Most popular free android apps 2012

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Keeping up with all the latest and greatest Android apps is a full-time job (take my word for it). We consider vast numbers of them before we update this list periodically with additions, deletions, and replacements. This time around, we added 20 apps to the list and retired just as many.

How We Chose
There are now more than 450,000 apps in Google Play, and the 0.02 percent of Google Play represented in this list showed outstanding performance and mainstream usability without killing our device’s CPU. If an app had free and premium versions, I generally veered towards the free unless otherwise noted. I’m also a big fan of alternatives, so for every app on this list I also looked for a second choice that might appeal to readers who don’t, for one reason or another, like the first choice.
Loyal readers who’ve watched this app list evolve since 2010 will be excited to learn that Angry Birds (the original) has finally been removed from this list! It’s still an addictive and well-executed casual game, but one can only catapult birds for so many years…
Another item to note: I tested most of the apps below on a Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.0.2 or a Samsung Galaxy S II with Android 2.3., although most apps are compatible with Android 2.2 and above. Unfortunately, until every Android user is on the same device and OS version, Android apps will forever be dogged by fragmentation issues and you may experience different levels of performance on your device.
And as always, tell us what your favorite Android apps are in the comments section below.Android apps (short for applications) are mobile software designed for running on the Android operating system, which is one of the most popular platforms used in cellphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

Since Android was introduced, more than 400,000 Android apps have been developed and most of them are available for download from Google Play—the online store hosted by Google—but not all are free. To help you get the best of the free ones, we have selected some gems in each category and added them here in a convenient list with clear and brief descriptions of each application item.

Like the apps and want to give them a try? Search them by tapping the default Play Store app, or use one of the following ways to install the apps on your mobile device, quick and easy.

Most popular free android apps1 Most popular free android apps 2012


AppGarden Lite

Free The interface looks dated, but AppGarden Lite is a lightweight, backwards-compatible container with dozens of useful utilities, from conversion charts to a barcode scanner to a password generator. You can bookmark your favorite utilities for quick access. My favorites folder includes the QR scanner, stopwatch, tip calculator, currency calculator, Urban Dictionary lookup, and a calorie calculator.

avast! Mobile Security
Free
This completely free app packs in a ton of security features, like remote wipe, remote-lock, app management, safe Web browsing, a battery manager, and as an added bonus, a top-rated anti-virus engine that passed AV-Test’s test with flying colors. It’s also incredibly light. However it lacks a backup feature so make sure you sync it to your computer.

aDownloader
Free
There are lots of BitTorrent clients out there, but I like the old favorite aDownloader because it’s easy to use and relatively crash-free. It also has a killer feature: the ability to pause and resume downloads. I haven’t encountered any file-size limits, either.

Auto Memory Manager

Free
When a computer needs a performance boost, one of the most obvious ways is to upgrade or at least, manage memory; the same goes for mobile devices. Auto Memory Manager is an ad-supported app that provides detailed memory information, and lets you set memory priority on apps. It’s worth downloading when your Android phone begins to feel sluggish.


Beautiful Widgets

$2.89
The Beautiful Widgets app lets you customize your phone’s homescreen, with weather reports, clocks, battery status, and different elements. It’s a simple app that makes your Android’s homescreen more useful to you, based on what information you want to see. And, as the name implies, it does it with grace.

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