Mobile devices open up your world – both personal and work – and provide easy access to a wealth of knowledge and capability. But with so many apps available and more and more added every day, it can be a bit overwhelming to figure out which are must-haves and worth your time and which are duds. With the end of the year fast approaching, the staff at Google Play has made their picks for the best Android apps of 2014.
2014’s Hottest Android Apps
Click through for 18 of the best Android apps for 2014.
(OFFTIME) lets you create profiles that block your calls, texts and notifications. You can even restrict access to any apps, so you can make sure you don’t get distracted and break free. Make exceptions for the people important to you, or send out custom auto-replies that let others know when you’re back on the grid. And you won’t miss a thing – check out the activity log for a comprehensive list of everything that happened while you were in your zone.
Lumosity is designed by neuroscientists to train memory, attention and more. With foundations in the study of neuroplasticity, Lumosity games are used in research, and have been incorporated into studies done by top scientists worldwide.
Locket is the intelligent lock screen that brings you the top stories every time you wake up your phone. Locket learns your interests and habits to bring you contextually relevant content on your lock screen. The more you use it, the smarter it gets.
Break the mold of mundane messaging with lettrs. Get creative with unique styles and your custom signature. Share your writing, poetry and artistic skills privately or with the world. Connect with global pen pals and translate up to 80 languages.
Video Collage Maker
Video Collage Maker allows you to select photos to create a short video or photo collage. It includes sound tracks, slideshow styles, over 100 predefined layouts, stickers, different fonts, backgrounds and filters.
The BuzzFeed app is a great way to stay up to date with the latest viral videos, images, links and buzz while on the go. Features the BuzzFeed.com front page, most viral posts, as well as LOL, WTF, OMG, Cute, Geeky and Trashy Feeds.
Pandora Internet Radio
Great music discovery is effortless and free with Pandora. Just start with the name of one of your favorite artists, songs, genres or composers and they’ll do the rest. It’s easy to create personalized stations that play only music you’ll love. Tap into an entire world of music, including almost a century of popular recordings – new and old, well known and obscure. Create up to 100 personalized radio stations with your free account.
Skype Qik: Group Video Chat
Skype Qik (say “quick”) is a free (mobile data rates may apply – Wi-Fi connection recommended) video messenger made for capturing moments and sharing laughs throughout your day. Set up a group and immediately start shooting and swapping videos. Send something to crack your friends up, or show off a new dance move — whatever you want. New messages are added to a chat that you can watch like a movie with a single tap. Qik even lets you erase your video right out of the chat.
Todoist: To-Do List, Task List
The Todoist to-do list app is there wherever you need it: on your phone, tablet, desktop, browser, Gmail and more. Todoist works across all your devices and platforms (mobile, desktop, web browser and email) so you can boost your productivity and achieve more each day.
The Economist Espresso
The Economist Espresso is a new morning briefing from the editors of The Economist. Delivered to your smartphone or inbox before breakfast, it tells you what’s on the global agenda in the coming day, what to look out for in business, finance and politics and, most importantly, what to make of it.
Mailbox is a completely redesigned inbox that makes email light, fast and mobile-friendly. Quickly swipe messages to your archive or trash. Scan an entire conversation at once with chat-like organization. Snooze emails until later with the tap of a button — they’ll return to your inbox automatically so you can focus on what’s important now.
Carousel is a gallery app that’s the faster, prettier, all-around-better way to view the photos and videos you keep in Dropbox. Keeping track of your photos can be tough. Carousel lets you view all the photos and videos from your phone and Dropbox in one place, organizes them automatically, and backs them up to Dropbox.
Wunderlist helps millions of people around the world capture their ideas, things to do and places to see. Whether you’re sharing a grocery list with a loved one, working on a project, or planning a vacation, Wunderlist makes it easy to share your lists and collaborate with everyone in your life. Wunderlist then instantly syncs between your phone, tablet and computer, so you can access your to-do lists from anywhere.
Viadeo allows you to connect with more than 60 million professionals worldwide. Using the Viadeo app, you can grow your professional network, take control of your online image, and take charge of your career!
Use the Uber app to request a ride and get picked up within minutes. On-demand service means no reservations required and no waiting in taxi lines. You can compare rates for different Uber options and get fare quotes in the app. Pay with Google Wallet or PayPal, or add a credit card to your secure Uber account so you never need cash on hand.
Sunrise is a free calendar made for Google Calendar, Exchange and iCloud. With an amazing design, Sunrise is a new experience that will make your life easier.
Expedia Hotels and Flights
Begin your next journey with the Expedia app. Take advantage of mobile-exclusive deals and book your trip with just a few taps. Access your itineraries on the go and rest easy knowing that you’ll be alerted to important information like flight delays and hotel check-out times.
Frontback – Free
With Frontback, you take a photo with the front camera, another with the back camera, and share them both in a single image. Frontback is a delightful way to tell a story with photos. Frontback has a community of over a million people who love being creative or just sharing their daily life.
Shazam – Free
The Shazam app helps you identify music and TV — in seconds you’ll know the name of any song, or more about what you’re watching.
Disney Movies Anywhere – Free
With Disney Movies Anywhere, you can enjoy your Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies anywhere you go. It’s free to join — no subscription needed. And when you sign up and connect your digital movie accounts, you get a free movie. You also get exclusive videos, special offers and reward points for all your eligible digital purchases. And it’s great for kids, with parental controls built right in.
Cartoon Network Anything – Free
Cartoon Network Anything is loaded with tons of games, videos, polls, quizzes, trivia, puzzles and more. With new stuff added all the time, you never know what you’re going to get next.
Hulu – Free
Share the joy of the seasons with friends and family this holiday and watch Hulu on your Android mobile device for free. Many popular shows are available day after air and, depending on the show, you can watch multiple episodes from the current season.
Craftsy – Free
Unleash your creativity with Craftsy. Find out how to bring ideas to life and create projects that make you proud. Craftsy has more than 500 online classes in photography, cake decorating, cooking, painting, drawing, quilting, knitting, sewing, embroidery, jewelry making and beyond, so you can gain the skills you need to succeed.