The booming Android app market shows no sign of slowing down in 2013, but what really were the best apps in 2012?

There has of course been plenty of great ones, but out of the hundreds of thousands of apps that flooded through to handsets it is undoubtedly subjective as to which ones stand out as top-notch.

As if browsing in a clothes store, more and more users are having to scroll through their increasing number of app pages before locating that one desired item to fit the right mood and time.

Some of the big hitters include the likes of Facebook, which updated its Android app allowing its users to communicate in almost real time, Microsoft, which teamed up with developer SEVEN to offer an official Hotmail app for Android, and virtual pinboard Pinterest, tipped to be 2012’s hottest start-up, also made huge waves.

Best-selling

Claiming to be the ‘best-selling app of 2012’, Swiftkey, which makes typing faster and smarter by using artificial intelligence to understand the context of what a user is writing, says it has already saved its users over a millennium of typing time.

The company, which last month announced a partnership with Pliris Mobile that will see the British developer’s award-winning text entry app pre-installed on a range of the manufacturer’s devices, scooped the best ‘keyboard’ honour at the 2012 Android Central Reader’s Choice Awards.

The app auto-corrects and predicts the text based on the users’ writing style. It can also learn the users’ lingo by syncing with Gmail, Facebook, Twitter or a blog.

Also in 2012 Flickr bounced back with an app that makes photo-sharing and photo-editing easier, and the well-designed Whatsapp helped users reduce phone bills by offering free global messaging and picture messaging.

Games

As free-to-play online games and apps became one of the fastest-growing segments of the games industry, it is no surprise that the driving game, Need For Speed, was also a popular choice for Android owners.

Others

Google Now was the internet search engine’s latest mobile helper which works by anticipating the users’ needs and provides useful information at the right time. It tells you the weather before you start your day, what the traffic is like before you leave for work and when the next train will arrive while you stand on the platform, and it does so by automatically displaying cards that contain location and time-relevant details.

Quirky app, The Thief Face Trap Mini, also generated a lot of interest. The crafty app lets users set a ‘trap’ for thieves as it takes a picture of their face and sends it to the user when the suspect tries to open the phone.

Other top Android app contenders in 2012 include organiser Evernote, offline reader Pocket, and Foursquare, which allows users to share and save the places they visit while also giving personalized recommendations and deals based on location,

What were you favourite Android apps of 2012?

[Image via stuffpoint]