In a year marked by a global pandemic and lockdown orders, you probably spent a lot of time on your phone. And a lot of time on the phone means more time discover new apps. To take a look at which applications reigned supreme, look no further than Google Play's Best Apps of 2020. The titles were announced on Tuesday, Dec. 1, giving users a look into the standout apps of the year. If you've been stuck in a Twitter doomscroll session since March, the best apps of the year might just inspire your next download.
With so many apps out there, how does someone decide what reigns supreme? Google Play's Editors helmed the position of making the selections for many of the apps, but there is also a User's Choice category chosen by the people using the apps every day. There are plenty of popular apps included in the lists, such as Disney+ and Zoom but there are also some surprises. Some new apps that rose to the top this year include Chris Hemsworth's fitness platform, Centr, as well as a new sleep-aid app. Without further ado, here are some of the best apps to check out if you're looking to discover some new ways to help you optimize your entertainment, health, and everyday life.
Best App of 2020
The best app of the year is Loóna: Bedtime Calm & Relax. The app helps you manage your evening routine and disconnect you from a long day so you can prepare for sleep. Each night you'll get a new sleepscape, which is a guided session that includes activity-based relaxation, storytelling, and sounds to rest your mind.
User's Choice of 2020
Users chose Disney+ as their top app of the year, which makes total sense since the the new streaming platform offers plenty of entertainment from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars (including new releases like The Mandalorian). When it came to the best game, users chose SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off, because honestly, during 2020, who wouldn't want to be in a pineapple under the sea?
Best Everyday Essentials of 2020
Named as one of the best everyday essential apps, Calmaria features breathing techniques and exercises to bring your body into deep relaxation state, like the 4-7-8 method, which prompts you to inhale for four seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds and exhale for eight seconds. Other notables include Whisk, which helps people plan weekly meals ahead and even get groceries delivered to you via online retailers, as well as Grid Diary, astrology app The Pattern, and Zoom Cloud Meetings.
Best for Personal Growth in 2020
Chris Hemsworth's app, Centr, is named as one of the best for personal growth, as it features guidance from experts on fitness, diet, and other goals. You'll find your new workouts, recipes, and life hacks on your simple-to-use weekly planner. Another top app in this category is Paired: Couples App, which helps you build a quality relationship and improve communication with your partner. There are daily questions you can ask your partner each day to build intimacy, as well as quizzes to learn more about each other. Other standouts in personal growth include how-to videos on Jumprope; Intellect, a psychological training app; and Speekoo, which helps you learn new languages.
Best Hidden Gems of 2020
Cappuccino is an app that helps you stay connected with your loved ones through voice memos. All you'll need to do is record a voice memo, which is called a "bean," and it'll be shared to your friends "cappuccinos" every morning at 8 a.m. You can share anything from life updates to jokes with your pals using a "bean." Tayasui Sketches is another hidden gem on Play. You can create beautiful drawings using the app's array of brushes. There are also many advanced functions that allow you to render your best work of art, whether it's a watercolor portrait or an oil pastel design. Other hidden gems include Explorest, which is great for scouting out photo locations, and Paperless Post for sending invitations.
Best for Fun in 2020
One of the top apps for helping people unwind in 2020 was Bazaart: Photo Editor & Graphic Design. The app is perfect for creative souls looking to edit beautiful photos and collage art. You can add backgrounds, texts, and easily share to your social media channels. Another app you can use to create fun shareable content for your social media is Reface. It uses advance face swapping AI so you can put your selfie onto another face in a convincing way, whether it's a celeb or your BFF. Other notables include Dolby ON, for recording music, and VITA, for video editing.
Best Apps for Good in 2020
If you're looking for a mission-driven app, you'll want to check out GreenChoice: Healthy Grocery Shopping. The platform helps shoppers easily find the food rating for products in store, so they can better understand its nutrition, processing, food safety, and environmental footprint. Another meaningful app is ShareTheMeal: Donate to Charity and Solve Hunger, which is run by the World Food Programme. You can give back and donate a meal to someone in hunger with just one tap on your phone.
Even if 2021 doesn't have as much screen time in store as this year did, you can still discover some new apps to shake up your routine.