PhoneArena Awards 2014: Best apps

PhoneArena Awards 2014: Best apps
Time just flies, and 2014 is nearing a close, but just before we draw the final line, it's time to take a look back at this year and the best apps that it brought to our iPhones and Androids. That's what our Awards section is all about - picking the finest works of the year, and filtering out all the mediocre ones.

Luckily, when it comes to the best apps for iPhone and Android, the competition is tremendous and we have a large selection of apps that should get mentioned and recognized. All of them share a few common traits - they do what they promise to do well, and they run fast and smooth. These are apps in different categories and genres, and we hope that you'd be able to find something useful for yourself among them.

With no further ado, here is our selection of the best Android and iPhone apps of 2014.

#26: Litely

Price: Free
Category: Photo editing
Download on iOS

Litely is a camera app that adds subtle, film-inspired tones to your photos quickly.


#25: ProCamera 8

Price: $2.99
Category: Photography
Download on iOS

ProCamera 8 is a surprisingly simple camera app at the surface, that also hides many advanced features in a way that is unobtrusive yet easy to access. You can set ISO, shutter speed, white balance, exposure compensation, and you also have independent focus and exposure controls as an alternative control and that gives you a much deeper hold over the looks of your photograph.


#24: Photo Sphere

Price: Free
Category: Photography
Download on iOS

With Photo Sphere for iOS, you can finally create 360-degree images on the iPhone and iPad, like you can on Android, and publish them on Google Maps. With a detailed, up to 50-megapixel resolution, these photo spheres allow you to explain places to the tiniest of detail.


#23: Timeful

Price: Free
Category: Time management
Download on iOS

Timeful meetings, events, to-dos, and more, allowing you to manage everything in one place. It uses sophisticated algorithms to suggest the best times to schedule to-dos and habits throughout the day - based on your available time, location and most productive hours of the day.


#22: Minuum Keyboard

Price: $3.99
Category: Keyboard
Download on iOS | Android

Minuum is a two-headed beast. You can have it either as a conventional Android keyboard, or let it show its true colors and minimize it to a single row of buttons. You can switch between the two on the fly by holding two fingers on the keys. We felt like the standard layout is better for more elaborate typing, as there is less chance the auto-correct will monkey up more unusual words


#21: minube

Price: Free
Category: Travel photography
Download on iOS | Android

Consumed by wanderlust? Minube is a great app to help you find the ideal destination for your travels with phone galleries made by real people with their comments and tips and tricks on places.


#20: Horizon

Price: Free
Category: Photography
Download on iOS | Android

Horizon lets you record horizontal videos and photos no matter how you hold your device. Hold it upright, sideways or even keep rotating it while capturing, your captured moment will always stay horizontal.


#19: Duolingo Test Center

Price: Free
Category: Language testing
Download on iOS | Android

Millions of people have to prove their control of the English language, but testing often requires long travels, huge expenses, and stressful conditions. The Duolingo Test Center does language testing without all those annoyances. It’s also scientifically proven to have scores corresponding to scores on other English proficiency exams such as the TOEFL and the IELTS.


#18: Polaris Office

Price: Free / Premium
Category: Productivity
Download on iOS | Android

POLARIS Office has recently completely overhauled its popular PC-level Office suite for Android and iOS, introducing a clean and modern looking new interface and slashing its price to zero. Unlike Microsoft’s official Office, POLARIS Office offers both viewing and editing documents for free. You are also not limited in any way when it comes to editing - all 500 editing features and over 170 shapes are available in the mobile version of POLARIS Office, so you have freedom of editing that was usually preserved only for desktop users.


#17: Hangouts Dialer

Price: Free
Category: Dialer
Download on Android

Google has been offering a very good VoIP calling service, but surprisingly, it was only available on traditional Windows as well iOS via the Hangouts app, but not on Android. This finally changed with the arrival of the Hangouts Dialer application on Android - it allows you to make free calls to the United States and Canada, and it also offers competitive rates for calls to other destinations.


#16: Yummly Recipes and Grocery Shopping List

Price: Free
Category: Cooking
Download on iOS | Android

Yummly is one of the best cooking apps available for both iPhone and Android, but what makes it even more appealing is the filtering capability, allowing you to choose between recipes for each occasion, by cuisine (Asian, Mexican, Italian, etc), taste (sweet, sour, salty), diet (Pescetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free), nutrition (low carb, low fat, low cal, etc.), and so on.


#15: 7-Minute Workout Challenge

Price: $1.99
Category: Fitness
Download on iOS | Android

Researchers have selected 12 exercises that are performed for 30 seconds with 10 second rest intervals. This high-intensity training with little rest results in higher daily metabolism and is the equivalent of working out for over an hour - for only slightly longer than 7 minutes.


