The 10 Coolest Apps Of 2017 (So Far)

Apps To Try

App developers are continuing to find new things for mobile devices to do, whether it's building simple websites from your phone or using a tablet as a drawing pad for your PC. Other apps are offering improved methods for scanning documents, workplace collaboration and email management.

Apps for those purposes (and more) debuted during the first half of 2017 -- some for iOS, some for Android, and some for both platforms. In the following slides, we've rounded up the 10 coolest apps we've come across so far in 2017.

Adobe Scan

Platform: iOS, Android

Adobe Scan is a mobile scanner app that not only converts your paper documents to PDF, but also automatically recognizes text and turns it into digital text (using optical character recognition, aka OCR). That means you can edit, search and highlight your scanned text inside PDFs created with Adobe Scan. Notably, the app is also free, and scans are saved to the Adobe Document Cloud (which also offers a free account).


Platform: iOS, Android

While there are plenty of options for meditation apps, Aura aims to be different in at least two ways. Firstly, the guided meditations are short and to the point -- the focus is on doing just three minutes of mindfulness meditation. Secondly, the app uses machine learning to tailor meditations, by asking a series of questions when you first get started and picking a meditation for you based on what mood you're experiencing. The app offers one meditation per day for free, and offers additional meditations and features for $7.99/month.

Duet Display

Platform: iOS

Duet Display is an app that allows users to turn their iPad into an external display for Macs or Windows PCs -- particularly useful for tasks such as drawing or writing with the Apple Pencil. Essentially, the app allows the iPad Pro to become a Wacom tablet. The newest pro version of the app, Duet Pro 2.0, includes cool new features such as customized pressure settings and a number of additional gestures. It costs $20.

EasilyDo for Android

Getting your various email accounts in one place is one big benefit of the EasilyDo app. Another is getting a speedier experience than you're used to with Gmail or Outlook. Previously available for iOS, EasilyDo launched on Android with features including simpler junk mail unsubscribing and a built-in assistant for organizing travel, expenses and other necessities of life. The app is free and supports Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Exchange, Outlook, Office 365, Hotmail, AOL and IMAP mail accounts.


Platform: iOS

While Apple's FaceTime is hugely popular for video calling, one thing it doesn't offer is group video chats. A new group video app, Fam, is working to make up for that gap. Notably, Fam works within iMessage group chats so that users can more easily start group video calls. The app is also free. There's no limit on the number of people that can join a Fam video chat, and features include the ability for users to play games together.

Google Assistant for iOS

One of the big app announcements for the first half of the year is that Google brought its intelligent voice-controlled assistant to the iPhone. The Google Assistant aims to offer more sophisticated capabilities than Apple's Siri, including for tasks such as sending emails, setting calendar events and answering questions. The assistant also offers the ability to make phone calls, launch driving navigation and play music.

HP Smart

Platform: iOS, Android

The successor to the HP All-in-One Printer Remote app, HP Smart is an app for using and managing an HP printer from your mobile device. The app offers set-up and management of an HP printer as well as scanning documents and printing wirelessly. HP Smart also provides document sharing over email, text messaging, cloud services (such as Dropbox and Google Drive) and social media (such as Facebook and Instagram).

Microsoft Teams

Platform: iOS, Android

Microsoft has ramped up its collaboration game with the debut of Teams. Available for Office 365 subscribers, Microsoft Teams is a "chat-based workspace" that aims to provide easier group communication (like Slack). It also enables hosting online meetings, file sharing and integrating with other apps (both from Microsoft and outside vendors).

Super Mario Run for Android

A familiar face has landed on Android. After initially debuting for iPhone, Super Mario Run has come to Android devices for anyone looking for a little downtime. The game is a simplified version of Super Mario for mobile, as Mario continually runs forward and users can easily play with just one hand. Along with rescuing Princess Peach, the free version of the app includes modes such as Toad Rally, where the goal is to pull off the most stylish moves.


Platform: iOS

While plenty of services exist for easy website building, Universe stands out by enabling you to build a site right from your phone. Obviously, this won't be a particularly complex site. But Universe does enable the creation of sites with the basics about yourself or your business, and it offers templates for getting started quickly. The app itself is free, while custom domain names start at $2.99/month.