Apps have become an integral part of our daily lives, shaping the way we communicate, work, learn, and relax. With millions of apps available across various platforms, it can be overwhelming to sift through and find the ones that truly stand out. Whether you’re looking to boost your productivity, enhance your creativity, manage your finances, or simply entertain yourself, there’s an app for virtually every need and interest.
This comprehensive guide has been curated to introduce you to the 100 must-know apps of the year. From essential productivity tools and social media platforms to innovative learning resources and creative outlets, these apps represent the best of what the digital world has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned tech enthusiast or new to the world of apps, this list is designed to enrich your digital experience, offering solutions and opportunities to engage with technology in meaningful ways.
Productivity & Organization
- Evernote: A versatile app designed for note-taking, organizing, task management, and archiving. Evernote helps users capture ideas as notes, drawings, and save web content. It’s an essential tool for keeping your thoughts organized across all your devices.
- Trello: Trello uses boards, lists, and cards to help organize projects and day-to-day tasks in a highly visual way. It’s flexible and features an easy-to-use interface, making project management and collaboration with team members seamless.
- Slack: This app revolutionizes team communication, offering a platform for messaging, file sharing, and integrating with numerous other productivity tools. Slack’s channels help keep team conversations organized, transparent, and accessible.
- Asana: Asana is a project management tool that breaks your work down into tasks and subtasks, allowing for detailed planning, organization, and tracking. It’s designed to improve team collaboration and work management.
- Microsoft To Do: A task management tool that allows you to list daily tasks, set reminders, and organize your personal and professional life. It integrates with other Microsoft products, enhancing productivity across your workflow.
- Google Drive: A cloud storage solution that allows you to save files online and access them anywhere from any smartphone, tablet, or computer. Google Drive includes Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, supporting real-time collaboration.
- Dropbox: Dropbox is a file hosting service offering cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software. It’s a central place to store and share files and collaborate on projects.
- Notion: An all-in-one workspace where you can write, plan, collaborate, and get organized – it allows you to take notes, add tasks, manage projects & more. Notion is highly customizable, making it adaptable to various workflows and needs.
- Airtable: A cloud-based platform that combines the simplicity of a spreadsheet with the complexity of a database. Airtable lets you organize work, projects, and more using a flexible and interactive interface.
- Todoist: A task manager and to-do list app that helps you organize, plan, and collaborate on projects, both big and small. Todoist features natural language input and productivity reports to keep you on track.
Communication & Social Media
- WhatsApp: A widely used messaging app that offers end-to-end encryption for secure text messages, voice messages, calls, and video chats. Its group chat feature makes it a popular choice for friends and family communication worldwide.
- Telegram: Known for its emphasis on privacy and security, Telegram is a messaging app that provides fast, encrypted chat services. It supports large group chats, channels, and sharing of large files, making it popular among a wide user base.
- Discord: Originally designed for gamers, Discord has grown into a comprehensive communication platform for communities across various interests. It offers voice, video, and text chat in private chats or as part of communities called “servers.”
- Instagram: A social networking app focused on photo and video sharing. Users can post content, follow other accounts, engage with posts, and explore curated and trending visual content. Instagram Stories and IGTV offer additional ways to share and consume content.
- Twitter: A platform for microblogging that allows users to post “tweets,” short messages limited to 280 characters. It’s widely used for real-time news, entertainment, sports, politics, and more, enabling users to follow and interact with public figures, brands, and peers.
- Facebook: The largest social networking site, allowing users to create personal profiles, share photos and videos, send messages, and keep in touch with friends, family, and colleagues. It also offers Pages for businesses and public figures, as well as Groups for shared interests.
- LinkedIn: A professional networking platform designed to connect the world’s professionals. Users can showcase their resume, search for jobs, post updates, and network with others in their industry. LinkedIn also features articles, courses, and insights into various industries.
