A Look Back: The Most Popular Apps Since the Dawn of the Smartphone

When smartphones started to conquer the world, it was slowly becoming clear that mobile applications would play a significant role in keeping people engaged with their mobile devices and their lives as a whole. Today, the use of apps is an integral part of our daily life, from ordering food, hailing a cab, shopping online, paying bills, and even connecting with friends and family. In this article, we will take a trip down memory lane and look back at some of the most popular apps since the dawn of the smartphone.

There’s a wealth of industries that saw both company profits and user experience increase exponentially following the smartphone boom. Entertainment changed courtesy of Netflix and, in more recent times, the likes of Disney Plus and Apple TV forever. Gambling used to involve a trip to a casino and a wrist full of tickets, but now, the experience has a new level of excitement. 

Fans of online gaming can now engage in their favorite pastime anywhere, at any time. Apps have opened doors for many convenient and innovative features, such as exclusive bonuses like the Bovada bitcoin bonus, immersive high-definition graphics, and live betting. These apps have also allowed for a more personalized and flexible experience, catering to the user’s preferences through custom settings and notifications. 

While both gambling apps and entertainment apps have been immensely popular over the last 15 years or so, neither of them features on our list. Here are the five most popular apps since the Dawn of the Smartphone. 

Facebook (2004)

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 2.7 billion active monthly users. Launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, the app has revolutionized how people connect with each other, share information, and stay updated on news and events. From profile customization to the ability to post photos, videos, links, and comments, Facebook has become a part of the daily routine for a vast majority of smartphone users.

Nowadays, the original social media app isn’t as prevalent as it once was. Admittedly boomers, Gen-X, and millennials are still in tune with Facebook and its longtime competitor Twitter, but “kids these days” prefer the likes of TikTok, Snapchat, and… 

Instagram (2010)

Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has become a go-to app for anyone looking to share photos and short videos. It has over one billion active monthly users worldwide, making it one of the most popular social media apps of all time. The app has undergone several transformations since its inception, from adding filters to introducing stories and reels, an idea taken from the success of the aforementioned TikTok; the social media giant continues to stay ahead of the curve

Instagram’s ability to allow users to tap into their creative sides has continually lured more users year after year. Plus, posting photos of one’s lavish lifestyle and gaining followers appears to be the masses’ chosen method of receiving their dopamine fix. 

WhatsApp (2009)

WhatsApp was created in 2009 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton and is now the most popular messaging app worldwide. It has over two billion active monthly users and allows users to send text, voice, and video messages, make voice and video calls, and send files. The app’s end-to-end encryption feature ensures that all conversations remain private, making it an appealing option for those who want to stay connected without exposing their personal information.

The app was acquired by Facebook back in 2014 in a $19bn deal, and ever since it was acquired, users have become increasingly worried about their personal information. As such, more and more users are switching to apps such as Telegram and Signal, which have even higher levels of encryption. 

Angry Birds (2009)

Launched in 2009, Angry Birds became an instant hit with mobile gamers. The early 2010s phenomenon revolves around a group of birds who are trying to retrieve their eggs from evil pigs. Users needed to fling the birds across a selection of maps that alternated in difficulty. 

The simple nature of the gameplay made the game a smash hit with the aforementioned boomers and millennials alike. In fact, such was the success of Angry Birds that the game became somewhat of a franchise throughout the last decade, producing numerous sequels, plenty of merchandise, and even a feature film

In the early days of smartphones, there were thousands of games that were hugely popular worldwide. The likes of Candy Crush and Paper Toss were at the top of that list, and they were played by hundreds of millions of users every single day. 

Uber (2010)

Uber is a ride-hailing service that has transformed the way we move around in cities. Launched in 2010, the app has over 100 million active monthly users worldwide and is accessible in over 700 metropolitan areas across the globe, allowing users to book a ride, track the driver’s location, and pay through their smartphones. Uber has disrupted the transportation industry and has challenged traditional taxi services globally.

Such has been the continued success of Uber; it is now a publicly traded stock on the New York Stock Exchange. Since its IPO back in May 2019, the stock is down over 25% due to the current ongoing global situation; however, don’t let that deter you from the fact that Uber is one of the most popular and innovative apps ever created. 

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