10 Apps To Look Out for in 2021 That Will Help You Make Better Decisions

Nadav Shemer
10 Apps To Look Out for in 2021 That Will Help You Make Better Decisions

As 2021 begins, smartphone and tablet users are truly spoilt for choice. At last count, there were a whopping 2.87 million Android apps on Google Play and 1.96 million iPhone/iPad apps on the App Store, according to Statista. To put that in perspective, you would need 132 new iPhones with maximum 512 GB capacity (minus 4.7 GB for system size) to download every single app (at an average size of 34.3 MB) on the App Store.

With so many mobile apps to choose from, it’s fair to say some of them are incredibly useful while others are downright terrible. In this article, we list the top 10 apps for iOS and Android that you need in order to survive whatever 2021 throws at you.

Happy new year and happy downloading!

1. IFTTT – Best app for managing all your apps and devices

If This Then That, usually referred to as IFTTT, is the app that connects all your other apps and devices, letting you control everything around you. The way it works is that you connect to any of the 650+ compatible apps and set conditional statements that trigger actions. For example, you can ask it to connect to the Weather Underground app to give you the forecast every day at 7:00 am; automatically save articles from an RSS feed to the Pocket app; automatically sync new Instagram posts to a Pinterest board; or get a notification when the International Space Station passes over your house. The IFTT app is pretty simple to learn, and once you get the hang of it the possible uses are endless. 

Price: Free

Compatibility: iOS 11.2 / Android 4.4 or later

2. Signal – Best app for securely messaging your contacts

Signal was launched in 2014 but surged in popularity in 2019-20 amid rising concerns about the security of popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Signal is better protected against spyware, doesn’t automatically store your messages in the cloud, and even allows disappearing messages. We wouldn’t advise deleting your Whatsapp just yet. After all, Whatsapp has 2 billion users while Signal only has around 10 million. But if you have any contacts you need to message securely, then you should be doing it on Signal.

Price: Free

Compatibility: iOS 11.0 / Android 4.4 or later

3. TouchRetouch – Best app for removing unwanted objects from photos

Remember when people used to photobomb–as in purposely putting themself into the view of someone’s photograph–as a practical joke? Well, today, TouchRetouch lets you remove unwanted objects from your photos in an instant–such as people, trees, or anything else. Other photo editing apps do an okay job of removing unwanted content, but TouchRetouch is the only app that focuses exclusively on this one task. Just select the object or imperfection you want removed from your photo and presto–it’ll be gone in an instant.

Price: $1.99

Compatibility: iOS 12.0 / Android 4.4 or later

4. Dark Sky – Best app for weather obsessives

For the regular person, there’s the Weather Channel or AccuWeather. For the weather obsessive, there’s Dark Sky on iPhone (or its closest Android equivalent, Shadow Weather). The Dark Sky app is used by 10s of millions of people all over the word for its detailed forecasts and advanced radar maps, which give you weather insights you won’t find on regular weather apps. Another thing that sets Dark Sky apart is its own hyperlocal forecasting system backed by radar data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Many other weather apps (like Shadow Weather) actually use Dark Sky’s forecasts. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you may as well get your forecasts straight from the source, Dark Sky.

Price: $3.99

Compatibility: iOS 11.0 or later

5. Mint – Best app for managing your personal finances

Mint is the all-in-one personal finance app that brings all your income and expenditure into one place (with your permission, of course), making it easier to budget. Each time you enter your Mint dashboard, you’ll see all your important financial data in real-time, including cash, credit debt, investments, budget, and credit score. Mint will even send you reminders of upcoming bills and give you personalized budget recommendations based on your spending history. You can sign in to your Mint account from anywhere with your unique 4-digit code and password, just like your bank. 

Price: Free

Compatibility: iOS 11.0 / Android 5.0 or later

6. Cash App – Best app for sending and receiving money 

For another app making personal finance more convenient, meet the Cash App. This popular app lets you send and receive small amounts of cash with anyone, donate to an important cause, or tip professionals. Just enter a $cashtag, phone number, or scan a QR code to pay. The Cash App boasts lots of other great features too. It lets you receive your paycheck, tax returns, and other direct deposits up to days early using your Cash App routing number and account number. It offers a free, customizable debit card (the Cash Card) that lets you pay online and in stores. And it is the fastest way to invest in stocks or bitcoin, with a minimum $1 investment to start.

Price: Free to download (some transactions, such as instant deposits, are subject to fees)

Compatibility: iOS 12.0 / Android 5.0 or later

7. Pocket – Best app for saving and reading articles later

How often have you told yourself “I’ll read it later” after coming across an interesting article on your phone, only to forget about it altogether? Fortunately, there’s a solution to this problem: the read-it-later app. Pocket is one of the most popular read-it-later apps on the App Store and Google Play. The free version lets you save, read, watch, and listen to saved articles. A paid subscription gives you access to a range of features, including: permanent library of everything you’ve saved (look up articles by keyword, topic, author, or tag); unlimited highlighting in every article; and a custom reading experience, including rounder fonts, wider spacing, and condensed text.

Price: Free for basic; $35.99/year for premium

Compatibility: iOS 13.0 / Android 5.0 or later

8. Strava – Best app for tracking your running or cycling

There has been an explosion of fitness apps in recent years, but none have been able to catch Strava. This popular smartphone app uses GPS to track your running, cycling, walking, hiking, or canoeing. Later, you can review your time, pace, and route, and share with friends or post on social media. The paid version of the Strava app includes a complete training dashboard, tips on preventing injury, and heart rate data collected via Bluetooth. It’ll even help you plan and discover routes, just to make sure you stay motivated with your fitness regime. 

Price: Free for basic; $5 per month for paid version

Compatibility: iOS 13.0 / Android 5.0 or later

9. Headspace – best app for your mindfulness routine

Healthy mind, healthy body, right? Headspace has long been the most popular app for guided meditation and mindfulness, and continues to stay ahead of the pack with new features. When you download Headspace, you get hundreds of guided meditations on subjects like focus, exercise, and sleep; daily meditations on a new topic each day; night-time meditations to help you fall asleep; and wake-up meditations to start your day mindfully. Headspace is there to help you in any situation, whether it’s focus music from John Legend or award-winning film composer Hans Zimmer, ‘mindful moments’ to keep you present during the day, or 2-3-minute mini-meditations for a quick mental reset.

Price: Free access to some features; $69.99 for an annual subscription

Compatibility: iOS 12.0 / Android 5.0 or later

10. Wakeout! – Best app for boosting your productivity and concentration

With all the stress people felt in 2020, it’s no surprise that Apple named Wakeout! Its best new iPhone app of 2020. This app has more than 1,000 exercises and hundreds of routines designed to get you moving during the day. Most of the exercises are 1-minute, 4-movement routines you start with a tap of your phone. The Active Work Timer lets you schedule in active breaks during your workday, while the Wind Down routines help you sleep better with relaxing routines before bedtime. There’s even a special feature for Apple Watch with 30-second Wakeouts on your wrist.

Price: Starts from $4.99

Compatibility: iOS 13.0 / Android 5.0 or later

There’s An App for Everything

With millions of apps on the App Store and Google Play, it’s no exaggeration to say that there’s an app out there for everything. When sitting down to think about your New Year’s resolutions this year, consider searching for the apps that can best help you fulfil your resolutions.

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Nadav Shemer
Nadav Shemer specializes in business, tech, and energy, with a background in financial journalism, hi-tech and startups. He enjoys writing about the latest innovations in financial services and products.