- Zoom: A leader in modern enterprise video communications, offering an easy, reliable platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems. Zoom is widely used for business meetings, online education, and virtual gatherings.
- Skype: One of the first apps to offer VoIP (voice over internet protocol) features, including video calls, voice calls, and instant messaging. Skype is used for both personal and business communications, supporting calls between devices and traditional landline phones.
- Signal: A messaging app focused on privacy, offering end-to-end encryption for messages, calls, and media shared between users. It’s recommended for users seeking a secure platform for private conversations.
Finance & Budgeting
- Mint: A comprehensive personal finance app that helps users track their spending, create budgets, and monitor their financial health. Mint aggregates all your financial accounts in one place for easy management.
- You Need A Budget (YNAB): A budgeting app based on the envelope system, designed to help users give every dollar a job. YNAB emphasizes proactive financial planning and accountability.
- Acorns: An investment app that rounds up your daily purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the spare change. Acorns make investing accessible for beginners with automated portfolios and educational resources.
- Robinhood: A stock trading app that offers commission-free trades of stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. Robinhood is known for its user-friendly interface and appeal to first-time investors.
- PayPal: A digital payment platform that allows users to make online payments, send and receive money, and set up merchant accounts. PayPal is widely accepted by online retailers and services.
- Venmo: A mobile payment service owned by PayPal, designed for sharing expenses with friends and family, like splitting bills or rent. Venmo combines social networking and finance with a feed that shows friends’ payment descriptions.
- Credit Karma: Offers free credit scores, reports, and insights, along with tools for financial health. Credit Karma helps users understand their credit status and how to improve it.
- QuickBooks: An accounting software package developed for small to medium-sized businesses. QuickBooks offers solutions for managing invoices, expenses, payroll, and inventory.
- TurboTax: A tax preparation software that guides users through the process of filing federal and state income tax returns. TurboTax simplifies the process with a user-friendly interface and step-by-step guidance.
- Wallet: A budgeting app that helps users track their spending, plan budgets, and analyze financial habits. Wallet offers insights into your finances, supporting a more mindful approach to spending and saving.
Health & Wellness
- MyFitnessPal: A comprehensive health and fitness app that tracks diet and exercise to determine optimal caloric intake and nutrients for the users’ goals. It features a vast database of foods to help with logging meals.
- Headspace: Offers guided meditations, mindfulness practices, and sleep stories to help users reduce stress, improve focus, and sleep better. It’s designed for both meditation beginners and those with a regular practice.
- Calm: A meditation and relaxation app providing guided meditations, Sleep Stories, breathing programs, and relaxing music. Calm focuses on improving users’ mental health and sleep quality.
- Strava: A social fitness network that tracks cycling, running, and swimming activities using GPS data. It allows users to compare performance, set challenges, and connect with friends.
- Fitbit: Works in tandem with Fitbit’s range of fitness trackers and smartwatches, tracking daily activity, exercise, sleep, and weight, offering insights and motivation for a healthier lifestyle.
- Nike Training Club: Provides a vast library of workouts ranging from strength and endurance to yoga and mobility. Each workout is guided by expert Nike trainers, catering to all fitness levels.
- 7 Minute Workout: Based on high-intensity circuit training, this app offers quick workouts that are effective for people on the go. It’s designed to improve fitness and health with minimal time commitment.
- Sleep Cycle: An intelligent alarm clock that analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you up in the lightest sleep phase, ensuring you feel rested and energized. It uses sound analysis to identify sleep states.
- Flo: A women’s health and period tracker that offers insights into menstrual cycles, ovulation, and fertility. It provides personalized health tips and tracks other wellness factors like sleep and water intake.
- MyPlate: By Livestrong.com, this app helps users track their daily caloric intake and exercise, offering personalized meal plans and recipes to support weight loss and healthy eating habits.
Learning & Education
- Duolingo: A fun and interactive app for learning new languages through bite-sized lessons and gamification. It covers a wide range of languages, making it accessible for beginners and advanced learners alike.
