Best Apps 2014

Your mobile device might have cutting-edge specs and a sleek design, but if you don't install the right apps, you're missing out. Whether you're using the latest Android phone or tablet, an iPad, iPhone or Windows Phone, we've found the best apps. From news apps and photo editors to fitness tools and first-person shooters, we've organized all the top apps by topic and platform in the column at left. Below, you'll find our list of the 10 best apps overall.

10 Must-Have Apps for 2014

By Avram Piltch, Online Editorial Director — Last Updated: January 17, 2014

Best News App: Pulse

With thousands of news sites on the Web, you could spend all day cruising their home pages for interesting articles and still miss out. Pulse organizes your favorite feeds into an attractive, grid-style interface that makes it easy to keep up with the headlines using a custom feed of all your favorite sites and topic areas. Refreshed for the new iOS 7 interface, the new Pulse also ties in to your Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Tumblr accounts.

Platforms:Android, iOS

Price: Free

MORE: 5 Best News Apps

Best Cloud and Sync App: Dropbox

What happens on your phone shouldn't stay on your phone. Dropbox automatically syncs files between your computer, phone and tablet. When you save a document or photo to the Dropbox folder on your mobile device, it immediately downloads to the Dropbox directory on your PC. You can even configure the app to sync photos to the cloud as soon as you take them. Create and manage shared folders with the app, which was redesigned to align with iOS 7's flatter look. 

Platforms:Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone

Price: 2GB (Free), 100GB ($9.99/month)

MORE: What's the Fastest Cloud Storage Service?

Best Game: Walking Dead: The Game - Season 2

You've been testing your zombie apocalypse plan for a year now while playing "The Walking Dead." The second iteration of the game based on the TV show is even more gut-wrenching. The episodic choice-based adventure once again puts you in the shoes of young Clementine. You'll have to make decisions so tough you might question your morals and wake up screaming. 

Platforms: iOS

Price: $4.99

MORE: Top 12 Android Games

Best Fitness App: MyFitnessPal

A fitness app should not only coach you on how to lose weight and keep healthy, it should also motivate you to get moving. MyFitnessPal provides support and guidance on keeping calories off the healthy way with its comprehensive library of nutritional information and more than 350 exercise suggestions. It also helps you set goals and connect with friends who use MyFitnessPal so you can cheer each other on. The app creates detailed reports of your progress. 

Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry

Price: Free

MORE: 10 Best Fitness Apps 

Best Music App: Spotify

Whether you're looking for the latest Katy Perry single or some obscure disco ditty from 1977, you'll be able to find and play it with Spotify. The music service has an extensive library of songs to choose from, and allows you to download your custom playlists for offline listening. The fully functional app costs $9.99 per month, but you can use the company's online, ad-supported radio channels for free.

Platforms:Android, BlackBerry 10, iOS, Windows Phone

Price: $9.99/month, Free (radio only)

MORE: 12 Best Music Apps

Best TV/Video App: Netflix

There's a reason Netflix is the most popular streaming service. For $7.99 a month, you get unlimited access to a library filled with thousands of popular TV shows and movies. The Netflix app can stream directly to your mobile device while maintaining your place in videos you began watching on your TV or PC. The app also features a strong search engine, detailed recommendations and an attractive user interface with images, plot descriptions and user ratings. You can even share your device and account with friends and family, thanks to support for Netflix Profiles.

Platforms:Android, iOS, Windows Phone

Price: $7.99/month

MORE: 10 Best TV Apps

Best Note-Taking App: Evernote

Think of it as your digital memory. With Evernote, you can jot down your notes for work or school, and edit them on any device, including your tablet, phone or laptop. You can do a lot more than just take text-based notes with the Evernote mobile app; it takes dictation and lets you photograph documents or record sound directly into your notes. The iOS 7 version features a persistent Create Note button on every page in addition to a streamlined new look. 

Platforms:Android, BlackBerry 10, iOS, Windows Phone

Price: Free, $5/month (premium version)

MORE: Top 25 Windows Phone Apps

Best Productivity App: Quickoffice

Sometimes you need to view and edit business documents on the road. Quickoffice packs robust editing tools for your spreadsheets, slideshows, documents and PDFs. It also works with Google Drive. You can attach files to emails or share them via Drive, Dropbox or Evernote so nothing falls through the cracks. 

Platforms:Android, iOS,  BlackBerry

Price: Free

MORE: 13 Essential Android Apps for Business

Best Photo App: Snapseed

Whether your phone shoots brilliant high-res photos or mediocre snapshots, you'll want to edit your images before sharing them. Snapseed makes it easy to do a lot more than just basic sizing, rotating and cropping. Seven different filters -- including black and white, vintage and grunge -- can add a dose of style or make your brand-new photo look like you took it on an old-school camera.

Platforms:Android, iOS

Price: Free

MORE: 10 Best iPhone Apps You're Not Using

Best Messaging App: WhatsApp

Sure, you can send messages and pictures with your phone's regular texting service, but a full-featured messaging app lets you send richer content, such as location info, fun stickers and more. With Whatsapp, you can also chat with up to 50 friends in a group to organize reunions or potluck dinners. And when those large conferences get out of hand, you can leave the group or mute the conversation for up to a week. Set statuses so your friends know when to leave you alone. The new iOS 7 version packs a Facebook-like broadcast list feature on top of a fresh sleek look. 

Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry

Price: $0.99 (iOS), $0.99/year (Android), Free (Windows Phone and BB)

MORE: Best Free Texting Apps