Download the best free iPhone and Android apps of 2012

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In a day and age where most of our lives revolve around our phones and our ability to stay connected with one another, “smartphones” are becoming quite commonplace. While many of us are well versed with mainstream applications such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media tools, why not explore the limitless other apps that exist to supplement the main ones and take your phone’s capabilities to an entirely different level? There are so many apps out there, for both platforms (Apple iOS and Android) that enhance our phones. The best part… these are all free!

Tunein Radio by Tunein Inc. (Available on: iOS and Android; free!)

This app does exactly what it says it does. It enables its users to listen in on any frequency their hearts desire. What separates this app from others I’ve used is its ability to listen in on AM and FM frequencies. It even allows you to search for specific play-by-play sports radio stations for all professional sports teams.

Subway Surfers by Kiloo Games (Available on: OS and Android; free!)

One of my favorite games to play, Subway Surfers is essentially a modernized Temple Run. It features a custuomizable avatar that hops around and tries to elude getting caught by a police officer. The graphics are well done, crisp and vibrant. It also updates during the holiday season, and contains vast amounts of options to customize the theme, avatar, speed, and much more. I highly recommend it for anyone who occasionally needs something to pass the time. Believe me, it goes by fast!

Speed Test by Ookla (Available on: iOS and Android; free!)

Ever wondered if you’re truly getting the download speeds that your service provider says you are? Well, Speedtest is here to help you verify that. With this app, you can check the download, upload, and ping speeds of your network. What makes this app is its ability to operate on both Wi-Fi and wireless data connections from a service provider. It also retains records of all your previous tests to see how consistent your service is at different locations.

Google Maps by Google Inc. (Available on: iOS and Android; free!)

When Apple released their new mobile operating system, iOS 6, it finally came with its own form of GPS navigation. However, to the dismay of Apple users, it was a dismal failure. To provide some gratification for its users, Apple decided to succumb to their rival, Google, and made Google Maps available to their users. In mobile navigation, Maps seems to be leading the pack. While apps like MapQuest and Waze try to compete, they fall short of the user-friendly software of Google’s app. It provides comprehensive turn-by-turn navigation, along with real-time traffic. It even allows you to see what the next exit that you must use will look like to prevent mistakes. Google Maps has reached the pinnacle of mobile navigation, and with features like these, it seems as though it will remain there for quite a while.