- Khan Academy: Offers a vast library of free online courses, lessons, and practice in subjects ranging from mathematics to history, economics, and computer programming. It’s designed to support learners at all levels.
- Coursera: Provides access to online courses from some of the world’s best universities and institutions. Subjects range from computer science to arts and humanities, business, and personal development.
- Udemy: A global marketplace for learning and teaching online, where students are mastering new skills and achieving their goals by learning from an extensive library of over 130,000 courses taught by expert instructors.
- LinkedIn Learning: Offers video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative, and business skills. It’s a professional development platform that helps individuals improve their job skills and career prospects.
- Babbel: A language learning app that focuses on conversational skills, teaching 14 languages with courses designed by linguistic experts. It tailors lessons based on your native language and personal interests.
- TED: Offers access to talks and presentations from some of the world’s most fascinating people on a wide range of topics, from science and technology to culture and education.
- Quizlet: A mobile and web-based study application that allows students to study information via learning tools and games. It’s widely used for a variety of subjects and is customizable for individual learning needs.
- Memrise: Uses an array of memory techniques, including mnemonics and spaced repetition, to make language learning more efficient and engaging. It also incorporates native speaker videos to improve real-life conversational skills.
Entertainment & Media
- Netflix: A leading subscription service for watching TV episodes and movies, offering a wide variety of documentaries, feature films, and original series across a multitude of genres and languages.
- Spotify: A digital music service that gives you access to millions of songs, podcasts, and videos from artists all around the world, making it easy to discover new music and content.
- TikTok: A destination for short-form mobile videos, TikTok empowers users to create and share content across genres like comedy, dance, and education, fostering a vibrant, interactive community.
- YouTube: The world’s largest video sharing platform, where users can upload, share, and view videos, ranging from music videos and vlogs to educational content and movie trailers.
- Amazon Prime Video: Offers members access to a vast library of movies, TV shows, and Amazon Originals. It’s included with an Amazon Prime membership and also offers rental options for non-members.
- Disney+: A streaming service offering movies, series, and exclusive content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, catering to fans of all ages.
- Hulu: A streaming service offering a wide range of TV shows, movies, and original content. It’s known for streaming episodes of current TV shows and its growing library of original series.
- Pandora: A music and podcast streaming service personalized to your tastes. It allows users to create stations based on favorite artists, songs, or genres, offering a unique listening experience.
- Audible: Specializes in the production and distribution of audiobooks, offering users a vast library of audiobook titles across various genres, from bestsellers and classics to new releases.
- Kindle: An app that puts over a million books at your fingertips. It’s the app for every reader, whether you’re a book reader, magazine reader, or newspaper reader—and you don’t need to own a Kindle to use it.
Travel & Navigation
- Google Maps: Offers detailed maps and satellite imagery for over 220 countries. Known for its accurate GPS navigation, real-time traffic updates, and public transit info, making it indispensable for travelers and commuters.
- Uber: A ride-hailing app that allows users to book a ride from a smartphone. With operations in over 900 metropolitan areas worldwide, Uber has become a popular choice for convenient, app-based transportation.
- Lyft: Similar to Uber, Lyft offers ride-hailing services, allowing users to book rides through its app. It’s known for its friendly service and often presents itself as a more community-oriented competitor.
- Airbnb: Connects travelers with local hosts offering places to stay in over 191 countries. From apartments and houses to unique accommodations like castles and treehouses, Airbnb offers a wide range of lodging options.
- TripAdvisor: Combines hotel and restaurant reviews, accommodation bookings, and other travel-related content. It’s a go-to resource for travelers seeking to make informed decisions about their destinations.
- Booking.com: Offers online accommodation booking, providing a wide selection of hotels, vacation rentals, and more, often with free cancellation options. It’s known for its comprehensive search filters to find the perfect stay.
- Expedia: A full-service travel site that helps users plan and book travel, including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages, often offering competitive rates and bundles.
