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12/19/2013
11:06 AM
Jeff Bertolucci
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10 Best Android Apps Of 2013

From a slick password manager to a top-notch image editor, these standout Android apps will improve your mobile life.
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First, the disclaimer: We acknowledge the inherent lunacy of hand picking the 10 best apps from a field of 1 million and counting. Even when you subtract the obvious duds -- wallpaper, jokes, and farting apps need not apply -- you're left with a pretty sizable number of worthy contenders.

Since this is InformationWeek, we tend to veer toward the pragmatic business side of things, but that doesn't mean all our picks are no-nonsense enterprise apps. This year's winners range from the expected to the eclectic, with a few surprises thrown in to keep things interesting. And rather than including top-notch selections from last year's Android top 10 list -- which you should check out, by the way -- we've gone with a fresh batch of apps this year.

Android's dominance of the global mobile market is old news, but that doesn't mean the platform has grown out of its awkward phase. There's no shortage of apps, obviously, but the tablet situation remains messy. Too many apps aren't optimized for slates -- a problem exacerbated by the motley mix of vendors, screen resolutions, and other technical factors that make the Android platform a pain for developers.

InformationWeek contributor Eric Zeman encountered this firsthand when he bought a Google Nexus 7 tablet in June. The tablet version of several apps he installed wouldn't run properly on the new device, forcing him to switch to the less elegant (on a larger display) smartphone versions.

"The tablet app experience is a fundamental problem with Android that has yet to be resolved," Zeman wrote. "Far too many Android apps are simply not designed or optimized for use with tablets."

That's changing, of course, and Android's growing share of the global tablet market is helping matters by making the platform increasingly attractive to developers. Alternatively, continued fragmentation of the Android platform -- a troubling scenario where various incarnations of the mobile OS pop up around the world -- could have the opposite effect.

According to the research firm IDC, Android tablet makers are grabbing marketshare. Samsung's slice of the global tablet pie rose to 20.4% in the third quarter from 12.4% a year earlier. Acer, Asus, and Lenovo also showed significant growth, although their shares remained in the low single digits. Apple had a 29.4% share, and that number may rise with the recent launch of the iPad Air and the second-generation iPad mini.

But never mind the stats for now. Click the image above to start our slideshow of the top 10 Android apps for 2013. Disagree with our picks? Let us know in the comment section below.

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CharlesS429
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CharlesS429,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/27/2013 | 5:03:09 PM
Map Day
Another great app from 2013 is Map Day. This simple app allows you to see how your schedule will look on a map. It will show you the estimated travel time between events and whether you should expect to be late or early. 

Check it out: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.praxical.mapday
treycent
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treycent,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/26/2013 | 9:01:58 AM
Other Apps to Consider
The   treycent   mobile   app   lets   you   voice   bookmark   photos,   videos   &   documents   and   share   with   your   friends   or   team.   You   could,   for   example,   share   spoken   questions   or   phrases   to   load   Instrgram   feeds,   YouTube   videos   or   SharePoint   documents.   Works   with   any   internet,   intranet   or   password-protected   site.   Create   your   own   siri-like   virtual   assistant.

 
GBARRINGTON196
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GBARRINGTON196,
User Rank: Strategist
12/24/2013 | 11:54:00 AM
Re: cool apps
Does ANYONE believe that any android phone encrytion is safe from either the Government (or Google for that matter)?  It will take more proof than someone I never heard of, saying, "no, Really!"
Carlos_84
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Carlos_84,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/22/2013 | 6:51:39 PM
Fart Apps
This is a great list, especially Splashtop, but I really like Compufart a new fart synthesizer that doesn't just play sound recordings and lets you make all sorts of fart sounds.  It's pretty ridiculous, but entertains the hell out of my kids.  Stuff like this is why Android will always beat iPhone for me.
Faye___Kane
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Faye___Kane,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/21/2013 | 2:31:32 PM
Re: multi page post slide shows HATE HATE HATE
==-

I agree, I hate slideshows too.  But the stuff they put in them is so damn interesting that I look at them anyway.

I don't know why tyhey use them.  A gimmick, I guess.  I only want the content, not the gimmick

-faye
anon3111685063
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anon3111685063,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/21/2013 | 9:09:30 AM
Re: multi page post slide shows
@Laurianne, one option might be to include a 'show in one page' button, satisfying both camps.  I am on a medium-speed 4G connection where the latency ranges from 80-120 ms - it can take a while to go through 11 complex pages.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
12/20/2013 | 7:30:49 PM
cool apps
Great list, thank you. Some of them were unknown to me. It's worth to keep an eye on Dashlane, TextSecure and RedPhone. We can recommend these apps to everyone in the world, specially to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Regarding the remote desktop app, I'd like to mention TeamViewer Quick Support; where instead of connecting to your computer, you connect to the phone from your computer. Awesome app for IT guys.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
12/20/2013 | 7:10:53 PM
Re: multi page post slide shows HATE HATE HATE
I second what Laurianne said. Not everyone will like the slideshow format. I don't really, but I understand why it's being done (more pages= more contend/ads) and I try to keep an open mind about it and accept it. The article is certainly worth it.

 
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
12/20/2013 | 9:11:35 AM
Re: multi page post slide shows HATE HATE HATE
John, I am sorry you don't like the slideshow format. Some of our readers find it convenient for perusing app ideas, in particular. I hope you will find other content valuable on our site. I don't expect everyone to like every format we offer but I do aim to keep you coming back for the things you like.

Thanks for the feedback--Laurianne
John Albertini
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John Albertini,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/19/2013 | 2:23:18 PM
multi page post slide shows HATE HATE HATE
Do we have to tell you for you to understand what a royal PAIN in the A slide shows are?

I refuse to view them anymore.

All so you can take credit for page hits that we NEVER look at the ads!  FRAUD!

Stop, desists, cease!  One article should equal ONE page, period!
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