As you know here at Best App Site we don’t review just any old App. In order to make it here it has to be one of the BEST Apps on the App Store. We’ve seen and reviewed hundreds of great Apps in 2012, but now it’s time to pick the BEST of the BEST! Erik Bernskiold, Jason Lykins and myself have narrowed down our favorites to provide this list of what we feel were the 100 BEST APPS of 2012!
Automilez is my favorite Mileage Tracking App for tax purposes. It not only can use your odometer reading, but also track you via GPS so that you see the route you took as well as the miles you drove. It will make tax time this year that much easier.
Facebook Pages Manager
If you have a Facebook Fan Page or two this is the App for you. It lets you do more than the standard Facebook App and most importantly let’s you comment and respond to direct messages. It lets me stay in touch with my Facebook fans easier.
A friend of mine wanted to do invoices on her iPhone. I looked for an App to recommend. I found Inovice2go to be the best in terms of features and customization options. I use it myself now and love it.
Parkmobile is an App that lets you pay for your parking without having to scrounge around for change or pull out a credit card. I’m seeing more and more meters in my area supporting this payment system. It’s fast, easy and convenient. Not to mention getting receipts for your parking is great for expense/taxes time.
PDF Expert – Fill Forms, Annotate PDFs
PDF Expert was the 1st iPad App that allowed us to Fill in PDF Forms on iPad. It’s also a great general purpose PDF viewing and storing App with Dropbox syncing support. They continued to add more syncing, editing and markup features in 2012.
Professional Percentage Calculator
I suck at figuring out percentages. Things like 27% off $139 always throw me. I looked for a Percentage Calculator and this one was the best one in terms of ease of use and interface design. The only thing that bugs me is lack of retina display/iPhone 5 display size. Definitely overdue for an update, but even as is I love it.
Scanner Pro by Readdle
Scanner Pro has all but eliminated my need for a desktop scanner these days. I can take a picture of a document with my iPhone and then have Scanner Pro flatten it out/deskew it, save it as a PDF and then I can share it our upload it to various cloud services such as Dropbox.
There are lots of Apps that let you do all kinds of things with PDFs. However, when it comes to digitally signing a document/PDF, Softsign is my favorite. It’s FAST and easy to use. Tap Insert Signature and sign. Save and done! The PDF is flattened (important for viewing on iOS in other apps) and you can share it as needed.
Square consolidated their two Apps into one. Square Register is the App you use to accept credit cards. It lets you create items to sell and it makes check out a breeze. Take Credit Card payments right from your iOS device with Square and the square card reader. No monthly service charges and comparable percentage fees.
WorldCard Mobile is one of the best contact managers and business card scanners for iPhone.
I buy and sell stuff on Craigslist all of the time. It’s like the old classified ads from the newspapers, but it’s free! Being able to do all of my posts, search for items, and respond to ads from my phone is great! Craigslist Pro has all of the great features that you would expect from a quality App of this type. Search-ability, customizable, and easy to use. It’s THE App for Craigslist users.
Sure, iTunes U is an official Apple app, but it doesn’t make it any less useful. Using the iTunes U app on the iPad, you can download courses from many universities around the world and watch in comfort, wherever you are. Why not make it a goal for the new year to learn something new?
Action Movie FX
This App is both amazing and just plain fun. You select the effect you want and then record your own clip to apply it to. The App superimposes the effect onto your video capture. It does so extremely well and can be very realistic looking. You can add a little punch to your next home movie.
Adobe Ideas is one of these drawing apps that I keep coming back to, which is why it earns a spot on this year’s best apps for me. This year, it syncs with the Creative Cloud which makes for an even better reason to use it, if you’re using Adobe’s desktop application suite.
Movies by Flixster
The Flixter app lets you see user-written reviews for movies playing in theaters and available to buy. It’s a quick way of deciding whether you really want to get the movie you are thinking about or if you are better off with something else. It’ll also give you suggestions on what to watch.
Netflix helps me try and take a break from work once in a while. On the iPad (or iPhone), you have easy access to streaming movies and TV shows from wherever you are, which is usually when you want the extra entertainment. Apart from on a TV, the Netflix app on the iPad is the place where I find myself watching it the most.
I’m sure you’ve seen some of these funny ecards around your social media circles. They are usually classic line art images with funny captions. I usually see them chuckle and move on, but I did wonder what was the source. Were they being generated from a website? I should have known there was an App for that.
