As people’s lives and work have become increasingly intertwined with, and in some cases dependent on, their mobile smart devices, like smartphones and tablets, more efficient, easy to use, and fun productivity of social apps are also becoming increasingly popular. As a result, mobile apps are a dime a dozen in 2016. However, there is still the fact that not all apps are created equally. Some apps are exceedingly better than others. Here are our picks of the top 6 mobile apps for 2016 thus far.
Criteria: these mobile apps were, in large part, chosen based on their growth (new and continued) in the recent six months to a year.
Being more about “sharing personal moments” than being about “public display,” Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social media messaging mobile apps in 2016, for both individuals and businesses alike. Formerly a dying platform, Snapchat’s surge to the sommet (mountain peak) of social media mobile apps pyramid, began to really take shape as 2015 gave way to 2016. Currently, Snapchat is among the top 10 most downloaded mobile apps worldwide, and the #1 and #2 most used app among Americans aged 14-24; often swapping places with Instagram. With much improvement from the note affixed selfies, the app was initially known for recent changes to it- such as, the addition of the stories features, which include 10second videos, lenses, filters, and live stories. These features have significantly increased the app’s usefulness and likability. Use of the app by celebrities, popular brands, and major event promotions, have also added to the app’s appeal. We expect Snapchat to enjoy continued rapid growth throughout 2016.
Unsurprisingly, Instagram is still one of the most downloaded and used social media mobile apps in the world, and this may not be changing any time soon – even with all the recent changes to the app. Instagram continues to show its dominance in the mobile app domain, with approximately 34% of smartphone users in America alone logging into the app at least once a month. The mobile app is expected to continue its growth, enjoying an up to 15% growth in 2016 alone. Much of the app’s growth can be attributed to Millennials and Gen-Xers finding increasingly unique ways to communicate using the platform.
Posited as the more secure app in comparison to the Whatsapp messaging app, Telegram, is the youngest of the two, but has been gaining ground from 2015. Although similar to Whatsapp, in having the option to use one’s phone number and contacts to communicate using the app. The similarities end there; however, one differentiator between the mobile apps is that Telegram also allows users to use a username to communicate with others without exchanging phone numbers. This adds to the perception of Telegram being a more secure app that has users flocking to it. Other attractive differences in favor of Telegram include, a group chat capacity doubling that of Whatsapp, faster processing to execute commands, a more powerful file sharing tool, and best of all that remains free- even after the first year of use. We would say Telegram is a winner, and we expect continued growth for the app as the year progresses.
This list would not be complete without the Facebook app. Facebook is still the number one of all the mobile apps across the United States, leading the race in downloads. This does not seem to be a reality that will be changing anytime soon either. In 2015, the app grew 31% above its 2014 numbers. This is the largest growth margin in the top ten app list, and this upward trajectory is likely to continue in 2016. The app’s newest features such as, Facebook live, Facebook professional, instant articles, events, music stories, social shopping features, increased integration with other existing platforms, and improved search capabilities, are all adding significantly to the Facebook mobile app’s utility and increased use. There are exciting times ahead for the Facebook app as it continues to trend toward becoming the go-to app for both social media fun and productivity for users.
5. Apple Music
Less than a year out the gate, and Apple music ended 2015 as one of the top 10 most downloaded apps in the US. The music streaming app is becoming increasingly popular thanks to its 3-month trial (which ended in February and a winning set of features. Apple Music’s appeal stems largely from allowing users to stream their choice of music on demand, and directly to their device. The app also brings fans and artists together through a host of welcomed features including:
– Connect (a blogging platform where artistes can share their tracks, photos and posts directly with their fans)
– Beats 1 (a curated Internet radio station)
– Radio (incorporating aspects of iTunes Radio)
– Integration with Siri voice commands
Like other music mobile apps, Apple music also intuitively recommends new music to users based of their previous plays. The app and its features appear popular with a wide cross-section of users, and boasted over 11million paid subscribers after the free trial period ended this year. It is expected that the app will continue to grow in 2016 as paid streaming continues to gain traction with music listeners, when compared with purchasing individual downloads which will add up quickly.
You will scarcely find a ‘top productivity apps’ list that does not include Evernote. One of the most popular productivity apps among iOS and Android smart devices users alike; Evernote has a host of powerful features that continue to drive the download and use of the app. Everything from tracking travel, to syncing files across platforms and apps, it is all available with Evernote. It is expected that this app will also continue to increase in popularity amongst business persons, personal assistants, and people with busy schedules everywhere.
So far, it looks as if these apps are here to stay. On top of the 6 aforementioned user-friendly smartphone applications, no one really knows what the next big thing will be. Yet, most of the world can’t wait to find out!
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