Every week you get to check out the best new stuff on Android with the Google Play App Roundup here on Tested. Over the course of the year that works out to over 150 apps and games. That's a lot of apps, but what if you only want the absolute best of the best? That's just what you'll get here. These are the top 10 Android apps and games from 2013.
We've got everything from widgets to tower defense, so grab your Android device and get ready to ensure you have the best stuff from the last year.
The Moto X was a notable phone for a myriad of reasons, but one of its coolest user-facing features was Active Notifications. Rather than rely on a little flashing LED that conveys very little information, the Moto X can wake up the screen and show a snippet of text with an icon. With a tap, you can see what's seeking your attention and act on it. Very shortly after the Moto X came out, an Android app called DynamicNotifications arrived in Google Play that offers very similar functionality for all devices.
I have been using this on my phones continuously since it came out, and it is only getting better with each update. Just like the Moto X, this app wakes up the screen by plugging into the notification listener or accessibility options (pre-4.3 devices) to put your notifications on the screen. If you're on Android 4.3 or higher, you can even dismiss all the notifications right from that interface. It supports DashClock extensions too.
When a notification comes in, you get a little icon in the middle of a black screen to indicate which app has spawned a notification (with immersive mode in Android 4.4!). Pressing on it gives you the first few bits of text from the notification shade. From there, you can open the notification, just unlock the phone, or dismiss and shut off the screen. These options and the direction you swipe to activate each one is configurable in the settings.
The settings can do a lot more than that too. If you get the $1.99 pro key, you can set quiet times where the screen won't wake up, control the brightness, and more. The free app allows you to pick which apps will be picked up by DynamicNotifications, which is essential to making this app work in practice. Otherwise the screen would be on constantly.
As long as the screen timeout isn't too long, I've found little to no battery drain from this app, so I have no trouble calling it one of the best of 2013.