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Our picks for the best Android apps released in 2023

There were a lot of great apps, but many of the best this year had an AI focus.

Published onJanuary 8, 2024

ChatGPT Android app play store
Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority

The New Year has arrived but let’s not forget about the great year we are saying goodbye to. Not only were there a lot of great Android games released in 2023, but there were several big-hitting apps released that have had a major impact on mobile users as well. We looked through dozens and dozens of apps in 2023 but the ten highlighted below are our favorites from the year. That said, it was so hard to pick we have another 10 honorable mentions as well. 

Curious about how we came up with our selections? While I was the primary curator of the selections, there was a bit more to the process than just randomly picking my favorites. We provide more detail at the bottom of the post.

The best Android apps released in 2023

1. ChatGPT

  • Price: Free, Subscription available
  • App type: AI/chatbot
ChatGPT stock photo 71
Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority

ChatGPT is undoubtedly one of the most significant apps of 2023, thanks to its powerful chatbot technology based on GPT 3.5. ChatGPT is capable of efficiently answering questions, drafting letters or resumes, generating summaries, and much more.

What sets the app apart is its ability to offer a variety of different voices, allowing users to engage with the chatbot naturally, without the need for typing. The user-friendly interface makes navigation a breeze, and the app functions almost identically to the web-based client. Moreover, for those looking for even more advanced capabilities, there is support for GPT 4 if you subscribe to GPT’s premium tier, priced at $20 per month.

I’ve found myself relying on ChatGPT more frequently for general questions than I ever did with Google Assistant. I’ve even engaged in back-and-forth conversations on topics that typically bore others when discussing with me, such as space. Is it sad that an AI gets me more than humans? Probably, but this is still an absolute must-have app on your phone and I highly recommend it if you’ve yet to download it for some reason. 

2. Threads, an Instagram app

  • Price: Free
  • App type: Social network
Threads logo on smartphone stock photo (2)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

X (formerly Twitter) is gradually losing users who are dissatisfied with Musk’s changes to the social network. This is where apps like Threads step in, aiming to entice departing users. In the app, threads function much like tweets, although the app is far from being an X clone and incorporates some clear Instagram influences.

There are, of course, some significant differences between X and Threads, such as the character limit. X currently offers 280 characters for free members, while Threads imposes a strict 500-character limit. Threads also has more limited views, offering just a standard timeline and a view that displays your followers.

X still feels like the more fleshed-out experience, but Threads is becoming an increasingly viable alternative to Twitter. If you’re considering leaving X behind, we recommend taking a closer look at Threads.

3. YouTube Create

  • Price: Free
  • App type: Video editor

YouTube Create was introduced as a Beta experience in late September, offering a free suite of tools that allows users to effortlessly create both short and longer videos. It provides the convenience of creating GIFs, incorporating special effects, and adding stickers, along with the ability to quickly edit your existing videos, such as trimming their length. Additionally, you can seamlessly incorporate royalty-free music tracks into the videos you create, without the need to worry about copyright issues or proper crediting.

Months later, it remains in Beta, but this doesn’t diminish its usefulness. There are numerous video editing apps out there, many of which have more advanced features than this app. Still, YouTube Create enjoys the advantage of being developed by Google.

Why does Google’s involvement matter? For starters, you can easily upload your videos directly to YouTube. There are no conversion or outside upload steps to go through. Moreover, it stands out as one of the most user-friendly video editing apps available, making it suitable even for the most novice aspiring YouTuber, for better or worse.

4. Wombo Me

  • Price: Free with in-app purchases
  • App Type: AI art generator
wombo ai
Andrew Grush / Android Authority

Wombo Me is a relatively new app, but it has already achieved over 100,000 downloads and maintains a solid 4.3-star rating. I wrote about this app back in December and had the opportunity to explore this unique AI tool. Unlike ChatGPT and some of the other new apps from this year, Wombo Me is primarily designed for general entertainment rather than productivity. Users can capture a picture of themselves and transform these photos into various AI-generated avatars, suitable for use as profile pictures online, in games, or for any creative purpose you can imagine.

The image quality of these AI-generated avatars is quite good, although they tend to have a distinctive anime-style appearance. While the app advises against wearing glasses in the photos, I found that it still did a reasonably good job, although there were instances where the glasses’ frames would blend with the skin.

The Wombo Me app is completely free to use, although you do have the option to purchase additional art styles and other features if you desire more flexibility in creating the avatar of your dreams.

