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Best Android apps of 2013


December 24, 2013

Gizmag breaks down some of our favorite Android apps of 2013

Gizmag breaks down some of our favorite Android apps of 2013

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2013 was a good year for Android. But what would that new HTC One, Moto X, or Galaxy S4 be without some great new apps? Join Gizmag, as we break down some of the top Android apps of 2013.


Google Hangouts combines Google chat, Google+, and SMS into one messaging hub

Google rolled out its Hangouts central messaging hub in 2013, which replaced the old Google Talk chat app. Now your Google+ conversations, text and video chats, and (in Android 4.4 KitKat) SMS all live in one place.

Google Play (free)


Google Helpouts matches helpers with seekers of help

As Google's other big "H-outs" release of the year, Helpouts connects people seeking help with experts offering help – all through the magic of video chat.

Google Play (free)

Android Device Manager

Android Device Manager helps you find a lost Android device

There's no shortage of "Find My Phone" type of apps on Android, but 2013 saw Google release its own integrated tracker.

Google Play (free)

Buy Me a Pie

Buy Me a Pie is a slick and simple grocery list app

Grocery apps may not be the sexiest category of apps, but they can be extremely handy for families keeping their shopping requests in sync. Buy Me a Pie is a simple and user-friendly grocery app that made its way over from iOS.

Google Play ($1)

Google Keep

Google Keep is the search giant's Evernote rival

Google's note-taking Evernote rival, Keep, is fast, simple, and tied to your Google Drive account.

Google Play (free)


Moves turns your phone into an always-on fitness tracker (at the expense of battery life)

Interested in fitness tracking devices, but wondering why your phone can't do the same thing? That's the idea behind Moves, which automatically logs all of your daily movement. The only thing to keep an eye on here is battery life.

Google Play (free)


Google Chromecast turns your phone into a remote for the $35 TV streaming device

Google's US$35 Chromecast streaming device offers nearly as much functionality as set-top boxes that cost two to three times as much. The Android companion app sets up your connection and turns your phone into a remote control for the device's compatible streaming apps.

Google Play (free)

Cover Lock Screen (beta)

Cover is a home screen replacement with a unique twist

This launcher (home screen) replacement monitors which apps you use at different locations (home, work, in the car) and puts them front and center. Its swipe-based UI can also let you peek into apps without fully opening them.

Google Play (free)


Botify can display your phone's notifications on compatible car stereos

Ever wished you could get Android notifications on your car's stereo? Well, as long as yours supports AVRCP 1.3, then Botify will show them as text or even read them aloud while you're driving.

Google Play (free)

Rayman Fiesta Run

Rayman Fiesta Run brings Ubisoft's wacky platforming hero to Android for a second go

The follow-up to 2012's Rayman Jungle Run, Fiesta Run continues the series' tradition as one of the best running games on mobile devices.

Google Play ($3)

Ridiculous Fishing

Ridiculous Fishing lets you blast fish with a shotgun

An instant arcade-style classic, Ridiculous Fishing lets you snag the big one, reel it in, and blow it to Timbuktu with your 12-gauge.

Google Play ($3)

Swype Keyboard

Swype has been around for years, but just hit Google Play this year

The Swype trace keyboard has been around for years, but in 2013 it finally exited beta and hit Google Play.

Google Play ($2)

Fleksy Keyboard

Fleksy is an alternative keyboard designed for typing without looking

It isn't for everyone, but Fleksy is another alternative keyboard that has a gorgeous layout and boasts of accurate auto-correction – even if you aren't looking at your phone. Fleksy even has an invisible keyboard option, for the truly brave souls.

Google Play (free)


Ingress is an augmented reality game, where you can scout real-world locales to help save ...

Google's Ingress is augmented reality at its nerdy best. Travel to real-world locales and use the app to capture bases and help your side (the Enlightened or the Resistance) in its ongoing struggle for the future of humanity. And hey, you even get to help improve Google Maps in the process.

Google Play (free)

Camera Awesome

Camera Awesome is a full-featured camera app that made the leap from iOS

Smugmug's full-featured camera app has been popular on iOS for a while, and it jumped to Android in 2014.

Google Play ($3)


Krome puts Android notifications into your PC's Chrome browser

Ever wished you could get your Android phone's notifications on your PC? Krome lets you do just that, pushing them to your desktop or laptop via a Chrome browser extension.

Google Play (US$1)

Microsoft Remote Desktop

Microsoft Remote Desktop is a top-notch remote access app for Android

It's hardly the first remote desktop app for Android, but Microsoft's just might be the best. Just remember that you'll need a Windows Professional or Windows Server-running PC for the other half of this equation.

Google Play (free)

Carbon for Twitter

Carbon for Twitter brings a dark theme to your 140-character masterpieces

One of the most eagerly-anticipated Twitter clients for Android, Carbon's dark theme, simplicity, and unbeatable price (free) combine to make it one of your best options.

Google Play (free)

Helium - App Sync and Backup

Helium lets you backup Android apps – no root required

While we're focusing on apps named after periodic table elements, let's not forget Helium. It's an app backup solution for Android that doesn't require root.

Google Play (premium version requires separate $5 license app)

1Password (beta, invite only)

If you can snag an invite, the 1Password for Android beta brings the popular password-stor...

You'll have to sign up and wait for an invite, but AgileBits' popular password storage client for iOS, Mac, and Windows is finally getting a full-fledged Android client. We've been testing it and are happy to see the app become truly multi-platform.

Photoshop Touch for Phone

Photoshop Touch for Phones brings the tablet version's editing suite to smaller screens

It isn't full-blown Photoshop, but it's the closest you'll get on a smartphone. About the only downside here is that owners of Photoshop Touch for Tablets will have to make another purchase to enjoy it on their phones.

Google Play ($5)

The rest?

This is just a smattering of some of the great Android apps that launched in 2013. What did we miss? Hit up the comments below to let everyone know!

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin

I do tech support for a major cell phone carrier. For my droids, I use "App Backup and Restore" by Infolife LLC. You have to have an SD card, but it's free. Ran 17 apps back to my phone (plus the app data) in about two minutes.

I've used this on probably 2000 droids by now with about 2 failures. Of course by the time I get the call, something is already wrong.

The other I really love is "Swiss Army Knife". A free multifunction app that includes a magnifying glass, timers, stopwatch, bubble level, compass, two calculators ( a normal one and one just for conversions), and a few other things. 2.3 phones with FF cameras get a mirror.

28th December, 2013 @ 07:39 am PST

VoiceofReason, thanks for that, the swiss army knife app is great.

Denis Klanac
30th December, 2013 @ 02:46 pm PST

My favourite app is Speaktoit Assistant. I use it more than any other and it runs circles around Siri for a voice activated assistant. You can say "If I say xxxxxxxx, you should say yyyyyyyyy" and it will get it. Makes for fun if you ever hand it to a guy at a party and ask them to try it because mine's set to female assistant and so it's predictable what they'll ask and you can put in funny responses. It will accept swearing and use it back at you if appropriate.

Also opens apps, takes text messages, etc, etc.

12th January, 2014 @ 08:57 pm PST
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