28 of the Best Apps of 2014
This year has been a big year in apps — from wearables and phablets redefining what and how we download, to the Great Devicewide Emoji Takeover of ‘14 and the launch of this very series here at Brit + Co! We’re taking a break from our regularly scheduled weekly app roundup to bring you a look at 28 of the best downloads that took our smartphones by swipe this past year. Scroll back through some of our favorite DLs, some you missed and some worth taking into 2015 and beyond.
1. 7 Minute Workout: If fitness goals are anywhere near your New Year’s resolutions list, this app will make squeezing in a daily quicky no big thing, no matter where you are or how late you are to work. Plus, science says it’s technically the only workout you need (we’re paraphrasing) so why fight science? The other mini workouts it will eventually unlock the more you use it are just icing on the cake/abs on the tummy.
2. Adobe Creative Profile: In October, Adobe released nine (!) new apps that all have different, unique little keys for unlocking your creativity. Color lets you create themes, swatches and palettes from a photo you snapped, Shape turns your phone into a vector machine and Brush lets you make brushes from images of textures and shapes that you capture with your camera.
DL Them: Free on iOS
3. Autodesk Sketchbook: This app aims to give every artist a mobile toolkit for your tablet and smartphone with 100 pencils, pens, markers and brushes that you can customize and get creating with.
4. Bitmoji: While we twiddle our thumbs and wait for our beloved emoji to catch up to speed in the diversity department (get it together, Unicode Consortium), you can make your own emoticons that look just like you with this app. And then put them into comic strips or pair them with your favorite phrases.
5. Cinamatic: If you thought you were over Hipstamatic, this app made you reconsider abandoning it forever. It takes all of the stuff we loved about beautifying our photos before Instagram become our all-in-one and adds a video element that makes us all mobile indie doc makers.
6. CosmoBody: Turn your living room, dorm room or hotel room into a full-on fitness class with this collection of motivating move it, move it sweat sessions. Pick from body specific classes (“Legs for Days,” “Score Flat Abs Fast,” “Shake That Ass!”) or take on one of the many multiple day challenges to get “Sexier By Saturday” or score that “Revenge” or “Wowza Wedding Body.” Warning: The app has snagged some one star reviews for difficulty canceling the one-week free trial.
DL It: The download is free (on iOS, Android, your computer and even Roku) but the service is $9.99 a month
7. Emojiary: Emoji had a big 2014 — and not *just* the girl in the pink shirt, the whole bunch. This innovative app works like a daily diary, prompting you to tell it how you’re feeling using just emoji. Tell your red dress dancing girl days apart from your syringe days in these textable therapy-on-the-go sessions.
8. Flic: There was certainly no shortage of swiping this year in App Land but at least Flic wanted to help you find something much longer lasting: a cleaned out camera. We can *definitely* fall in love with that.
9. Fridge App: Like an activity tracker for your fridge, this app boasts the ability to monitor the perishables going in and out of your kitchen (with emphasis on moving them out). When you can’t afford those Jetsons-esque smart appliances just yet, apps like these are the next best thing.
10. Glow Nurture: Download a view of what to expect when you’re expecting in real time with an app that extends the life of fertility tracking Glow into all three trimesters and now even postpartum. Track every stage of your pregnancy with helpful health questions, important appointment reminders, a forum to speak with other parents in your same position and articles (including Brit + Co kids content!) relevant to your trimester.
11. Heirloom: TBTs will never be this easy again, people. This app’s photo capturing capabilities for IRL prints are unparalleled and will help you digitize those stacks of albums in minutes… or over a fun evening with the fam.
12. Humin: This is the upgrade your contacts app needs, espeeeecially if you’re a superstar networkers. Or a superstar forgetter. OR a superstar pick up artist. Humin lets you add context to your contacts, then search for them the same way. Find the new friend you “met Friday night,” or call up a biz contact who “works at Twitter,” even see which friends are in town this weekend so you know who to add to that group text.