5. Niji Journey

  • Price: Free, Subscription available
  • App Type: AI art generator
niji journey midjourney app feature
Andy Walker / Android Authority

A true Midjourney app didn’t emerge in 2023, so let’s hope that changes sometime in this new year. For now, Niji Journey is the closest thing to an official app, as it was developed in partnership with Midjourney. However, there’s a much narrower focus. Niji Journey allows you to create anime characters and scenes, rather than any art style.

While this may sound somewhat similar to Wombo Me above, the distinction lies in the fact that Niji Journey caters to a more professional and focused audience. It generates truly high-quality images to your exact specifications using prompts and advanced AI. These images can be applied to both personal and professional projects, such as games, custom comic books, stories, or any other creative endeavor you have in mind. It’s worth noting that you’ll need a subscription for access to its most advanced features, though.

6. Kaiber

  • Price: Free with in-app purchases
  • App Type: AI music video maker

Kaiber previously garnered significant attention for using AI to create high-quality music videos for popular artists like Linkin Park and Kid Cudi. Back in November of 2023, the company extended its expertise to the general consumer market by launching the official Kaiber app. This new app empowers creators of all skill levels to craft their own generative AI videos. Much like other AI video generators, you can upload your images or videos, or input prompts to generate videos. You can even incorporate your own audio or songs from featured artists.

Kaiber offers two distinct animation styles: flipbook and motion. The former delivers a frame-by-frame effect, while the latter adopts a smoother style with seamless transitions between frames. Additionally, you have the flexibility to customize camera movements, such as zooming in or out and rotating clockwise, among other options. You can even adjust aspect ratios for easy conversion to various media types, supporting ratios like 16:9, 9:16, 1:1, 3:4, and 4:3.

It’s worth noting that there is a free version of this app available, but for the full range of features, you’ll need to switch to a premium subscription.

7. Vegan Bowls

  • Price: Free with in-app purchases
  • App type: Recipes/Nutrition
Vegan Bowls screenshot 2023

You might wonder why this made the list as it hasn’t had tons of installs but I don’t just look at that, I also consider an app’s score and how unique it is. For individuals following vegan lifestyles, it can often be challenging to find excellent resources for learning to cook vegan, creating meal plans, and more. That’s why our team decided to showcase this app, even if it isn’t as mainstream as some of the other options on our list.

As for how the app works, it’s available for free technically, although many of its best features and apps require a subscription or for you to purchase that cookbook for an extra fee. It offers easy-to-search recipes, a convenient shopping list maker, health improvement tips, and even video tutorials that guide you through various vegan recipes. The app’s user interface is also user-friendly and easy to navigate, which is always a plus.

8. Statista Daily Data

  • Price: Free
  • App Type: Stats/News
Statista Daily Data screenshot

Statista, renowned for its prowess in statistics, expanded its offerings in 2023 with the launch of the Daily Data app. This unique experience is more for entertainment and education than anything. It presents daily infographics covering topics of potential interest, both local and global. Additionally, the app features fun facts, quizzes, and various data-related content.

While this app may cater to a niche audience, it is ideal for enthusiasts of fun facts and bite-sized information. Surprisingly, it has garnered over 100,000 installations, indicating a broader appeal than one might expect. However, one drawback is the limited customization options and a somewhat clunky and cramped user interface. Nevertheless, it’s worth exploring and stands out as one of the more unique apps released in 2023.

9. Insight Journal

  • Price: Free with in-app purchases
  • Genre: Self-reflection/Journal
Insight Journals screenshot 2023

AI has found applications in various fields, from art to chatbots, but what about self-discovery? That’s the aim of Insight Journal, a journaling app that, on the surface, functions like any other journal by allowing you to record the events of your day. What sets this app apart is its ability to help you uncover powerful insights by reviewing your notes.

There’s more than just notes. It also provides access to a collection of over 3,500 books for learning and assists you in breaking down what you’ve learned, facilitating better reflection on the lessons acquired.

While this app may not have garnered a large following, I’ve personally recommended it to several family members and have used it myself on and off. It offers a truly unique approach to self-discovery, enabling you to make connections you might not have otherwise considered. Personal growth is not typically the primary focus of most apps, and that alone makes Insight Journal deserving of a place on this list.

