Thousands upon thousands of apps are released on the app store every year. Honestly, it’s almost impossible for an app to distinguish itself. That’s even true of the best apps of 2017.
It’s a shame that those best apps of the year go overlooked, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve gone through the trouble of coming over the countless apps released this year in order to find the very best of the best. From apps that make you more productive to apps that make you less productive, these are the very best apps released this year.
Best iPhone Apps of 2017
At first, the idea of a trivia app doesn’t sound that interesting. Then you realize that HQ isn’t just a trivia app; it’s a live trivia app that lets you play against hundreds of thousands of people. Even better, it lets you play for real money.
Twice a day, HQ launches a live trivia show that requires users to answer questions much faster than they can search for the answers. While the promise of winning money certainly helps the app’s appeal, it turns out that people also like competing against each other in live trivia.
We probably shouldn’t stop being impressed with translation apps, but the truth of the matter is that they’re a dime a dozen. Breaking language barriers is nice and all, but what would be really nice is a single translation app we can truly rely on.
Enter iTranslate Converse. No, it’s not perfect – nothing is – but iTranslate Converse allows you to easily exchange words across 38 different languages by speaking into your phone and flipping it to listen to someone else.
It’s a very natural interface that is bolstered by some pretty great translation software.
We spoke about Signal in our breakdown of the best messaging apps, but it’s hard to sing this service’s praises quite enough.
Signal separates itself from a seemingly endless supply of messaging apps through its promise of high security messaging. What that means is that Signal assures you that your messages and all logs of your messages will stay between you and the recipients.
For security-conscious users, Signal offers what seems to be a secure messaging alternative. Even better, Signal’s developers are constantly improving the app with updates.
Blendle is not a new app, but it is one that got much better in 2017. Besides, it’s an app that feels more and more important with each passing month.
Basically, Blendle is an à la carte news service. It essentially curates articles from multiple news services based on your preferences. More importantly, Blendle’s team recommends a variety of articles based on what news is trending and what they feel are the best articles of the day.
Blendle is a newspaper for the digital age.
Have you ever seen an app that works so well that it kind of worries you? That’s what we have in FaceApp: Neural Face Magic.
The idea of this app is simple and, admittedly, familiar. FaceApp allows you to modify your facial features and create the ideal selfie. It has the usual array of filters and effects, but what truly separates FaceApp is the way that it can convincingly alter your facial features. Want to make yourself look younger, older, or see what you’d look like as a member of the opposite gender?
FaceApp can do all that and quite a bit more.
Do you know how your messaging service occasionally recommends turning your text into an emoji? Have you ever wanted to do that with nearly every word?
That’s basically the premise of Wemogee. It says that it was made for people who suffer from aphasia (a language disorder), but it works pretty well as a fun way to turn simple phrases into nothing but emojis.
Sure, the app occasionally drops the ball on a complicated translation, but even the mistakes are oddly entertaining.
Did you ever enjoy those old Where’s Waldo? books? Did you ever wish that there was a version of Where’s Waldo? for adults?
Well, now there is. Hidden Folks tasks you with the seemingly simple objective of finding a variety of characters and objects hidden across a simply illustrated map. Unlike Where’s Waldo?, Hidden Folks’ maps are also interactive. That means you’ll have to poke around a little more if you want to find everybody.
Succeeding in this app is actually rather difficult, but it takes all of one second to understand and fall in love with.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying a 20+ hour flight and then waiting in a long customs line while a security officer looks over your extra pair of shoes…well, let us assure you that it’s an experience worth avoiding.
As that’s not practical – or legal – Mobile Passport offers the next best option. It allows users entering certain U.S. airports to pre-fill their customs information. You can then enter a much smaller customs line, show the agent the app, and usually be right on your way.
If you’re ever flying into a supported airport from another country, this app is a must-have.
Group messengers are great and all, but the problem is that it’s still almost impossible to escape the clutches of e-mail services. Inevitably, you’re still going to have to send a few out.
Missive helps make emails feel a little more like a group messenger service. It allows multiple people to pitch in on the same e-mail and read them as a group. That sounds simple enough, but where Missive really shines is in the way it allows you to better manage your inbox from a group perspective.
If you ever work on e-mails with multiple people, this is a must-have.
Whether you’re the owner of a small business who just wants to get your social media posts seen or an everyday person who just wants to get their social media posts seen, you know that you need to use hashtags to get your…well, you get the point.
