The 15 Best Apps for 2020

Apps that every iOS and Android user will want to have on their device

Thousands of new apps are added to Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store every single day. Now that it's 2020, it's worth bringing your smartphone or tablet up to speed with some of the latest and greatest apps.

For iOS and Android users who already know about those well known, must-have apps like Google Maps, Dropbox, Evernote and all the rest, the following list offers a refreshing pick of newer apps that can transform practically any compatible device.

Here are some of the absolute best apps you'll want to consider downloading and making good use of this year.

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Shabaam screenshots
What We Like
  • Great selection of very funny gifs.

  • Gifs can be looped.

What We Don't Like
  • Records voice only (can’t add music).

  • GIF shows only for short duration.

It's no secret that people love to share GIFs everywhere online, giving rise to all sorts of different GIF maker apps. Shabaam is a new one that takes the GIF trend to another level by giving users the opportunity to spice up their favorite GIFs with some added audio.

Just pick a GIF from the app's extensive GIF library and then use your device to record your voice (or any sound of your choice) to be dubbed over the GIF. The final product is a very short video (because it can't remain in .GIF format due to the audio) that you can save to your device or share through other apps.

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Bite screenshots
What We Like
  • Clean, attractive interface.

  • Menu item photos.

  • Social component gives insight into restaurants and menus that ads and websites can’t.

What We Don't Like
  • Would be more useful if users could specify a search radius.

  • Serving sizes given in grams.

There are countless food and restaurant review apps there, but Bite seeks to take the headache out of guessing which places and dishes are worth trying based on irrelevant information. Instead of having to endlessly browse through generic menus and peruse through too many unhelpful reviews, Bite focuses on providing users with high-quality imagery and information that actually matters.

Bite users are encouraged to share their experiences with dishes they've tried by using applicable review options that focus on rating aspects of taste, quality and cost. Best of all, the app lacks a lot of the clutter that many other review apps have, making it easier than ever to discover great dishes and contribute to the community.

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Yarn screenshots
What We Like
  • Truly different way to experience a story.

  • Free, seven-day trial.

What We Don't Like
  • Access to full selection of stories and features requires paid subscription.

  • Some stories inappropriate for young users.

Yarn is for the mobile user who wants something different than a cool video game to play or a great book to read. The app features a large library of stories told in text message format, as if you were snooping through somebody else's phone and reading their conversations.

Episodes/conversations are updated daily and users can enjoy stories from a number of categories including mystery, romance, comedy, sci-fi, fantasy and others. The free version of the app is quite limited, but you can upgrade to a subscription plan for unlimited access to all stories and features.

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Zedge screenshots
What We Like
  • Huge variety of sounds.

  • Easy searching for just the right sound.

What We Don't Like
  • Some sounds are low-quality.

  • Icon packs no longer available.

If you really want to make your smartphone or tablet your own, Zedge is the app you'll want to use to personalize your device's ringtones, notifications and alarm sounds. The app offers thousands of high-quality sounds that are both free and easy to download.

Simply browse through the categories or use the search function to look for a specific sound. From obscure sounds to classic jingles, you can set a custom ringtone for each person in your contact list so you always know who's calling.

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Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts screenshots
What We Like
  • Automatically finds new episodes of followed podcasts.

  • Intuitive interface with lots of handy features.

  • Can listen to a podcast without committing to subscription.

What We Don't Like
  • Can’t put together lists of episodes you’d like to hear.

  • Trim function is useful but can result in choppy-sounding play.

For the podcast listener who wants to discover great podcasts and easily manage the ones they want to listen to, Pocket Casts is a premium app worth checking out. Browse podcasts by charts, networks and categories, then add the ones you like to play episodes on the fly and create your own playback queue.

The app constantly checks for new episodes so you always have access to the latest from your favorite shows, with automatic downloading and custom filters to keep them organized. You can also personalize your listening experience with powerful features including an up next option, a silence trimmer, chapters, playback skipper and more.

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Calm screenshots
What We Like
  • Can choose the type and length of meditation desired.

  • Geared toward adults but also suitable for children 3 and older, with adult help.

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive.

  • Help and customer service are lacking.

Thinking of giving meditation a try? Calm is a free app geared toward beginners — offering short, guided meditation sessions ranging from 3 to 25 minutes. Sessions focus on a variety of topics including anxiety reduction, stress management, improved sleep, breaking bad habits, cultivating gratitude and more.

In addition to individual sessions you can select and play individually, hundreds of programs are available for users who are interested in a more long-term meditation challenge. There's also an option for unguided meditation sessions with a timer and 30+ soothing nature sounds.

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Fabulous screenshots
What We Like
  • Effective at encouraging healthful routines.

  • Broad variety of routines to choose from.

  • Gives estimates of how long each routine takes.

What We Don't Like
  • Some users might find articles and questions distracting.

  • Requires single payment up front, rather than monthly.

Fabulous is an incredibly fun and interactive habit app that helps you improve your energy levels, fitness, sleep, and productivity. Based off of scientifically proven techniques, you'll be challenged to complete a daily meditation, work, creativity, exercise and other types of self-improvement session to help you change your habits in as little as 19 days.

You'll start small with incremental goals that will help you build up your habit progress over time. Eventually, you'll have renewed rituals for your morning, workday and nighttime routines. 

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Canva screenshots
What We Like
  • Can replace bulkier programs such as Photoshop for many uses.

  • Easy to use.

What We Don't Like
  • Some advanced features require paid subscription.

  • No eraser tool.

