It seems to me the get-rich-quick solution for 2015 is to develop an app. In fact, SnapChat’s co-founder, Evan Spiegel, is the youngest billionaire in history and claims his fame at just 24, according to Forbes’ Billionaire List of 2015. SnapChat, Tinder, Instagram—and other widely known apps—have paved the way for new contenders. The variation of productivity apps like Evernote and 1Password, and games such as 2048, Lumosity, and Trivia Crack have proven that the world desires all types of apps for every task at hand.
In light of a myriad of apps, I present to you my favorite emerging apps of 2015:
Tworlds—Two Worlds, One Moment (iOS)
Tworlds is like SnapChat combined with the stranger interaction of the old school chat site, Chatroulette. While the selfie obsession era has dominated the scene for quite some time, it is the foreign interaction piece of this app that intrigues me the most. As long as I can remember, I’ve been a people person. I’ve connected with new people on elevators and buses, not to mention that time in a Hollywood parking ramp more than 3,000 miles from the comfort of my Midwest home. Tworlds makes those random interactions possible at anytime.
Upon downloading the app, it walks you through the set up process and explains parameters and reasons for needing to access your camera and location. Then, you choose a trending hashtag (i.e. #happy, #shadow, #food) and take a photo that expresses it. Instantly, your photo gets matched up with another user from around the world with a matching hashtag.
I get it. The app seems rather pointless (which it is), but it is entertaining. After all, you never know when you’ll meet the friend of a lifetime.
Dull—Never a Moment (iOS, Android–beta)
This app gives you the best of the internet when you’re bored as hell… or when you refuse to waste time scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed to find the one post that interests you. Think of Dull as an entertaining news feed, with more casual tone.
The setup is autonomous. Dull loads feeds for you and prompts you to use the menu to unsubscribe to feeds, including Reddit, YouTube, SoundCloud, and the New York Times. The feed content consists of photos, GIFs, music, news, products, video and more, based on your interests. This app definitely caters to a younger generation, but is entertaining for anyone who has some time to spare on lunch break or needs a break from traditional news.
Storehouse—Visual Storytelling (iOS)
Not everyone may be a writer, but we can all tell stories. I love Storehouse, because it makes storytelling possible, visual, and intriguing. The app allows you to combine video, photo, and text into a packaged story to create beautiful, visual shareable content. It’s as simple as that—an app that seamlessly combines your media on a platform that makes it pretty. Start telling your story whether its an educational piece about recycling or a documented experience of your day at the beach just for fun.
Step one, follow three interesting people, including options like Alice+Olivia and National Geographic. Step two, you’re on your own; start creating stories. Allow the app access to your camera and begin importing photos and videos. Storehouse lays it out for you. Add a title, subtitle, and as much or as little text as you’d like. Once you perfect your story, share away via Facebook, Twitter, text message, or email.
IF by IFTTT + Do Button, Do Camera, Do Note—Rule-Based Actions (iOS, Android)
We make our own rules in life, right? Well, at least we try. But what about when it comes to your phone? IF, “empowers you with creative control over the products and apps you love” and performs repetitive tasks for you, in order to free up that time for more important activities.
IF allows you to create rules, or what they call “recipes” for your phone—“if this, then that.” For example, “if I get tagged in a photo on Facebook, then download it to Dropbox,” or “if the weather says it will rain tomorrow, then send me a reminder to bring an umbrella.”
As an extension, IF has created “do” features, which allow you to create your own personalized buttons, camera, and notes. Not to be confused with IF, the Do features are their own separate app to be downloaded. But don’t worry, they play nice with IF. These features allow you to create a camera button that posts straight to Facebook, or a Google Drive button that, when pushed, tracks your hours at work and saves them to a Google Spreadsheet.
Moment—Phone Use Tracking (iOS)
After researching and downloading all of the apps listed above, please take a “moment” for me. A.) Take a moment to realize how much time you have just expended on your phone or B.) download Moment. The app will do the analyzing for you. It’s so simple. There’s one step: download the app. From there, it tracks the amount of time (in minutes) that you use your phone throughout the day. The app will even let you set goals and notify you when you go over your time limit. It even allows the ability to force yourself off when you’re over your limit. It may be terrifying, but it’s something we should all be aware of.
Bonus: Now there’s Moment Family, the paid part of the app that allows you to monitor your entire family’s time spent on the phone. Now you can ensure a phone-free family dinner.