Even though I don’t take the biggest interest in the stock market, there are some stocks I want to follow and being picky about user interfaces, StockTouch offers a gorgeous UI to view stocks in, which frankly is the only reason why it is on the list. Works well and looks good doing it is a recipe for success in my book.
FOOD & DRINK
Quite possibly my (Jason’s) favorite place to eat, this single App was one of the main reasons to make the jump to the iPhone. Place orders and have them ready for when you get there.
I visit Starbucks several times a week. The App is great for location info as well as seeing the menu and nutrition info. However, the main reason for this being one of my favorite Apps is that it houses my Gold Card electronically and it now supports Passbook in iOS 6.
4 In A Row – Deluxe
This game is remarkably similar to “Connect 4”. The object of the game is to connect four of the same color disks vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. Play against the computer or against a friend on a different device!
Angry Birds Star Wars
Angry Birds is the highly addictive game for iOS that has won many awards and has been at the top of the App Store downloads more times than I can count. This New version adds a Star Wards theme and it’s very well done. If you’re a Star Wars fan you have to check this version out.
Flow Free is a puzzle like game where you connect color dots without overlapping another color. Sounds simple right? It gets much harder as you go up in levels!
Throw em Balls
Very simple idea, throw the ball slingshot style into the hole. Whether it’s a basketball, soccer ball, tennis ball or snow ball the idea is the same; get the ball into the hole. Sounds easy enough but as you go up in levels the challenge gets harder. Deceptively challenging, and amazingly addictive, this game is awesome!
No best of list is complete without at least one game. Tiny Wings is one of my favorite games on the app store. It’s simple and easy to kill some time with when you need to. It’s goal is to go as far as possible before the night catches you, at which point it is game over. Try it, it’s a bit hard to explain.
Where’s My Perry?
Anyone with kids under 12 has probably seen and knows the show Phineas and Ferb. Agent Perry is a character from the show and in this game we follow him through a series of levels attempting to thwart his nemesis by manipulating water in all of it’s forms. The game is fun but at the same time educational as it teaches you about the different forms that water takes on.
HEALTH & FITNESS
Going out running isn’t my favorite task at all, however ever little bit of technology helps. Nike+ not only makes it fun by gathering stats that you can view and look at, it is useful too to see how you are (hopefully) improving with your exercise, helping you make smarter decisions too.
SleepCycle Alarm Clock
SleepCycle probably wins the award of “app I like the most, but don’t use enough”. I love the idea of SleepCycle Alarm Clock, which is to wake me up when I am the least tired. It does this by analyzing your movement patterns during the night (thanks for the accelerometer in the iPhone). It works wonderfully too!
I pretty much use Great Clips exclusively for all of my hair cuts as well as my kids hair cuts. With the Great Clips App you can find the closest great clips to you, find their hours, address, phone number, and check in! All right from your iOS device.
Although I’m more of a CVS kinda guy I have to give this one to Walgreens for being one of the first Apps to support Passbook. You can not only use the App to see your local deals, pharmacy info, photos, etc. but you can add your Rewards card to Passbook.
Ringtone DJ Pro
Ringtone DJ Pro is my favorite App for converting songs into Ringtones and Alert tones. The interface is easy and it just works!
An app that I have been using for many years, it is now much more safe to feature since it is growing outside of just Sweden. While I predominantly listen to my own music collection from iTunes, Spotify offers a larger collection for those times when my own isn’t enough. It’s simply a must have app for listening to music.
Apple Maps isn’t up to par and now Google Maps is back as a stand alone App with voice turn-by-turn directions. It fills in the gap that Apple Maps has left behind and it’s free!
Navigon North America
My favorite Turn-by-Turn GPS Navigation App just kept getting better in 2012. They added a Public Transportation option as well as several other nice little features and add ons along the way.
Sun Seeker: 3D Augmented Reality Viewer
If you’re a photographer or real estate person then you’re going to love this App as it finds the solar path, it’s hour intervals, rise and set times. Just hold up your device and pan around the area to see the view.
Formerly ReadItLater, Pocket is a much improved app this year which itself now offers a nice way of reading articles that you have saved for later reading. When you come across an article that looks nice but don’t have time to read it, save it to Pocket and keep reading when you have more time.
Hands down my favorite RSS reader for iPhone and iPad. It syncs with Google Reader and has a ton of sharing options as well as Instapaper support.
One of the (if not THE) best digital magazine Apps for iOS. Zite pulls content based on your keywords and your content rating.
