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  • James Noblitt

Essentials from the App Store - Part 1

As we approach the holiday season we wanted to step back a bit from the valet parking industry and focus on other innovative apps coming out or being built. In a society full of new innovative apps, it can be overwhelming and difficult to pinpoint the ones that are worth your time. We have created a list of apps that are on the cutting edge of the app industry and that we think you might find useful. Some of these are well-known and on the rise, whereas others have just begun their rise through the ranks.


This app was released in 2011 and since then has taken off to become one of the most inclusive messaging apps connecting different parts of the world. From online banking, group chats, video calls, and QR scanning, this Chinese app seems to have it all. WeChat has taken Chinese society by storm and is more successful than any other messaging app within western society. As versatile as it is, it has become the goal of many other apps. Though this app is showing increasing popularity within the U.S. it certainly has opportunity to grow and we wanted to start off with an app that seems to do it all.

Even the Facebook messenger app has seemingly taken the cue from WeChat and includes video calling and wifi calling, most recently also adding the ability to transfer money. The Economist has included a graph that helps depict this apps rise through the ranks, as well as lay out some of the many features it entails.

Figure 1 Provided from the Economist


When Snapchat first began, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphey, its co-founders, were approached by Mark Zuckerberg. Forbes says that Zuckerberg had a specific agenda, which was to let Spiegel and Murphey know that he would be releasing an app called “poke” in connection to Facebook, which was basically the same as Snapchat. However, soon after “poke’s” release it was clear that it was not going to succeed, and Snapchat had overcome its main source of competition.

Since its beginning in 2011, Snapchat has become increasingly popular in an age where social media posts are forever, and once something is out on the World Wide Web it can’t be erased. This, along with the perceived ‘hipness,” has driven millions of millennials to use Snapchat daily. From its original idea, Snapchat has morphed and added more features, including the ability to add filters, save photos on to their database, and find your friends on their Snap Map. Each feature adds new benefits, whether it be more space for photos on their mobile device or the ability to see which of their friends are in the area.

Though it is relatively new, Snapchat is one of the more well-known apps, particularly within younger generations. There has been a transition to including ads and news stories within the apps ‘stories’ section. This has opened the doors to new forms of advertisement sure to reach young adults during all moments of the day, every day of the year.

Figure 2 Provided from Google Play


This app has become increasingly popular as it simplifies the taxi experience by giving users access to a better ride-hauling experience. They have faced their fair share of hardships from taxi companies or competing apps, but today Uber can offer you a ride in 59 countries and 300 cities worldwide.

They are also attempting to adapt their services to the hunger pains of people everywhere with UberEATS. Their main objective is convenience and the ability to have food delivered with the push of a button from all types of restaurants, even those that don’t deliver. By increasing the convenience of having any food delivered, Uber is relying on the convenience they know their users crave.

Figure 3 Provided from Pinterest


This app has taken something that people usually find dull or difficult, learning a new language, and shown it from a new angle: a game. The app makes learning seem fun by breaking the learning process up in to levels that you unlock by getting through the first ones. It currently supports 13 languages, including Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Hungarian and Turkish and includes a feature that will remind you when you don’t use the app for a while. The format makes it feel like the games students play while bored, giving it a higher probability of being used often.

Business Insider provided a quote by Duolingo’s creator, Luis von Ahn, “"When you talk to people using Duolingo, they usually say “I'm playing Duolingo.” If you ask people the main reason they're using Duolingo, it's not because they're learning something but because it's fun. Seth Stevenson expands on this by describing the process of the app: “it transforms language study into an amusing diversion, complete with points, leaderboards, and video game "lives". At the end of each successfully completed round, we're rewarded with a trumpet fanfare and a delicious sense of accomplishment.”

Figure 4 Provided by Business Insider


In 2008 Airbnb was released, but in 2007 it began as just an idea formulated from three roommates needing extra money to make rent and deciding to rent out three air mattresses as a place to stay when there was a conference happening in San Francisco. From that successful venture, Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharcyzk created Airbnb and, after many hiccups, it has become a huge success that provides people with an alternative to booking a hotel room. It provides a more personal experience and often cheaper rates than most hotels. It has also provided a way for people to earn extra money by renting out their room they don’t use.

There are a variety of different types of places, from a room within an apartment to an entire island, and everything in between. It is easy to navigate and allows the ability to contact your host through the app, making it convenient and safe.

Figure 5 Provided from Business Insider

As the app industry continues to grow rapidly, it is becoming apparent that almost any problem can be solved with an app. All the apps we have discussed started from an idea, and part 2 of our blog will dive in to less popular apps that are on the up and up and should be on your radar!

Thanks for reading.

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