Home / NewTech / These are the 25 most important apps of the decade, from Tinder to Fortnite

These are the 25 most important apps of the decade, from Tinder to Fortnite


Angela Lang / CNET

This story is part of The 2010s: A Decade Looking Back A series on memes, people, products, movies, and much more that influenced the 2010s.

Over the last decade, apps (and related phones) have become an integral part of our lives. Since the launch of the iOS App Store and Google Play in 2008 with seemingly new titles, millions of apps have come along to help us communicate meet new people listen to music and Pigs with birds kill . Sure, we still use our phones sometimes, but apps are so popular that there are now apps that tell you how much time you spend on apps on your phone.

In the context of the CNET decade in retrospect
Here are our tips for the effective apps of the 2010s. I've gotten this list from crowdfunders by every CNET editor – some apps did not even exist at the beginning of the decade, but some did – and then curated them from there. The result is the list below in no particular order.

Note that for very similar apps, I've combined the most popular ones in this category instead of having individual entries. And of course, there are hundreds of powerful and important apps that are not on this list. If you think we have not recorded any of your favorite apps, include them in the comments, and I'll get back to you.


What is it? Instagram lets you share photos and videos.
First published: 2010
Why it is on the list: Instagram has changed the way we think about photos. changed our eating habits (for a while I could not start eating my dinner until I captured the picture perfectly). It has become an incredibly effective marketing tool over the years and continues to grow as it has reached 1 billion users per month. I think the reason why it's still popular is that it's evolving significantly. Adding stuff like stories and boomerang in recent years has helped keep it fresh, and taking on these features is a great way to further extend the user base. Celebrity influencers continue to make us believe that they are actually leading an incredibly extravagant life to sell us products. and many people still behave irresponsibly to capture this "perfect picture". Instagram is still one of the simplest and most entertaining social platforms on the market.


Angela Lang / CNET


What is it? A social media platform for posting texts, images and videos.
First published: 2010
Why it is on the list : Thirteen years After its debut, nobody would claim that Twitter has fundamentally changed the way the world communicates. From the Arab Spring in which demonstrators used Twitter not only to coordinate their message to the world, but also to pronounce on leading politicians such as President Donald Trump from now on a message It is clear that communication will never be the same for every networked person on the planet. Although Twitter has failed to stem hate speech, it is still one of the best and most informative social networks.


The Facebook app on an iPhone.

Fabian Summer / dpa / Getty Images


What is it? A social media and networking platform
First published: 2010
Why it's on the list: Like Twitter, Facebook debuted ten years ago, but it became the first social Media platform on the Internet Worldwide with nearly 2.5 billion active users. They were able to connect with old friends and family members around the world and were swamped with memes, cat videos, Farmville inquiries and news, both real and less real. After the brief boom of MySpace, Facebook has made social media familiar with the mainstream. However, following the scandals surrounding user privacy and the influx of fake news, the platform has undergone a rigorous review since the 2016 elections.

  Bug [19659027maledecade-in-review-bug[19659028maleTinder/Bumble/Grindr

What are they? [194590?] Dating apps, made famous by their simple filter mechanics.
First published: 2012 (Tinder), 2014 (Hummel), Grindr (2009)
Why They Are on the List: Never before It was so easy to find someone, regardless of your needs and wishes (in the case of Tinder and Bumble, if you are interested, if you are interested, if you are interested, if you are interested, if not, swipe left.) Users will use Apps Grindr, a LGBTQ community-focused dating site. App, had the debut, but Tinder changed the dating scene fundamentally. Suddenly you could filter your selection almost immediately Get exactly what you were looking for. LOL! If only humans were such simple beings! BWAHAHAHAA !!

