December 03, 2020
After a long year of social isolation, working from home and overall uncertainty, it's no surprise to find out millions of people leaned on their technology to get through it all.
Apple and Google released their best apps of 2020 this week — among them are workout apps, calming apps, video call apps, apps that meal plan for you. They all paint a picture of what life was like for us in 2020.
"Apps are a reflection of culture, and in 2020, developers overwhelmingly led a tend towards helpfulness," according to Apple. "Around the world, app developers channeled their creative energy into helping users stay healthy, educated, connected, and entertained."
Self-care app Shine added a section dedicated to "the intersectionality of mental health and Black lives," and remote teaching app Explain Everything Whiteboard created a cloud-based tool for students to collaborate in group projects.
Apple's No. 1 iPhone app in 2020 was Wakeout — an app that demonstrates "active breaks" users can take to beat out the work from home slump. The developers call them workouts for busy people, like work wind-downs and couch-based exercises.
The top iPad app was Zoom, the video conferencing platform that helped us stay connected while we did our part to social distance.
Another front runner was Endel for the Apple Watch, which, according to the app store description, creates soundscapes "to match your daily rhythm." The app uses an algorithm to create sounds that promote relaxation and staying focused.
Google's Best App of 2020 was Loóna: Bedtime Calm & Relax, which features everything from guided sleepscapes to immersive stories with sound effects.
"Our app of the year was a true standout — that rare case where utility meets ingenuity and delight," Google said. "Beautifully designed and thoughtfully executed, it's our Best App of 2020."
"This year, we relied on apps more than ever — for staying connected, pursuing new hobbies, and finding a respite from the noise of the world," Google said.