There are more than 200,000 apps in the Android market. There are more than 300,000 apps available for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch devices. Even the new Windows Phone 7 app marketplace already has more than 5,000 apps. You would need many lifetimes to try them all.
However, there are a few apps that you really should keep a very close watch on in 2011. The apps below are just some of the ones that are sure to be a hit in 2011.
1. The Daily
The Daily is News Corps (the largest news outlet in the US) iPad-only newspaper that is set to launch in January with each daily edition costing $0.99 to download. News Corp has invested a lot of resources by employing more than 100 journalists. Rupert Murdoch (CEO of News Corp) is trying to reinvent the daily distribution model and move it to the iPad. Because its such a big investment and features original content only for the iPad, it will be an app to watch.
Kik is like Blackberry Messenger, but it works across iPhone and Android phones, which makes it infinitely more useful for staying in touch with friends. Its a free, instantaneous alternative to text messaging that also allows users to see when their messages are received. More than 2 million people downloaded it within the first three weeks of its launch.
With mobile photo sharing becoming more popular (evident by the more than 750 million mobile photo uploads this holiday season) and Paths focus on being a personal network, and setting a limit to the number of connections you can add, will attract users looking to connect with their real-life connections. Also, focusing on mobile is smart, considering more users are now checking social networking sites on their mobile phone than checking their e-mail.
If you think SMS is exploding, wait until you see what happens in 2011. Phone calls are becoming so 2005. GroupMe is bringing group texting to the masses with its $9+ million funding and rapidly growing user base.
Shopkick is a coupon based check-in app. Although it currently lacks the consumer awareness or social utility of Foursquare or Facebook Places (other location based check-in apps), Shopkick might have the most commercial model in the check-in space. Coupons are a concept that the mainstream gets and wants. Retailers want to offer location-based programs that are verifiable (and Target and Best Buy have already signed on). And the sheer number of smartphones will only increase. All of that leaves Shopkick in a position for a breakout year.