Best of 2021—check out Apple’s and Google’s best apps of the year

Looking for a new app for your Apple or Google device? Check out some of the best apps across both platforms in 2021. From social media to meditation, there's a little something for everyone here. Read on to learn more about these fun and useful apps today.

Best of 2021—check out Apple’s and Google’s best apps of the year
Find great apps in the Apple Store and on Google Play

Every year we get a chance to see some really cool apps hit the scene. They can range anywhere from uniquely innovative to downright interesting.

Some of these apps have been around for a while, yet others undergo significant updates that completely overhaul the user experience. Changes can be minor to these apps and games, which might not set them apart from the rest of the herd.

However, those that get significant enough improvements can go from the bottom to the top of the charts. Today we look at 5 of the best apps shared across the Apple and Android platforms—and an exclusive one from each. Ready to check out the best Apple and Google apps of the year? Let’s go!

1. TikTok is the social media app that everyone’s talking about these days. Enjoy creating fun videos and more.

Best of 2021–check out Apple's and Google’s best apps of the year
TikTok on Apple and Android

TikTok has come a long way since it was first conceived. What began as the popular app Musical.ly was later rebranded as TikTok. From there, it took on a whole new life.

The app lets you create fun videos, add filters and effects, lip sync to audio, and duet with other users’ videos. It’s also arguably the most influential social media app amongst younger generations, with even businesses, celebrities, and politicians beginning to embrace it.

While it’s been under some scrutiny for potentially being linked to foreign spying, that hasn’t stopped the masses from enjoying its exciting features.

You can download TikTok on both Apple and Android platforms.

2. Disney+ is one of the best streaming apps for fans of Disney franchises like Marvel and Star Wars.

Best of 2021–check out Apple's and Google’s best apps of the year
Disney+ for Apple and Android

When Disney announced its own streaming service, no one could argue with its potential. Who knew just how fast they would grow over the past year. It supplies not only a huge library of classic Disney films, but also a plethora of top-tier new content. From Marvel to Star Wars, there’s no lack of binge-worthy content here, making this one of Apple’s and Google’s best apps of 2021.

You can download Disney Plus for both Apple and Android platforms.

3. Duolingo wants to help you learn a new language. It’s free and incredibly easy to use.

Best of 2021–check out Apple's and Google’s best apps of the year
Duolingo app available for Apple and Android

Looking to brush up on a second language or learn a new one? Duolingo has you covered. It’s one of the best apps out there for attaining new language skills. Even better is that it’s free to use, though you can choose to pay for an ad-free version. Duolingo is well worth your time if you’d rather spend it learning something new than watching shows or playing games.

You can download Duolingo for both Apple and Android platforms.

4. Balance: Meditation and Sleep app provides guided meditation with Apple Health tracking support.

Promo for Balance: Meditation and Sleep app

If you’ve always wanted to learn the art of meditation, look no further than the Balance: Meditation and Sleep app. It provides high-quality guided sessions that teach you the basics—all the way to advanced concepts.

It’s a great way to destress and relax after a long day. It does come with a subscription plan, but they usually offer a free trial period so you can try it first.

You can download the Balance: Meditation and Sleep app for both Apple and Android platforms.

5. Canva allows you to create all kinds of materials—from logos to videos. You can also edit photos.

Best of 2021–check out Apple's and Google’s best apps of the year
Canva app for Apple and Android

We’ve covered a few different categories already from Apple’s and Google’s best apps of 2021. How about a creative one?

Canva is a phenomenal creation tool that you can use on both a phone and a tablet. It lets you make things like videos, logos, and promotional materials. It also supports photo editing.

It’s a powerhouse for just about any kind of visual content you can think of, and anyone can learn to use it. It’s the perfect app for your creativity toolbox.

You can get the Canva design app for both Apple and Android platforms.

Exclusive to Apple: Apple Arcade adds a ton of casual gaming choices under one affordable subscription.

Best of 2021–check out Apple's and Google’s best apps of the year
Apple Arcade gaming service

If you’re on an Apple phone or tablet and enjoy casual mobile gaming, it’s worth checking out Apple Arcade. You’ll get access to a myriad of games and original titles.

The games are high-quality and aren’t packed out with ads or IAPs. Best of all, the affordable $4.99 subscription comes with a few of Apple’s other subscription plans. This means that, if you already have one of those that include it, you may already have access for free.

You can get Apple Arcade exclusively on Apple.

Exclusive to Android: Google Stadia app allows you to stream AAA titles directly to your device or TV.

Best of 2021–check out Apple's and Google’s best apps of the year
Google Stadia streaming gaming service

If you haven’t heard of Google Stadia, allow us to introduce you to it. This handy service by Google allows you to stream video game content like AAA titles directly to a mobile device or TV.

The service and additional components—like an optional controller—do have a price tag, but the app itself is free. With the app, you can access your Stadia account, play games if your device supports it, and do much more.

You can get the Google Stadia app exclusively on the Android platform.

What are your favorite apps of 2021?

We hope you enjoyed reading about some of Apple’s and Google’s best apps of 2021. We’re only scratching the surface of the many apps and games available across these vast platforms, so you should head on over to your preferred app store and explore the many other apps available for download.

Do you have an app or game for these platforms you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!

Mark is a writer and podcaster who loves technology. When not writing for Gadget Flow, he enjoys passionately working on storytelling projects and exploring the outdoors.
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