There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of apps out there, but how many are actually even worth your while? I, for one, have often downloaded apps onto my phone, only to find that they added little to no value to my life. Then I end up getting rid of them in a huff, and ignore other potentially worthy apps for ages just because I don’t want to go through the hassle of finding them. And don’t even get me started on all the shameless advertising, where you’re promised the moon, but really get nothing in return.
Okay, that’s enough moaning from me…2018 has in fact been a pretty good year so far for apps: I know I’m liking what I’m seeing. Some of the apps this year have already proven to be massive hits, while others are still flying under the radar. Let’s take a look at just a few of the favourites.
Google News and Google Lens
If you’re a news fundi like me, then Google News will be perfect for you. It’s a completely revamped app that lets you delve fully into any news story or topic that piques your interest. Plus, it has special features, like the saving of articles that you can peruse offline, as well as personalised content. Its most noteworthy feature in my opinion is its “full picture”, which basically wipes out any filter bubbles from Facebook, for example.
The Google Lens app is a good indication of what the future of search will probably look like. It’s available on Pixel and Android, and basically uses the camera on your smartphone to scan what’s around you – in the process, it provides pertinent information on those scanned objects. From the recognising of plants, animals, landmarks and art, to the simple scanning of barcodes, the ability of Google Lens is phenomenal.
If you love taking photos, then you probably know that having a manual photography app on your smartphone gives you additional control of the settings on your camera. The Camera+ 2 app is the sequel to the superlative Camera+, and while it has many of the same controls as the original, it has more cutting-edge editing features, plus it’s faster and much simpler to navigate. The quality of the shots you’ll get is to die for, so for me it’s a definite must-have.
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Otter Voice Notes
The Otter Voice Notes app is a creation of AI Sense, and it’s ideal for getting to grips with audio recordings. Not only does it record discussions, but it produces incredibly accurate transcriptions – the software can distinguish between different voices in a conversation, going way beyond simple speech recognition. For interview purposes or meetings, it’s the perfect app, going further than most in making the transcribing process as seamless as possible.
Let’s start with Hole.io, which achieved over 10 million downloads as well as the number one spot in Apple Store’s charts for several weeks. Be warned, there are loads of silly ads, but with that said, it’s still totally fun and addictive. So what’s the premise? Basically you have two minutes to drag a black hole around a city – the hole sucks up everything you drag it over, growing bigger and bigger in the process. Whichever player grows the biggest hole (LOL!) will win.
Then, there is Pokémon Quest, which was already a massive hit a mere month after its release. Incredibly cute, this game puts you on an island where you must search for items and decorate your camp, while competing against other players in battle.
For something a little more complex, Fortnite is a definite winner. It’s already an international sensation, with its mobile version quickly becoming one of the biggest titles in Apple’s App Store. Best of all, there has been no sacrificing of quality in its transition to mobile.
2018 has revived my love of apps. The right ones can certainly add value to your life, whether it’s for entertainment, business, or hobby purposes. And with such rapid advancements in technology, I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year and beyond has in store.