If you've looked over someone's shoulder this year and wondered what they were doing on their phone, they may have been using one of the most popular apps or playing one of the most popular games on the Google Play store.
With so many people on Android, it takes an enormous amount of downloads to rank among the most popular apps and games in Google Play. So, you can be sure that the Best of 2017 apps on this list will have a chance to pop up in your daily life now and then.
Next time you're out and spot someone's phone, remember these 10 apps and games, because they may just be what you see.
What The Forecast?!!
Convenient and comedic merge in What The Forecast?!! (opens in new tab), a weather app that offers forecasts along with funny amusing quips. It includes a toggle for profanity if you want cleaner comedy. And, since it boasts over 6,600 different phrases to describe the weather, the app should stay novel for even the most frequent forecast checkers.
If you spent much time watching cartoons in the '90s, you might already know everything there is to know about Boomerang (opens in new tab). It's the cartoon program that brings back all the oldies, from Popeye and The Jetsons to Scooby-Doo and Tom and Jerry. And, now it's an online streaming service that includes both movies and cartoon series at $4.99 a month.
The internet is full of funny, crazy and exciting content. New things are uploaded, shared and made viral every day. TopBuzz Video (opens in new tab) aims to make all of that content easier to find by curating all the most viral content and putting it into one place. With an average of 4.8 out of 5 from 22,814 users on Google Play, it seems TopBuzz Video is doing a good job delivering the content people want.
Similar to one of early 2017's top Android apps, Yarn is a reading app that offers stories in the form of text message conversations. Readers follow along as the story develops with each message. Yarn (opens in new tab) includes horror, mystery, romance, comedy and more genres for readers of any taste. It does have a paid model that has soured the experience of many users, but even more readers have found the app worth their while.
The most popular app of all was the very simply named Photo Editor (opens in new tab), which focuses on adding filters, stickers, stamps and emoji to photos. Another key feature of Photo Editor is its ability to change features of the photo subject, such as altering hair color, adding makeup or removing blemishes. With over 153,000 reviews giving it an average of 4.2 stars, the app is not only popular but also highly praised.
Bubble Witch 3 Saga
The old-school Bust-a-Move (or Puzzle Bobble outside the US) has had so many games replicate its gameplay, and perhaps most impressive is how that remains true more than 20 years later. Bubble Witch 3 Saga (opens in new tab) keeps the colorful color matching and ricochet game type alive, and it's managed to get plenty of mobile gamers on board.
Magic Tiles 3
For anyone that enjoyed the style of gameplay offered by Guitar Hero, Magic Tiles 3 (opens in new tab) is a mobile game with a very similar shtick. Players tap along on their smartphone screen as notes scroll along to the tune of various songs. It might not have the same song licenses Guitar Hero did, but it's portable and makes it easy to challenge people online.
CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars
Not only one of the most popular games on Google Play in 2017, CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars (opens in new tab) also earned the distinction of Best Game in Google Play's 'Best Of 2017' picks. The game challenges players to build a machine that will win in a series of battles against machines built by other players. With cartoony graphics and cute cats trying to look tough, what's not to love? Apparently, very little, as close to 800,000 users have given the game an average rating of 4.6 stars.
Ballz (opens in new tab) doesn't try hard to oversell itself. It doesn't brand itself as a revolutionary new game. Instead, it stays simple, offering a soothing brick-breaker-type game with soft colors and tons of balls bouncing around. The developer puts it in simple terms: "Relax your brain with he champion of time killer!" Turns out that's what plenty of people want to do.
Super Mario Run
Anyone who watched the 2016 iPhone release may have remembered Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto coming out to announce Super Mario Run (opens in new tab) as the first Nintendo smartphone game. But, it was only coming out for iOS. Luckily, that exclusivity didn't last long, and when the simple, one-handed platformer came out on Android, users showed just how much they wanted it by making it the most popular Android game of the year.