Google Maps / Apple Maps

What is it? The two most popular map / directions planner apps in the world.
First published: 2007 (Google Maps), 2012 (Apple Maps)
Why they are on the list: I honestly do not travel without one of them. I have a terrible sense of direction, I did not start driving until I was 30, and most of the roads I still do not know by name. Seriously, I'm terrible and need this. But I digress. These apps led Mapquest to its logical evolutionary conclusion. Now you can travel anywhere in the world without ever knowing exactly where a location is. Just follow the instructions on how to play GTA or something else and even see what your goal looks like from the outside. Although I personally prefer Google Maps, Apple Maps has greatly improved since its catastrophic launch a few years ago.

  Google Maps screenshot

The latest update to Google Maps offers seven options for reporting slow traffic.

Screenshot by Dale Smith / CNET


What is it? A Music Streaming Service
First published: 2011
Why it's on the list: I remember when Spotify debuted in 2011 coming out of nowhere and changing ( You will often see this word on this list if you have not already), the ever-evolving music industry. It felt very much like the original version of Napster, legal but still free. For some too free, as some artists like Taylor Swift in the past have taken their entire music from the service. Swift finally returned to streaming giant.

When launched, Spotify had a huge 50 million song library that dwarfed its rivals at the time. Spotify eventually prompted Apple to create its own music service in 2015 called Apple Music which now has access to over 50 million songs.


Angela Lang / CNET


What is it? An Instant Messaging Platform
First published: 2013
Why it is on the list: What makes Slack ? other than a billion other IM customers in the last 25 years? It's mostly integration with other apps and the way it feels like the seed of everything in your work. Nowadays it's a problem that I first get up in the morning: Slack or email. Slack is like email, part 2.

But it's not just useful for the job. As family life grows busier, families use Slack to communicate, which is strange but also strangely appealing as my own family grows. But, as with any tool, it depends on how you use it – the debate over whether Slack improves or degrades productivity continues.


Could Uber reach super app status?

Denis Charlet / AFP via Getty Images

Uber / Lyft

What is it? Order a ride on your mobile to your exact location and pay automatically with your credit card.
First published: 2011 (Uber), 2012 (Lyft)
Why They Are on the List: I remember my 16-year-old girlfriend who took me to San Francisco four years ago from Minneapolis visited. She had never heard of Uber, and the whole thing sneaked out of it. I do not think she can imagine traveling differently. Of course, the comfort has not remained without costs. Both Uber and Lyft were accused of alleged sexual assault by drivers. Cities around the world tried to regulate these and drivers fought for better pay . And while all these extra cars on the road can throttle traffic in cities the impact of these apps on the way we travel is undeniable.


What is it? Enables digital payments to others.
First published: 2012
Why it is on the list: As a person who rarely carries cash with me, I could never pay my share easily at dinner with a group of friends. That's why Venmo and other apps like this one were a godsend – with them I do not always feel like a slugfest. You can pay for things like friends' tickets, and now they have no excuse not to repay them immediately, even before the movie starts! We are no longer dead ends!

 [19659065 <uber-decade-review-2953 [19659013 <Angela Lang / CNET

Angry Birds

What is it? A game in which you fire birds on structures to kill pigs.
First published: 2009
Why it is on the list: Angry Birds was so popular in the beginning, I was convinced that I had to like it. Ultimately, I did not play it, but its impact on expectations of how popular mobile game could be is unprecedented. Two films and many versions of the game later, Angry Birds is still a very popular franchise and has evolved over time, most recently with Angry Birds AR. Not my cup of tea again, but many enjoy another sip.

Candy Crush Saga

What is it? A match-three puzzle game.
First published: 2012
Why it is on the list: I knew this was something special when my wife, who is not a gambler, not only could not put it away but also money spent playing it. It took her six years to finally switch to Two Dots. I've never played Candy Crush Saga before and probably will not – the graphics are just too sweet for me – but it's one of the most popular tile-matching games ever. You can learn it quickly, it has a satisfying game mechanic and it's something you can do when you hear books (to paraphrase my wife). Despite their decline, the general popularity of the game has shown no sign of easing.


