According to projections from iResearch, the mobile app market is on pace to generate over $935 billion in annual revenue by 2023. Given that there’s such a huge quantity of consumer dollars up for grabs, it’s no real surprise to see competition in the industry heating up with each passing year.
Now, some of the world’s most skilled developers are at work innovating new solutions to many of the world’s issues with mobile apps, helping many of us to overcome the various problems that our daily lives throw at us.
Of course, this was made even more apparent over the past couple of years, as businesses and individuals alike had to adapt and refocus their stages to cope with the demands of a global pandemic. Suddenly, people were locked down at home, even more dependent than ever before on their digital devices to keep them company. In tandem, offices and brick-and-mortar stores were closed, which meant that leaders and key decision-makers were left with little choice but to pivot to digital channels to engage with their customers.
As a result, several app categories experienced meteoric rises in popularity, such as eCommerce, on-demand delivery, eLearning, social media, and of course, entertainment apps such as Netflix.
With that said, we are all about to embark into uncharted territory as we enter into a digitally-led post-pandemic world for the very first time.
In light of this, many businesses are hard at work developing new apps and bringing out new features to their existing portfolio to meet these new demands. On that note, here are four top apps that are building on huge successes in 2021 and are gearing up to have huge years in 2022.
As the creator economy continues to boom, there has never been higher demand for the tools and platforms that independent content professionals use to power their creative output and their businesses. Since The vast majority of the creative economy is tailored towards visual content (think Tik Tok, Instagram and YouTube), it’s easy to see why Lightricks’s suite of apps has soared in popularity over the past few years.
Their flagship apps Facetune and Facetune2 bring professional-quality photo editing tools to your fingertips, allowing you to edit, enhance, and retouch photos with ease. Some of the app’s core features include tools for changing backgrounds, altering outfits and makeup, and smoothing out skin. In a world where self-expression is becoming increasingly controllable, you can see why these apps are quickly becoming a necessity amongst creators and influencers.
Amazingly, Facetune and Facetune2 have been downloaded over 30 million times on iOS alone this year, according to Lightricks, with users having loaded over a billion distinct images to the apps. Apple recently named Facetune one of the top apps of the year.
Looking forward to 2022, it would be a safe bet to assume that Facetune and Facetune2 will continue to play a big role in the creator economy, especially since Lightricks almost went double unicorn with their latest investment round, securing $130 million to expand their operations.
According to one recent study, there was a 39% increase in gaming during the pandemic as millions of people were forced indoors with little else to do other than find new ways to entertain themselves. One of the biggest winners from this trend was Amazon-owned Twitch, which earned an estimated $2.3 billion in revenue in 2020, primarily from subscriptions and in-app purchases.
If you are unfamiliar with Twitch, their main focus is on video game live streaming, the broadcasting of live esports competitions, and the building of sub-communities and niches, and it’s safe to say they’ve done an exemplary job at setting themselves apart from the competition. App Annie currently lists Twitch as a top-ten free app in the “Photo and Video” category.
With a bunch of new features coming in 2022 and the returning of TwitchCon as an in-person event again for the first time in three years, things are certainly looking on the up for the California-based company.
On top of this, many of the creators who joined Twitch during the pandemic have discussed their plans to stay active there, even once the situation is fully resolved, which must be welcome news, especially as the competition from YouTube gaming heats up.
Offering an easy way for both newbies and experienced investors to enter the cryptocurrency market, Coinbase has been one of the biggest players in the industry over the past few years. In a jam-packed space with jargon that seems like it’s designed to confuse, Coinbase offers a breath of fresh air that lights the way for those interested in scooping up some of their favorite coins.
With over 2 million downloads in November 2021, Coinbase regularly finds itself at the top charts of the Finance categories across the iOS and Google Play Stores. According to Sensor Tower, the Coinbase app is the sixth most popular finance app in the US, which is especially impressive considering the competitors it’s stacked up against, which include Venmo and PayPal
At the moment, cryptocurrency is at an interesting intersection, after Bitcoin and many of the major altcoins hit record highs, increasing their value by over 100%, although more recently, prices have begun to fall again. As a result, interest in digital currencies appears to be as high as ever, which means that apps like Coinbase will continue to act as the primary gateway into the market for millions of people worldwide.
With new currencies planned for listing, improvements to their trading UI, and the embracement of their role as one of the primary educators in the space, you can expect Coinbase to continue rising in popularity in 2022.
When you ask somebody about their favorite meditation app, the first name that springs to mind is usually Headspace or Calm. However, Insight Timer is actually the app that boasts the most active users and the widest range of meditations out of any other app in the world. According to their website, there are over 4.75 million meditators (with 10,000 joining every day), 2153 meditation teachers, and 10294 free guided meditations for you to choose from.
So why does this deserve a place in our top apps to watch? Well, because of the simple fact that mental health and self-care is becoming an increasingly important topic in our global society – and it’s about time. Rates of anxiety and depression are at all-time highs in many cultures around the world. Many experts believe this is due to increasing work pressure, always-on digital connectivity, a lack of free time, and of course, the intense social isolation that many of us have been subjected to in the last couple of years.
With this in mind, apps like Night Time can (and hopefully will) play a crucial role in taking control over our mental health and reprioritizing self-care as a paramount part of our daily lives.
Since there is no need for a monthly subscription, and thanks to the enormous catalog of meditations and instant access to active and welcoming communities, Insight Timer gets the nod over its rivals Headspace and Calm. After all, these are all tools and services that should be available to everybody, regardless of their financial situation.
The four apps discussed in this article all look set to continue climbing up the download charts in the coming year as they roll out new features and attract more users looking to use their services.
With the creator economy in full swing and the effects of the global pandemic still very much a reality in many parts of the world, millions of individuals will look to these applications and their parent companies to help them meet the demands of the new normal.