There’s one thing that’s for sure, when it comes to the Pocketnow Crew, no editor is created equal. Some of us live in different countries, and therefore each of us comes from significantly different backgrounds. We all majored in different careers and once you get to know each of us, you’ll learn that we all landed in the smartphone or tablet ecosystem to satisfy certain specific and different needs. That’s the reason why some of us choose to stick with one platform, others like to switch around every now and then, and some of us are even willing to carry more than one device in order to not lose the benefits of each.
Now there’s one reality that we’ll admit, it doesn’t matter how many hundreds-of-thousands of apps each platform’s App Store includes, your usage will narrow to just around 10 apps. Some of us carry 64GB devices packed with the best games in the market, and end-up playing Bad Piggies most of the time. Some smartphone platforms are packed with enough apps to give you more than just one option for what your needs require, and others don’t even get to fit the bill in the basic native apps that would provide the services you require.
If you’re new to either smartphones or a even specific platform, choosing the right apps to fit your needs is sometimes a pleasant experience, and sometimes a hit-or-miss. Now when it comes to narrowing down which apps you’ll really use the most comes with experience. We think it’s only fair to you that we stop for a minute and give you a list of our absolute favorite apps. Those apps that we spend most of our days on, and that would most likely become enough of an argument to remain glued to a platform. We’d love to hear about your favorite apps in the comments, so let’s begin with ours:
Asphalt 7, but only on the iPhone. Mobile gaming, in some cases, has reached parity in terms of graphical performance when compared to full consoles. Asphalt 7 is a fast-paced, beautiful and fun racing game that brings hours and hours of quality gameplay to your pocket that rivals the quality you would get on a console. Oddly, only the iPhone 5 pushes Asphalt 7 to its true potential. On Android devices and even the iPad 4, performance is sub-par. But on the iPhone 5…it’s glorious!
My favorite app is Spotify. I spend a tremendous amount of time listening to music both on the iPhone and on the iPad/iPad mini so this app (and implicitly, the service) is definitely high on my favorite apps’ list. It just so happens that Spotify for the iPad is also one of the best looking apps I use.
Calorie Counter Pro is probably the app I use most often to keep track of food, meals, exercises, and so on, all necessary in my attempt to (at least try to) live a healthier life. It’s a commercial application and it’s one of the pricier pieces of software but the list of functionalities is right on par.
Bonus Entry: Camera+ not only takes the iPhone camera to a new level with added settings and flexibility but it also contains lots of post-shooting effects that can be applied to images for a unique look or to emphasize the moment, person, place, feeling or whatever you want to immortalize. It is a commercial application but it’s $0.99 well spent.
I’m the guy that carries two phones, an iPhone 5 and a Galaxy S III. Seriously why chose when you can have the best of both worlds. My apps work on each platform so here goes:
Instagram: Even before they dramatically changed their terms of service twice, I’ll admit I’m not in it for the filters. What I like about the app is your ability to share one photo on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr with just one tap. You can find me @JaimeRivera.
Since Anton already stole Spotify from me, my next app will be Whatsapp. When you have to switch smartphones all the time, it’s a real infuriating experience to have to switch from one proprietary chat experience to the next. Whatsapp is already mainstream everywhere.
And for fun, my favorite game is Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. Seriously one of the things I like most about iOS is how full it is of legacy games. I grew-up with Street Fighter, and playing any variation of a game that followed me through my teenage years will deserve praise.
Chief News Editor
Mine would be Dice Player. The one feature I really needed, that isn’t present in the default Android video app, is the ability to play files from a local network SMB share. Mounting such directories to the filesystem would be a great future addition to Android, but until that happens, Dice Player is able to navigate network shares without issue, giving me access to video without worrying about my phone or tablet’s local storage capacity.
Waze is my favorite app. It helps me get from Point A to Point B while avoiding hazards, accidents, construction, and slowdowns. It makes driving much more relaxing and according to recent reports, Waze makes driving safer, too!
Out of character for me, my favorite app of 2012 is a game, and it’s Rise of Glory. The World War I-era flight combat simulator features simple controls, very pretty graphics, a fun storyline, stirring music, and excellent atmosphere. That combination of factors makes gameplay really enjoyable, and it runs as smoothly and reliably on my Lumia 920 as I remember it running on my Samsung Focus back in 2011. About the only complaint I have is its infrequent grammatical/spelling problems, and when you’re picking nits that small, you know you’ve got a great game on your hands. This is a must-choose for anyone who likes aerial combat simulators. It’s available on Android as well.
The Bottom Line
Whatever your case may be, you’ll notice that our favorite apps list isn’t long. It’s different, but after a couple of years in this, it all narrows down to what solves your needs or desires the most.
We’d love to hear about your favorite choices. Make sure you leave us a comment with your favorites, no matter how long the list.