What Are the Best Apps and Tools You Have Used in 2016?

We’re coming to the end of another year, and like always, we’ve had a lot of advancements in tech, whether it be with hardware or with apps and software. Sometimes that’s where a lot of the fun resides with tech, in trying new things. Then again, that’s also where the frustration resides, when those new things don’t work as well as we wanted.

We asked some of our writers this week, “What are the best apps and tools you have used in 2016?

Our Opinion

Derrik’s vote is for any.do. He explains that it’s “an app that you can use as a task list, and it basically nags you to get things done.” It helps him because he feels like he doesn’t always stay consistent.

Jeffrey’s favorite desktop app is Franz. It’s a “free multi-chat app and Polymail email client (before it goes freemium).” For web apps, though, he has to go with the standard social media ones: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. He explains, “I’ve used them since forever, but this year I’m starting to get the grasp of incorporating them to advance my career.”

Vamsi hasn’t found anything this year that is significant in regards to the desktop, but for his Android, the best apps would be the Nova launcher and Smart AudioBook Player. He’s “been listening to a lot of audiobooks lately, and Smart AudioBook Player is pretty good at it.”


Damien has a new home screen launcher for Android that he really likes: Evie Launcher. It’s now become his default home screen launcher. He explains that for years he was using Apex Launcher and was reluctant to change it, but the moment he used Evie, he loved it immediately. “It is beautiful, removed the cruft, and comes with a universal search that makes my life easier.”

Alex calls out Bear as the single best new app he’s used in 2016. He explains it’s “a beautiful note-taking app for Apple platforms, and it has a pleasing design and Markdown styling system.” But other than that, like the others, he feels he’s “sort of settled into a routine of tools that I use.”

Trevor adds Trello to the list, saying it’s “been a big help this year planning .” Additionally, he’s been using Active Inbox, “a paid app to help organize my Gmail account and make it more productive from my Android and laptop.”

To counter that, one of my favorite apps this year is “Inbox,” a new system by Gmail. I love the way it organizes everything for me from promotional email all the way to my travel plans, as well as allowing me to pin emails I don’t want to get lost and snooze ones I want to come back to later. But Trevor tried that one and doesn’t like how it archives instead of deleting messages. My favorite new tool is the TV app that Apple added to iOS and the Apple TV. It does a great job organizing the movies I want to watch and my TV binging habits.


Ada can’t think of any new app, service, or tool that she used in 2016. She’s been using WordPress for ten years and says Trello has been the task manager of choice for years. In fact, she adds that the last awesome app that was a game changer for her was Skype in 2004. She suggests that it’s possible “I simply neglect smaller stuff and am impressed by revolutionary rather than evolutionary changes.”

Your Opinion

Did you see any app or tool mentioned above that was one of your favorites of 2016? Or do you have your own favorites? What are the best apps and tools you have used in 2016? Join the conversation and add your thoughts in the comments section below!

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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