Whether you need to design a new Facebook header photo or want to create a cover to publish your own Kindle ebook, Canva is the free and intuitive graphic design app that can help you get it done in minutes. Upload your own images or choose from premium stock photos and illustrations before customizing your design using the app's easy drag and drop feature.

Canva offers a wide variety of different layouts, free photos, fonts, shapes, icons, charts, lines, illustrations, grids and background options you can use to design your graphic exactly the way you want. When you're done, save it as a high-quality image to your camera roll/photo folder or share it directly via your favorite social app.

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Forest by Seekrtech

Forest screenshots
What We Like
  • Novel approach to time management.

  • Many timer settings and ability to whitelist some apps.

What We Don't Like
  • Must subscribe to “Forest in the Cloud” to use credits toward planting trees, compete with others, and sync across devices.

  • If phone battery dies, you lose the tree you were working on.

Need to be productive but can't resist wasting time on your iPhone? Forest is a premium app that motivates you to stay focused by starting every work session with a planted seed in your very own virtual forest. You'll have to stay in the app to watch the tree grow over the time period that you work and avoid leaving the app the risk killing the tree.

The more you use the app to be productive (and thus grow more virtual trees), the more coins you earn, which you can spend through the app as donations to help plant real trees in the developing world. To accomplish this, Forest has partnered with the non-profit organization Trees for the Future, which helps improve the livelihoods of impoverished farmers by revitalizing degraded lands. 

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Noisli screenshots
What We Like
  • No internet connection required.

  • Unlike ordinary sound generators, you can mix your own.

What We Don't Like
  • Not as large of a selection as some other similar apps.

  • Can’t play music from other apps while this is running.

Whether you need to focus on your work or relax and unwind after a long day, soothing sound effects can help get you in the right frame of mind, and Noisli is an app that lets you conveniently mix sounds to create your own sound combos. Its simple, minimal interface lets you select the sounds that you want and adjust the volume for each to create the perfect sound ambiance.

Choose from sounds like rain, thunderstorms, wind, waves, birds and more. Set your timer for your sound combo with an optional fade out feature and save your combos to listen to them again and again. All sound creations can also be listened to offline so you never have to worry about remaining connected to the internet!

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Crumblyy screenshots
What We Like
  • Lots of truly useful hacks for everyday life.

  • Crisp and to the point.

What We Don't Like
  • Ad-supported.

  • Interface is somewhat cluttered.

Crumblyy (formerly called Life Hacks) isn't totally new, but it's an app that was recently updated in a very big way. This clean, intuitive app features picture cards in a variety of categories like food, healthy, technology and more to help users broaden their knowledge and improve their lives with various tips, tricks, and fact-based strategies.

Users can get notifications for daily hacks that can be upvoted to help out fellow app users, bookmarked to be saved for later or shared easily on social media. Hacks can also be browsed through manually by selecting a category or using the search function to look for something specific.

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Files Go

Files Go screenshots
What We Like
  • Easy, effective way to free up space.

  • Transfers large files very quickly.

  • Unearths duplicate files so you can delete them.

What We Don't Like
  • No support for cloud storage.

  • Shares files only with other users of app.

Google's Files Go app file storage manager that helps Android users find files faster, free up space and share files quickly with others while offline. You can use it to quickly delete old photos, identify duplicate files, get rid of apps you no longer use and clean up anything else that needs to go in a snap.

One of the best parts about this app is that files can be shared between Android users in a similar way to Apple's AirDrop feature. As long as you're physically close to another Android user using Files Go, you can quickly share photos, videos and other files without use of the internet.

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Remindee screenshots
What We Like
  • Lets you create reminders without interrupting what your’e doing.

  • Reminders appear in notification shade.

What We Don't Like
  • Syncing between devices available only with paid version.

  • Works only in apps that offer a Share button/link.

Ever find yourself browsing through an app, only to see something you need to remind you of something for later? Remindee is a simple little app that lets you create reminders from anywhere within your device — no matter what app you're currently browsing.

Just tap the share button and then tap the Remind Me option to create a reminder. Set the date and time you want for your reminder and you're finished! You even have the option to create a reminder by copying a selection of text, which can come in handy when your reminder is based on a longer message or paragraph of information.

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Messenger Lite

Messenger Lite screenshots
What We Like
  • Alleviates memory drain of full-fledged Messenger app.

  • Familiar interface to anyone who’s used Messenger.

What We Don't Like
  • No video calling.

  • No animations, GIFS, or place-sharing.

Facebook Messenger is an essential app to have for keeping in touch with friends and family, but for those who use it relatively infrequently just for quick chats here and there, it can quickly reveal itself to be a sluggish, bloated app that takes its toll on devices with limited memory and processing power.

​To help combat this issue, Messenger Lite for Android is a simplified, stripped down version of the original app offering all the core features without the inconvenience of slowing down your phone. In addition to being a great alternative to Messenger on older Android devices, Messenger Lite is also ideal for staying connected to people when you're chatting from locations with limited internet connectivity.

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Enlight Photofox

Enlight screenshots
What We Like
  • Pro-level editing capabilities.

  • Can work with RAW files.

What We Don't Like
  • Advanced features, such as Darkroom, available only in paid version.

  • Learning curve.

There are countless photo editing apps out there that offer professional editing tools and effects, but nothing quite compares to the artistic capabilities of Enlight Photofox. This app goes beyond common editing features like cropping and applying filters — instead offering you unique tools like superimposed imagery, photo mixing, layering, blending and more that appeal to your creative side.

If you're a professional or amateur photographer who wants to explore your interests in abstract, contemporary or street art, this app can help you unlock your true potential. Photo sessions are always auto-saved so you can return to the app later to finish your work.