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5 Popular Areas of Interest for App Development in 2016

5 Popular Areas of Interest for App Development in 2016

Smartphones and tablets seem to be getting better–and cheaper–with each passing year. Most of them often receive hardware upgrades that put them at par with high-performance PCs and laptops that are normally reserved for extreme gaming, video editing, and heavy multitasking.

Without good software, however, high-performance hardware often goes to waste. Thankfully, software developers have been responding in kind, producing an assortment of useful apps for various mobile platforms. The most popular mobile apps usually fall into distinct categories across all major app stores, including Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

In this article, we skim through the most popular app stores for app categories with the most awesome apps as the year winds down.

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1. Education

On Google Play, educational apps form the bulk of the most popular applications designed for Android smartphones. These apps draw their popularity from the wide range of age groups they serve – from preschoolers to college students and beyond. Young kids can indulge in the Toca game series, Peek-a-boo Surprise, and Drawing for Kids, all of which have been downloaded more than a thousand times.

Apps such as Evernote, My Study Life, and EasyBib for iOS and Android have become popular with college students and other adult users. Apps like these are one of the reasons why 77 percent of students interviewed in a McGraw-Hill Education survey trust technology to help improve their grades.

2. Gaming

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    Perhaps one of the biggest gainers from improved technology in 2016 is gaming. Like education apps, gaming apps cut across all age groups. Gaming apps are also the most popular app category on the App Store, making up over 24 percent of the 130 billion apps downloaded until summer of 2016.

    Notable mentions here include Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans, which are some of the highest ‘grossing’ apps of all time on iOS, Windows Phone, and Android platforms.

    3. Business

    Mobile devices have become extensions of our personal and professional lives. Apps like Microsoft Word, Adobe Reader, and OCR-enabled document converters such as Mobile Doc Scanner enable individuals to continue working remotely. The convenience and the ability to increase productivity are some of the reasons why business apps rank highly on all major app stores.

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    Business apps made up over 10 percent of all apps downloaded on the App Store, with over 167,000 business apps being downloaded on Google Play.

    4. Tools and Utilities

    Most major app stores are filled with apps that enable users to utilize their smartphones as practical utility tools. Because many phones come with a basic calculator or a flashlight, these tools and utilities add on to the functionality of the smartphone, which makes the phones more versatile for everyday use. Some tools in this category can even help recover your iOS device or Android smartphone or tablet when you lose it, which can be of great help in an extremely stressful situation. Others even help you find your way around a new neighborhood, thanks to GPS.

    Utilities make up fewer than 5 percent of all apps on the App Store, while Google Play plays host to about 138,000 utility tools. The most popular tools in this category include antivirus applications such as Avast, Kaspersky Antivirus, and Avira Antivirus; unit converters, scientific calculators, security apps, and an assortment of other useful utilities.

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    5. Entertainment

    woman-with-her-mobile-phone-sitting-at-coffee-shop_1163-56

      This area is one of the fastest growing categories in mobile app development, with new apps coming out every other day. With all the negativity in the real world, entertainment apps help us to get away from it all – albeit temporarily. Power up Talking Tom Cat and let the Tom cat tickle your funny bone after a stressful day at work, or install Netflix to stream your favorite movie or TV series anywhere, anytime.

      If you are a developer looking to capitalize on your talents, mobile platforms offer a fun way to realize your goals. Publishing an app in these popular categories gives you a real shot at digital fame and the ability to make a living out of your talents. While publishing on multiple app stores is often an uphill task for many developers, doing so increases your chances of making more sales faster and establishing your name across different platforms.

      Featured photo credit: App Developer by Dashbook via venturebeat.com

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      Vikas Agrawal

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      Last Updated on August 29, 2018

      5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

      5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

      Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.

      Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around, and provides you with digital features, like tagging and search functions.

      Here are a list of five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age:

      1. 750words

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      750 words

        750words is a free online journaling tool created by Buster Benson. The site is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; a journaling tool Julia Cameron suggests in her creativity course The Artist’s Way. Cameron advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

        750 words is the three-page digital equivalent (assuming the average person writes 250 words per page) and lets you store all your journaling online. Each morning, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words, and the site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries. The site uses a Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the emotional content from your posts and provides feedback on features like your mood, and most commonly used words.

        750 words is simple to set up and is ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leader boards, and opt-in monthly challenges.

        2. Ohlife

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        ohlife

          Ohlife is designed to make online journaling as easy as possible. Once you’ve signed up for your free account, the website will send you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Simply reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, and your response will be stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in.

          Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity: no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organisational systems—the site is designed to provide you with a private, online space. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife will do the rest.

          3. Oneword

          oneword

            OneWord is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound.

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            Oneword is not a private journaling tool: if you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers, and might be used by Oneword in the future. If you’d rather keep your answers to yourself, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details.

            4. Penzu

              Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your journaling notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, however you can upgrade to Penzu Pro and get access to additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile, for $19 per year.

              With either version of Penzu, you can insert pictures, and add tags and comments to entries, as well as search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only, or share them with others.

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              5. Evernote

              Evernote isn’t a purpose-built journaling tool, however its features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks”, tag your entries, include pictures, audio and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries.

              Available online within a web browser, and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also comes with a series of mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app.

              For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on Notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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