Top ten apps that have changed our lives
You might find it hard to believe, but it’s been just over a decade since Apple launched the first App Store in 2008. 11 years on, there are now over 6.3 million apps available for download. That’s a lot of apps to choose from, and choose we did. Among the millions, a select few have, without exaggeration, completely altered the way we live. Here’s a list of the top 10 apps that have changed our lives.
Instagram has amassed over a billion users since it launched in 2010. The photography app has evolved from an app used to share a few personal photos to a platform where professional content creators showcase their work. Instagram has lead to the creation of several jobs, too, with social media marketers turning to Instagram influencers to provide exposure for their products or services. More profoundly though, Instagram has changed the way we perceive the world around us. Everything is a photographic opportunity to be seized for “the gram”, with our relationship to nature becoming ever more an idealised aesthetic experience.
Whether you’re using your personal banking app or a more recently developed finance management tool like Moneybox, it’s safe to say that banking apps will have impacted your life in some way. You can check your balance, transfer money, freeze your account all from the palm of your hand. Online banking apps have made it so much easier to manage your finances on the go. You’ll have saved a tonne of time by cutting out the need for telephone banking or a trip to your local branch.
Google Maps has completely changed the way we experience getting about. Thanks to Google Maps, if you have a smartphone or Android device, you’ll always be seconds away from finding your ideal route. With verbal instructions, filters for transport method preferences, real-time ETAs depending on traffic and other obstacles, it’s never been easier to find your way from A to B.
It’s never been more convenient to get food delivered to your door. Rather than calling up to make an order, or visiting in-store, you can now have your food ordered, in the oven and out for delivery in a matter of moments. All you need to do is lift a single finger.
According to Forbes, Pokemon Go is the world’s most important game. It broke the record for the fastest app to earn $100 million and became the most-downloaded app within just one month of its release. As well as being a pioneer in the use of AR (Augmented Technology) in mobile apps, it had a monumental impact on the physical health of many of its users – encouraging them to head out and explore, searching for virtual characters. A study found that the game increased the proportion of players who walked by over 10,000 steps a day (about 4 kilometres) from 15% to 28%. In the US, research suggests that the game added 144 billion steps to US activity!
Weirdly, today you don’t even have to leave your house to find true love. You just need a phone. Tinder has totally disrupted how we form relationships. All it takes is a swipe to potentially find yourself a match. With more and more people meeting online, it seems only a matter of time before it becomes the most popular method of finding a partner. A study from 2017 found that 40% of heterosexual couples and 65% of same-sex couples met online in the US.
MyFitnessPal & other health apps
Losing weight and keeping fit has generally been quite a slog for many, but thanks to apps like MyFitnessPal, managing our diets and workout plans is so much easier. For starters, you can count how many calories you’ve consumed and keep track of how many you’ve burnt off. With food diaries and statistical breakdowns of your calorie intake readily available at your fingertips, controlling your appetite with mobile apps has allowed users to improve their self-efficacy, set achievable and measurable goals and generally lead a healthier life.
Headspace allows users to find a bit of quiet and calm with short bouts of meditation throughout their day. With easy audio meditation guides, Headspace allows users to destress and declutter their minds. The use of such apps has helped to destigmatise issues surrounding mental health, encouraging those in need to seek help or act on their anxiety. In this way, Headspace is changing the world one little breath at a time.
Many businesses have been converted by the Evernote app. Evernote is designed to enable note-taking, organising media files, task lists, and archiving. Business management is so much more efficient thanks to the app’s collaborative features. It can synchronise data across multiple devices, so nothing falls through the cracks when working in a group.
Instant messaging tools such as Facebook Messenger have made it possible to connect with people across the planet in seconds. While it has totally changed the way we communicate with one another, the jury is still out to say whether it’s necessarily improved our lives or not. Many suggest the use of social media encourages a desire for short-term gratification and instant validation. Research suggests that Facebook, as well as other social media apps, can exacerbate depression because of the impact this has on their wellbeing.
Should we be app-rehensive?
The world’s most popular apps are always evolving, with regular updates to add fresh new features and fix those pesky bugs. They’ll likely continue to change our lives, in ways we can’t even imagine yet. As a final note though, it’s important to practice safe habits online. It’s a good idea to consider setting time-out periods to monitor the amount of time you spend on your phone. If you need help with this, most smartphones now have an app (of course) that sets a limit to the amount of time you can use your phone for.
The editorial unit