Digital deluge

In future, when kids learn the alphabet, chances are A won’t be for Apple anymore but for Apps.

Published: 20th January 2019 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th January 2019 05:06 AM   |  A+A-

In future, when kids learn the alphabet, chances are A won’t be for Apple anymore but for Apps. The future of apps is all about multitasking: One app that does everything from ordering food and checking bank balances to chatting with friends and calling a taxi. An app that alone replaces every other app on the phone. It can even be something ultra-sophisticated: An app that does everything but one that we can’t see. Something that lives in a tiny dot in our ears and is clever enough to anticipate our needs and do what we want without us having to find and press on icons. Whatever the future holds, apps are here to stay—definitely longer than us mere mortals. So, belt up as we zip past the best apps you can use in 2019.

(iOS, Android/Free)
If the last few years taught us anything, it is that everyone snoops on us—internet service providers, social networks, governments, hackers in distant lands. Everybody loves to follow what we do on the internet. While there are many ways to protect ourselves on the internet, the service from the American cyber security company Cloudflare is one of the best because for one it is totally free, and of course, easy to use. All you need to do is download the app, and turn on the big switch in the app and you are set. As a bonus, the app also makes your internet connection at least marginally faster. 

(iOS, Android/Free)
Does 2019 make you feel old? Fear not, get TikTok. One of the most addictive apps to come out of China, it lets users create fun and short videos, and share them with the world. Letting you just show off your singing talents or just having fun with some of the weirdest stickers, TikTok aims to fill all the endlessly boring hours of our lives with never-ending videos.

Nova Launcher
No two Android phones are the same, but there is one way to get a consistent and well-designed experience. Nova Launcher replaces your home screen with a customisable app launcher with endless choice of icons, layouts and animations to choose from. It lets you create multiple docks and scroll between them, gives you infinite scroll and puts widgets in the dock. And since it is highly optimised, it even speeds up the cheapest phone you install it on. 

Siri Shortcuts 
Modern iPhones are incredibly powerful machines whose true potential we don’t utilise because we usually don’t go beyond Facebook and Instagram. But now there is a new way to automate processes on the iPhones: It’s time to put Siri to work. Siri Shortcuts, Apple’s app for iOS 12, is that incredibly powerful app which lets users automate anything from playing your favourite songs, opening window shades, logging your weight after a workout and much more. You get the choice to choose from a galley of tasks or even get to make your own tasks to suit your own lifestyle. Either way it is a great, free way to automate mundane tasks and also impress your friends.


(iOS, Android/Free)
One of the biggest downsides of travel apps is that they don’t allow for really short-term stays. And as any avid traveller knows, such short-term stays are one of the most under-appreciated factors of travel. Due to breakdowns, traffic, train delays or whatever the reason, when we find ourselves wanting to stay somewhere for a few hours, Dayuse, with its 4,000 properties in 100 cities in 20 countries around the world, is the go-to app. 

(iOS, Android/Free)
Flio is the one-stop shop for info about airports in the world. Whether you are passing through a layover, waiting for a cancelled flight, or just want some quick info about any of the 3,000 airports in it, Flio is a must-have app. With terminal and parking info, and details about how to get to and from the said airport, Flio offers everything you would need, and as an added bonus it offers discount coupons for airport restaurants and shops. 

Roomer Travel
(iOS, Android/Free)
Roomer Travel lets you sell your nonrefundable pre-booked hotel rooms to other guests when you have to cancel your trips due to unforeseen circumstances. And since people who cancel their trips put up their hotel rooms for sale at great discounts to avoid losing all their money, you can even search Roomer for some great discounts. 


One of the best annotation tools available for both the iPhone and the iPad, Annotable has a rich set of common shapes, tools to blur and pixelate in three different styles. It also has a magical text highlighter and the ability to zoom into parts of the picture. 

iPhone users will tell you that they are in love with the Live Photos feature of the phone that captures a few second before and after you make the photo to turn that photo into a fun moment. Snapthread makes it more fun by letting you put together a bunch of such live photos to make a beautiful, small video. You can then easily edit the videos, add music and titles, and share it with others.

(iOS, Android/Free)
Vimage lets you take any photo clicked from any phone and make a nice living image from that photo. Using clever animations, it will make clouds in your photos move, bubbles fly and water flow. It is well-designed and easy to use, and is available on both platforms, which means you don’t need an expensive photo to make cute living images.


mTrakr Money
mTrakr is a clever little app that takes advantage of lax permission settings on Android to analyse your SMS inbox to detect information such as expenses, bills, payments and automatically generates an intelligent analysis that can be used to securely manage money, bank accounts, credit cards and bill reminders. The daily expense manager and beautifully designed graphs make it a must-have app. 

In the age of the gig-economy, more and more of us are working as freelancers. And when you are juggling a couple of jobs with different rates and different schedules, you need a good app to track your expenses. Tycoon is your best bet. Along with job and client details, the app lets you enter tax rates and commission rates, shows the jobs in colour-coded charts and does a whole lot more. 

Part of managing your money is tracking all your expenses. And if an app can do that automatically, all the more better. Walnut helps you stay within budget by tracking expenses and credit card bills. Since it also lets you split expenses with friends and even pay credit card bills, it can be a one-stop shop for your finances. 


Fortnite or PUBG (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows/Free)
The craze for Battle Royale games doesn’t seem to be subsiding any time in the new year. Whenever you see a bunch of friends sitting together looking into their phones, or if someone can’t seem to leave their phone while shouting into it about chicken dinners, that means they are on either of the two popular games in the genre. Whichever you choose, make sure to get your friends around and go for that dinner. 

