This year saw a great crop of new and updated apps to make your Android device more useful, productive and entertaining.
We’ve rounded up 40 of the best ones we tested all through 2016 – flip through our list, find your favorites and be sure to let us know which ones you’re rocking on your own device into the new year.
Communication and social
Messenger’s chat bubbles are a convenient way to view messages and respond to them without leaving your current app. But what if you could do that with all your chat services?
Enter Flychat. It works with WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram, Google Hangouts, Line, Skype and Twitter, and brings all your messages into a chat bubble interface that floats above your screen. It’s useful for folks who have contacts on multiple messaging services, and is well worth the $1 in-app purchase price that removes ads and enables deeper customization.
Messenger and Telegram now do games, but Google’s new messaging app does something even cooler: It uses AI to predict intelligible replies to whatever your contact says, and it even works with images.
Allo also integrates Assistant into its chat interface, so it’ll surface useful information cards, like restaurant recommendations when you and a friend are trying to figure out where to eat. It’s still not perfect, as it doesn’t work on multiple devices per account and must be linked to your phone number, but it’s still an interesting new alternative if you’re tired of the current lot of messengers.
I considered including Google Duo in this list simply because it’s new for 2016, but the FaceTime-style video calling app simply doesn’t have anything on the competition just yet (it doesn’t even do voice calls).
By contrast, Facebook’s Messenger has received a boatload of useful updates this year that make it a compelling choice for connecting with your friends. It now works with Android Auto, lets you make payments with PayPal, supports fully encrypted one-on-one chats, and it even offers a range of games you can play with any of your contacts without having to download additional packages.
As for video chat? It’s already been able to do that for a while, but now Messenger can also handle group video calls with up to 50 people – just in time for the holidays.
Need a spicy GIF to kill a thread or pepper a conversation? Giphy’s got you covered with its robust GIF search engine.
When 140 characters just isn’t enough for a proper rant on Twitter, Storm It is just the thing. It lets you write up a tweetstorm and automatically breaks them up into separate tweets and publishes them for you. It’ll even add a tweet count and avoid breaking up words in your text. Your tweets are easy to read and follow.