2015 is coming to an end and I thought I would reflect on some of the best software to hit our smartphones or tablets or mobile devices in general this past year. So i've compiled a list of about 12 of the best Android and iOS apps to hit the Play Store and App Store this past year. So let's get right into it.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is essentially a mobile version of the desktop Adobe Photoshop app. It's pocket-friendly and it features many of the features found in the desktop application like cropping, coloring correcting, and filters as well as many other adjustments for pros and amateurs. So if you like Instagram and you like photo-editing in general, you should definitely check out this app.
Apple Music just happened to be on this list as it's Apple's first subscription-based music service. It's very similar to Spotify or Google Play Music All Access and allows you to search and play pretty much whatever you like, even The Beatles. I really think Apple Music confirms Cloud-based streaming services are here to stay and purchasing music or digital content in general is going to soon be a thing of the past.
Apple News also made the list as one of my personal favorite news applications. So not only does it look super modern and elegant with Apple's new font and simplistic UI, but it works exceptionally well. It supports 3D Touch as well as the ability to search for a wide range of news sources; everything from Time Magazine to PhoneDog.com.
Cardboard Camera from Google embraces the rise of Virtual Reality. It allows you to take 360-degree images with sound. I think the app is really only as good as the pictures or scenery recorded or captured. I'm fairly new to the app myself but it does work very well and it's certainly one of the coolest apps of 2015.
Google Photos had to be on the list because earlier in the year, Google cut ties with Google+ and allowed users to upload unlimited high quality photos through the Cloud. Unlimited is always better than limited. And in regard to storage, it's great. It's a must-have app that works with iOS and Android.
HBO Now brings forth Game of Thrones to your mobile devices or Smart TVs for only about $15 a month. It's a stand-alone service so you don't need no pesky cable company to get access to Game of Thrones or Last Week Tonight with John Oliver or any other HBO series.
Inbox by Gmail
Inbox by Gmail is one of the coolest email apps I've ever used. I don't really use it very frequently nowadays mostly because I haven't invested the time to really adopt it over the traditional Gmail app but that doesn't mean it's bad. It's actually a very well-organized app that sorts emails into various tabs like Purchases, Promotions and Trips. You can view all your reminders here as well. I think overall, it's a great email application that I recommend for anyone who doesn't receive a ton of emails from all sorts of different companies or people. Or for anyone who has the time to sort out all of your emails with this app because you're going to need to invest some time to use this app.
Microsoft Word used to be just a desktop app for Windows machines. Then it became bundled with Office 365. Now it's a stand-alone free service for Android and iOS devices that can be linked with OneDrive syncing data from one device to another over the Cloud. But regardless of what you can link it up to, it's one of the most advanced free productivity apps on the market.
Office Lens is a very similar app to Microsoft Word as it's a Microsoft app designed for productivity. Office Lens trims, enhances and makes pictures of whiteboards and docs readable and saves them to OneNote. You can convert images to PDF, Word and PowerPoint files as well. Basically, it's a really powerful scanning app that just works very well.
Pocket is a very cool app. It lets you save, discover, and recommend interesting stories on the web. If you've ever come across an article, a video, or a link in general that you want to read or watch later, you can save it to Pocket. Pocket will sync all your saved stuff across your phone, tablet, or computer for you to come back to it whenever you like; even when you're offline.
Samsung Pay is unique to Samsung devices but it made the list because it does mobile payments right. It's reserved for the Note 5, S6 edge, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy S6 edge+ right now. Not only does it use NFC to pay for things with your mobile device but it also works with MST or Magnetic Secure Transmission technology, which emulates a magnetic stripe card. So with MST, a device placed close to a card reader can send it magnetic data allowing you to pay for stuff pretty much anywhere.
YouTube Gaming is an app designed to bring you access to YouTube's new gaming section. It features gaming videos and live streams including gameplays, reviews, speed runs, trailers and more. I think if you're a fan of gameplay videos, then this app is a must-have because it's just like YouTube but catered to gaming videos.
With that last one, those are our favorite apps for 2015. obviously there's a ton of apps that couldn't quite make the top 12 list including a bunch of games that I'm sure a lot of you enjoyed this past year. If you have any suggestions for apps and games that you think others will enjoy, leave them down below in a comment.