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

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-12-09
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Apple Taps Facebook Messenger, Snapchat as Top iOS Apps of 2014
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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
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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
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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
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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?
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
 

It's now become a yearly tradition for Apple to not only announce its App Store editors' top picks of available iOS apps in its software marketplace, but also reveal which programs attracted the most demand over the past year. On Dec. 8, Apple released its 2014 findings, and many of the most popular programs revealed in the findings show that, once again, iOS users are strongly interested in social apps and games. But they also like to check the weather, go shopping and maybe even work out with help from their iPhones and iPads. The latest popularity list also provides valuable insight for newcomers to the iOS market. Those who have just bought their first iPhone or iPad have a handy cheat sheet to check out and determine which apps really are best. Considering there are now more than 1.3 million apps available in Apple's App Store, this list can reduce the searching and take a lot of the guesswork out of picking useful apps for your mobile device. This slide show examines Apple's list of the top paid and free apps of 2014. But rather than simply go down the list of apps, we thought it better to sift through the list a bit more to find the most popular apps in a wide array of categories. So check out the list to find which apps made the most-popular list this year and also deliver a high-quality user experience.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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