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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 February 15, 2019

      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

      Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

      Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

      Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

      So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

      Joe’s Goals

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        Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

        Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

        Daytum

          Daytum

          is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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          Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

          Excel or Numbers

            If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

            What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

            Evernote

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              I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

              Evernote is free with a premium version available.

              Access or Bento

                If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                Conclusion

                I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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