January 2020 Essential Apps Report



Hope you’ve had a great holiday season.

If you find it impossible to keep up-to-date on those “must-have” mobile apps that can save you time and make life easier, I’d suggest you read the latest issue of The Essential Apps Report.

Through machine learning and artificial intelligence, apps are fast becoming indispensable. Whether you want to increase your productivity at work, or simply enjoy a few minutes playing a game, or staying in touch with friends, you have access to almost 4 million apps. It’s impossible to keep up-to-date on those that will be most useful to you. 


With the end of the decade upon us, let’s look ahead and ask the question, “What trends are coming in the app world?” 

First, look for more apps that use Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. If you liked FaceApp, which used AI to show what you might look like when you age, then you’ll probably love the ML and AI apps 2020 will bring. 

Next, we’ll see more chat bots. Eighty percent of businesses will use them in some shape or form in 2020, so expect this to affect the app world too. The rise of the machines indeed. 

Finally, the world of Mobile Wallets will get a lot bigger in the coming year. Mobile wallet transaction value is expected to triple by 2022, so you can count on a big increase in such apps. Cashless society, here we come.

Ron Hume


We want your feedback! Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue. 

Send comment to michael@michaelcaplan.ca 




Image and Video Communication


This amazing app gives you an easy way to connect with friends, family, and colleagues through images and videos.  With Instagram you can send photos and videos and bring them to life with fun creative tools. They will disappear after 24 hours. With more than 500 million active users, Instagram is more powerful than Facebook and Twitter. Instagram’s prominence has been growing steadily since its launch in 2010. Message your friends in Direct, and start fun conversations about what you see on feed and Stories. Post photos and videos to your feed that you want to show on your profile. Connect with friends, share what you're up to, or see what's new from others all over the world.


You Tube


A Wealth of Video


YouTube is considered the world’s most famous video platform, for the people, and by the people. It helps millions of creators to add and share their unique content with the target audience. In my opinion, YouTube’s most useful application is in finding easy to understand help with virtually any kind of problem. Here are two examples: Recently we bought a new vacuum cleaner and couldn’t figure out how to replace the refuse bag. The manufacturer’s written instructions were indecipherable. We solved the problem by going to YouTube where we found a great video demo. Last month I wanted to see a demonstration of how a top-notch chef stir fries veggies. Once again it was YouTube to the rescue




US Weather Forecasting


It’s a fact. Weather affects our every move especially when we are travelling. We all need a great weather app, or two, on our phones. Also check out 'The Weather Network' for Canadian information. “1Weather” is arguably the best US weather app for Android. The design is simple and easy to read, shows current weather conditions, forecasts for up to 12 weeks, plus other fun statistics. Additionally, you get easy-to-use, customizable widgets, severe weather notifications, and radar so that you can see those nasty storms bearing down on your area. What we love about this app is that you get the current weather forecast, plus a range of fun weather facts. Pricewise, you have two options: The free version includes all of the features, with advertising. Check it out.


Podcast Addict




Podcasts have exploded over the last few years. If you’re a podcast fan, you’ll love this app. You can access pretty much every podcast out there. Plus it’s simple and easy to use, has lots of features to help you organize your favorites, playback, and download features. You can browse by category, search for podcasts individually, and create custom playlists. It supports Chromecast, SONOS, Android Auto, and Wear OS. What we’re saying is, this podcast app pretty much has it all. You can download this app free of charge, or pay a small fee to disables ads. Happy listening.


Tick Tick

Organizing App


Not to be confused with TikTok, this app helps you with your to-do list. We love it. Why? It’s super easy to use and functional. It covers all the basics: recurring tasks, reminders, push notifications, organizational features, and categories. Plus you can share these tasks with others. It’s ideal for using with family members, co-workers, or members of any group. So, whether you’re making your grocery list, your list of things to do around the house, book club selections, or any kind of list, check out TickTick. You may pick the free version, or pay an additional fee to unlock premium features like the ability to make up to 299 lists that are shareable with up to 29 people.


Tik Tok


Video Sharing


Because there’s no fighting the TikTok revolution, you might as well join it. This is a really great social video app where you can create lip-syncing videos, dancing videos, comedy videos, all kinds of videos! It’s really the ultimate tool for self-expression using your phone. It’s been downloaded over 1.5 billion times. This year, it was more popular than the Facebook app and Instagram. It’s easy to use and has awesome filters and features that make it even more fun to use and personalize. Side note: TikTok is being investigated by the US government for potential security risks as the ownership of the company is Chinese, but don’t let that stop you from getting your video on.


Disney +




In November, The Mouse House launched their U.S. $6.99 per month streaming service, debuting with “The Mandalorian”, the live-action Star Wars show. In one day, this app picked up 10 million subscribers. Disney+ includes 500 movies, 7,500 TV episodes, including Disney classics, Marvel, Pixar, and The Simpsons. Come on, you know you can’t do without Baby Yoda. Check out Disney+ today.