- Waze: A community-driven GPS navigation app, providing real-time traffic updates, alerts about road hazards, and route suggestions to help users avoid congestion and reach their destinations faster.
- Google Translate: Supports over 100 languages, offering text translations, speech-to-text, and instant camera translation, making it an essential tool for international travelers.
- Skyscanner: A travel search engine that compares flights, hotels, and car rental deals. Skyscanner is known for its comprehensive coverage and the ability to find the cheapest prices for travelers.
Utilities & Tools
- LastPass: A password manager that stores encrypted passwords online. The service helps users create strong passwords and securely keeps track of them across all devices, making password management hassle-free.
- 1Password: Offers a secure and convenient way to manage passwords, credit card information, and other sensitive data. With a single master password, users can access their encrypted data across devices.
- CamScanner: Turns your device into a powerful portable scanner that recognizes text automatically (OCR) and allows you to save, share, or archive documents in high-quality PDF or JPEG format.
- IFTTT (If This Then That): A web-based service that creates chains of simple conditional statements, called applets, to automate tasks between two or more apps or devices, enhancing productivity and digital organization.
- Dashlane: A comprehensive password manager and digital wallet that securely stores your passwords and payment information. It also features a VPN for browsing protection and dark web monitoring for identity theft protection.
- Bitwarden: An open-source password manager that stores all your credentials in an encrypted vault, accessible with a single master password. It’s known for its strong security features and transparency.
- Google Photos: A photo sharing and storage service that offers unlimited storage for high-quality photos and videos. It features powerful search capabilities, automatic album creation, and easy sharing options.
- Shazam: A music identification app that can identify music, movies, advertising, and television shows, based on a short sample played and using the microphone on the device. It’s perfect for discovering new music and artists.
- Weather Underground: Provides hyper-local weather forecasts, including detailed reports, radar maps, and severe weather alerts. It’s powered by a network of professional and amateur weather stations.
- Xender: A file transfer app that allows users to share files, music, photos, and apps between devices without using mobile data or connecting to the internet. It’s fast and supports cross-platform transferring.
News & Information
- Flipboard: A personalized news aggregator that curates news, articles, and content based on your interests and delivers it in a magazine-like format, making it easy to stay updated on topics that matter to you.
- Pocket: An app that allows you to save articles, videos, and stories from any publication, page, or app for later reading. With Pocket, you can curate your own reading list and access your saved content offline.
- Feedly: A news aggregator application for various web browsers and mobile devices running iOS and Android. It compiles news feeds from a variety of online sources, allowing users to customize and share their feeds.
- The New York Times: Offers access to news, reporting, and analysis from The New York Times newspaper. It features articles on politics, business, technology, health, arts, and more, with options for personalized alerts and saving articles.
- BBC News: Provides the latest news from the BBC and global network of journalists. The app offers stories and videos covering world news, as well as sections on sport, health, science, and technology.
- Reuters: Delivers breaking news, analysis, and market data from the world’s most trusted news organization. Explore articles, pictures, and videos on global news topics, ranging from politics to finance, and more.
- Google News: An app that organizes the news to highlight what’s important, making it easier to stay informed. It offers a personalized news briefing and access to full coverage of news stories from a variety of sources.
- CNN News: Provides the latest news, analysis, and video content from CNN. The app covers international headlines, politics, business, entertainment, and more, with live streaming of CNN broadcasts available.
- NPR One: An audio app that streams the latest public radio news and stories curated for you. Discover local and national NPR coverage, shows, and podcasts, making it easy to stay informed and entertained.
- Medium: An online publishing platform where users can read, write, and interact with stories that matter to them. It features content from a diverse range of writers, from professional journalists to hobbyists.
Creativity & Design
- Adobe Photoshop Express: A powerful, mobile version of Adobe’s premier photo editing software, offering easy-to-use tools for editing and enhancing photos directly from your phone or tablet.
