As the end of the year approaches, it seems necessary to look back on some of the most popular trends of 2010.
And what trend has been more widespread than smart phone apps this year? Whether you want to join the crowd and make sure your app library is properly stocked or just make fun of the masses for obsessive downloading of unnecessary time-wasters, this is the list for you.
For everyone from the app pros who have been downloading apps since 2007 when Apple released its first iPhone, to the newbies who finally decided to give in and buy their first smart phone this year, here are the most popular apps of 2010, according to iTunes.
Surprise, surprise. One of the most popular social networking sites of all time is also the most popular, free iPhone app of the year. The Facebook app currently has an average customer rating of four out of five stars for all versions. The iPhone app has more than 58.1 million active monthly users, according to allfacebook.com. With features including photo uploads, status updates and live chatting, this is the No. 1 app for social network junkies on the go.
2 Angry Birds
Games often take several spots on iTunes most popular apps list for both paid and free apps. But this game has taken the No. 1 spot for paid apps and the No. 2 spot for free apps this year. Angry Birds, a simple, yet addictive, game where the player must aid in the survival of angry birds, had more than 36 million downloads by November, according to digitaltrends.com. The game sells for 99 cents. The lite version of the game is offered for free and is the second most popular free app for iPhone.
3 MLB.com At Bat
This sports app is iTunes' most grossing app of 2010, even though the app is free. Through advertisements and optional subscriptions, the now-free game has risen to the No. 1 spot with a 239 percent increase in customer usage during the preseason alone, according to mlb.com. During the 2010 MLB Postseason, the app was accessed 37 million times, the site said. The app offers live video for every game and an in-venue mobile experience for baseball lovers.
4 Words With Friends
Another game app has risen to the top of the most popular free apps list this year. Words With Friends, an interactive game of Scrabble that can be played with other app users, is in the top five most popular apps in both the free and game categories. The game's popularity spiked in May, reaching nearly 1.5 million daily active users. With chat rooms and other Web sites devoting space to finding other Words with Friends users to play with, this game is easily one of the most trendy apps of the year.
This popular music app has soared to the top of both the free and paid music apps of the year for iPhone. Shazam lets users "tag" songs that are playing and retrieve information like song title, artist and offers links to lyrics, tour info, videos and ringtones among other options. The app is available for free with a limit of five tags per month. Shazam Encore is an upgraded version of the free app featuring faster tag times, recommendations and a car mode for $4.99. The app also links directly to iTunes to make finding and purchasing your new favorite songs easier then ever.