As we all spend more time indoors over the past year, we have been glued to our phones as a form of social interaction, staying up to date with ongoing news reports on the current economic and health situation. However our phones have also been a form of continuous entertertainment. Apps that I find myself using far more than usual are TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter (something I never took much heed of before the pandemic). But what are the new and upcoming apps that are set to take the social media world by storm? Well, there are many that I personally take an interest in from ‘The Best Apps of 2021’ 100 list and Android Authority.

5. Airbnb (Android)

As we enter into the phased re-opening of hotels, we will evidently need to access booking facilities, especially for new Airbnbs. With more people opting for staycations, what does the Airbnb app have to offer? This app not only gives you access to numerous Airbnb possibilities but also highlights amenities and their contact details, such as restaurants and other facilities. It also has a safe online booking option. Even though this app has been available on Android for a while, staycationers will be using it with more thought than before and to the benefit of  local businesses.

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4. PlantIn: Plant Identification

This is a new app on Google Play with numerous positive reviews since its release in March 2021. The app allows you to identify any plant that you may come across in your garden, out walking, or in a store; and has all  the details of the plant and its care:

“With our exclusive AI-based Disease identification algorithm, you can check your plants for problems and get a proper cure plan.” 

It also provides professional advice for plant lovers with details on how best to grow the garden of your dreams. With more people aware of the possibilities of their green fingers during lockdown, I can imagine that this app will be a success for many budding nature fans.

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3. MindTree

There have been numerous apps over the past year that give entry to the world of “self care”, including numerous fitness and journaling apps. MindTree, released in March 2021, is an app that offers meditation routines, music, and tips. The subscription for premium is €9.99, however this includes trees planted on your behalf, so at least you get something good for the environment out of it. MindTree tracks the CO2 removed from the atmosphere by these planted trees, and tracks your physical activity too.

“Everyone who uses Mindtree meditations on a weekly basis will contribute to the betterment of the planet. One tree will be planted weekly for each user. This is where Westlung came up with the name Mindtree. It plants trees and improves the mind at the same time. You will be able to track the progress of your little tree because as you begin using the app, a small tree begins to grow. After you’ve used the app for 7 days, the Trees for the future reforestation program will physically plant the tree. This serves as even greater motivation for users who care deeply about the planet to use the app daily to watch their tree grow.”


2. Flexcil

Flexcil is a hybrid note taking app along with a PDF Reader. You can create notes and recall them whenever needed.  If you are like me, you’re someone who needs to access PDFs on the go for a possible signature or to annotate something, this app is for you. It has huge success on iOS, so we may see similar success on Android. 

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  1. Google Pay

Google Pay had a big relaunch of their app this month. The new version still does most of the same stuff as the previous app:

“However, the UI is much different with a heavier focus on things like sending money to friends or businesses, like Venmo or PayPal”

The app also allows you to scan your Gmail or Google Photos. You can also see an old transaction history including the requested money. Like another payment app, Google Pay also offers rewards and cashback benefits. This app isn’t for everyone, but it is a great way to keep track of finances and receipts through your phone.

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KathyAnn Murphy
KathyAnn Murphy

KathyAnn is a playwright, theatre and film designer and director from Co. Wicklow. She holds an MA in Theatre Practise and a BA in Design for Stage and Screen. She is a third level tutor, drama teacher and is currently studying a Diploma in Irish Studies. KathyAnn has a great interest in the arts, social justice, history and music.

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