10 Best Android Apps Of 2012
Android Apps: Top 10
Nobody's Top 10 list is the same, naturally, and your picks may differ from ours. But there should be little argument that Android as a mobile platform is booming. In a December 10 interview with Bloomberg News, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt boasted that Android grabbed a commanding 72% of the global mobile OS market in the third quarter, and compared today's Android-iOS battle with the Windows-Macintosh desktop donnybrook of years past.
"This is a huge platform change; this is of the scale of 20 years ago -- Microsoft versus Apple," Schmidt told Bloomberg. "We're winning that war pretty clearly now."
OK, enough with the bragging, already. Sure, Android's domination is apparent -- 2nd place iOS has a relatively paltry 14% of the global market -- and Google's mobile platform has reached parity with Apple in the apps arms race. (Both are north of 700,000.) But Android is plagued by fragmentation, with a dizzying array of devices running various incarnations of the OS. For instance, just over 50% of Android devices still run Gingerbread (Android 2.3x), which first debuted two years ago -- yep, several eternities in the mobile market.
Things are improving, albeit slowly. Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0x) runs on 27.5% of Android devices, and the newer Jelly Bean (Android 4.1 and 4.2) runs on 6.7%.
Why does fragmentation matter so much? Because the newest, coolest Android tools -- including one from Google that we spotlight in the slideshow below -- require the latest version(s) of the OS.
One important point about our Android picks: Like their iOS counterparts, they didn't necessarily have to debut in 2012, but rather had to fulfill a particularly need and do it well.
So here they are: The Top 10 Android Apps of 2012. Disagree with our choices? Let us know below.