The 10 Hottest Apps Of 2018 (So Far)

Apps To Try

Mobile devices are a bit of a paradox: they can overwhelm you or help you to combat stress, depending on which app you spend your time in. For 2018 so far, an array of hot apps have hit the Apple and Google app stores to get you more productive, simplify your digital life, and practice self-care. Meanwhile, apps for helping you to browse more securely and privately on your mobile device have also seen new releases this year.

In the following slides, we've rounded up the 10 hottest apps we've come across so far in 2018.

(For more on the biggest news of 2018, check out "CRN's Tech Midyear In Review.")


Platform: iOS, Android

Astro brings an artificially intelligent email assistant to help deal with your inbox overload. The "Astrobot" can unsubscribe from emails, point out important emails, and respond to voice commands -- allowing voice control for reading, managing, and replying to emails. An update earlier this year added in useful calendar functionality for Gmail and Office 365 calendars.

Google Measure

Platform: Android

Measure is Google's handy app for measuring the dimensions of objects with your phone, replacing the need for a tape measure. While the app had previously been available for AR-enabled Project Tango smartphones, Google this year added support for its ARCore standard -- meaning that the Measure app now works with major Android devices such as recent generations of Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel and high-end LG devices.

Google Podcasts

Platform: Android

At last, Google is stepping up to offer Android users a podcast hub akin to what Apple offers on iOS devices. The new Google Podcasts app provides capabilities for subscribing to podcasts, downloading podcasts for offline listening, and automatic syncing across devices.

Microsoft Teams

Platform: iOS, Android

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration workspace that offers group and one-to-one chat -- similar to Slack -- as well as hosting for online meetings and integrations with other apps. Previously, Teams had required an Office 365 subscription. But in July, Microsoft began offering Teams for free, including on iOS and Android devices. The free Teams version can serve up to 300 people and offers unlimited chat, video and audio calling, and file storage.


Platform: Android

NordVPN is among the most well-known providers of virtual private networks, which encrypt data transmitted from devices across the Internet -- ensuring confidentiality and security. With an update this year to NordVPN's Android app, the app added a helpful auto connect feature so that the VPN will be automatically initiated any time a user gets on a WiFi network.


Platform: iOS, Android

Focused on meeting the needs of businesses and highly productive individuals, Notion aims to serve as an "all-in-one" workspace for bringing together notes, tasks, databases and wikis. Features include drag and drop for organizing content, syncing with Mac and Windows devices and offline access. Originally just available for iOS, Notion launched its first Android app version in June.

Onion Browser 2.0

Platform: iOS

For maximum privacy and security on your iOS device, Onion Browser is a leading web browser option. Powered by the open-source privacy software Tor, the browser protects against website tracking, as well as against insecure wireless networks and ISPs. Version 2.0 of the Onion Browser, launched earlier this year, includes updates such as an improved user interface and support for HTTPS Everywhere encryption.

Sanity & Self

Platform: iOS

Sanity & Self is a new wellness app for women, focused on aiding with improved self-care through guided audio sessions. The sessions cover subjects such as breathing exercises, meditations, restorative sleep, workouts, beauty routines and reflective journaling. Sessions can run as short as two minutes, and also include inspirational talks on self-empowerment.


Platform: iOS

Tied with the release of the new iPad earlier this year, the Schoolwork app enables teachers to create assignments and view the progress of their students. Features in the app include an easier method for creating and distributing assignments, called Handouts.

The Room: Old Sins

Platform: iOS, Android

For those times when you just want to get out of your normal headspace for a bit -- but still use your brain -- "The Room" series of haunting puzzle games has long been a great choice. The fourth installment, "The Room: Old Sins," came out this year and has won plenty of praise for its new slate of room-escape puzzles and creepy atmospheres.