What would the end of the year be without gratuitous lists? While many of the thousands of “Best of 2012″ articles currently flying around the internet are surely going to bore most readers out there, I’ve yet to meet a smartphone user who isn’t constantly on the browse for a new app. Unsurprisingly, Google and Apple are pretty aware of that fact as well, so both smartphone giants have in turn released their best apps for 2012. While both sets of lists are vastly different in how they were compiled, there’s more than a couple surprises to be found on both, and we did you the favor of linking to each. So which apps stood above the crowd this year on the world’s largest smartphone operating systems?

For Android, Google opted to not rank any of these apps over the other, but instead picked a series of apps that are the best in their particular field, such as Evernote for note taking, and Mint for budget management. While there is one paid app on the list, all others are free to install.

Top Android Apps as Picked by Google

Apple’s list, released earlier this December, takes a different approach, and is divided between paid and free apps, both of which have been ranked by Apple in order of number of downloads in the iTunes store across all iOS devices.

Top Free iOS Apps as Picked by Apple

1. YouTube
2. Instagram
3. Draw Something
4. Flashlight
5. Facebook
6. Pandora
7. Temple Run
8. Pinterest
9. Twitter
10. Skype

Top Paid iOS Apps as Picked by Apple

1. Angry Birds Space
2. WhatsApp
3. Draw Something
4. Camera+
5. Where’s My Water
6. Angry Birds Star Wars
7. Fruit Ninja
8. Angry Birds
9. Bejeweled
10. Tetris

That’s all on these apps for now, but after looking at some of Google and Apple’s best picks for 2012, you can certainly expect a few reviews of the apps featured above in January. Until then, Happy New Year from us here at HackCollege.