PHOTO & VIDEO
The only camera App in the App Store that allows users to take uncompressed photos from their iPhone camera and save them as Tiff files. This creates what is known as “lossless” photos meaning that the photo doesn’t degrade every time you open, close and save it as JPEGS do. With a slew of other useful features, 645 Pro makes the iPhone camera, better!
Cycloramic <- My Pick for Most Innovative App of the Year
This App is amazing! It can take 360° videos of your area by actually rotating your iPhone via vibrations.
iOS now has a panoramic feature built right in. It works just fine but I’ve been using DMD Panorama for a while now and DMD is much better still. DMD is fast, really easy to use, and produces quality panoramas.
These days the “HDR” look is a very “in” style. Unfortunately using a HDR App isn’t always an option. That’s where Dynamic light comes in. Give your images the HDR look after the fact with this extremely powerful App. With tons of adjustments, control points, and options, this App is great for anyone that desires that look.
While there has been a Flickr App for a long time in the App store, it’s always lacked some features and usability that made it not quite the best to use. FlickStackr has filled that void with a full featured, customizable App for both the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as the iPad. This is hands down the best way to interact with Flickr from your iOS device available. – Jason Lykins
GeoTag Photos Pro
This App creates a GPX log while you walk around and take pictures with your regular camera. Then you can use this log in a program like Lightroom to geotag all your photos.
Voted App of the Year by Apple for 2011. This photo filter and sharing App is taking the iPhone world by storm. Take, filter, and share your photos with the Instagram community as well as your favorite social media sites.
When I post images to social media sites I tend to want to put my watermark (logo) on them. That’s great when I do it from my MacBook Pro, but when I do it from my iPhone or iPad I needed a way to add that watermark on the fly. iWatermark was the answer.
The best way to convert your images to black and white on the iOS platform. With a simple yet powerful UI, it’s one of the best designed Apps photographic or otherwise that I’ve seen.
There are lots of photo editing Apps for iPad, but none them are actually “Photoshop” except this one! Photoshop Touch has the same familiar tools of Photoshop on the desktop. It supports layers and compositing, effects, and syncing with Creative Cloud. You can even open your layered files and continue working with them in Photoshop CS6.
You can sync with your computer or email photos, but sometimes you need to just get a photo/video to or from your iDevice and that’s where PhotoSync comes in. It easily allows you to send photos/videos back and forth from your computer, Dropbox or other iDevices via WiFi or Bluetooth.
People are posting pics online everyday to sites like Instagram and Facebook. Gone are the days of posting a single pic one at a time. The younger generation seems obsessed with posting multiple pics as a collage or composite. Pic Stitch allows you to easily combine two or more photos in to one.
Organize photography locations by category, location, and type. Save photos and GPS coordinates for future return. Quick and easy site addition, great UI.
Adobe Revel allows you to sync all your photos between your iOS devices and your Mac. My favorite feature is that I can publish from Lightroom. Unlike iCloud you’re not limited to just 1,000 of your most recent photos. This service used to be a paid only service, but now there’s a FREE level.
Shuttersnitch is the closest thing we have to tethering to an iPad. In fact it does allow for wireless tethering. I shoot with my D7000 to an Eye-Fi card and those images automatically show up on my iPad 2 as a take them right in Shuttersnitch.
Now owned by Google and now FREE! This App is hands down my favorite App for editing landscape images and making tonal adjustments to images selectively.
The Photographer’s Ephemeris
Photographers are ALWAYS chasing the light. That’s what photography is all about, the light. TPE for iOS allows us to know exactly when and where the sun will set, as well as where and when the moon will rise and fall. All of this information for any day you select, and for any location you choose. This App is invaluable to photographers and if you like taking photos, you can’t afford to not have this App.
HDR is a “style” of photography these days that people either love or hate. I don’t really love it or hate it, but I do like it on occasion. I’m amazed by the HDR results I can get out of my iPhone with True HDR! I have some of these shots hanging on my wall.
In iOS 6 Apple removed the old original YouTube App. Now Google has released one that is native to iPhone and iPad and works great. Sign in your Google account and you’ll also have access to your favorites, uploads and playlists.
YouTube Capture is definitely the App you want to use if you plan to shoot a video and upload it to YouTube. It’s faster than using the built-in camera App and even offers royalty free audio tracks for your action movies.
1Password is my favorite way to have unique passwords for each site where I have accounts and yet manage them all on my iOS devices and Mac. The iOS version just got a major overhaul and it’s one of my “must have apps.”
