This was a good year for apps. From machine learning to augmented reality, we’ve seen an extensive variety of applications that became incredibly prevalent in a rather short time span. Hence, as the year attains conclusion, we discuss in this article, the most talked about smartphone apps of 2016.

1. Snapchat


Despite potential ups and downs, Snapchat managed to retain its buzz in the industry throughout the year. Various controversies involving celebrities as well as its competition imitating its approach were spawned, most of which went on for months. However, the vying company social network consistently managed to captivate its users whether with crazy new filters or their recently launched hardware product, Spectacles. It was definitely one of the most strenuous years for Snapchat and we sure are excited to see what they’ve in store for 2017.

2. Prisma


The internet sensation, Prisma probably needs no introduction. The app blew up social media profiles with users posting pictures with artistic filters on top of them. Prisma employed artificially intelligent algorithms for accurately overlaying users’ images or videos with filters inspired from paintings of popular artists such as Picasso. Furthermore, the app also had a sudden dispute with Facebook as the social network banned them from live streaming. Since then, Prisma has lost its popularity and haven’t commented on where they’re headed next.

3. Pokemon Go


One of the top trending searches on Google this year was, of course, Niantics’ wildly popular Pokemon Go mobile game. The app skillfully blended augmented reality and nostalgic cartoon series and managed to sustain over 30 Million (as of September 2016) active users. However, the game also became the centrepiece of a range of debates as people continue to crowd the streets and create accidents in some cases to look for these mystical creatures. Nevertheless, Pokemon Go is still expanding, however, the developers haven’t been able to maintain the interest and as a result, their numbers have been plummeting for the last couple of months.



The face-masking app, MSQRD definitely gave rise one of the most talked about applications in 2016 with its incredibly apt recognition techniques. MSQRD was originally announced in late December 2015, however, it exponentially grew this year as the company behind it introduced several interesting features which later on charmed the biggest social network company, Facebook who bought it for an undisclosed amount.

5. Whatsapp


The messaging application kept buzzing in 2016 thanks to the consistent updates especially their policy change which eventually, did cause troubles in some countries. However, their user base hasn’t seen a substantial decline the full year and it’s the number one client out there. From GIF support or video calls, WhatsApp has indeed added most features its users were demanding since the rise of other much versatile competitors. Although, they still haven’t particularly focused on businesses who rely on their service or considered bots. Let’s see how they try to stay at the top in 2017.

6. Google Allo and Duo


Google’s new pair of applications while not as popular as the others we mentioned, they certainly have enrolled Millions of users. Allo which comes tightly integrated with Google’s AI-powered Assistant and Duo that has quickly the become the go-to video calling app on Android.

Those were the top six most talked about smartphone apps of 2016. It’ll be interesting to see how they continue to evolve next year and of course, how machine learning impacts this industry. Do comment down below if we missed any good ones.

Also Read:

Shubham is based out of Ahmedabad, India and is studying to be a Computer Engineer, while specializing in mobile applications. He loves covering what's new in the smartphone space and aims to make it his primary profession some day.