What’s up with this time of the year and lists? Just a week ago Santa was still making a list and checking it twice, and every news site has the list of best films, best TV shows and now best gadgets and gizmos. So it is no surprise that we’re also seeing “best apps of the year.”
The problem with judging the list of best apps is that it is very relative. What does the best iPhone apps mean to a BlackBerry user? That said I thought I’d instead I’d look at the year’s best trends in apps, and hope these continue into 2010. Here are the best five trends in apps:
App Stores – finding apps has gotten easier because of specialized app stores. This is especially true with the iPhone, but other handset users still have options and we see no reason to see this change. In the future it could be a virtual mall of app stores.
GPS and Location-based Apps – these have been very helpful for the road warriors out there. Merely knowing that there is a restaurant on “Second Street” isn’t much help if you don’t know how to get there! Location-based apps mean you never have to ask for directions again.
Trip Planning Apps – checking on flight status and even checking in whilst in the cab to the airport. I’m so glad there are apps for that!
VOIP Apps – while this trend is still developing, the option to make international calls cheaply on the go is truly priceless.
Photo Editing Apps – smartphones have decent digital cameras, but being able to edit those photos on a handset really makes all the difference between sending a so-so photo that looks like it was snapped with a phone and one that looks like it was taken by a good digital camera.
And special mention:
Apps that let you interact with social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and others, plus those that provide access to multiple accounts or multiple social networks from the same interface.
After Hour Apps of the Week:
It’s time to call it a year, and while for me I have to prepare for next week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, there are a few games worth a peek this holiday weekend:
Magnetic Sports Soccer – If real soccer is too intense, even in phone form, then this take on the magnetic version might be more your game. It features a 3D interface and lets your fingers do the passing. It can be played against the computer or view friends through 3G and Wi-Fi networks. It is available now for the iPhone at a special launch price of $0.99.
Strikers 1945 – It’s time to striker like it’s like 1945 on the iPhone and iPod Touch. This aerial shooter, set in a somewhat farfetched World War II, is faithful to the console versions, and includes seven fighter planes to fly. Head up to the wild blue and beyond for $4.99 from the Apple App Store.