In a recent email to customers, Google shared its picks for Best Android Apps of 2012. The email highlights the top apps overall and the best in class across a number of categories like games, sharing or “impressing your friends.” The leaders include both recognizable brands – Expedia, Pinterest, Zappos – and more specialized offerings for tasks such as taking photos, reading, shopping, fashion and more.
Financial services firms did not receive recognition on any of Google’s lists. Even financial services firms that added or significantly enhanced their apps over the last year struggled to compete in the three key criteria Google used for its rankings: utility, beauty and accessibility. Further, very few firms offer Android tablet optimization, another of Google’s criteria.
The absence of any overall “best” apps does not diminish the importance of mobile finance. Google does include one notable financial app – Mint, a third-party aggregator known for its intuitive technology and capable of reaching a broader audience than any single financial institution. The average bank or brokerage app may not be the most flashy, attention-grabbing technology, but can serve as crucial a role in clients’ lives as any of Google’s best entertainment, social or retail apps.