10. Touch the Notch

  • Price: Free trial, $.99 to buy
  • App type: Utility
Touch The Notch app edited
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Now for something completely different. Most of these apps have been self-contained experiences, Touch the Notch is more of a utility app than anything. This simple app is designed to transform the camera hole into a shortcut button. It works with most phones that have notches, although compatibility and response speed may vary.

I tested Touch the Notch on several phones and found it to work quite well on my newer Pixels, although its performance was less impressive on older or budget-oriented devices. While there are occasional bugs and glitches, it generally provides a consistent experience and offers a convenient way to add an extra ‘button’ to your phone.

Is it worth the dollar? Well, it depends on how much you value having an additional shortcut trigger on your phone. If it’s something you’d use frequently, then certainly. However, if you’re just curious and unsure whether an extra shortcut would be genuinely useful to you, it’s a good idea to start with the free trial.

What was the best app of 2023?

846 votes

Honorable mentions: The rest of the best

We’ve also compiled a list of apps that came close to making the list but fell just short. There are countless excellent titles released each year, but our list can only accommodate our top ten favorites. Here are the other outstanding new Android apps that were released in 2023:

  • Aerodocs (Free with in-app purchases) — This document manager makes it easy to keep your identity cards, bank documents, insurance docs, and other important virtual documents in a safe place.  
  • Shortwave (Free with in-app purchases) — Shortwave is an inbox app for professionals that uses AI to generate summaries of your emails, streamline your work with bulk actions, and even lets you set delivery schedules for emails. 
  • Sync for Lemmy (Free with in-app purchases) — Sync for Lemmy lets you take the social link aggregator/platform on the go with you. There’s a secure login, comments, and everything else you’d expect from Lemmy.
  • Apple Music Classical (Free with Apple Music) — Apple Music users have a second app for those moments when you want to go old school and enjoy some classical music.
  • DJ Music Mixer (Free with in-app purchases) — This app is a virtual DJ mixer with sound effects, equalizer and bass booster, the ability to make beat music and record mixes, and so much more.
  • Google Home (Free) — While technically not a new app, Google Home got a massive redesign in 2023 that added better smart home controls, improvements to its virtual remote, and more.
  • Reflectr Al Journal & Notebook (Free with in-app purchases) — Reflectr is a journaling app that utilizes AI and works a lot like a social network post, but just for your own internal use.
  • Head On (Free with in-app purchases) — We live in a fast-paced stressful world. Apps and the web usually add to this stress, but Head On aims to do the opposite with guided wellness techniques and other tips from expert psychologists. 
  • SparkReceipt (Free with in-app purchases) — Paper receipts are a thing of the past with SparkReceipt, an app that lets you take pictures of invoices and scan them into the app. From there key info is extracted and organized using an AI model powered by GPT technology. 
  • Weatherian (Free with in-app purchases) — There are millions of weather apps out there but Weatherian stands out as it ditches the millions of tabs and clunky UI elements. Instead, you get a glanceable experience that gives you everything you want to know about the weather on a single page. 

How did we decide on our picks?

There were a lot of great apps released in 2023 and not all of them could make this list, but how did we decide our picks in the first place? After all, there’s quite a range here. Some apps have millions of downloads, while others have less than a thousand. So here were the factors that went into the selections above:

  • As the curator for our Weekly App Newsletter since about mid-September, I’ve used a ton of new apps along the way. I used this to compile a Google Sheet of my observations and thoughts.
  • I consulted over eight months of Android Authority’s backlogged “New Apps of the Week” newsletter and ensured I was familiar with all our past picks.
  • I came away with a list of hundreds of apps, so I went through Google Play review scores and factored this into the selection process. I also removed anything ranking less than 3.5 unless there was a good reason, and only placed four-star apps into my first top ten draft. 
  • While total downloads were a major factor in my decision, I also went for apps that had lower download scores but had a unique proposition. For example, there’s a vegan recipe app on here and a unique weather app. These weren’t massively popular, but they were great apps that flew under the radar and helped provide more alternatives in their respective niches. 
  • After narrowing the list to twenty apps, it was put out to the team for suggestions and to vote any of my app selections’ initial positions up or down.
  • Finally, I spent a bit extra hands-on time with anything in our top selections to ensure the selections were solid, and then I locked in the picks.

As with any best list, this one is obviously at least partially subjective, but that’s our pick for the top ten best apps for Android released in 2023. Which was your favorite? Let us know in the poll below.

What was the best Android game released in 2023?

313 votes

Looking for even more apps? Be sure to check out our guide to the best new Android apps for January 2024.

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