If you own a website, you’re probably tracking it through Google Analytics. Analytiks is a beautiful app that lets you get access to some of your base website stats in a screen that gives you a clear overview. With a touch of a button, you can also get access to enhanced reports, in a very nice layout.
Bare bones, simple to do list. Create lists with this simple to use, well designed App with an Amazing UI.
Diet Coda came out together with the new Coda 2, a web development application on the Mac. Diet Coda is as the name implies a stipped down version of the mac editor on your iPad and does wonders when having to edit websites on the go. Plus the AirPreview feature is very helpful when doing development on the Mac too.
Dropbox.com is my favorite cloud based storage service and their App means that I have access to all of my Dropbox files no matter where I go on either my iPhone or iPad. I can easily download them or send download links to whomever I want. The newest version now also does automatic Camera Uploads.
I have never been much of an Evernote person, until recently. Not that I would ever rival some Evernote power user friends of mine, but I still find the new app as one of the best ways to save notes and things I need to remember in an accessible database.
Fantastical has long been available on the Mac and is a beautiful app that gives you a clear overview of your calendar and simplifies creating appointments and events. Even though it isn’t as good on the iPhone as on the computer (given Apple restrictions), it has earned a place on my iPhone and in my iPhone workflow.
As a gadget buyer, I often sell my older gear via eBay. My favorite App for creating and managing eBay auctions on the desktop is GarageSale. Now there’s an iPad version too. You can create eBay auctions with ease and best of all it’s all template driven.
GoodReader is my favorite app for keeping documents on my iPad. It lets me search the documents and keep them nicely organized too. It works not just with PDFs but many others too, making it a versatile app. – Erik Bernskiold
If you are in school, iStudiez Pro will help you keep track of courses, assignments, exams, grades and your schedule. Planning and structuring schoolwork has never been easy but with iStudiez Pro it is at least a little bit easier, and perhaps more fun too.
Markup for iPad
It’s not that I do a lot of coding on my iPad, but when out and about, it is nice to know that I can confidently pick it up, open an app and make changes to a website in case of an emergency with one of my own sites, or those of my clients’.
Description of OmniFocus is almost superfluous. You see, OmniFocus is the task manager in my life. On my Mac, iPhone and iPad, OmniFocus is there as my primary todo list. It offers some advanced sorting features, which are perfect for me, but if you don’t need as much, definitely check out Things too.
An app definitely not for everyone, ProPrompter is a teleprompter for your iPad. If you are doing any sort of video (even podcasting!) you might have found that you wished there was a way to have a cheap and easy teleprompter to help you remember what to say. ProPrompter is my favorite out of the ones I have tried. – Erik Bernskiold
Replace your bare bones Apple calendar with this customizable, customizable, searchable, and completely integrated with the iPhone this is quite possibly the best calendar App available.
“Google It” is part of our vocabulary and while Safari does have Google Search built-in, I find the stand alone Google Search App to be more useful. It now rocks with a voice search that rivals Siri.
What the Font
Ever wonder what a particular font was on a magazine ad, movie poster, or some other document? With What The Font you can find out! Using the phone’s camera you can take a photo of the words that you want to identify and load them into the App. Once loaded the App searches it’s vast database of fonts to match the font you have selected to all of the fonts that it knows. Really useful App.
Facebook finally got a re-write to use native code and is much faster than it was last year. The App still has room to grow and features to add, but there probably aren’t too many Facebook users out there that don’t benefit from this App.
Facebook Messenger is an app that I never thought I would put on this list. The past few months, I have found a use for it as there are some people I talk to frequently, over this very medium. For me, it is the least clunky way of using Facebook chat, given that I have to use it. – Erik Bernskiold
Flipboard is probably one of the few apps that I am as happy about using today as I was when the iPad first came out and I got excited about Flipboard. For me, it is the best way of looking at news from different sources, including Google Reader. It looks good and offers a relaxed experience, which makes reading up on news fun. – Erik Bernskiold
This App just keeps getting better with each update. While Facebook and Google offer “Check-Ins”, Foursquare is king! You can compete against your friends for the most points and badges. Also local businesses put deals in that you can get once you check in!
Google has continued to update this App and now it’s beautiful on iPad and iPhone. They added Communities to the App and I use it more now than I ever thought I would.
As a Twitter addict (or close enough), I like an app that helps me use Twitter in the best possible way. For me, this app is Tweetbot that presents Twitter in a nice way, integrates with the services I’d like it to (such as bit.ly and Pocket) and just generally brightens my day.
