2020 has been a strange year. We’ve gone through extended periods of isolation, sought out alternative means of connecting with our loved ones and found new ways of entertaining ourselves. But, luckily, we’ve seen some fantastic applications come onto the scene that have allowed us to do exactly that.
So, as we gratefully wave goodbye to 2020 and celebrate the upcoming National App Day, it’s only right that we take a look back on the top ten apps of the year!
1. Disney Plus
It goes without saying that Disney has been a household name for decades, but as we’ve seen before with the transition from videos to DVDs, the brand needed a revamp. And of course, they didn’t disappoint with their bespoke streaming platform. Disney Plus became available in the UK in March which, in retrospect, was perfect timing. Users were able to enjoy their all-time favourites as well as take a peek at brand new films, series and shorts.
The service is available to users for £5.99 a month or for an annual cost of £59.99 – a small fee when it comes to keeping your kids (or yourself!) entertained for long periods.
This may seem a little less interesting than Disney Plus, but it’s undoubtedly been a saving grace for businesses and individuals alike these past few months. The app has allowed many of us to keep in touch whilst staying apart – along with the likes of Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and Skype – however, Zoom seems to be the reigning champ. With continual updates, sleek designs, and generally simple service, the platform is unmatched thus far.
Whatever your preference, it’s safe to say that ‘2020’ and ‘Zoom’ have quickly become linked in our national vocabulary.
With TikTok, you either love it or you hate it. However, no matter your feelings, you’ll know about it.
The app stormed onto the scene as 2019 drew to a close, however it began to see real success in the initial months of 2020. The platform invites users to showcase their creativity, take part in viral trends and dance routines as well as simply play around with some of its fun features – all crammed into a 60-second window!
It doesn’t need to be said that the platform has become vastly popular across the globe and we’re not the only ones to notice. Leading social media platform, Instagram, quickly adopted a similar service titled ‘Reels’ following TikTok’s success however it’s been unable to replicate the same results thus far.
For those that don’t enjoy cooking, lockdown has been a learning experience and sometimes we may have needed a bit of extra help. Fortunately, in our ever-advancing modern world, we can have just that in a matter of clicks.
HelloFresh has been the driving force in this sector by providing subscribers with a hand-picked box of ingredients and tailored recipes each week – guiding them through the new experience with ease.
Whatsapp is likely nothing new in your books, but you have to admit, it’s been particularly helpful in 2020 – even for those family members that are slightly new to the world of technology. So whether you simply use it to stay in touch with your loved ones every now and then or use it to host a weekly, themed discussion, it’s simple service has been invaluable in recent months!
Lockdown has sparked a new sense of determination and creativity for many – and this is evident in the number of new small businesses emerging. We highly doubt that you’ve made it through the year without being invited to like a new business page or Instagram profile – and if you’ve taken a peek at the new profiles, it’s more than likely that you’ve seen some Canva artistry at work.
The app has been popular for years due to its free features as well as it’s subscription service, but 2020 has definitely prompted a surge in use!
Fitness goals emerged with a vengeance this year. Firstly with the usual New Years’ Resolutions and then once more as we entered the national lockdown. But with gyms only staying open for small periods amidst the pandemic, we’ve been forced to turn towards alternate means.
A frontrunner in this aspect has been Fiit – a platform dedicated to bringing the gym home. With over 500 classes, from HIIT workouts to Zumba routines, all available on your phone, tablet or TV, it’s safe to say it’s done just that. The service offers both a monthly and yearly subscription plan which can be a little daunting for any first-timers, but luckily they also offer a free 14-day trial so that you can check that it’s the right app for you.
8. Bloom & Wild
Sending gifts has become a fairly tricky task – especially if you’ve been trying to self-isolate completely which is why applications such as Bloom & Wild have become so popular. The app, or website, allows you to send a bunch of beautiful, freshly cut flowers straight to your loved one’s letterbox without moving from your sofa – ensuring that you can both stay safe.
We’ve already said it, small businesses are more popular than ever, and Etsy is a platform where you’ll have access to thousands. From handmade jewellery to custom gifts or personalised homeware, you’ll always be able to find a seller that delivers. And with 2020 seeing less commuting, less expenditure on entertainment or on dining out, we’ve had an extra few pennies to play with – meaning many of us have found new ways to spend our money!
Remote working has become the norm, but as you would expect, it’s come with some complications. Workers have been forced to self-motivate, actively monitor their own time usage as well as meet team deadlines whilst working apart. None of which is easy.
That’s why applications such as Forest have become so important. Forest keeps your working environment on track throughout the day keeping your phone occupied and providing incentives to keep it that way. The longer you work, and leave your device untouched, the more time your tree will have to grow. Yes, your tree. If you leave the app before the tree is grown, you’ll lose all progress.
The downside to increased productivity and improved environmental action? There isn’t one.