When mobile applications first became established they were the preserve of the phone manufacturer. However, it wasn’t long until people from all around the world quickly started to create, market and sell their own mobile apps. The fact that mobile apps can be created so easily is backed up by their creators – from young children to self-proclaimed technophobes right through to dedicated companies intent on creating the ‘next’ Angry Birds. The world of mobile apps is open to all and sundry.

Like any market, when it opens up to anyone then the volume in product increases while, arguably, the level of quality decreases. Mid-way through 2014 there were a reported 1.3m apps on Google Play and 1.2m on the Apple App store . Whatever platform you favour, you clearly have a vast array of apps to choose from.

In December 2014, Apple announced their ‘Best’ apps from this year , below is a cut down list of the ‘Top 3’ for each category.

iPhone Apps (Paid)

  1. Minecraft – Pocket Edition
  2. 7 Minute Workout Challenge
  3. Heads Up!

iPhone Apps (Free)

  1. Facebook Messenger
  2. WhatsApp Messenger
  3. Snapchat

iPhone Apps (Top Grossing)

  1. Candy Crush Saga
  2. Clash Of Clans
  3. Game Of War – Fire Age

iPad Apps (Paid)

  1. Minecraft – Pocket Edition
  2. Football Manager Handheld 2014
  3. The Room Two

iPad Apps (Free)

  1. Skype for iPad
  2. Facebook Messenger
  3. Netflix

iPad Apps (Top Grossing)

  1. Clash Of Clans
  2. Candy Crush Saga
  3. Game Of War – Fire Age

In review, it’s interesting to see the differences between ‘Paid’ and ‘Free’ apps. There is clearly a distinction between what people are happy to pay for gaming-wise, but ‘essential’ communication apps need to be free.

What is perhaps more interesting is that between the different formats highlighted, there is not much difference in the apps downloaded. Minecraft, Clash of Clans and Game of War feature across the lists irrespective of whether it is an iPhone or iPad. Candy Crush, so long the most addictive game developed, while still appearing on these lists has certainly suffered a downturn in popularity this year – it is no longer the most talked about game.

How far these games have come this year can be measured by the fact celebrities are now going further than merely endorsing them, they are advertising them and ‘creating’ them! Game of War has recently launched a spate of adverts featuring swimwear model Katie Upton – seeking to appeal to their target demographic to increase sales. Although not in the top 3 list, one of the successes of the ‘app world’ this year has to be Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, which ranked number 8 in the top grossing iPhone app list, clearly the public’s enduring fascination with all things Kardashian persists.

On Android, information such as the publication of these lists is slightly harder to come by – testament to the fact there is not one centre point (like Apple), who produce the products which use the platform. However, as a digital agency in Melbourne we have discussed and cross-referenced some of the more popular titles;

  • SoundHound – a song identification app that also allows you to sing or hum the song you want to know into the app.
  • RaceAddict – Tracks your past and future running races and allows you to analyse your performances over time.
  • WaterColour Pro – As the name implies, this allows you to create water colour inspired art and create unique photographic creations and purports to allow even the most ‘non-arty’ of people create a work of art.
  • SwiftKey – Turns the keyboard into a more easy to use one and the app also promises to learn your writing style – taken from texts, emails and social media posts – for added ease of use.

All of the above have 5 star ratings in Google Play store, something which some of the following do not……

Also see : How can you fix iPad sync issues

  • Tweetpee – A sensor is attached to your baby’s groin area (no joke) and it monitors humidity so when your baby wets itself, it automatically tweets you…saving you from ever looking at your baby.
  • Cry Translator – Don’t understand what your baby is crying about? This app will ‘tell you’ by analysing the cries of your child. Between this app and the one above you never need to pay attention to your baby again.
  • Passion – Strap your phone to yourself during sex and this app will tell you how much of a good lover you are. Just don’t expect your partner to hang around for the results..
  • Hangtime – Inspiring children everywhere to throw their phones into the air, Hangtime measures how long their phone can hang…..in the air for. Try explaining that one to the insurance company.