Angela Lang / CNET

Pokémon Go

What is it? The First Great AR Game in the Pokémon Universe
First published: 2016
Why it is on the list: It was an I tried to play from my house, but There was nothing to find in my little suburb, so I quickly gave up, feeling too confident to play in the city. The game eventually lost most of its player base but is still incredibly popular as it exceeded a billion downloads earlier this year. The recipe for success was simple: Combine an already successful franchise with a new technology with strong social ties. It worked quite well.


What is it? Video sharing platform that lets you create and share videos up to six seconds in length.
First published: 2013
Why it's on the list: After an exciting start in 2012, Vine was hired by its owner, Twitter, in 2016 in a growing competition, especially from Instagram , But during his lifetime, Vine has quickly popularized the short form video app. It gave you the opportunity to create 6-second videos and publish them right away, which was one of the coolest things I've ever seen in an app. I immediately plunged into experimenting with some strange techniques, reaching out to others and trying to develop storytelling skills. Like most things, after a few months I was done and ready to go on, but Vine continued to be a hit that led to the birth of his evolutionary cousin TikTok.

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Flappy Bird

What is it? A super-heavy mobile game that does not exist more in its original form.
First published: 2013
Why it's on the list: Remember when this game was the most downloaded app on the App Store? For about a month in the 2014, before its developer suddenly shut it down, saying that it's so addictive that it loses sleep because so many people become addicted, it was crazy hard and something I could not stand for more than a few minutes. And his fame continued even after his removal – people tried (unsuccessfully) to sell phones, who still had the game on Ebay, for up to $ 100,000.

Facebo ok messenger / whatsapp

What are they? Two hugely popular chat platforms
First published: 2011 (Facebook Messenger), WhatsApp (2009)
Why They Are on the List: They are both Facebook products and do it in the Essentially the same but different. Facebook has stripped Messenger 2011 from the Facebook app and made it his own thing. It's incredibly popular and the preferred method of communication for a lot of people, especially if you're on Facebook but you do not have a number or you do not want to text.

WhatsApp is the lighter version, which uses less data and encrypts its messages end-to-end (user-to-user). This is more secure than the Messenger solution for sending messages to a server before they are sent to the recipient. It's also incredibly popular, especially in Asian countries.

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What is it? : A video streaming app that focuses on original content.
First published: 2010
Why it is on the list. : Netflix is ​​the premier video streaming app. With this app you get access to Netflix's ever-growing collection of original films and series like Stranger Things and Narcos. With the iOS and Android apps, you can download most shows or movies to your phone. Despite the strong and growing competition, Netflix is ​​still the streaming app that makes everyone else stand up. At least for now.


What is it? A social media and messaging app where videos and messages disappear after a while.
First published: 2011
Why it is on this list: Snapchat was launched in 2011, but its popularity hit the stratosphere between 2013 and 2015 after video-sharing, Snapchat stories, ephemeral text messaging and ( most importantly) the rainbow-vomit feature has been added. It allowed people to post short videos that expired after a set time and disappeared forever. I have to admit, as a chronic old Fuddy-Duddy, I've never seen the excitement of making videos or writing lyrics that disappear after a while, but that's just me. I think I'm a hoarder at heart and I want everything I do to be accessible forever.

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What is it? A video app that allows anyone to post and watch videos.
First published: 2007
Why it is on this list: YouTube has changed the way we use the media. Viral Videos to skilfully produced original clips from & # 39; YouTubers. "There's no excuse not to be a filmmaker, if you've ever dreamed of being one (talking to yourself!)."

I use it all the time, with YouTube's monthly subscription service, Ads and I can play videos in the background, I can listen to YouTube audio in the background, which is why it deserves to be recorded here, and I am surprised that more video apps have not added this feature However, the platform has come under criticism in recent years with increasing numbers of videos containing disinformation and racism, yet the number of users has grown to well over 1 billion and shows no sign of slowing.

