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From Instagram to Candy Crush: These are the most important apps of the decade


Angela Lang / CNET

Over the past decade, applications (and by association, smartphones) have become an essential part of our lives. Since iOS The App Store and Google Play were launched in 2008 with what appeared to be primarily novelty titles. They have grown to include millions of apps that help us communicate. to meet new people, listen to music and kill pigs with birds. Okay, sometimes we still use our phone to make calls, but the apps are so popular that there are now apps that tell you how much time you spend using apps on your phone.

As part of Review of the CNET decade
here are our picks for the hard-hitting apps of the 2010s. I've outsourced this list to every CNET publisher, then I've kept it further. The result is the list below in no particular order.

Note that in the case of very similar applications, I have combined the most popular of this category, instead of having individual entries. And, of course, there are hundreds of powerful and important applications that are not on this list. If you think we have not included one of your favorite apps, put it in the comments and I'll be sure to tell you about it.


What is it? Instagram allows you to share photos and videos.
Why is it on the list: Instagram has changed the way we think about photos and, for many of us, has changed our eating habits (for a while, I could not start eating before I fully understood his image). It has also become an incredibly effective marketing tool over the years and continues to grow since it now reaches one billion users a month. I think the reason it's still popular is that it continues to evolve significantly. The addition of items such as Stories and Boomerang in recent years has helped keep a sense of freshness and the adoption of these features is a great way to continue to expand its database. ; users. While influential celebrities continue to make us believe that they are actually living incredibly extravagant lives in order to sell us products. and many people still behave in a totally irresponsible way to capture this "perfect image", Instagram is still one of the simplest and most entertaining social platforms on the market.


Getty Images


What is it? A social media platform for posting text, images and videos.
Why is it on the listThirteen years after its debut, no one will say that Twitter has completely changed the way the world communicates. Of Arab Spring where the protesters used Twitter not only to coordinate their efforts, but also to make their message heard to the world, to world leaders such as President Donald Trump, who can now immediately send a message to every person connected on the planet, it is clear that the communication will never be the same. Although Twitter has not been successful in suppressing hate speech, it remains one of the best and most informative social networks.


The Facebook application on an iPhone.

Fabian Sommer / dpa / Getty Images


What is it? Social Media and Networking Platform
Why is it on the list: Like Twitter, Facebook's debut predates the decade, but it has become the world's first social media platform, with nearly 2.5 billion active users. This allowed you to reconnect with old friends and family members around the world and flooded you with memes, cat videos, queries for Farmville and new ones, both real and shallow. After the brief rise of MySpace, Facebook has popularized social media with the general public. However, since the scandals surrounding the protection of users' privacy and the influx of false information, the platform has been under scrutiny since the 2016 election.


Tinder / Grindr / Bumble

What are they? Dating apps, popularized by their simple filtering mechanism.
Why they are on the list: Never before has finding someone, no matter what your needs and desires, has been so easy (in the case of Tinder and Bumble, swipe to the right on the picture of a potential partner if you are interested, otherwise swipe to the left.) Apps for everything from fast connections to casual encounters to long-term relationships. Grindr, an LGBTQ-oriented dating app, was the first to debut, but Tinder has profoundly changed the dating scene. So, you can filter your choices almost instantly to get exactly what you were looking for. LAUGH OUT LOUD! If only human beings were such simple creatures! BWAHAHAHAA !!

Google Maps / Apple Maps

What are they? The two most popular map / direction apps in the world.
Why they are on the list: Honestly, I do not travel without using one. I have a horrible sense of direction, I only started driving at the age of 30 and I still do not know most of the streets by their name . Seriously, I'm terrible and I need that. But I'm misleading. These applications brought Mapquest to its logical evolutionary conclusion. You can now travel anywhere in the world without even needing to know exactly where a place is. Just follow the instructions, as if you were playing GTA or something, and even see what your destination looks like from the outside. Personally, I prefer Google Maps, but Apple Maps has improved considerably since. its disastrous launch few years ago.

Capture of Google Maps

The latest update to Google Maps brings to seven the number of options for reporting traffic slowdowns.

Screenshot of Dale Smith / CNET


What is it? Streaming music service
Why is it on the list: I remember the first appearance of Spotify in 2011. It seemed to come out of nowhere and keep changing (you'll see this word a lot on this list if you have not already done so) in the industry. music in constant evolution. It looked a lot like the original version of Napster, only legal, but still free. Too free for some, as some artists such as Taylor Swift have, in the past, pulled all their music out of the service. Swift finally came back to the streaming giant.

At launch, Spotify had a huge library of 50 million songs that surpassed those of its competitors at the time. Spotify finally brought Apple to create its own music service called Apple Music in 2015, which also has access to more than 50 million songs.


What is it? An instant messaging platform
Why is it on the list: Which makes Soft different than a billion other IM clients over the past 25 years? It's mainly its integration with other applications and the way it can begin to feel like the core of everything that's happening on your job. These days, it's a puzzle that I open on the first morning: Slack or email. Slack is like an email, part 2.

