Nearly six years after the debut of the iPhone, mobile applications are beginning to mature. The best mobile apps of 2012 – with a few notable exceptions – are more about refined practicality rather than anything revolutionary.
So while this year’s list lacks medium-defining breakthroughs like Instagram and Shazam, it showcases new and meaningfully updated apps that simply work better than their competitors. In this age of algorithmic aggregation, we also salute titles that have a decidedly human touch.
Of course, any attempt to rank the “best” apps within any period of time will be questioned and debated. Ask 100 different people to rank their favorites, and you’ll likely get 100 different variations.
The apps we selected were either released or significantly updated between January 1 and December 21 of this year. Titles that debuted on iOS or Android in 2012 that were previously available on another platform are eligible for inclusion. All of our selections were sourced, ranked and finalized by Appolicious advisors and members of our community. In all, about a dozen members of the Appolicious editorial team offered their favorites. We also surveyed the most active and influential users of Appolicious sites and applications. We did not account for the number of app downloads or overall popularity. Our qualitative assessment is based primarily on the production value, utility and creativity baked into each cited application.