Google Pay / Apple Pay

What is it? Mobile payments apps that allow you to pay in retail or online only with your phone, tablet, or smartwatch.
Initial release 2015 (Google Pay), 2014 (Apple Pay)
Why on This List: A few years ago, it seemed like such a novel concept to be able to pay with the phone, but now It is my preferred payment method and usually works smoothly. It seems so small, but I'm always looking for the Apple Pay logo. It's just an extra level of comfort that I really appreciate.


Angela Lang / CNET

Google Assistant / Siri / Alexa

What is it? The best language assistants on the market.
First published: 2010 (Siri), 2016 (Google Assistant), 2014 (Alexa)
Why They Are on This List: Siri was the first great voice assistant when it debuted in 2011, but others Options that followed have surpassed it. (In particular, Google Assistant is smarter and more intuitive.) I use an Apple HomePod with Siri and am constantly disappointed that Siri is not smarter. I hope that changes soon. "Hey, Siri," having to say for every command gets old quickly.

As exciting as this technology is, so simple is the fact that your voice assistants record you and Google, Apple and Amazon (with Alexa) do it now. It's a stoppage when people listen to you in the privacy of your own home or you can ignore this record. However, it is still worrying.


What is it? The app for the world's largest online retailer.
Why she's on this list: If you raised a little kid without the help of the Amazon app, you're a god in my book. I have been using Amazon since I bought my first DVD in 2000. The Matrix or maybe X-Men? Maybe Ninja Scroll? I'm not sure, but since then I have not stopped shopping, and I probably will not do it that soon. With an app it's even easier and faster – so fast that I do not even have to add a task to my task list. If I'm juggling a non-cooperative toddler with a one-year-old doing his best to jump upside down from the couch, the opportunity to take 15 seconds to catch diving kids and order them new vitamins is tremendous makes my life that much easier.

Skype / Facetime / Zoom

What is it? Video-based Calls in Real Time
Initial release: 2009 (Skype), 2010 (Facetime)
Why they're & # 39; This is the future of science-fiction videophone, which is even better than any sci-fi movie could have predicted, apparently because none of them predicted the rise of the smartphone. I do not use it often, but the times I do it are special, for example when I'm away from my children and want to see their faces. It's not the way you see it on the Jetsons, but the fact that I can see my sons when I'm a professional, or even a colleague, thousand miles away is amazing.

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Jason Cipriani / CNET


What is it? The game that took over the life of your child / nephew / cousin.
First published: 2017
Why it is on this list: Fortnite, if ever, had cultural impact on a few games ever. From the entire Fortnite debacle to the fact that the winner of the Fortnite World Cup in 2019 received US $ 3 million, Fortnite is a huge, unstoppable juggernaut of pop culture showing no sign of slowing down.

As long as developers keep the game up to date by doing things like stopping the game, its popularity should continue for some time to come.

Uber eats / Postmates / Grubhub / DoorDash

What are they? Order food for delivery, even if the restaurant itself does not deliver.
First published: 2015 (Uber Eats), 2011 (Postmates), 2009 (Grubhub), 2013 (DoorDash)
Why They Are on the List: I remember the frustration that I have wanted to eat in one of my favorite restaurants and saw the sign "No deliveries". This feels like a thing of the distant past. Sure, eating out all the time is not cheap or always healthy, but I like the option. If I want a barbecue lunch but I do not have 20 minutes, it's reassuring to know that there are people who do not mind doing it for me … at a price.

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Sarah Tew / CNET

Google Photos

What is it? A Photoshop app for Android and iOS.
First published: 2015
Why is she on the list? not the photos app and iCloud on iOS? As good as the photos app on iOS is – and has definitely improved lately – the app is not compatible with Android. However, Google Photos works on Android and iOS. It also has more cloud storage than iCloud and its search functionality is more robust and useful. You can search for a word that appears in an image or even a pronoun – just in case you want to search for pictures of your friend's baby but can not remember when you recorded them.

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