People these days have a hard time imagining life without smartphones and tablets, devices that serve so many purposes, from business to pleasure.

Technology analyst Carmi Levy stopped by The Homestrech to share his picks for the top apps of 2014.

Games

ALFA-ARKIV — Levy says this innovative game "is like an online novel that you, the player, are responsible for creating." Levy said the game took developers 10 years to create and they peppered the web with hints and clues.

"It's like a huge online scavenger hunt," Levy said.

Monument Valley — This game blurs the line between gaming and art. Levy says the player creates works of art as they work through each level of a puzzle.

"It turns the concept of what is gaming on its ear and hopefully opens it up to a new audience," he said.

Messaging

Accompli — This email app breaks down the barrier in terms of inbox management and allows users to do sophisticated tasks on mobile. Levy says for two weeks, he used his smartphone exclusively for email and was able to things that were once too complex to do on a smartphone.

"You can be every bit as productive away from the house as you are in your home office," he said.

The app was so successful that Microsoft bought it earlier this year.

Google Inbox — This email app "supercharges the mobile email experience." The app is currently at the invite-only stage.

"It lets you do more on the go and is definitely something you are going to want to add to your messaging toolkit," Levy said.

Photography

Flickr — This app has been around for a while but got an overhaul this year. Developers created a new app for iPad that Levy says was years in the making. The updated app introduced a new web experience that works really well on a mobile device. Users get one free terabyte of storage and if the user is in network range, photos are backed up and sharable online automatically.

Snapfeed — Levy says the neat thing about Snapfeed is it lets you shoot, edit, upload and share your photos all in one app.

Music

Spotify — It's been a big year for online music and a few months ago, this monster in the streaming music game announced they were coming to Canada. 

"The future is streaming," said Levy. "We want to subscribe to something and then we want to have access to millions of songs, whatever those songs may be."

The app offers users the choice of a free subscription or a paid premium subscription.

Productivity

IFTTT — The name of the app stands for "If This Then That." The app allows you to program your phone to do simple tasks — called recipes — that help manage your daily tasks. A recipe would instruct your phone to automatically do something based on a task you routinely do — IF you schedule an appointment THEN your phone could schedule a wake-up call an hour before.

"Over time you customize your smartphone so it essentially runs your day in the background," said Levy. "You spend less time playing around on the device getting it to do things and more time actually appreciating the world around you while your phone worries about managing your day

Levy calls the app incredibly powerful and incredibly addictive.