- Canva: A user-friendly graphic design tool with templates for everything from social media graphics to presentations, offering a simple way to create professional-quality design projects.
- Procreate: An iPad app designed for artists and designers, offering an intuitive interface and advanced brush library to create stunning illustrations, paintings, and graphics with the touch of a finger.
- PicsArt: Combines the best features of a photo editor and a collage maker into one app, allowing users to manipulate photos, create digital drawings, and experiment with various artistic effects.
- Autodesk SketchBook: A drawing and painting app that offers professional-grade tools for digital artists, with a focus on a natural drawing experience and high-quality output.
- Adobe Lightroom: A powerful photo editor and camera app that allows photographers to edit and organize images with advanced tools and presets, optimized for both beginners and professionals.
- InShot: A video editing app that makes it easy to create and edit videos with music, effects, and text, catering to social media enthusiasts looking to enhance their video content.
- VSCO: A photo editing app known for its stylish presets and advanced camera controls, VSCO also offers a community for photographers to share and discover new work.
- Snapseed: A comprehensive photo-editing app developed by Google, offering a wide range of tools and filters to enhance photos with precision, suitable for both amateurs and professionals.
- Pixlr: An online photo editing tool that’s easy to use and accessible from any device, offering a variety of filters, effects, and editing features to transform any photo into a work of art.
As we wrap up our journey through the 100 must-know apps of the year, it’s clear that the digital landscape is more vibrant and diverse than ever. These apps not only serve as tools for efficiency and creativity but also as gateways to new knowledge, connections, and experiences. With each app, we’re invited to explore new possibilities, whether it’s mastering a new skill, discovering a passion for digital art, or connecting with communities around the globe.
As technology continues to evolve, so too will the apps that we come to rely on. It’s an exciting time to explore the potential that these digital tools offer, and this list serves as a starting point for anyone looking to enhance their digital journey. Remember, the best app for you is the one that meets your unique needs, helps you achieve your goals, and brings joy and convenience into your life. So, dive in, experiment with new apps, and make the most of what the digital world has to offer.
Must Know Apps FAQs
What are the top 5 apps?
The top 5 apps often vary by metrics such as downloads, user engagement, and revenue. As of my last update, widely recognized top apps included WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Spotify, known for their vast user bases and daily engagement.
What apps do people need the most?
The apps people need most typically cover communication, productivity, finance, health, and entertainment. Essentials include messaging apps like WhatsApp, finance managers like Mint, health trackers like MyFitnessPal, productivity tools like Evernote, and entertainment platforms like Netflix.
What is the most useful app on your phone?
This can vary greatly depending on personal or professional needs. For many, productivity and communication apps like Slack or Google Drive are indispensable, while others may find health and fitness apps like Fitbit or Headspace most beneficial.
What are the 3 most popular apps of all time?
Historically, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram have been among the most popular apps globally, dominating in terms of active users and downloads over several years.
Which is No 1 app in the world?
The “No. 1 app” title can shift, but as of my last update, TikTok has seen significant surges in downloads and engagement, making it one of the world’s leading apps in terms of active user engagement and growth rate.
What is the 1st most used app?
WhatsApp has consistently ranked as one of the most used apps globally, thanks to its widespread adoption for messaging and calling across a variety of demographics and regions.
What is the most used app in 2023?
While specific data may vary, apps like TikTok, WhatsApp, and Instagram continue to be incredibly popular for their respective purposes of entertainment, communication, and social networking.
What is the most downloaded app in 2023?
TikTok has continued to see a high number of downloads into 2023, competing closely with other social media and communication apps for the top spot in app stores around the world.
When was TikTok the most downloaded app?
TikTok first became the most downloaded app in the iOS App Store in the first quarter of 2018. It has maintained significant popularity and download rates in subsequent years, often leading the charts in various regions worldwide.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Denis Cherkashin; Unsplash – Thank you!