Focalmark is an app that analyzes images and recommends the best Instagram hashtags for each photo. The hashtags are based on both relevance and the most popular trends at that time.
You may still wish to filter the suggestions based on your preferences, but this is a tremendous jumping off point.
There’s no shortage of good video editors out there, but good video editors that are also simple to use – and made for mobile devices – are much harder to find.
Enlight Videoleap offers an interesting solution to that problem. If you want to treat this app like an advanced video editor, you’ll find that it’s equipped with quite a few tools that allow you to do just that. However, the app really shines as a simple to use the editor that allows you to quickly edit footage on the go.
This app is a great way to learn more about video editing without being bogged down with advanced options.
If you want an even simpler video editor, we highly recommend Clips.
Clips removes a lot of the clutter and offers the video editing features that many average users might elect to take advantage of. That includes animated posters, advanced filters, title card creation, and a ton of emojis.
While we can’t recommend Clips as a genuine video editor substitute, it’s hard not to like it as a way to make social media videos just a little bit better.
Is this the best gaming app of 2017? Apple seems to think so, and we really find it hard to disagree with them.
In Splitter Critters, you are tasked with guiding a series of critters back to a spaceship. The twist is that you’ll need to cut areas using your fingers and rearrange them in such a way that allows you to create a walkable path to your goal.
The concept is easy enough to understand, but the game uses this gimmick as the basis for some truly taxing puzzles.
Calm is built around the idea that everyone just needs to relax from time to time no matter how stressful things may be.
While this app allows you to participate in guided meditation sessions of specific lengths, it also offers things like soothing sounds, adult bedtime stories, breathing exercises, and a variety of other tools designed to help you find just a little inner peace.
It doesn’t sound like much, but there’s a reason that Apple named this their best app of the year. It’s the ultimate utility tool in the constant battle against stress.
Nintendo released a few mobile apps this year, but none of them really capture the feel of a proper Nintendo game quite like Fire Emblem Heroes.
In Fire Emblem Heroes, you will guide a small band of heroes across multiple maps as they engage in strategic warfare against a variety of enemies. Fire Emblem’s grid-based movement system and paper, rock, scissors strategies helped make it a hit on Nintendo’s other devices, and those elements return for this mobile adaptation.
You may also want to check out Super Mario Run and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp if you want more Nintendo on the go.
Looking for a food recommendation app that doesn’t feel like it was written by someone with the absolute worst taste in food? You’ll definitely want to take a look at ChefsFeed.
ChefsFeed is an app made by actual chefs that is designed to point you towards the spots that people who deal with food for a living go to when they want something good to eat. Along with doing things like helping you secure the best reservations, it also provides the hottest food-related articles.
There are a ton of food recommendation apps out there, but this is the one that you’ve been craving.
Yes, yes, another to-do list/organizer. We know that you’ve probably tried them all by this point and that you’re probably starting to wonder what makes one better than the other.
Well, any.do answers that question just by using it. Basically, this app simplifies the entire “To Do” app experience while also increasing the number of options at your fingertips. That remarkable feat is accomplished via a series of smart interface options that make managing individual and group tasks a genuinely enjoyable experience.
This really might be the last to do app you’ll need for a long time.
Qapital takes the complicated experience of saving and managing money and reduces it to the simple concept of goals.
Basically, Qapital is an app that allows you to set a series of rules for yourself designed to help you achieve realistic financial goals. For instance, it allows you to dock yourself money each time that you don’t go to the gym. You can also set-up automatic deposits towards your goals through the completion of simple daily acts.
This isn’t the app you want if you’re managing an estate, but it’s perfect for those of us just looking to save a little each day.
A Normal Lost Phone is a gaming app quite unlike anything else.
This app is based on the premise that you have just found someone else’s lost phone. It then asks you to become a bit of a voyeur by diving into the owner’s text messages, call conversations, and hidden files in order to find out just who this person really was.
This is honestly one of the best and cleverest mystery games released in the last several years. It’s a must play experience for those who love to investigate.
There’s a good chance you already have Bitmoji by this point, but allow us to explain what it is just in case you’ve managed to avoid it.
Bitmoji allows you to create a personal avatar. Basically, it allows you to turn yourself into an emoji that can then be customized to rise to a variety of social and conversation occasions.
It sounds simple – it is – but the appeal of Bitmoji lies in the app’s versatility. Half the fun comes from searching the various bitmoji options available to you. The other half comes from sharing and sending them.