Now that we’re at the end of 2014, everyone starts to look behind them to analyse how the last year was for them. For a lot of us, it involves looking back at some of the best moments of 2014, or our picks for movies, books and games. For Google Play, it seems to be a pick of what they found to be the best apps in 2014 for Android. Well, because of that, Google has indeed made their own list of picks and recommendations for the best apps of 2014, and we’re going to take a look at them and see what cool apps we can get!
You can see the list for yourself by going into this link. Of course, being in Google Play, you can just click any of the apps to directly go to their download and install page if you wish to, along with all the information about the app. Google has actually made a pretty fair selection as fair as I’m concerned: a lot of free/IAP apps are on the list, and they are apps that are actually useful, fun to use and showcase some of the best features of Android. We have talked about some of the apps on the list before, in fact – including SwiftKey and IFTTT, so it’s nice to see that Google’s opinion sort of aligns with our own. Apart from those, there are some apps in there worth taking a look as well. For example, the TED app is well-designed, has a ton of search and talk options, and has just added support for Chromecast, meaning you can now experience your favorite TED talks in a whole new way.
Another app probably worth taking a look at is MAPS.ME, which has a really robust offline support mode. That’s something that in Google Maps is actually kind of dodgy, and it’s useful to have in case you don’t have a data access connection or just want to always have your maps with you without having to download everything again. It also has recently become free, so that’s all the more reason to give it a try if you think that’s something you’d ever need and Google Maps just doesn’t do it for you.
Some of the picks are surprising precisely because of the fact that the apps sometimes clash with Google functionality or products themselves. One such example of that is the promotion of Camera ZOOM FX, a great camera app that is targeted for imaging enthusiasts, with tons of features to appeal to a more technical and demanding crowd, but can also be used for more simple-minded pictures and users as well. Has a wide range of effects and options to fiddle with, and it really ets the best out of your camera. Considering that Google offers their very own camera app as well, through Google Camera, it kind of clashes with that, but it does reinforce the Android paradigm, at the end of the day: it’s meant to be open and just as you like it.
At the end of the day, Google’s picks are a pretty good indication that the apps are robust and sticking to the Android guidelines in some way. For example, Duolingo, which we have covered before as well, has their Test Center app featured, and it makes sense, since Duolingo has always been present as a special partner and early adopter in products such as Android Wear and even Google Glass. So, this seems like the sort of initiative that promotes some of the best app partners from Google Play and exposes some of the best features of Android at the same time: openness, integration with other products such as Android Wear and Chromecast, and excellent visual design and features. If you’re looking for an app to replace some of the functionality of your phone or tablet, you may just find something of use in here!