But it's not only useful for the job. As family life gets more and more busy, families use Slack to communicate, which is both strange and attractive, as my own family begins to grow. But as with every tool, so does the way you use it – the debate over whether Slack improves or decreases productivity continues.


Could Uber reach the status of super-application?

Denis Charlet / AFP via Getty Images

Uber / Lyft

What are they? Order a carpool on your phone at your exact location and pay automatically with your credit card.
Why they are on the list: I remember four years ago when my beautiful 16 year old daughter-in-law visited me in Minneapolis, San Francisco. She had never heard of Uber, and all this frightened her. Now, I do not think she can imagine traveling otherwise. Of course, convenience is not free. Both Uber and Lyft have faced prosecution for alleged sexual assault of drivers, cities around the world tried to regulate them, and drivers fought for better pay. And while all these extra cars on the street can smother the traffic in the cities, we can not deny the effect of these applications on the way we travel.


What is it? Allows you to make digital payments to other people.
Why is it on the list: As a person who rarely carries money, I could never easily pay my share when I was dining with a group of friends. That's why Venmo and other similar apps are a bargain – with them, I do not constantly feel like a bad payer. You can pay things for your friends, like movie tickets, and now they have no excuse for not paying you back even before the movie starts! We are no longer fools!


Angry Birds in AR – it arrives on iOS.

Sarah Tew / CNET

angry Birds

What is it? A game where you throw birds on structures to try to kill pigs
Why is it on the list: In the beginning, Angry Birds was so popular that I thought I should enjoy it. In the end, when I played it, it was not the case, but its impact on expectations regarding the popularity of mobile gaming is unprecedented. Two films and many versions of the game later, Angry Birds is still a very popular franchise and has continued to evolve with its era, most recently with Angry Birds AR. Again, not my cup of tea, but many still like to take a sip.

Candy Crush Saga

What is it? A match-three puzzle game.
Why is it on the list: I knew it was something special when my wife, who is not a player, could not only minimize it, but also spent money playing it. It took him six years to finally move to Two Dots. I've never played Candy Crush Saga and I probably will not do it – the visuals are a little too saccharine for me – but it's one of the most tile matching games. popular of all times. You can access it quickly, its game mechanism is satisfactory and you can do it by listening to books (to paraphrase my wife). Despite its downfall, the overall popularity of the game has shown no signs of decline.



Pokemon Go

What is it? The first big AR game based in the Pokemon universe
Why is it on the list: It was a phenomenon when it was released in 2016. I tried to play at home, but there was nothing to find in my small suburban neighborhood, so I quickly abandoned, I was too embarrassed to play in town. The game has finally lost most of its base of players, but is still incredibly popular after reaching 1 billion downloads earlier this year. His formula for success was simple: combine an already successful franchise with a new technology with intense social connections. It worked pretty well.


What is it? Video platform allowing you to create videos of up to six seconds and share them.
Why is it on the list: After a promising start in 2012, Vine was abandoned by its owner, Twitter, in 2016 against growing competition, particularly from Instagram. But in the course of his life, Vine quickly popularized the abbreviated video application. This gives you the ability to create six-second videos and publish them immediately, which (at the time) was one of the coolest things I've ever seen in an app . I immersed myself in the experience, experimenting with strange techniques, choosing others and trying to develop narrator skills. As with most things, I was ready and ready to leave after a few months, but Vine continued to be a success, leading to the birth of his cousin of evolution, TikTok.

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Flappy Bird

What is it? A super-challenging mobile game that no longer exists in its original form.
Why is it on the list: Remember when this game was the most downloaded application on the App Store? He held this position for about a month in 2014 before his developer suddenly removed it. He said that it was so addictive that he was losing sleep because he was attracting so many people. he was crazy-hard and something I could stand for no more than two minutes. And its notoriety continued, even after its withdrawal – people were trying (unsuccessfully) to sell phones whose game was still available on Ebay up to $ 100,000.

Facebook Messenger / WhatsApp

What are they? Two extremely popular discussion platforms
Why they are on the list: They are both Facebook products and do essentially the same thing, but differently. Facebook removed Messenger from the Facebook application in 2011 and created it. This is incredibly popular and the preferred means of communication for many people, especially if you are on Facebook but you do not have the number of someone or you want to give up on it. sending SMS.

WhatsApp is the lightweight version that uses less data and encrypts its end-to-end messages (user-to-user), which is more secure than the Messenger solution of sending messages to a server before they are sent to the server. recipient. It's also incredibly popular, especially in Asian countries.




What is it?: A video streaming application, focused on the original content.
Why is it on the list: Netflix is ​​the first video streaming application. With it, you have access to the ever-growing number of original Netflix movies and series, such as Stranger Things and Narcos. The iOS and Android apps let you download most shows or movies to your phone. Despite fierce and growing competition, Netflix is ​​still the streaming application by which another is measured. At least for the moment.