(iOS, Android, Mac,
Twitch is the YouTube of multiplayer games and e-sports, and lets you chat with other gamers. Apart from watching livestream from other gamers around the world, it also lets you broadcast your own games and gain a following among the gamer community and may be even earn a living as a Twitch streamer if you are a good-enough gamer. 

Asphalt 9 
(iOS, Android/ Free)
Asphalt 9, the latest installment in the hugely popular car racing game, takes advantage of the latest phone hardware to take it to the next level. With a lineup of hypercars from renowned car manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini and W Motors, exotic locations and over 800 events in the career mode, this hyper-realistic arcade racing game is a must-have, particularly because it is free.


(iOS, Android/Free)
Roblox is the world’s largest social platform for play for kids under 14. With 64 million active players every month, Roblox lets you play with kids from around the world in user-generated games that show the creativity of kids. With cross-platform multiplayer gaming, customisable avatars, and a built-in chat within the games, Roblox is a must-have game for under-14s. 

Lego Juniors 
(iOS, Android/Free)
Lego Juniors is a creative building game for kids aged 4-7 using virtual Lego bricks. With customisable vehicles, mini figure avatars, and vast landscapes, this game keeps your kids’ creative juices flowing. Age-appropriate animations, colours, and navigation make it the perfect game for kids. 

Novation Launchpad
Most of the music-making apps on the App Store can be a bit too much for the young ones. Novation Launchpad is easier and intuitive to use. With tonnes of options and genres to choose from, it will keep the kids occupied for hours while letting them do something creative. 


We can order literally anything on the internet now, but often the process itself is cumbersome. Lookup wants to help with that by being the one-stop shop for ordering anything through chat. So instead of going to individual websites to order stuff or book holidays or rent cars, you go to Lookup, chat with an executive who will do all those things for you. You can even pay through the app itself.

(iOS, macOS/Free)
There is no dearth of task managers on the app stores, but nothing is as good as GoodTask. It syncs with iOS’ reminders and calendar, and lets users create smart lists through quick actions. You can plan ahead by using a built-in calendar that can be filled using presets and text snippets. 

(iOS, Android, macOS, 
Windows, Linux/Free)
Discord is a cross-platform voice and text chat app designed specifically for gamers. At the same time, it is very easy to use and is an excellent app that can be utilised for collaboration in workplaces and also to chat with friends. With real-time text messaging, built-in voice and video chats and support for multiple servers, Discord is a must-have chat app for gamers and workers alike.


Coffee Meets Bagel 
(iOS, Android/Free)
Coffee meets bagel sends you a bagel, an account recommendation, a day. And if you start chatting with that account, it gives you eight days to go for coffee and make a real-life connection after which it will delete all the chats in the app. With super-specific search criterion this is a fun take on a dating app. 

(iOS, Android/Free)
Happn relies on accidental meet-ups to connect you with others. Once you give the app permission to access your location, it will look for other users of the app near you and let you like them. The next time you are both in the same location, the app lets you go further and chat. 

(iOS, Android/Free)
Hinge depends on your Facebook network to find you the ideal match. Once you give it access to your Facebook network, it will search through the network of friends of your Facebook friends to find people with similar interests and bring you together. 


Lire is a must-have RSS reader for both the iPhone and the iPad. RSS readers show feeds in a chronological order from all of your favourite websites and are a great way to catch up on news, but they often show a really small preview. Lire uses a full-text extraction tool to show more info from every link so you don’t have to click through. And once Lire caches the link, it will show the full page even when you are not connected to the internet. 

(iOS, Android/Free)
It is the best app to keep up with global events. Powered by a clever news-picking AI, Nwsty gives you a concise summary every weekday morning of 5-10 most important news stories from around the world. You can then decide to read the stories yourself or let the app read them for you.

(iOS, Android/Free)
Inkl brings together the most up-to-date news in any field that you want to follow and packs it into a beautiful, ad-free app that is easy to read and navigate. Curated by human editors, Inkl finds news from the most reputable news brands in the world. As a bonus, it even has a “good news” feed that curates all the positive stories of the day. 


(iOS, Android/Free)
Sworkit has a well-designed six-week programme to make you fit and concentrates on body weight workouts with nice video tutorial so you don’t even need to go to the gym to follow the plan. With guided workout plans and 200+ workouts and exercises, it is a must-have app. 

Attending fitness classes run by specialists is a great way to stay in shape. But the problem with fitness classes is that they are run at times that are convenient to the gym and the instructor, not to you. Qinetic solves that problem by letting you stream classes by some of the best instructors in the world, whenever you want. 

(iOS, Android/Free)
There are tonnes of apps out there to track your runs, walks and even hikes, but there aren’t many good apps to track bicycle workouts. Cyclemeter wants to change that through precise tracking, good analysis using charts and use of GPS data to show your cycling routes. 

(Apple Watch/Free)
Tracking our sleep can help us get healthier. But the problem with most sleep trackers is that they need the users to put in a lot of work like inputting sleep times, etc. AutoSleep Tracker tracks your beauty sleep without you having to do anything except wear your Apple Watch to bed. Once tracked, it automatically syncs the data with Apple Health so you can see your statistics both on the watch and the iPhone. 

Clue Period Tracker 
(iOS, Android/Free)
Clue is an easy-to-use, beautifully designed period tracker and calendar that gives personalised reminders about periods, PMS, ovulation, and fertility. Unlike many period trackers, Clue offers in-depth scientific information about the menstrual cycle and offers in-depth analysis of current and past menstrual cycles. As a bonus on the iPhone, it syncs with Apple Health so you can get even more out of your data. 

(iOS, Android/Free)
Happy people have healthier lives. Happify uses science-based activities and games to elevate happiness and reduce stress. Developed by leading scientists and experts in the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy, Happify goes well with other health and fitness apps designed to keep you healthy.


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