The Top 20 Apps of 2016



As 2016 closes, we welcome in a new year of exciting technology and apps. However, before we close the door, we would like to say adieu to 2016 by highlighting the top apps of the year.

If you haven’t checked out these apps, we recommend that you look into them. After all, you can’t start a new year without being up-to-date on the latest and greatest smartphone and tablet apps.

  1. Venmo – Have you heard, “Just Venmo me?” If not, you’ll hear it soon. This app has become a verb and is the latest way for Millennials to send money. (iPhone and Android, Free)
  2. Messages - This default Apple app contains rich features since it received an overhaul with iOS 10. Users can now send stickers, fun graphic effects and use third-party apps with this program. (iPhone, Free)
  3. Signal - This is the premium encrypted chat app that is used by whistleblowers, businesspeople and even politicians. You know if politicians use it, it must be good. Featuring end-to-end encryption, the company that designed the app can’t see what you’re receiving or sending. As long as both parties use Signal, they’re free to blow as many whistles as they want. (iPhone and Android, Free)
  4. Snapchat - Politicians Snapchat so why don’t you? This video/picture-messaging app contains a slew of awesome features, ranging from facial lenses to geofilters. While Snapchat isn’t new, the update they released early last year was so stellar that it catapulted them to fame. (iPhone and Android, Free)
  5. Pokémon Go - A blockbuster sensation, this app allowed players to explore the world and capture Pokémon creatures, collect items and even engage in battles. Game developer Niantic captured the popularity of Pokémon’s 1990’s success and combined it with virtual reality to create a new gaming dimension for Smartphones. (iPhone and Android, Free)
  6. WhatsApp - Popular worldwide, WhatsApp is the messaging app of choice for 55% of the world. With more than one billion users, that means one in seven people now use this communication app. (iPhone and Android, Free)
  7. NPR One - This app is for the news stations of NPR (National Public Radio). It’s a customizable radio station that is designed to learn what topics and shows you’re interested in and (over time) builds a personal feed that is tailored to subjects that matter to you. (iPhone and Android, Free)
  8. NYT Cooking - The New York Times makes it easy to whip up dinners for two, search by ingredients or find slow-cooker recipes. You can search their vast database based on prep time, types of meals and much more. You can even save recipes from the web to this app for later. (iPhone, Free)
  9. Spotify - The supreme music streaming app, Spotify features a new user interface that makes it simple to find whatever music suits your mood. (iPhone and Android, Free with Ads)
  10. A Good Snowman Is Hard to Build - If you love puzzles, try your hand at this challenging game. This game involves making people made of snow, a black creature, ornamental birdbaths, potted plants and birdhouses. Goals differ but involve puzzles to get your brain working and in tip-top shape. (iPhone and Android, $4.99)
  11. Prisma - This standout photo-editing app transforms your photos into one-of-a-kind works of art. The new update also allows you to turn your videos into artwork. This app is far from the run-of-the-mill photo apps that only do cropping or basic filters. This app elevates your photos and videos to an entirely different level of awesomeness. (iPhone and Android, Free)
  12. White Noise - Perfect for newborns and babies, this app is designed to create ambient noises, such as ocean waves, rain and streams, to lull babies to sleep. Of course, it works on adults too! (iPhone and Android, Free with Ads)
  13. Bitmoji - Create custom emoji-like stickers and an avatar in your own image! Last year, Snapchat bought the company that created this app. Now you can use your bitmoji creations in your snapchats! (iPhone and Android, Free)
  14. Google Translate - Whether it’s spoken words, typed phrases or even street signs, Google Translate can help you learn your way back to your hotel or even to navigate interesting menus in foreign countries. They even offer a tap-to-translate feature and offline language packs, which are perfect when you don’t have data plans abroad. (iPhone and Android, Free)
  15. Breathe - Designed specifically for the Apple Watch, this mentally exhilarating app can take your mental health to a new level. It will guide you through a series of short deep breathing exercises, so that you can remain stress-free and in charge of your busy day. (Apple Watch, Free)
  16. Amazon Alexa - This app turns your Smartphone into a remote for the Echo internet-connected speaker. (iPhone and Android, Free)
  17. Quik - This app takes your top video moments, determines appropriate mood music and creates a professional looking recording. This is perfect for creating short films for Instagram, YouTube or Facebook. (iPhone and Android, Free)
  18. Mint - While this app is older, it is perfect for creating and tracking budgets, as well as simplifying money management by following bank accounts in a single screen. (iPhone and Android, Free)
  19. Gboard - Google’s Gboard app is unparalleled. It intertwines Google’s search engine into text conversations, making it simple to find answers to questions without leaving a chat session. The Google search bar appears right on the keyboard, making it simple to find locations, store hours and much more. (iPhone, Free)
  20. Day One - If your New Year’s resolution was to keep a journal, this app makes it simple. It allows you to jot down your daily thoughts, take a photo and will even back up your journal to a cloud. (iPhone and Apple Watch, $4.99)