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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

      Vikas is the co-founder of Infobrandz, an Infographic design agency that offers creative visual content solutions to medium to large companies.

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      Last Updated on July 29, 2020

      19 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

      19 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

      Whether you use your Mac for work or just for your personal projects, you’ve likely found yourself wondering how to improve your productivity. There are only so many hours in a day, and so much mental stamina you can muster before you run out.

      There are dozens of tricks you can use to improve your own productivity and outlook, but if you’re looking for a more objective, comprehensive fix, the best thing to do is equip your Mac with productivity apps designed to help you do more in less time.

      This Lifehack-exclusive list has some of the best productivity apps to help you feel less tired, improve your energy, and ultimately help you get more done every day:

      1. Todoist

        Available for all iOS devices, Todoist is a note-taking and organization app that can keep you on top of all your projects—both personal and professional.

        Its best features are all free to use, including browser extensions, task creation, and interactive boards you can use to organize all your notes.

        If you want to pay the optional $29 yearly fee, you can get even more advanced features like backups and automatic reminders. Even with the free version, you’ll stay far more organized.

        Download: Todoist

        2. 1Password

          You may not realize it, but you probably spend a ton of time recalling your passwords, especially if and when you forget one to an app you use on a regular basis.

          1Password is an app for Mac that saves and remembers all your passwords for you in one place, so you can access all your favorite sites with a single click.

          You’ll save time and keep all your accounts secure simultaneously. A personal plan is $2.99 per month.

          Download: 1Password

          3. Bear

            Bear is a unique kind of note-taking app designed to make it easier for Mac users to jot down notes on the go. With it, you can create to-do lists, give yourself reminders, and outline concepts for future brainstorming sessions.

            It comes with many different inline styles so you can customize your notes to your personal preferences, and remember the context in which you wrote them. The core version is free, with a $14.99 per year version available as well.

            Download: Bear

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            4. Hazel

              Hazel by noodlesoft is an automated organization tool designed for Mac that will help you automatically organize your files based on any custom rules you want to create.

              For example, you can set it to move untouched items from one folder into another folder labeled “action items” if they haven’t been addressed within a week. It can save you hours of organization over the course of a few weeks. A single license is a flat $32.

              Download: noodlesoft

              5. Alfred

                Alfred is an all-in-one app designed to save you time with Mac shortcuts and convenient custom actions. You can use it in a variety of ways.

                For example, you can access Alfred’s clipboard memory so you don’t copy and paste the same material over and over, or set up custom workflows to automate some of your most repetitive tasks.

                It’s a paid app, with multiple price points based on the features you desire.

                Download: Alfred

                6. TextExpander

                  TextExpander does exactly what the name suggests; it allows you to type a short snippet of text, and expand that text automatically.

                  For example, you can create a custom expansion that allows you to conjure a full paragraph you type repeatedly by simply typing a unique abbreviation. Once you get used to your custom combinations, you’ll spare your fingers from typing thousands of words.

                  An individual account is $3.33 per month.

                  Download: TextExpander

                  7. Backblaze

                    If you’ve ever experienced a crash, or theft of your Mac, you know how much time a system restore can cost you. You’ll spend hours replacing the files you lost, and lose thousands of files that are irreplaceable.

                    Backblaze is an automated, inexpensive way to back up your entire Mac for just $5 a month.

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                    Download: Backblaze

                    8. Keyboard Maestro

                      Keyboard Maestro is an older app that still has the power to make your life easier. With it, you can automate any number of tasks based on a certain trigger (such as a hotkey combination, or an event like connecting to a wireless network). A single license only costs $36.

                      Download: Keyboard Maestro

                      9. Snagit

                        There are many applications for a good screen-capture app, whether you’re trying to illustrate a tech problem you have or just want to make an interesting meme. Snagit makes it easy, with built-in editing for both still images and video. A single license covers two machines, and costs $49.95.

                        Download: TechSmith/Snagit

                        10. Bartender

                          Bartender is the cleverly-named app that helps you clean up and organize all your menu bar icons. You can also access them quickly with keyboard shortcuts.

                          If you’re like most Mac users, those icons get cluttered quickly and stop you from working efficiently. It’s free to try for 4 weeks, after which you’ll need a $15 license.

                          Download: Bartender

                          11. Otter

                          Otter is the Mac app for the note taker who hates typing. It’s an intelligent voice-recognition system and note-taking app that will help you transcribe your conversations, keep notes during meetings, and even take contextual notes to yourself in your own time.

                          Best of all, it’s free to get started!

                          Download: Otter

                          12. Flux

                            Do you often find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, or feeling unable to get to sleep after a day of staring at your computer? That could be because of the unnatural blue light that radiates from your Mac.

                            Flux naturally adapts your display to emit light that matches the time of day, so you can sleep better and feel less tired. It’s also free!

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                            Download: Flux

                            13. PDFpen

                            If you deal with PDFs on a regular basis, you probably find yourself wishing for some kind of tool that can let you mark up those PDFs however you want. Without a dedicated app like PDFpen, this can be difficult.

                            PDFpen lets you edit PDFs in almost any conceivable way, giving you more power and saving you time. A single license is $74.95.

                            Download: Smile Software/PDFpen

                            14. OmniFocus

                              OmniFocus is all about task management. It has a clean interface that allows you to tag your tasks, schedule events, and even automate certain features.

                              It’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market, so there’s a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it.

                              A standard license is $39.99, while the pro version is $79.99.

                              Download: OmniFocus

                              15. Franz

                                It’s tiring to switch between dozens of different chat programs like Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp, whenever you want to have a conversation with a different contact.

                                Franz’s solution is simple; offer access to all these apps in one convenient package. And best of all, it’s completely open source.

                                Download: Franz

                                16. MindNode

                                  If you’re the brainstorming type, you need an app like MindNode to help you efficiently organize your thoughts. There are dozens of tools you can use to connect ideas in a mind map, or simply jot down notes for future reference.

                                  The core app is free, with in-app purchases available.

                                  Download: MindNode

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                                  17. Focus

                                    The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can be awfully distracting. And if you’re like the majority of us, you’ve interrupted work on a project because of some attention-grabbing site or bad online habit. That’s where Focus comes in.

                                    This app allows you to block the worst offenders with custom time limits and other constraints, so you can focus on the task at hand. A single license is $19.99.

                                    Download: Focus

                                    18. CleanMyMac

                                      Chances are, your Mac isn’t working as fast as it could, thanks to gigabytes of clutter and unnecessary files on your system. CleanMyMac helps you scan your Mac, monitor its health, and ultimately clean it up—so you can handle all your tasks that extra bit faster. A single license is $39.95.

                                      Download: CleanMyMac

                                      19. Grammarly

                                        A spelling error or grammatical mistake can cost you big time. It could be the source of a worse grade on a big paper, or compromise your credibility in the workplace. Thankfully, Grammarly can help you.

                                        This Mac-integrated writing assistant monitors all your writing and makes live corrections, so you’re alerted to your potential mistakes before they become permanent.

                                        A free version exists, but the premium version will cost you between $11 and $30 a month, depending on how you pay.

                                        Download: Grammarly

                                        The Bottom Line

                                        These productivity apps should help you squeeze more productive hours out of every day, but they aren’t the only tools you’ll have to help you find success.

                                        Make the time to learn about and experiment with all the life hacks that can make you more productive. By improving your devices as well as your outlook and focus, you’ll be able to get far more done in a day, and feel better doing it.

                                        More to Boost Productivity

                                        Featured photo credit: Patrick Ward via unsplash.com

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