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.
Whether you’re an iPhone mom, an iPad dad, or an Apple-agnostic type who prefers Google’s Android operating system, your kids just know you as the one who buys the apps. However, with more than 1 million smartphone apps available across Apple’s iTunes Store and the Google Play market, where do you even start to find the best ones for your kids?
Amelia and Terror of the Night is the best answer for this question. This application is an extraordinary, quirky interactive story book app not only for children. It stands out for its visually stunning presentation and interactivity. Not only in art style but also in unique 3D effect and animations.
When someone says their game is for free, there’s always going to be a catch – either it’s merely a demo for something larger, or there are multiple strings attached in an effort to guide you towards their In-App Purchase store. While the former is something we’re used to, the latter is still a sore point for many gamers as developers often strip back their game, holding back gameplay behind artificial walls (often through extended waiting periods).
Middle Manager of Justice by Double Fine and Dracogen still holds to the tried-and-true management style of gameplay, but while waiting can be involved, the game does something special – it remembers your progress, allowing you to change what you’re doing at a moment’s notice.
App store Link: Partity
Recently, I came across a new physics game – “Partity” which pretty much caught my attention. I wasn’t able to find any review of this game, probably because it was released only a week ago, so I decided to write the first one.
You don’t get much information about it from the description in the app store, so at first, I didn’t really know what it was going to be. The main idea is to get the game element – a particle – from the beginning of the level to a portal at the end. To control the particle, you create forces by touching the screen, which pull the particle towards it. I will describe the handling a little more, later. There are six sets of levels in the game which I had to unlock by collecting quarks in the levels.
Lumigon by Henry Kim is a nice iPhone endless runner game which kept me coming back round after round thanks to its rock-solid and responsive controls.
The story of this game talk about Pina and her adorable dragon Purumi, as they venture into the wild and mysterious world of Vanster. Collect moon fragments, called Lunas, and strengthen Purumi to unleash his super cute abilities! Lumigon is a casual running adventure game with a cute twist and a simple but charming story.
Lumigon is attractive players because none of story levels are endless. Explore this cute and memorable tale through ‘Story mode’, where you follow alongside Pina and Purumi as they collect all the pieces of the shattered moon. Play ‘Survival mode’ and show off to your Facebook friends by getting top score!
Let us conclude this one before we write the actual concluding part. There’s no question of hating Dead Trigger. We love it and, we bet, you’ll love it too!
It’s difficult to find the right adjective to define this masterpiece. This arrives as a savior, when you are left stranded on a deserted island. Honestly, we had lost hope of seeing a game worth writing about, after the last few debacles.
Dead Trigger comes in as a breath of fresh air, when we needed it the most. The game that is available on iOS and Android for a small fee is already creating waves. The gameplay is simple – you are stuck in a city full of zombies, whom you have to blow up to move ahead. This, we agree, doesn’t sound exciting and reminds of other shooting games. However, once you’ve played it, you’ll realize that Dead Trigger is in a different league altogether.
Here at TUAW central, the third anniversary of Angry Birds caught our attention. These delightful scamps — bird and pig — have now been with us for the average lifespan of the mosquitofish. Admittedly, the now-elderly pigs are increasingly taking fiber supplements in addition to seeking counseling for high stress working conditions and ornithophobia.
If your need for all things Angry and Birds cannot be sated by an ever-growing range of spinoffs (latest titles include Angry Bird Accountancy and Angry Bird Oral Hygiene, while fighting off the inevitable onslaught from competitors Angry Daleks, Borg Birds and Mildly Dyspeptic Angelfish), rejoice. Developer Rovio has announced John Cohen, of Despicable Me fame, will produce an Ancient Birds Angry Birds movie. David Maisel of Iron Man will produce.
The dramatic tension between pigs and birds? Well, we’re just waiting for the Academy Award on this one.
Here’s some impressive (if anecdotal) evidence that consumers are going gaga for the iPad mini. Mobile advertising platform Millennial Media says that the tiny tablet has seen a big increase in the interest level surrounding it since launching last month. According to the company’s data, views of ads for the iPad mini increased by 28 percent every day in November, something that’s lead Millennial Media to declare the device a “game changer.”
To provide some perspective, the company noted that following its launch in November 2011, the Kindle Fire — no slouch in terms of popularity itself — saw a 19 percent increase in ad impressions on its network each day during its release month. The comparison prompted Millennial Media to predict a strong holiday 2012 season for Apple, but we don’t think you need an MBA to know that’s a given.
FileMaker Go For iPad And iPhone Tops 500K Downloads, Points To The Future Of Custom iOS Business Solutions
Apple subsidiary FileMaker is an unusual, often overlooked part of the Mac maker’s empire, one that has been around almost as long as Apple Computer itself. The database management software hasn’t been cooling its heels, however; it has consistently been improving upon its mobile native iOS apps since the iPhone version’s introduction in 2010, and that has resulted in impressive user growth: to date, over 500,000 iOS device owners have downloaded FileMaker Go.
For the uninitiated, FileMaker is a tool that lets users create management systems for sales information and leads, medical records, inventory, project management and more. It’s a highly customizable database management system, that allows businesses to basically build their own solutions relatively quickly, starting either from templates or from their own data stored via Excel spreadsheets. With FileMaker Go, the company initially brought a means for its users to access all of that stored information on mobile devices; now, FileMaker VP of Marketing and Services Ryan Rosenberg says the vision has expanded, and is much more about showing businesses it’s possible not just to access pre-set productivity tools on the iPad and iPhone, but also to build their own, tailor-made for their own specific needs.
“With FileMaker, since it’s a platform for creating solutions, we find commonly people have multiple solutions with FileMaker [unlike with single-purpose apps],” he explained in an interview. “And so people will deploy it for one thing, and then they’ll start layering other solutions on top of that, because we’re a tool for creating solutions, we’re not a solution in and of ourselves.”
FileMaker essentially makes it possible for companies to go beyond using the iPad or iPhone as a way to simply access desktop content in a format that’s fit for mobile consumption. Instead, Rosenberg says that businesses are now just beginning to realize that they can create something totally unique on iPad that’s designed just for their business – a canvassing system for door-to-door surveys, for instance, or a sales tracking tool made for floor staff at a retail outlet, with fields created on a per-location or per-region basis.
“We’re very excited because we think this is just the beginning”, he said. “We know from when we talk to our customers that they’re very excited about taking the use of these devices beyond simply personal productivity, to creating custom solutions for them. We think we’re at the beginning of the curve of creating these custom solutions for organizations, and we want to help them do that.”
FileMaker has been around almost as long as Apple has, but just like Apple, the company isn’t content to stand still, and its mobile success is a reflection of that. I agree that businesses are still at a very early stage in terms of how they implement and use mobile devices, and FileMaker’s flexibility definitely puts it at the experimental forefront of what we might see next in terms of how businesses use iPads and iPhones in the field.
China Unicom announced that it received orders for more than 100,000 iPhone 5s on its first day of pre-sales, according to a report on Sina Tech. A subsidiary of rival wireless operator China Telecom said that it had received pre-orders for more than 5,000 units.
The lag between the iPhone 5′s U.S. and China release dates was thanks to the wait for final regulatory approval from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Apple announced last week that the iPhone 5 will be available in China (and 50 other countries, including Brazil, Russia and Taiwan) on December 14. The iPhone 5 has been available in 47 countries, including the U.S., UK, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore, since September 21.