You may have had a bad year but these apps didn’t, and they’re helping us make sense of a strange reality
If there is one thing this reality show of a year has done for us, it has been to bring us closer to our phones. Whether that is a good or a bad thing is debatable, but thanks to lockdown, the rise of virtual meetings and good old boredom, many of us are probably spending more time on our phones than ever before. Being on your phone means interacting with apps and some apps have had a spectacular 2020. So if you will cue the drum-roll, the apps we think had the best year are:
Somewhere in the bowels of a Microsoft boardroom, a small team of people is being made to listen to an audio loop of cats in heat as a punishment. Before lockdown Skype was the app people had meetings on. It had been forever and yet somehow within weeks of lockdown being declared, Zoom had become a verb. Now it has become such a part of our lives that “you’re on mute” has basically become a national greeting.
In an effort to save themselves from the less-than-soothing sounds of cat lust, the good folk at Microsoft decided to give us Microsoft Teams, which is basically Zoom that went to private school. That said, Teams has also become incredibly popular over the course of 2020.
Remember Houseparty? Back when President Dad had only recently grounded us all and we didn’t know what to do with ourselves, Houseparty was the coolest and most annoying app in the world. Functioning a little bit like Zoom on casual Fridays, the app allows users to digitally congregate and essentially have a house party. Users could play games with one another, but most people just used it as a way to polish off all of their stockpiled booze in the company of others.
One of the major headaches that arose out of working from home was managing workflow. With so many of us stuck at home and unable to log on to the traditional work servers, projects started finding themselves scattered across a myriad of Gmail accounts, Word documents and whatever Apple uses in place of Microsoft Office. Any organisationally minded person will tell you that this is a recipe for disaster, which is where Slack comes in. By allowing companies and departments to essentially create digital offices wherein all work being submitted could float around in one place.
A late entrant into the race, but the last mobile game we saw get this popular this quickly was Fortnite and at its peak that game was hosting competitions where competitors could win millions of dollars. If you are unfamiliar with Among Us, it is a wildly popular mobile game where a group of players try to figure out who among them is a killer before they get murdered. It has become one of the most entertaining ways to test out one’s ability to lie and some of the YouTubers filming themselves playing it are racking up tens of millions of views.