fiction.
Adobe Photoshop Sketch ~ Love to illustrate? Whether you’re a novice or a pro, this app utilises the best of the Adobe software for mobile. With helpful onboarding, customisable tools and integration with the Behance community and Creative Cloud, you’ll be well on your way to creating your own masterpieces.
Simply Piano by JoyTunes ~ Learning piano has never been simpler than with Simply Piano. This digital teacher turns learning into a game. You can read sheet music and get instant feedback as you play your piano or keyboard. Letting you fast-track from muddled-fingers to Mozart in no time!
The only way to enjoy apps more is by sharing your experiences with other people. These are the apps that help you connect with like-minded people, for work, learning and play:
Litsy ~ It’s not always easy finding people with similar interests. If you’re an avid reader wanting to share your literary experiences, Litsy could be the app for you. You can share your favourite ‘reading moments’ such as book-related photos, quotes, blurbs and reviews with like-minded people.
Tandem: Find Language Exchange Partners Worldwide ~ Language learning apps have taken off, with more people than ever trying to enhance their linguistic abilities. This app offers students a way of connecting with native speakers of other languages all around the world to find learning partners. You can text, have an audio conversation and even invest in a video chat tutor.
Strava Running and Cycling GPS ~ Apps are a great way of staying motivated and staying on track to achieve your fitness goals. Strava helps you do this by letting you track and analyse your runs and rides. You can also post your fitness achievements and compare them with others.
Kudos ~ Interconnectivity should be enjoyed by everyone. But some content on social media platforms may not be appropriate for children. Kudos, however, offers a safe and positive space for tweens that’s carefully moderated and ad-free.
Slack ~ Cross-company communications have never been slicker or easier. You can chat and collaborate with your colleagues or business partners to streamline your efficiency.
Best Daily Helper
Apps for gaming and socialising can be fun and useful. However, it’s the apps that help us throughout our daily lives that are the most cherished. Here are the digital tools designed to make life that little bit easier:
Simple Habit Meditation ~ With the world getting busier, it’s hard to find the time to just do nothing. Simple Habit Meditation helps you wind down, and lets you uncloud your mind with guided meditation that takes your circumstances into account. You can choose from a range of teachers, themes and session lengths to suit your mindset.
SideChef: Step-by-step Cooking ~ Become an Instagram ready chef in no time with this cookery app. With beautifully photographed recipes, meal planners and ingredient highlights. Keep your phone clean whilst you navigate the steps using voice command, for easy hand-free cookery.
NOTEBOOK – Take Notes, Sync ~ For the type of people who need to unload some of their thoughts, NOTEBOOK makes note-taking a pleasure. You can create audio, image, sketch or checklist notes. Rearrange these notes how you see fit for a personalised notebook.
Step Counter – Pedometer Free & Calorie Counter ~ A clean and simple app to monitor your steps that doesn’t kill your battery. It uses your smartphone’s built-in sensor to count your steps, track your calories burned and distance walked.
Chip – Saving, Made Easy ~ Sometimes it’s difficult to keep track of every penny you spend. But all those pennies add up and you could be losing out on lots of money. Chip keeps track of all of these pennies and then automatically saves it for you. So before you know it you’ll have a nice stash of savings.
Some apps are totally new, whacky ideas that nobody had ever thought of. But some apps use pre-existing ideas and capitalise on them, to totally change the way people think and operate. Creating a more dynamic and connected society.
Be My Eyes – Helping the Blind ~ A wonderful app designed to help the blind. Volunteers can lend their eyes to those with sight disabilities through a simple video call. There is a global network of sighted users at the ready to help with tasks that people with sight may take for granted.
Timbre: Cut, Join, Convert mp3 ~ Cut, join, convert audio and video files all on this easy to use the app. Timbre makes editing approachable for anyone with its beautiful interface and technical precision. You can split and change the speed of files and even extract audio from video files.
Pinterest ~ Pinterest has been helping people find inspiration for years. And now with the launch of Pinterest’s camera search tool, ‘Lens’ you can research, organise and share ideas and objects spotted while you’re offline.
Snapchat ~ Snapchat has provided a platform for traceless, worry-free communication. And they continue to make this experience fun and exciting with their new augmented reality features. These include Animated 3D Bitmojis, ‘Sky Filters’ and digital art installations.
Google Earth ~ Some would consider this the most innovative app on this list – and maybe of all time. You can explore the world, with immersive 3D imagery and learning material provided by the BBC and NASA. All from your smartphone.
Best Hidden Gem
These are the apps that have gathered cult followings, have niche toppings, or are on the verge of becoming huge:
Socratic – Math Answers & Homework Help ~ Homework can really get students down, especially if they’re not getting it. This handy app is a solution-finder and info-curator. You can take photos of your question (even handwritten), be it a maths, history or literary quandary, and this app with help you answer it.
Gyroscope ~ Another fitness app, but with a twist. Gyroscope is powered by wellness apps like Strava, RescueTime and Google Fit to give you summaries of your fitness data. This includes visual summaries of your exercise, sleep and more.
Libby, by OverDrive ~ Bringing libraries into the digital age, this app allows you to access your local library’s content through your smartphone. You can lose yourself in in-app ebooks or even audiobooks.
Mercari – Buy, Sell New & Used ~ Buying and selling made simple and easy. What sets this app aside from all of the other marketplace apps is that you can list an item in just 40 seconds. It’s secure too, with Buyer Guarantee that ensures refunds if an order goes wrong.
Notin – Notes in Notification ~ A simplistic, easy-to-use app for notetakers who don’t want to be overwhelmed with colours or widgets. You can save what you need and have notifications remind you of your obligations.
Best for Kids
Kids may not have the same obligations, career or fitness goals as adults do. But that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the fun and productivity of smartphone applications:
Pinkfong Shapes & Colors ~ A carnival of games and activities where kids can learn about shapes, colours, sizes and patterns. As the problems become more complex, they’ll earn more prizes like digital robots and unicorns. A fun way of learning the basics of geometry.
Sago Mini Town ~ This town builder is a world of fun where no wrong move can be made. Children can enjoy building enchanting sandcastles, pizza shops and stadiums with a simple drag and drop of tiles.
123 Numbers – Count & Tracing ~ The best way to get children learning is by entertaining them along the way. 123 numbers keeps their attention with fun sound effects, celebratory confetti and a friendly lion to guide them along their numerical journey. It’s free, with no ads or microtransactions.
Space For Kids – Astronomy Game by Star Walk ~ For those children who are starbound, Space For Kids offers a smartphone observatory, cinema and launch into space. All guided by a knowledgeable cow to teach your children of the wonders of the universe.
Miffy’s World ~ Based on the classic picture book and television series, now an interactive app. Little ones can explore the world of Miffy and help her fly kites, paint picture and even get ready for bed.
Google Play’s Best App of 2017 ~ Socratic
Even though every app on this list is excellent in their own rights, Socratic offers something desperately needed in today’s world. With all of the distractions of modern day technology, most notably smartphone apps, it can be hard for students to focus on their work.
This app, however, utilises love for applications in a productive way. With enough support and careful updates, this app could totally change the way people learn.
It has been a good year for apps, as they’ve proven yet again not to be just time-killers. But instead, tools to learn, develop and grow.
As technology advances and smartphones become more powerful, mobile apps can increase productivity and efficiency in our daily lives. We are extremely excited to see what new innovations 2018 will bring!