Apple shortlisted the 15 best apps for 2020 that it says played an important role in making users’ lives easier and healthier, while boosting connectivity during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The apps helped users stay fit and mindful, kept students on track and helped mitigate global hunger.
Their “impact was meaningful”, the Cupertino-based tech giant said. Developers “overwhelmingly” led a trend towards “helpfulness” in 2020, it said.
“More than ever before, some of our most creative and connected moments happened in apps,” Apple fellow Phil Schiller said.
“Around the world, we saw remarkable efforts from so many developers … and these winners are outstanding examples of that innovation.”
Apple's shortlist of the 15 best apps of 2020 includes:
The app encourages brief physical movement to help people stay energised and reduce stress.
It comes with hundreds of exercises that users can do at their desk, like yoga postures, chair exercises and hand health drills. It also has exercises for long flights, while in the car and simple fun workouts while walking to work.
"When the pandemic hit, people faced an increased risk of becoming more sedentary, so Wakeout helps families stay active as they work and learn from home," Pedro Alejandro Wunderlich, co-founder of Wakeout, told The National.
To help users get the daily self-care they need and to emphasise well-being of African Americans, Shine launched a section specifically dedicated to the intersectionality of mental health and black lives.
Amid all the disruptions of this year (Covid-19, racial justice-related uprisings and the US election), mental health resources are even more crucial and relevant.
The app also includes resources to support the black community.
An app by the United Nations World Food Programme that makes it easy to donate meals. More than 87 million meals have been facilitated to date. Users can choose where their donation goes and give $0.80 (or more) with a tap.
"Despite the Covid-19 challenges and supply chain disruptions, we have seen an increase in traction on our app … it is proving very helpful to mitigate the world hunger problem to some extent," Massimiliano Costa, head of ShareTheMeal initiative, told The National.
Fantastical is a calendar and tasks app with various interfaces, time zone support and other features.
The app has pivoted to become a work-from-home calendar with auto-detection of conference call features that make remote working seamless.
Fantastical is compatible with all devices such as smartwatches, smartphones, tablets and personal computers, and keeps all your events and tasks in sync.
The video conference app has become a household name as a result of the pandemic. It has various collaborative features, high video quality, real-time whiteboard collaboration on Apple's iPad as well as smart phones and desk tops.
The app has been a valuable resource as many continue to work and learn from home.
By the end of the third quarter, it had nearly 433,700 customers with more than 10 employees, a 485 per cent increase from the same quarter last year.
Sneaky Sasquatch is a game that revolves around roaming around campsites looking for food from coolers, and picnic baskets without getting caught.
Sneaky Sasquatch has seen an uptick in new downloads in the past few months, as more people remain indoors due to coronavirus-related lockdowns or travel restrictions, said Jesse Ringrose, co-founder of Vancouver-based RAC7, developer of Sneaky Sasquatch.
"Our approach is very universal and it connects with different age groups in all parts of the world," Ringrose told The National.
Explain Everything Whiteboard
Described as the "Swiss army knife of whiteboarding apps", it allows users to sketch, talk and share across a new landscape, digitally.
The app enhances remote collaboration through interactive tools and has helped teachers navigate socially distanced and hybrid learning during the pandemic.
It offers a cloud-based collaboration tool that enables students to work on projects together.