14. IFTTT: In 2013, we were all about recipes for fusion tacos and hybrid sweets. In 2014, it’s all about recipes of the digital variety led by bespoke “If This Then That” commands for our phones. If it’s sunny tomorrow, then set my alarm for 30 minutes earlier so I can get up and run. If I post a photo to Instagram, then delete it from my phone to save space. If I open Tinder past midnight, then just lock my phone already?
15. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood: We suppose you can’t have a 2014 app review without including Kim K’s mega money maker, so here it is. Honestly, as much as we want to throw shade at this game, we want to applaud Kim for giving the people what they want and continuing to bring home the bacon anyway she can.
16. NailSnaps: We were jazzed about this idea when it was just a Kickstarter, but now that it’s the real, downloadable deal?! Even better. Use it to create your own custom nail wraps out of beautiful designs from their own artists OR your own Instagrams and photos.
17. NextGlass: Forget your go-to friend to text when you’re looking for a wine rec, this smart sommelier will recommend wine and beer that fits YOUR taste, which it learns over time from you rating different bottles you’ve tried.
18. Paper by FiftyThree: Joining Adobe’s Creative Suite and Sketchbook, here’s another app that promises to make an artist out of you yet with the added bonus of a connected community called Mix where you can show off, share and re-scribble on Paper-made works of art.
DL It: Free on iOS, but the $3.99 Essentials pack is, well, essential
19. Post-It Plus: Take a picture of your wall of Post-Its and this app digitizes and organizes them and allows you to access and email them even when you’re nowhere near that mess of a desk. Mind blown? Yup, ours too.
20. Spring: 2014 also rang in the year of the combo app. Like Instagram meets Pinterest meets your online shopping destination of choice (aka a decade ago: a mall), Spring lets you follow, scroll, swipe and double tap through your favorite brands and designers. You can then shop straight from the app, alerting you to when your favorite pieces go on sale or your highest ranked brands have new merch.
21. SwiftKey: Standard keyboards are a thing of the past — or at least early 2014. This one lets you swipe your way through your emails and iMessages, using smart technology to predict what you’re about to say. Oo, and it comes in all kinds of pretty colors and festive skins.
22. Shyp: Like TaskRabbit solely for shipping your packages, you can call up a shipping “hero” with this app to come and save your day from a trip to the post office. They’ll pick up whatever you need to get from A to B and make sure they get it there in a package that looks darn good too. We’re particularly partial to this app because you were able to get gifts wrapped in beautiful Brit + Co wrapping paper during the holidays with it.
23. Somebody: We’re giving this one love for being so darn weird. Before there was an app where strangers could set your alarm for you, there was this brainchild from Miranda July, where you could get a stranger to deliver a message for you IRL.
DL It: Sorry, Somebodies. You’ll have to wait for 2015 to DL version 2.0.
24. Spruce: The doctor is in — 24/7 thanks to this on-demand dermatology app that lets you upload photos of problem areas to get a diagnosis and treatment for acne.
25. Super! Is Biz Stone just trying to make fetch happen again? We’re willing to throw a bone and a download his way for this super fun meme maker that makes you think and create beyond our usual social media habits.
27. Wink: The smart home takeover is ON thanks to tech we’re able to connect to with our smartphones. Quirky’s Wink is a mobile control center for your home’s connected devices and a good preview for what to expect more of in coming years.
28. Yo: Not to be confused with Yo Bitch, which is also great, this is the OG two-letter app that did nothing more than just let you send and receive Yos to contacts. This sleeping giant (or, this sleeping giant’s API) could be gearing itself up for an even bigger 2015. Or not. TBD.
What was your favorite app download of the year? Share with us below!
No matter what your holiday plans look like this year, we know you want to feel present and able to embrace the warm and festive spirit to the fullest — not be bogged down by errands, stressful hosting duties, and last-minute shopping disasters. We wouldn't be surprised if one look at your December to-do list sent you into a full-on panic.