#14: Carousel by Dropbox

Price: Free
Category: Gallery
Download on iOS | Android

Carousel offers unlimited storage of your photos in the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about going over limits. It also organizes your images in a pretty and straightforward way.

#13: Uber

Price: Free
Category: 
Download on iOS | Android

Uber has started a little revolution in taxi services with its private driver service that is more affordable and often more enjoyable than a usual taxi ride.


#12: BuzzFeed

Price: Free
Category: News and entertainment
Download on iOS | Android

BuzzFeed, the source for all things vain where you can lose yourself for hours watching GIFs on all sorts of topics, brings its own app to iOS and Android that allows you to now get lost for hours browsing the articles on your mobile device.


#11: Google Camera

Price: Free
Category: Photography
Download on Android

The Google Camera app allows you to have the stock camera experience on every phone, and it brings all the nice options that some phone manufacturers sometimes choose not to include - 360-degree photospheres, the nice lens blur effect, and more.


#10: OFFTIME

Price: Free
Category: Productivity
Download on Android

With a simple idea to let you learn more about the way you use your smartphone, OFFTIME tracks the time you spend in various apps and summarizes it in nice reports. Wonder what’s making you less productive and consuming all your time? This app will have you pin-point it exactly.


#9: Lumosity

Price: Free
Category: Memory training
Download on iOS | Android

Lumosity is a set of different and entertaining memory tests that you can pass on a daily basis to improve your concentration.


#8: Telegram

Price: Free
Category: Messenger
Download on iOS | Android

2014 was the year of shocking revelations for the surveillance that we, the citizens, are being subjected to on a daily basis. Telegram Messenger comes with the simple promise of encrypting communication, keeping your texts private.


#7: Star Walk 2

Price: $2.99
Category: Astronomy
Download on iOS

Star Walk 2 is a stunning visual work directed at the stars above us. It allows you to learn more about the stellar bodies around us, the constellations, and more.


#6: Hyperlapse

Price: Free
Category: Videography
Download on iOS

Hyperlapse by Instagram brings a little revolution to stable videos. With state-of-the-art algorithms, it stabilizes the video you have recorded in a way similar to what is usually achieved with expensive stabilization rigs.


#5: Mailbox by Dropbox

Price: Free
Category: Email
Download on iOS | Android

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.


#4: Muzei

Price: Free
Category: Wallpapers
Download on Android

Muzei Live Wallpaper was released just a few days ago, but it has quickly become one of our favorite Android live wallpaper apps. Developed by Google’s Roman Nurik, the same person who created the popular DashClock widget, Muzei is different from all other wallpaper apps in that it does not ship with a preset of images or animations, but instead brings a public API allowing developers to use its modern, blur-styled interface with all sorts of third-party services like Flickr, 500px and Tumblr.


#3: Beats Music

Price: Free
Category: Music
Download on iOS | Android

Beats Music stands out with its model where the 20-million song collection is not automatically categorized, but instead it is hand-picked by music experts and arranged in playlists and catalogs to help you explore it in a meaningful way.


#2: Nokia HERE

Price: Free
Category: Mapping / Navigation
Download on Android

Nokia HERE might be a step behind Google Maps in terms of interface, speed, and presentation, but it offers one key feature - full offline maps. This invaluable asset for travelers abroad and in rural places where signal is non-existant makes Nokia HERE a life-saver in many situations. You can just download a map of the country where you want to go, and enjoy your drive / cycling without worrying about getting lost.


#1: Yahoo News Digest

Price: Free
Category: News
Download on iOS | Android

The daily Yahoo News Digest is another well-though app by the new team over at Yahoo, and with some great minds behind news curation and app development, it all comes together nicely in this app. It is informative, fast, and well-designed - one of the best places to get your place on a mobile device.

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20 Comments

1. GeorgeDao123

Posts: 432; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

Windows Phone is not mentioned.

2. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

For a reason, duh ! MS needs to realize dev aren't taking WP seriously. Let alone the best apps of year on WP even the ones which are there aren't updated for months if not a year. Popular apps like twitter, Vine and instagram haven't received update for ages. Its a dying platform. The only reason it is still alive is because its by MS and their deep pockets.

5. hemedans

Posts: 755; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

movie creator from microsoft is best video editor in all platform. i was suprised it is not here in this award. wp is best platform if you want to edit video there are so many apps for video editing. android has so many apps but only kinemaster is decent video editor other apps are rubish. also wp has lumia selfie app and lumia camera which without doubt are best in its category, with dynamic flash, fast photo capture and easy manual control which apps from android and ios can rival it? we have best youtube apps in wp like metro tube and my tube which you can choose quality of video(240p, 360p, 720p), download video and audio, listen audio in background, see likes, coment and interact with them, upload video etc. metrotube is like tubemate+videorder+official youtube app in playstore. you can mention app from android/ios which can rival metrotube/mytube there is innovative app like #1toolkit which combine many utilities apps in one app. it has torch, converters, ruler, compass and so many things it deserve to be here. if you want to know more about wp you can ask cortana she know more than me

9. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

My friend has a Metrotube on his Lumia. Can't understand the hype really, for me it's just a basic (though ugly) Youtube client that costs money.