What is it? Social media and a messaging application where videos and messages disappear after a while.
Why is it on this list: Snapchat launched in 2011, but its popularity touched the stratosphere between 2013 and 2015, after adding video sharing, Snapchat stories, ephemeral text messaging and (more importantly) the rainbow vomiting feature. This allowed people to post short videos that would expire and be "left forever" after a set time. I have to admit that as a fuddy-duddy, I've never seen the benefit of making videos or writing texts that disappear after a while, but this n & # 39; It's only me. I guess I'm an accumulator in my heart and want everything I make to be available for eternal access.



What is it? A video application that allows anyone to post videos and watch them.
Why is it on this list: YouTube has changed the way we consume the media, by posting viral videos "YouTubers" has produced original clips "There is no excuse for not being a filmmaker if you have always dreamed of being (talking to yourself!).

I use it all the time, and with the monthly YouTube subscription service that removes the ads and allows me to play videos in the background, I can listen to the YouTube audio back -plan. For this reason alone, it deserves to be included here, and I'm surprised that many video applications have not added this feature. However, in recent years, with the increase in the number of videos on misinformation and racism, the platform has been criticized. Nevertheless, the number of its users has exceeded one billion and shows no signs of slowing down.

Google Pay / Apple Pay

What are they? Mobile payment applications that allow you to pay retail or online using only your phone, tablet or smartwatch.
Why they are on this list: Being able to pay for things with your phone seemed to be an innovative concept a few years ago, but it is now my preferred payment method and usually works seamlessly. It seems like a small thing, but I'm still looking for this Apple Pay logo. It's just an extra level of convenience that I really appreciate.


Angela Lang / CNET

Google / Siri / Alexa Assistant

What are they? The best voice assistants on the market.
Why they are on this list: Siri was the first important vocal assistant during his debut in 2011, but the other options that followed him outpaced him. (Google Assistant, in particular, is smarter and more intuitive.) I use an Apple HomePod with Siri and I am constantly disappointed that Siri is not smarter. I hope it will change soon. Having to say "Hey, Siri" for every order gets old quickly.

It is important to remember that as exciting as this technology is, the fact is that your voice assistants are recording you. Therefore, Google, Apple and Amazon (with Alexa) have now either put an end to what humans are listening to. to you in the "privacy" of your own home or allow you to opt out of this registration. It's still disconcerting.


What is it? The app for the world's largest online retailer.
Why is it on this list: If you have raised a young child without the help of the Amazon app, you are a god in my book. I've used Amazon since I bought my first DVD sometime in 2000. The Matrix or maybe X-Men? Maybe Ninja Scroll? I'm not sure, but I have not stopped shopping since then and I probably will not do it anytime soon. Now, with an app, it's even easier and faster – so fast that I do not even need to add a task to my to-do list. When I juggle between an uncooperative toddler and a 1-year-old who is trying to jump on their couch first, the ability to take 15 seconds to catch kids for new vitamins is huge – that's makes my life a lot easier

Skype / Facetime / Zoom

What are they? Real-time video phone calls
Why they are on this list: It is this future of a science fiction videophone that is even better than any science fiction movie could have predicted, because none of them predicts the rise of the smartphone. I do not use it very much, but the times when I do it are special, as if I get away from my kids and want to see their faces. This is not as you see in The Jetsons, but the fact that I can see my sons when I'm on a business trip or even a colleague at thousands of miles away is amazing.


The new FaceTime tour gives the impression that you are looking into the camera.

Jason Cipriani / CNET


What is it? The game that took over the life of your child / nephew / cousin
Why is it on this list: Fortnite has had the kind of cultural impact that few, if any, games have ever had. From the entire debacle of the Fortnite dance to the fact that the winner of the 2019 Fortnite World Cup has received $ 3 million, Fortnite is a huge juggernaut of unstoppable pop culture that shows no signs of slowing down.

As long as the developers keep the game up by doing things like finishing it, its popularity should last a while.

Uber Eats / Postmates / Grubhub / DoorDash

What are they? Order food for delivery, even if the restaurant in question does not deliver itself.
Why they are on the list: I remember the frustration of wanting to eat at one of my favorite restaurants and seeing his "No Delivery" sign. It now looks like something from the distant past. Of course, going to restaurants all the time is not cheap or always healthy, but I like having the opportunity. If I want a barbecue, but I do not have 20 minutes to go get it, it's comforting to know that there are people who do not mind doing it for me … for a price.

01-google-pictures-update-September-live-album slideshow

Sarah Tew / CNET

Google Photos

What is it? A photo storage application for Android and iOS.
Why is it on the list: I imagine that your big question is why Google Photos has been added to the list and not to the Photos application and iCloud on iOS. Well, as well as the Photos app is on iOS – and it has definitely improved lately – the application is not compatible with Android. Google Photos, however, works on Android and iOS. It also has more cloud storage than iCloud, and its search function is more robust and useful. You can search for a word that appears on an image or even a pronoun – in case you want to find pictures of your friend's baby, but you can not remember.


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