As 2012 comes to an end, Google has released a list of what it believes to be the best apps of the year. With most available for both Android tablets and smartphones (and iOS devices, as well), the list highlights services ranging from those that deliver the best mobile shopping experience to those that help users manage their personal finances.
While some of the apps launched in 2012, others were simply updated to achieve the best combination of utility, beauty and accessibility in Google's eyes.
The organizer application Evernote, which lets users write notes, take pictures and record memos to stay on top of everything in their lives, made the cut thanks to a recent update that brought some major improvements to the service, including support for Evernote Business.
Staying in line with managing life's needs, Mint.com's Personal Finance app got the nod of approval from Google as one of the most vigorous, "feature-rich and intuitively designed" services available to help users keep tabs on their savings.
Updated less than a week ago, Pocket from Read It Later now lets users save articles on paid sites, in addition to content from other publications, to read offline, making it one of the Internet giant's favorites for this year.
Google also highlighted the Series Guide Show Manager app for its practical design and Ancestry.com's offering for its 2012 design overhaul, which delivered new functionality.
Expedia was also recognized for its use of globally relevant travel tools and detailed tablet experience, while Pixlr Express was noted as a new photography app that provides a plethora of editing and photo-correction tools for users.
Tapping into the creative side, Fancy allows users to share their personal style, while offering a fresh outlook on the world of online fashion, according to Google. Of course users can save their favorite pins of clothing, recipes and more from anywhere using Pinterest's built-in sharing system, which helped make the application one of Google's top choices for 2012.
Zappos garnered the "best in mobile shopping" title in the Google Play store, thanks to its elegant new interface for smartphones and tablets.
Kids can enjoy one of the most popular fairy tales on a mobile device via Grimm's Snow White app, a well-executed storybook with a happy ending according to Google. And while children get lost in the fantasy world created by the Grimm brothers, parents can indulge their intellectual side with talks and lectures from some of the world's most interesting scholars on the TED app.
With more than 700,000 apps to choose from in Google Play, the top 12 applications of this year are surely not alone in offering users great functionality and an easy-to-navigate design. Though with so many choices, sometimes an expert opinion on the best services can be a good launching point!
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