Apple Taps Facebook Messenger, Snapchat as Top iOS Apps of 2014

Apple Taps Facebook Messenger, Snapchat as Top iOS Apps of 2014
Facebook Messenger Makes It Easy to Go Social
A Quick Photo Goes to Snapchat
Beef Up Your Camera With Afterlight
Who Needs Apple Maps When There's Google Maps?
Minecraft Continues to Be a Gaming Hit
Get Fit With 7 Minute Workout Challenge
It's Shopping Time With the Amazon App
Clean Up Your Clips With Videoshop
The NOAA Hi-Def Radar for the Weather
Swype Makes Typing Out Messages Easier
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Apple Taps Facebook Messenger, Snapchat as Top iOS Apps of 2014

By Don Reisinger

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Facebook Messenger Makes It Easy to Go Social

Facebook Messenger is the social network's way of breaking out its key mobile messaging platform. The app allows users who would otherwise chat or shoot videos back and forth from the Facebook mobile app to do it in a stand-alone program. It is the most popular free app of 2014, according to Apple, and it promises to be similarly popular in the years to come, given Facebook's continued growth.

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A Quick Photo Goes to Snapchat

Another wildly popular free app, Snapchat allows users to take pictures of themselves or something else and send it to others. The kicker here is that the photos will self-destruct within 10 seconds, giving folks precious little time to see what they're looking at. Snapchat has become a worldwide phenomenon, and its user base continues to grow. Mobile devices like the iPhone have helped that happen.

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Beef Up Your Camera With Afterlight

The Afterlight photo editor is one of the most popular paid applications available in Apple's App Store. The 99-cent app lets users snap photos and then modify them with a wide range of filters and other editing effects. The app is simple to use and adds some innovative effects that make it awfully appealing to amateur photographers.

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Who Needs Apple Maps When There's Google Maps?

Although Apple Maps comes preloaded in iOS, there appears to be no beating Google Maps. The search giant's mapping application is one of the more popular mapping apps in the App Store, delivering everything from navigation to traffic reports. And since it's free, most users are more than willing to download the program.

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Minecraft Continues to Be a Gaming Hit

One can't do a roundup of the most popular apps without mentioning the goliath that is Minecraft. From the Xbox to the iPhone, Minecraft has become a worldwide phenomenon that is not only the most popular game in the App Store, but also one of the most popular games in the world on any platform. The app goes for $6.99, however, so it is a bit more expensive than the other programs in this roundup.

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Get Fit With 7 Minute Workout Challenge

The free 7 Minute Workout Challenge app is an outstanding way for those who are typically immobile to start moving. The app is based on scientific research that claims that intensive exercise that hits all major body areas for a period of 7 minutes can keep folks in better shape. It caught on, and now it's one of the most popular apps in the App Store.

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It's Shopping Time With the Amazon App

No surprise here, but one of the most popular e-commerce sites in the world is also offering one of the most popular e-commerce apps in the world. Amazon's free shopping app, appropriately named Amazon App, has been listed as one of the most-downloaded free programs in the App Store this year. The app does everything from letting users search through Amazon's product listing to enabling them to snap a photo of a product to see what the e-commerce company is selling it for on its site. It's an all-around great app.

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Clean Up Your Clips With Videoshop

Videoshop is a $1.99 app that provides surprisingly fast video editing for those who aren't keen on Apple's iMovie. The app lets users cut clips out, record voiceovers, pick music to play over videos and more. Plus, it comes with a filters gallery to add some extra lighting effects to the videos.

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The NOAA Hi-Def Radar for the Weather

WeatherSphere's NOAA Hi-Def Radar map is an ideal program to have in your pocket when you're driving into a bad storm. The app shows real-time radar, in high definition, and even shows where lightning is striking around a given area. The app also tracks hurricanes, provides forecasts for areas around the U.S. and more. It's a full-featured app that has earned its spot toward the top of Apple's App Store. Plus, it costs only $1.99.

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Swype Makes Typing Out Messages Easier

Swype has been around for years and continues to be a popular choice for those who aren't convinced that the standard method of tapping on virtual keys is right for them. Swype, which costs 99 cents, lets users drag their fingers around a virtual keyboard to type out text. Based on that movement, the app interprets what they were trying to type and displays in on-screen. The app runs atop the virtual keyboard built into iOS, so it works everywhere.

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