An iPhone in use. What apps do they have installed?
Photographer: Rahul Chakraborty | Source: Unsplash

As with any year that goes by, a whole host of new apps enter app stores. There are a lot of them that are worth talking about. Here are some of the highlights:

App Category: Health

Wakeout! – Active Breaks

Wakeout! has been highlighted by Apple in their App Store Best of 2020 list as the iPhone App of the Year, which is almost unheard of for an independent developer.

An example of one of the Wakeout! app screens.
Wakeout! App example. Image Source: Wakeout!

The idea with Wakeout! is to encourage activity and movement when you would be stationary. For example, if you’re just sitting at home, watching TV or YouTube videos, you could interrupt your continuous sitting with short exercises provided by the app.

Andres Canella, one of the two developers of the app, said in an interview:

…it’s not necessarily about getting fit. It’s about starting your day, getting some energy for your meeting or for any context.

Source: 9 News Wakeout! Interview

It’s clear that there is some passion behind the development of Wakeout!, and its recognition on the world stage is well deserved.

Check out Wakeout! – Active Breaks on the App Store!

Intellect: Create a Better You

Have you ever wanted to improve your personal traits, habits, and behaviours? Intellect is an app aimed at people who want to embark on a new way to work on themselves.

App promo image for intellect, from Google Play. The design is gentle, and calming.
Intellect: Create a Better You. Image Source: Intellect Google Play

This app has been recognised by Google Play users as one of the best apps on the platform this year. In fact, it enjoys over 47 thousand ratings on the store, with a 4.8 star average. Therefore, this is something to consider if you want to look into your habits and improve yourself.

Check out Intellect: Create a Better You on Google Play, or on the Apple App Store!

App Category: Productivity

Explain Everything Whiteboard

The idea with Explain Everything Whiteboard is to provide a mobile ‘whiteboard’ for all kinds of collaborative work. From classrooms to offices, this app provides high versatility for all kinds of use.

An example of the Explain Everything Whiteboard app in use. Whether this example is design work, or a scientific diagram, the app represents it well.
Whiteboard for iPad example. Image Source: Explain Everything

Available for a wide variety of mobile devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android, Chromebook, and even a web browser application, this may be the app to choose for your collaborative situation. In fact, it was also recognised in Apple’s App Store Best of 2020 for an excellent ability to lead the classroom.

Check out the Explain Everything website, or the Explain Everything Whiteboard app on the App Store, or on Google Play!

Olauncher

A truly minimalist launcher for Android, if you think that you need a break from all of the clutter on your phone.

An example of the Olauncher app screen/homepage.
Olauncher homepage examples. Image Source: Olauncher Google Play

As shown above, this launcher will definitely offer a change of pace from the clutter of many default Android launchers that come preinstalled. It is also completely open source, meaning that if you have the technical know-how, you could modify the launcher and truly customise it to your preference.

Check out Olauncher on Google Play, or take a look at the source code on Github!

App Category: Games

Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact is another game that was recognised by Apple’s App Store Best of 2020, as the iPhone Game of the Year. Given the visuals, it’s hard to believe that it is a mobile game.

A screenshot of Genshin Impact's combat. The graphics are truly impressive for a mobile game.
Genshin Impact Screenshot. Image Source: Genshin Impact Google Play

An open-world action/adventure/RPG, Genshin Impact offers a vast amount of content, including 23 playable characters, and a large library of quests. It was praised for it’s enjoyable combat and exploration, as it leans into the freedom of being able to do whatever you would like. It was also praised for its extensive and in-depth story.

However, it has been critised for it’s monetisation scheme. As it is a free-to-play game, it is supported by microtransactions, which allow you to pay for the chance to get more content, such as new characters. If you’re a completionist, or you have a tendency to gamble away your money in games like this, it might be one to steer clear of.

Check out Genshin Impact on the App Store, or on Google Play!

Battle Chasers: Nightwar

Battle Chasers: Nightwar is a turn-based RPG game that released for mobile devices in August 2019. The reason that it is on this list is that, starting February this year, you could play this game through the Google Play Pass.

A screenshot of a battle in Battle Chasers: Nightwar. The artwork here is really well done.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar screenshot. Image Source: Battle Chasers: Nightwar Google Play

The game was highly praised when it first released for mobile, and I can vouch for it. I played the PC version of this game in early 2019, and I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It presented a really refined RPG, as well as new additions and unique dungeon system. If the mobile version can bring that experience on the go, then it is definitely worth it.

Check it out on the Google Play Pass, on regular Google Play, or on the Apple App Store.

Do you have any highlight apps for 2020? Let us know your feedback.

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