Lockdown has been a very interesting affair for humanity. It’s really been an event that has put us all into a petri dish. We have all been examining our lives and lifestyles. We’ve put ourselves and not just the virus, underneath a microscope. We have found that many of us actually have some peculiar tastes and choices. The kinds of apps that we have all been using, show a lot about us as a species. So we thought what better way to explore the tech world, than through this prism. Lockdown has had a massive impact on how we use our phones and it’s time that we knew what these changes mean for our lives into the future. Pay close attention to the figures to see just how much of a change we are talking about.
Tik-tok has taken over
Tik-Tok is a Chinese app that is a lot like Vine. in fact, it is pretty much like Vine. It started off as a cool miming app. People would mime lyrics to a song, then upload it to see who would follow along. The video would be maybe 10 seconds long and that meant, the other user would need to carry it on. The two videos were put side by side and it was relatively entertaining. Then came the innovation. Two videos were merged together, side by side, where each person plays a character. The miming became about movies. Popular movie scenes were mimed by two people, from around the world that had never met before. It allowed them to show their personalities and also, share something that most of us like.
Tik-Tok now has a user base of 689 million! And by the way, it’s worth $60 billion! This is something that has only been done since….Vine! Millions of users around the world, from China, Japan, America to Europe, have been making videos non-stop during Covid-19. It’s something that has mainly been done by the younger generation. About 50% of the user base is aged between 10-29.
Mental health has been a major concern for a lot of us during lockdown. That is why Headspace has become one of the most downloaded apps during the pandemic. We want to know why we are feeling a certain way, not just how to deal with it. Granted, it’s nothing like speaking with a real person but there are some amazing self-help tips in this app. Headspace now has 60 million downloads, up from 40 million in 2019. 20 million extra downloads in just one year is something quite special for a mental health app.
It does have a free section in the app, but most of the good stuff is behind a paywall. The paywall isn’t too costly, at about $13.00 or £9.99. The items that are behind the paywall are as follows.
- Sleepcasts. These are often stories, or poems, reading of a diary, or maybe just some ambient noises that switch on the playlist. Some of them are free but the best ones are premium.
- Meditation sessions. These are done by professionals. They offer you some time to yourself and a way to fully drain your mind of worries. Focus on breathing is very important and they teach you this skill during the courses on offer.
- Move sessions are things like aerobics, yoga, pilates and classic stretching. They have fast workouts, slow workouts and a mix of both.
- Focus playlists. This is music that is often monotone, relaxing and sometimes pretty jazzy and mellow.
Zoom has become the number one app for all professionals during the lockdown. It’s taken over the conference call world and pushed apps like Hangouts to the side. This is perhaps why Google has made a massive shift by focussing on Hangouts as a separate app just for conferencing. Before it was to ‘hangout’, as it was merged into Gmail and other apps like Calendar. Now, it will have all of those features but it will be a standalone app. But why?
Because with Zoom you can have much more bandwidth. You have 100 people joining one call, and the features are nice and easy to use. The issue with this kind of app is, that it can eat a lot of signal strength. So you should read these 5 easy fixes to improve weak cell phone signal. One thing you may want to check is your WiFi. Your cell phone signal is going to be weaker if the WiFi is turned on. If this is the case you may be wondering if you should just jump onto the computer instead. However, you can use network data instead and you could also do something else. The most beneficial thing you can do is to buy a cell phone signal booster. These can be set up in your home as well as an antenna fitted to the outside of the home. This makes your home like a lightning rod for the local cell phone tower and makes Zoom calls so much smoother.
Netflix got off to a very shaky start. It was not well-liked by many people because you had to send the DVD discs back once you had watched the film. But then the streaming service came online then it took off like a rocket. However, it accumulated lots of debt in the process and it hasn’t necessarily made a profit that they would write home about. But this is why Disney+ has taken people suddenly aback. They are shocked to find out that this new streaming service has done very well. And it’s because during lockdown, we got bored of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. We wanted something new. This meant that Disney+ and it’s unique shows, was a perfect choice. It now has 100 million subscribers, going from about 50 million just over a year ago.
Fitness apps have climbed a mountain during the pandemic. We have all eaten ourselves to a weight none of us is proud of. It’s quite shocking how many of us have lost control of our diets in favour of comfort eating. This is something that has been fought against by Strava. This app has become the premium choice for those that want to lose weight. It has been downloaded 76 million times. The app updates itself daily with the latest workout plans. This is something that has appealed to both people who want to challenge themselves and to those that want to start working out. It keeps the ideas fresh and the people who have downloaded it, feel that the developer has updated the app and not left it to just garner them a profit. You can make your own workout plan or mix and match!
The fast-food delivery app has been working overtime on people’s phones. You feel blue and you don’t want to cook? Fine, you can just order the best Thai or the best Jamaican cuisine in your neighborhood. It’s not just fast food either, it’s actually full blown restaurants. The app has been downloaded millions of times and has accumulated over $2 billion so far. This is unheard of for a delivery app specializing only in food. We like the design, the ease of use and fact that it constantly updates with great deals from our favorite restaurants. The fact that you can also track the delivery in real-time is also something that helps with time management. This is crucial because we usually order fast food during an event such as a game of football, boxing or perhaps an NBA final.
Monday has overtaken Slack in the management apps for businesses. It’s much more easy to use, the themes are very attractive and the real-time tracking features are sublime. This has allowed people who work from home to relay to their managers what they are working on, when it has been completed, when they need help, when they would like more time and the fluid motion of common people goes on unhindered. This is all done within the app, rather than through personal images. You don’t have to write anything, it’s all usually done through clicks-only. This has boosted productivity and allowed for more open and honest admissions when an employee requires help or is confused. Monday in fact, incorporates Slack into its body. This allows for users that have become used to Slack to slowly get used to Monday. Something like this has never been done before and it appears to be a great success.
These apps have allowed us all to enjoy lockdown a little life more than we otherwise perhaps would. Thankfully the app developers have realized their popularity is due to the circumstances and haven’t rested on their laurels. A lot of them are funnelling their profits into the apps they created and are improving them all the time. Have you downloaded any of these apps? Let us know which of these has been your favorite app and why?