16 Apps That Made 2016 Suck Slightly Less
No one is ever going to argue 2016 was a "good" year.
However, despite the never-ending flood of bad news, there were some bright spots this year, especially when it came to technology.
Consider these 16 apps that either came out this year or unveiled game-changing updates.
These were the apps that successfully made our lives easier, more creative and — most importantly — more McDonald's-filled.
1. Google Trips
Anyone who's ever traveled in a foreign country knows the struggles of being phone-less: Suddenly, you're hunting for a WiFi password like it'll be the code to cracking an international treasure hunt.
Luckily, Google always has the answer to our most pressing issues, so they gave us Google Trips, which works offline. It then gives you maps, city guides and personalized recommendations, in addition to organizing your plane tickets and hotel reservations.
It's a must-have for anyone who travels often.
It seems like Instagram was feeling left out with all the fuss over Snapchat because Instagram totally reinvented itself this year.
It released a new logo (all purples and pinks), changed its interface and added new features like direct messaging, stories and Instagram Live.
Basically, it saw everything you liked about Facebook and Snapchat, and thought, hmm, how about we just do that, too?
We all think we're going to become the next Spielberg when we first get our GoPros, but then we remember editing video is actually a skill people get paid a ton of money to do well.
Luckily, with Quik, it doesn't take much work to compile your footage into a gorgeous and compelling video. It lets you customize with transitions, filters, text and music, in addition to analyzing your footage for the best moments you have to use.
5. Pokémon Go
HAHAHA. YEAH. Remember this fad? The reason your SO was staring intently at the wall instead of talking to you? The reason your laziest friend suddenly wanted to go for "walks," but really he wanted to lurk outside an abandoned church so he could try to capture a Vaporeon?
Listen, Pokémon Go was fun and all, and it totally fed into our nostalgia. It was probably the defining app of 2016, but like any obsessive love affair, it was short-lived.
So this beer-tracking app is a must-have for any beer lovers. It lets you keep track of the drinks you've tried, and recommends what ones you need to sample next. This way, you're not that cliché always asking for "whatever IPA you have" at the bar.
Plus, it also lets you hail an Uber from inside the app, which is always a nice option when you've been tossing back beers.
Money is hard. Getting your financial situation all sorted out is one of the most confusing parts of entering adulthood (I am still pretending I know what a 401k is), which is exactly why Albert is so amazing.
This app connects with all your financial information and then provides you with all the advice you need — how best to pay off your loans, what your budget should look like and more essential money info.
Everybody loves getting gifts, which is exactly why Christmas is so magical (and like, all those other reasons, but whatever). However, you also have to buy gifts for others, and that turns the holiday season into a bit of a nightmare.
To ease the stress of buying gifts, you can now use Gidi, a chatbot app that suggests unique gift ideas for any type of person — moms, dads, skiers, gamers, readers, dogs, whatever.
Go put away that sea breeze candle you were going to awkwardly gift your Secret Santa. You're better than that. Just talk to Gidi instead.
Snapchat has been around since 2011, back when Kim Kardashian was walking down the aisle with Kris Humphries and Donald Trump was just a reality TV show punchline.
But Snapchat was the girl at the 2016 New Year's party drunkenly slurring about how it was going to her year. In 2016, it introduced group messaging, expanded geotags so we could let everyone know YES, we are in Poughkeepsie right now, thanks for asking, and it released a slew of bizarre lenses that turn you into everything from a bumblebee to an elderly trucker.
Look, apparently, all we've ever wanted was to just send a photo of ourselves as an anthropomorphized taco to our friends. Duh.
I'm guessing there's been at least one point in your life where you've wandered around a fancy wine store, picking up bottles and pretending you have the slightest clue what the labels mean.
This is when you need Delectable, which gives you all the info and ratings you need on a bottle of wine just by taking a photo of it. The app also gives you personalized recommendations, and it lets you order delivery from your phone.
OK, Venmo might not have done anything super new this year, but when my mom starts suggesting we use it, that's when you know it's hit the mainstream. Thank you, Venmo, for allowing group dinners to become significantly less stressful.
12. Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger has grown wildly this year, adding shopping options and Uber-hailing possibilities within the app.
Mostly, though, it makes this list because of this insanely addicting basketball game hidden within the app. Just send a friend a basketball emoji, and say goodbye to your social life.
Sometimes, responding with a sad face just won't cut it. No, instead what you need to convey your feelings is a cartoon version of yourself ripping your heart out of your chest and offering it sadly to the recipient. Now that's a message.
Bitmoji launched a few years ago, but it was bought by Snapchat in 2016. Now we've been able to enhance our Snaps in an even more personal way.
Sometimes you just don't have time to read that 2,500-word article your friend sent you on the Zodiac Killer's true identity, but you're dying t0 read it. Or you know you want to make that buffalo mac 'n' cheese recipe you stumbled upon, but you're never going to remember where to find it.
Enter Pocket. This app lets you save all the fun stuff you see on the internet, and organizes it into a handy folder for you. And the best part is you don't even need to be online to be able to access all the articles you've saved. It's the perfect way to kill time on the subway.
15. Shack App
If you've ever tasted a burger from Shake Shack, you've tasted heaven. And if you've ever waited in line at a Shake Shack, you've also gotten a taste of what hell is like.
Luckily for us, Shake Shack has decided to show us some mercy and give us the Shake app which allows you to order all those delicious burgers and fries for takeout.
For many of us, the best time to book a flight is a total mystery. We just accept the prices we get when we log on to buy.
Hopper has totally solved that issue for you, though. Just let it know what dates you're thinking about flying, and the app will predict what time in the future you should book to get the cheapest flight. It also alerts you as soon as prices fall.
An app that saves you hundreds of dollars? Yep, I'm sold.