10. hemedans

Posts: 755; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

metrotube is free, if you want to support developer you can pay, then if metrotube is ugly then you tell me in any platform be it android or ios which app can beat metrotube/mytube

12. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

LOL.....That's not actually replying to my comment. I am talking about dev and not Microsoft being not interested. Anyway, first of all, hardly anyone does video editing on a phone anyway so that's very specific and completely irrelevant to this topic. features like 'fast photo capture' are really phone's function then an app's. Irrespective of that almost all android phone offer 0 shutter capture. So still the mighty lumias are far behind. I can link you the article in which Lumia takes 10 secs to capture a photo slowest amongst competitors. I can give you atleast 100 apps which allow downloading, change of quality and plays audio in background for YT for android. So that argument is really irrelevant again. BTW, ever heard of TubeMate ? 1toolkit, you mean the app which hasn't been updated for past 3 months ? Yeah I can provide you link of hundreds on android with similar function or better then toolkit that are given more attention by developers and not just neglected. Anyways a quick search got me this:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=kr.aboy.tools&hl=en_GB Anyway, you are clearly talking about very specific apps which are hardly used by people. Apps like Vine, TWitter and Instagram have much much more users then the ones you mentioned.

15. hemedans

Posts: 755; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

why wp is not dead yet? wp is niche people who like camera and the like prefer wp. if someone like to take pictures there is high possibility to use video editor to create movee. for me video editor is very important to the platform. movie creator by microsoft is full featured video editor and not some mobile app like other apps. lumia camera use to be slow but new lumia camera which came with lumia denim red is fast, very very fast and has a lot of features. show me video of denim with lumia camera then i will believe you. lol tubemate vs metrotube?? are you joking? i use android too and i know tubemate very well, you can not compare them because tubemate is youtube mobile website with download features. tubemate cant play audio playlist in background, prove me wrong. mnhh week ago igot update of #1toolkit. and the link you provide that app is paid application and miss many features which 1toolkit has like -currency converter -protractor -level(skew) rud hyun is there for us there is -6sec -6tag -6snap -6tin i use 6tag and i havent download official instagram though it is there in store.

3. jellmoo

Posts: 2562; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Um... Shouldn't some of the controversy surrounding Uber be at least passingly mentioned?

4. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

ikr !

6. stephanbesel

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

The link for Nokia Here apparently is wrong. When I clicked, it takes me to Beats Audio. Letting you know so you can change it :)

8. Victor.H

Posts: 1055; Member since: May 27, 2011

Thanks for pointing this out, I've fixed the link now.

7. harry29

Posts: 20; Member since: Oct 31, 2014

nokia here only mentioned for android..? its on windows phone before android MR VICTOR H

13. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Maybe cause no site takes seriously a declining OS that has around 2% and mediocre app store at best?

19. Venkatramanan

Posts: 327; Member since: Aug 15, 2014

Don't bluff without using WP. You trolls convince others that WP doesn't have apps. But the fact is i did not miss any apps in my WP. I agree that WP market place for games is not good. I like WP more than my Android. First have a hands with a WP and then comment. Don't bluff..

11. N6600

Posts: 19; Member since: May 17, 2012

Is this article strictly related to Android and iOS, or the author is lame? Here is definitely on Windows Phone, too. Same applies to Telegram. Same applies to Beats Music. Same applies to Uber.

14. nasznjoka

Posts: 418; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

for keyboard i can not imagine any app better than FLESKY on keyboard category. you can type while running Plus it costs only a dollar and easier to correct mistakes

16. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Apps like PhotoMath, Project Tripod, and Preview for Developers should be WP mention.

18. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

Try harder PA cuz some apps are available on Windows Phone too.... Telegram Messengerhttp://tinyurl.com/njl6qns Uberhttp://tinyurl.com/n7wk3nq HERE Mapshttp://tinyurl.com/l9oas64 Beats Musichttp://tinyurl.com/mcdamg3

21. harry29

Posts: 20; Member since: Oct 31, 2014

hell yeah , btw we indian dont need uber app anymore , because uber service is banned here in india ( in.reuters.com/article/2014/12/09/india-rape-uber-​idINKBN0JN07Q20141209 )

20. Venkatramanan

Posts: 327; Member since: Aug 15, 2014

PA is more biased towards Android / iOS. In Particular, Samsung and Apple. If Samsung Introduce Tizen, PA will promote tizen too.

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