Best Android Apps 2019
Google may have its own opinion about the best apps that hit its Play Store in 2019, and it has exposed it in its Awards. Yet all these new, innovative, and, of course, great apps can’t embrace all the variety of the newcomers that appeared in the last year of the 2010s. We offer you this chart of the apps we consider the best.
Not that it’s a definitive top for the entire decade, because choosing out of 2.8M apps is quite a different work. But here are the apps that contributed the most to how we work, eat, travel, play, watch TV, and just connect with each other. The 2010s established Android as the major platform for various apps and the most popular OS in the world. So, here are the apps that define different categories of our digital necessities.
Not that the apps below are Android exclusives. Most of them can be found on iPhones and iPads, and even in web versions (alas, Windows Mobile and Firefox OS are already out of competition, and Huawei lingers to introduce its Harmony OS). But it’s the Android ecosystem that benefits the most from them. Here we go!
TikTok: The Most Musical Social App
Not that it’s completely new: formerly known as Musical.ly and rebranded to TikTok in 2016, it promoted the idea of social karaoke and legalized full-screen vertical videos. Why is it so popular? In fact, it’s “Internet’s Got Talent”, and everyone can boast what they are great at. Even if you are great just at lip-syncing foolish pop songs, you can put your soul into it, and here you are with millions of subscribers.
No wonder the app was downloaded about 600M times in 2019, with even more users have joined before. In 2019, it’s the third most-downloaded app (if we put aside games). In fact, in 2019, it’s more popular than Facebook (but behind Messenger and WhatsApp, also run by Facebook). Well, anyone thinking we should name Facebook the app of the year? Aren’t you sick yet? Well, then it’s TikTok.
By the way, this app ruins the myth of the Chinese Internet being mostly domestic. This app is created by Chinese developers, and now it’s taking over the world. No wonder there is an investigation about possible security risks, initiated by the US government. We guess that TikTok will be among the first apps for Harmony OS (if Huawei ever launches it), but so far, it’s an Android top app.
Glitch Video Effects: The Most Innovative Video Editor
Well, here’s the app we have in common with Google Play’s awards. Just as the name assumes, Glitch adds various effects to your videos in Shapchat’s manner, and these effects emulate various glitches. We used to hate these unwanted effects on TV and videotapes; now we run after them. And yes, this all lets you edit soundtrack and import music from your library. Be careful about copyright issues, though.
Not that this app reaches billion downloads; so far, it’s about 10M. Still, it’s great for a paid app that is $10/year (if you want to unlock pro features). By the way, it’s an Android exclusive.
It’s no coincidence that we put it right after the previous one. Glitch and TikTok can make a good combination: make your videos in Glitch, and then share them on TikTok. You won’t be the first to do this, but that won’t make your videos worse.
Google Stadia: The Best Game Streaming Service
If you always wanted to play console games on your phone without actually buying the console, here’s the solution. In fact, Stadia is a powerful remote console with unlimited cloud storage for your games. It’s also available for desktop platforms, so you can enjoy console exclusives before their release for PC.
Of course, it’s looking better on large tablets, especially if you connect a compatible gamepad (they are now widely available, following the Battle Royale madness). The app is available on phones as well, though. With it, you can purchase games, manage your subscription, set up controls, and so on.
Call of Duty: Mobile: The Best Action Game
One of the most popular action franchises on bigger platforms, Call of Duty, finally made it to mobile devices in October 2019, becoming the most downloaded game in the first week, with 100M+ downloads. The initial problems were mostly caused by this popularity – not that it was unexpected, but many players had reasons to complain. Now the issues are mostly fixed, and the game is highly playable.
Of course, the developers had to sacrifice the campaign part and focused on multiplayer instead. That was the right move. Now the game has mostly positive reviews, and new players keep joining.
Disney Plus: The Best Streaming TV Service
This fall was also the time for a clash of the titans: Apple and Disney launched their streaming services with exclusive content. Maybe Apple will one day release its TV+ app for Android like they did to Apple Music; so far, there’s a browser for that. But Disney is already here. And the mouse seems to give the apple a huge bite.
It took Disney TV just one day to get the first 10M subscribers; given that the subscription is $7/month, the outcome is great. For that money, subscribers can stream about 500 movies by Disney (including those by Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm) and 7.500+ TV episodes. There is just one exclusive project so far – the Mandalorian, but it attracted more attention than any Netflix or Apple release (for its ally is Baby Yoda, and a powerful ally it is). The app gets updates frequently, delivering a better experience.
No, we’re not crazy to call it new. But since its release in 2005 (before Android was here at all), the service has been evolving constantly. The innovations of 2019 include a built-in speedometer, an incognito mode (finally!), and also some reporting services. No wonder: Google now owns one of its rivals, Waze, being famous first of all as a social maps service. Its best features are now incorporated by Google Maps. Now it alerts you when you are approaching an incident spot or a speed trap.
Though most Android users have Google Maps preinstalled (unless they opted for some Google-free Chinese smartphone), the app remains among the most popular. Probably that’s due to incognito mode, but the rest of the features can also attract more users that used to prefer other navigation suites.
Ablo: The Most Innovative Social Service
And here comes another one from Google Play awards. Ablo is the perfect app for connecting to random interlocutors from any country of the world. Don’t worry about language barriers; they are nulled by a built-in translator. There is even more: the translator interprets your voice as you speak on video. This makes Ablo one of the most innovative social apps. And yes, you can add people as friends if you have liked the dialogue.
This app seems another take on the idea spoiled by Chatroulette, one of the naughtiest social services ever. But the creators of Ablo want it decent, so they set the basic rules that disable these types of behavior (at least, formally). If you break these rules, chances are you’ll be banned soon. So we recommend you being decent and playing nice.
By this moment, Ablo has been downloaded over a million times and has many active users. That’s another victory over boundaries celebrated by technologies and good will.
And All the Others
Of course, one cannot embrace the unembraceable. There are certainly great apps we just couldn’t afford mentioning because of limited volume. But you can feel free and drop a comment to name your favorites this year.