Review of the Top Best 2013 iOS and Android Apps

It’s the end of the year, congratulations and we made it another 365 days without crashing into the sun. We tried to stick with apps that launched in 2013, or, in some cases, the tail end of 2012. While many of the apps are cross-platform and we considered that a massively positive bullet point, we didn’t eliminate any of our top picks just because they were only on one platform or the other. Some are iOS only. Some are Android only. That’s just the way it goes.

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Cover (Android Only):

Cover is the lockscreen we always wanted without even knowing it. It figures out what apps you use most and when and automatically pushes shortcuts for those apps straight to your phone’s lockscreen at the right time. Use Gmail and LinkedIn a lot at work? It’ll catch on and have those apps at-the-ready as soon as you walk in the office. Driving? It’ll queue up Waze, or Pandora, or whatever it thinks you’ll need most.

 

Seene (iOS Only):

Poor Lytro! The oddly-shaped camera got its fair share of buzz when it launched back in 2011, with its special sensor that allowed for all sorts of neat tricks (like being able to “shift” the perspective of a photo a bit after you’ve already snapped it.) Alas, like the landfill’s worth of standalone pocket cameras that fell before it, the Lytro’s functionality has largely been replicated by mobile apps. One of our favorite apps in that group is Seene. Seene lets you take super trippy “3D” photos with just your iPhone. It actually takes a bunch of photos as you move your phone around an object, then intelligently stitches them together using all sorts of computer vision voodoo.

 

Agent (Android Only):

Agent is one of those Android apps that could pretty much never exist on iOS, unless Apple either makes some big ol’ policy changes or builds it themselves. Agent makes your smartphone smarter in lots of little ways. Battery dying? It’ll dim the screen and turn off Bluetooth. Sleeping? It’ll silence your phone, but offer up callers/texters a way to ring through in case of an emergency. Driving? It’ll reply to texts to let people know you can’t respond right now, AND remember where you parked.

 

Digg (iOS, Android):

Surprise! After a rebirth under a new owner in 2012, Digg actually started sending a decent amount of traffic around the web again in 2013. Bigger surprise: they built a mobile app and it’s actually pretty damned good. The editor-curated content provides a quick glance as to what’s popular on the Internet at any given time, while the built-in news reader is another super solid alternative to the late great Google Reader.

 

Tinder (iOS, Android):

Tinder is dating boiled down to an almost absurd level of simplicity: a single swipe. Like someone? Swipe right. If they’re not quite for you? Swipe left. If they’ve seen your photo and liked what they saw enough to swipe you to the right, Tinder matches you up. It ain’t my kind of thing (read: my girlfriend would punch me right in the schnoz), but the single folks at TC all swear by it.