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By 12 December 2017 | Categories: feature articles

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As always, it was a busy year on the apps front, with a number of tasty treats making an appearance in Google Play. Looking for the best ones? Here is our selection of the Top 5 Android Apps of 2017.

Podcast Player – Free
Developer: Player FM Podcasts
Price: Free, with subscriptions available
Available here

The podcast boom means no more dead time while exercising, driving or washing dishes. We’ve tried a number of podcast players for Android, but none work as well as this one from Player FM. Where other players feel clunky and slightly awkward, this one does things right, providing a user-friendly interface, one of the better search functionalities and the option to sign in and have your favourite shows always available. The free option is more than adequate, although we do wish that the subscription to Player FM Pro was cheaper than R53 p/m.

Google Assistant
Developers: Google
Price: Free
Available on devices supporting Android 6.0 and higher 

If you tried doing anything on your phone using your voice a few years back, you would have been met with a fair amount of frustration. That has changed, with Google’s Assistant becoming a LOT more helpful than Google Now. Voice recognition has improved, while contextual search means Google understands your questions better. Google Assistant is not without its problems, but it certainly paves the way to a brighter voice-assisted future.

Calm
Developers Calm.com, Inc.
Price: Free, subscriptions (paid)
Available here

With Trump, Zuma and the Springboks doing their best to drive up blood pressure, we all need a bit of calmness in our lives. The Calm app includes a number of relaxation and meditation options to help drive down anxiety and achieve a bit of mindfulness here and there. While full Nirvana might not be attained through an app, having a daily meditation reminder or some breathing exercises on hand to assist can certainly not be frowned upon. Calm is free to use, but it does try and push the rather expensive subscriptions.

Super Mario Run
Developers: Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Price: Free, can buy full game
Available here

It might not have been the worldwide phenomena that was Pokémon Go, but Nintendo’s first foray onto mobile was a successful one. When Super Mario Run arrived on Android in 2017, all the bugs where ironed out and it received some healthy updates along the way. Mario is loved by generations of gamers, so Nintendo wanted to get things spot on before bringing the franchise to mobile. Get it right and the pay-off will be big, and that was clear when Super Mario Run became one of 2017’s most downloaded apps. Here’s to even better Nintendo content coming in future.  

Datally
Developers: Google
Price: Free
Available here

Datally only recently appeared on the local scene and is developed by Google themselves. Designed to manage your mobile data usage, it will immediately show its worth. Once installed and given all the required permissions, Datally automatically locks all of your background apps from using cellular data. You can then select those you want enabled, with a little bubble popping up to show you how much data was consumed when using using, say Chrome.

We’ve tried many other data trackers in the past, but Datally is king. Install it now and save yourself a whole lot of data worries.

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