I blog almost daily and while I’ve got some favorite blogging Apps for iOS, I must admit that I’m using the WordPress App more and more. This App has come a long way since the early days when it was first released and now I use it to manage comments (including push notifications for comments), edit posts, and look at stats. If you have a WordPress blog, check it out!
MLB.com at bat
Follow your favorite MLB teams, watch games, see the play by play, and catch the scores all right from your iOS device. The best way to fill all of your MLB baseball needs from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Yahoo Fantasy Football
Follow all of you Yahoo Fantasy teams with this App. Make all of the same selections, changes, trades, and releases that you do on the desktop counterpart. Having trading, and roster adjustment power right at your fingertips is a big deal when it comes to Fantasy football.
Flight Track Pro
I fly for a living and I couldn’t imagine doing so without FlightTrack Pro keeping me updated with all my flights and gate information as well as delays. It’s a must have for the frequent flyer!
Find the closest gas station to your current or specified location, also find the cheapest gas in the same areas. Simple to use interface, and great graphics.
Picking someone up from the airport can be a challenge. Is there flight on time? How long will it take to get to the airport with the current traffic? When should I leave? Just Landed answers all that.
TripIt Travel Organizer
An app that has earned a safe spot on my iPhone is TripIt. As a fairly frequent traveller, the TripIt service helps me keep track of itineraries, booking codes and more and with their iPhone and iPad app, it lets me view the information in an easily accessible way.
Uber brings you a car service right to your iPhone. Just fire up the App, request a car, get in and go. When you arrive just get out and your credit card on file will be charged.
One of the most popular formats for compressing video files is DivX but unfortunately iOS doesn’t support DivX or .avi files natively. The amazing DEV team over at CinExPlayer has come up with a great solution. The App itself is very simple to use, the UI is great and the playback is very good. If you use .avi files, this is the App for you.
Delivery Status Touch
Sure, there are a few free apps for tracking deliveries, but each year I am happy that this one is on my phone. First of all, I’m a sucker for beautiful apps and gladly pay a little for them, secondly, it’s such a small amount for the increasing number of packages that I track every year.
Safari is great, but I use Google Chrome on my Mac and therefore I want Google Chrome on my iOS devices. This way I can have the same bookmarks and history on all devices. Google Chrome has a great UI and I wish I could make it my default browser.
IP Cam Viewer Pro
This great App lets you view your webcams right on your iOS device. I have a few Panasonic IP cameras at home and at the studio. It’s great being able to monitor with this App. They are constantly adding support for new cameras.
Store all of your passwords and personal information securely on your iOS device for free with Keeper! Password protected and secure, this App is a great free alternative to the more expensive 1Password that we love over at Best App Site.
Nightstand Central for iPad
This one goes under the category “if you are going to get one, get this one”. While I don’t use this app all the time, when I feel the need for it, Nightstand Central is the best one I have tried. It combines a very nice and soothing alarm, with a nightstand clock, all in your iPad.
Ever wonder who that random number that keeps calling is, but don’t want to answer in case it’s someone that you don’t want to talk to? Number Guru is for you. Number Guru has one of the largest databases of phone numbers of any App in the App Store and more times than not has great information about the caller.
QR Reader for iPhone
This is my favorite QR Code scanner/reader for iPhone. Not only does it do a good job scanning these codes, but this one actually lets you create your own too.
Ever have a need to access that office computer (or home computer) from somewhere else? Screens VNS on my iPad lets me do this (while looking good) in an easy way, without making a mess. Well worth the cost for its simplicity.
Stash: Private Photos, Videos, Docs, Browsing
While it’s a little easier to organize pictures into Albums in iOS 5 and iOS 6, there is still no way to arrange them in the albums, nor is there a way to password protect them from prying eyes. Stash is my goto App for the ultimate in photo and video organization right on the iOS device. It can now even pull things in from Dropbox as well as iTunes or your camera roll. It gets backed up with the rest of your data.
What did I do without Truecaller? The easy answer is: Answer a lot more telemarketing calls. Truecaller tells me who is calling and in case of telemarketers, saves me the pain of answering. Plus, it is now free too which makes it a necessity. Note: How well it works for you may vary depending on your country!
Web to PDF
There are times when I want to send someone a PDF of a webpage that I’m looking at. A screen shot just won’t do. Web to PDF is one of the few apps that can generate a PDF from a URL directly on your iOS device.