Free and paid – Best Android Apps 2013. The open source nature of Google’s OS means there are plenty of fantastic apps for Android to be found. And most of the good stuff on Android is free, thanks to the work of developers who do it for love alone.
So here’s our pick of the top free Android apps you should install.
If you’ve just bought a new Android smartphoneor tablet and looking to pack it with the finest app offerings on Google Play, each month T3’s app experts will bring you the very best free and paid for Android apps available right now. Here’s what delights we have discovered this month.
There are many Twitter apps on Android – and Twitter itself shook up the scene with the launch of its own-brand app – but we’re sticking with Seesmic. Offering support for multiple accounts, a home page widget showing latest tweets and an incredibly slick and professional design, it’s one of the finest examples of app development out there today.
2. Facebook for Android
Facebook for Android is lacking in features compared to Facebook itself, but a recent update added Inbox support to the Android app, finally allowing its users to communicate in almost real time. The app’s fast and stable, with a simplicity that reminds you of the old days when using Facebook used to be bearable.
3. National Rail Enquiries
After the original free, third-party National Rail apps went paid-for, National Rail has finally brought out its own free app. National Rail Enquiriesenables you to check live train times, plan your journeys, and get notifications of delays. On first use, the app prompts you to enter a home and work train station, and then you can use the ‘Get me home’ button to see the next available trains.
4. UK Jobs
Hey, times are hard and you’ve got to pay for your oppressive monthly mobile phone contract somehow. Offering a fully searchable database of current UK job vacancies, UK Jobs, which pulls in its data from independent employment site 1 job.co.uk is, a slightly cumbersome but useful and non-governmental tool.
Microsoft has teamed up with developer SEVEN to offer an official Hotmail app for Android, which gives users a simple, clean interface, push notification support and even lets you manage multiple Hotmail accounts from within the app. If your email needs haven’t yet been assimilated by Google, it’s a useful option. It’s since been rebranded as the Outlook app, in keeping with Microsoft’s changes to its mail site.
- Readmore: Top 200 best Android apps 2013
6. Google Sky Map
A stunning app that renders Patrick Moore obsolete, by using your phone’s orientation tools to give you an accurate representation of the stars and planets on your screen. Point your phone at the sky, then learn what constellations are visible and if that’s a UFO or just Venus. Google Sky Map even works indoors, if you’re not keen on getting cold.
The stunning augmented reality app Layar has recently gone commercial, adding an online shop that allows users to buy AR content such as travel guides, local house price apps and much more. But you’re still able to use the numerous free Layers to pop data up over real-world locations, delivering a satisfying futuristic experience.
The social media darling Foursquare is represented in fine form on Android, with the Google app offering easy one-click check-ins, integrated Google Maps for a seamless Google-branded experience and home page shortcut options to all your favourite places.
9. WordPress for Android
WordPress for Android started out as independent creation wpToGo, before WordPress decided it liked it so much it bought it up – hiring the maker to develop it in-house. It’s very feature-packed, with the latest version offering full integration with other apps, letting you spin content and send it directly to the app for easy updating. It could do with more image insertion tools, though.
10. Google Goggles
A bit of a novelty, in that Google Goggles lets you take photos and have Google analyse them and come back with a search results page for what it thinks you’re looking at. However, the app’s main use is as a QR code reader, which lets you scan barcodes for quick access to apps and whatever data people choose to embed in the odd little data squares.