Cast your vote for the best Android apps released in 2018!


This is the featured image for the best fan vote of 2018 android apps!
We're nearing the end of 2018 and that means it's time to judge the best things. Our researchers and reviewers have done a great job with the Best of Android 2018 for smartphones. However, there are still two other major categories that still need judgment. They include apps for Android and games for Android. We do not have a super scientific method of measuring applications. Different apps do different things and attract different people, after all. So we could not immediately figure out a way to determine the best Android apps. Instead, we will ask you!

Below is a massive poll with the top 20 Android apps as reduced by our editors. They include launchers, browsers, productivity applications, keyboards, security applications and even a game emulator, if you can believe it. To help keep expectations going, our criteria for this list include:

  1. Applications (or services) are 2018 or at least the last weeks of 2017. We cut the wait time in early December each year.
  2. Developers had to update the application at least a few times to overcome new problems with application bug.
  3. We did not include applications that received substantial updates, new branding, or ownership changes. There are exceptions for applications with reshaping that are no longer similar to the previous version. In other words, Smart Launcher 5 makes the list, but Google Keep Notes with the name change and the new UI design does not.

Okay, so this poll is huge, so let's get right to the point. There are no special rules or anything to take into consideration. Just vote for what you like best! We have some basic subscriptions and links for each application in the search, in case you want to see what they do.

Introducing the apps!

Of course, we do not just want to provide a huge list without explaining what all these applications do in case you have not heard of them. Here are short descriptions and links to all 20 Android apps:

  • Bouncer – Bouncer is a security application. It allows users to grant temporary access to permissions for applications, and the application revokes these permissions later. For example, you can give Facebook temporary permission to access your location and then configure the Bouncer to remove this permission later.
  • Cake Web Browser – Cake Web Browser is a slightly different approach to web browsers. It allows you to search various things and then you slide through search results such as Tinder. It also comes with an RSS feed, a popup blocker, an ad blocker, Slices (a news section) and more.
  • Carrot Weather – Carrot Weather is a decent weather application with some unique and fun features. The application comes with the basics of weather such as forecasts and current weather. You also get racy quotes and a great time travel feature. The time travel feature allows you to view the time up to 70 years in the past.
  • Dolphin Browser – The Dolphin Browser is not technically new. However, it was relaunched after years of neglect. It's the only decent emulator for the GameCube and Nintendo Wii. The new versions fixed many bugs and added some new features. Morale gray area aside, this is a welcome addition to the emulator scene on Google Play.
  • Firefox Reality Browser – Firefox Reality Browser is a virtual reality browser for Google Daydream and other virtual reality headsets. It supports 2D and 3D content and adds some much-needed competition in space. Obviously, it needs more work, but RV is still relatively new.
  • Forest – Forest is a productivity application with ideas similar to Google's digital wellness. You open the application and a tree begins to grow. If you leave the app to check Facebook or do other disturbing things, your tree will wither away. The goal is to keep you off your phone while you work. It is also configurable with a whitelist so you can still respond to important texts or phone calls.
  • Grammarly Keyboard – The Grammarly Keyboard is the best new keyboard of 2018. It lacks many flashy features like many of its competitors. However, it actively fixes your grammar as you type. Also explains your corrections. We expect more flashy features like typing with gestures in future updates.
  • Refuge Haven is a niche security application. It is an open source application that helps protect your things. You install it on a secondary device and put that device in your belongings. The app alerts you to your primary phone when the secondary device is moved, picked up, or otherwise scrambled. Not helpful at all, but it is a very good idea for frequent travelers.
  • Heimdall Parental Control – Heimdall Parental Control is what the name indicates. You install it on your device and your child's device. You can then control their device. This includes limiting application and phone time, tracking your child's network activities, and the premium version also has phone monitoring.
  • Hyperion Launcher – Hyperion Launcher is the next major application of Substratum developers. It features a stock style, lots of customization options, and an optional Google Feed plugin for fans. You also get support for third-party icon packages and many theme options. It is surprisingly good as it is new.
  • Khan Academy Kids – The regular Khan Academy is one of the best educational apps on Android. Khan Academy Kids fills a similar role for children's learning applications. The application covers reading, literacy, math, logic, memory, and troubleshooting. It's also completely free, with no ads or in-app purchases. What is not to like?
  • Kiwi Browser – The Kiwi Browser is another new browser of 2018. It is based on WebKit and Chromium for a relatively quiet experience. You'll also get a strong ad blocker, encryption protection, and a minimalist style interface for fast browsing and content enjoyment. It also supports 60 languages.
  • Lean Launcher – Lean Launcher is the friendliest launcher for fans of minimalism. It has an Android look of stock along with some decent security and customization features. You can hide icons from your application drawer, change the theme, and use gesture controls. We do not love it as much as we love other launchers on the list, but it's still very good for what it does.
  • Navigation Gestures – Navigation gestures adds gesture controls to basically any smartphone. You can basically set up any gesture you can imagine, including ringing, swiping, and sliding from different parts of the screen. These gestures can trigger all kinds of actions with more available in the premium version. It needs work, but it worked well in our tests.
  • Opera touch – Opera Touch is another new Opera mobile browser. It features desirable features such as an ad unit, a QR code scanner and a lot of small usability features. It does not sync with the PC version and we definitely think it should. However, otherwise, it is a very functional Web browser of a big name in space.
  • Little Launcher – How did an OEM launcher make this list? Well, because it's actually very good. The Little Launcher is a lightweight launcher with enough usability and security features to delight us. This includes splash screen customizations, categorization of applications, and you can hide applications from the application drawer. Not bad, Xiaomi, not bad at all.
  • ProtonVPN – ProtonVPN is our new favorite VPN from 2018. It gets the basics right. That means there are no records, good encryption and a base in a neutral country (Switzerland). It has an unlimited free version in good faith, albeit at slower speeds. Subscription prices are not bad either. It was a shoo-in for our best list of VPN applications.
  • RememBear – RememBear is a new password manager from TunnelBear, developers of the popular VPN service of the same name. It has had some problems at first, but it is quickly becoming a positive force in the password manager space. It still has most of the desirable features that many other password managers have.
  • Smart Launcher 5 – Smart Launcher 5 was a massive departure from earlier versions of the launcher. This new version features adaptive icons, themes, application classification, ultra-immersive mode, gestures and other customization features. It even has an integrated application closet that kills two birds with one stone for security fans.
  • Youtube Music – We debated internally whether or not we should include this because it is technically just a major upgrade. However, this is the only great new music service in 2018. We love your integration with music videos and music delivered in our initial impressions video. It should get much better over time, with the possible exception of its actual musical quality.

There were a lot of great apps from 2018 and, if we forgot one, tell us the comments after voting for Others, so we can count votes for your favorite apps too!


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