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The 2010s: The Apps That Changed Our Lives

From Instagram to Waze, here are the apps that have changed our lives this decade

There’s no doubt about it: Mobile applications have truly become a necessary part of our lives. 

Where would we be without Waze to tell us how many hours it takes to get from Quezon City to Makati? Where would we be without Instagram Stories to flip through while we’re waiting for our food at the restaurant? Where would we be without Viber, Spotify, Grab? 

At this point, it’s hard to imagine a life without any of those apps. We’ve come to depend more and more on our phones and the tiny—yet powerful—colorful buttons they hold.

At the decade’s close, we look back at some of the most necessary apps—those that changed our lives, shaped it, and are impossible to live without. 


It’s hard to imagine a full ten years without this app. Co-founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram launched in October 2010, and has since become the world’s largest photo sharing application, servicing 500 million daily users, as of January 2019. The social media app gave rise to the very real business of influencing, creating insta-celebs, or famous people who never would’ve gained popularity otherwise, if not for Instagram. 

The app is no longer just the square feed users have grown accustomed to in the past ten years; in 2017, the launch of Instagram Stories changed the way people shared and talked about their lives. As the app known for creating #FOMO (or the fear of missing out) and is often attributed to the worsening mental health of teens and children, Instagram has also stopped showing the number of likes in a bid to decrease the pressures of posting on the app. 


Snapchat, launched in July 2011, quickly became one of the most used apps even after just 8 years on the market. It’s a photo-sharing, instant messaging, and video chatting app all rolled into one, and the content (whether video or photo) called ‘Snaps’ and messages that disappear after 24 hours and after being viewed, respectively, became the app’s most defining features. These days, it still has a large number of users (203 million, as of June 2019) and won’t be going away any time soon, despite strong competition from Instagram. 

The messaging apps: Messenger, Viber, and WhatsApp

These days, it’s harder to disconnect—whether from work, school, or even socially—thanks largely to apps like Messenger, WhatsApp, and Viber. While these apps make it easier to connect and speak to people who aren’t in the same room as us, these messaging apps have also made given us more reason to be surgically attached to our phones. Who, after all, doesn’t look at their phone whenever the Viber notification sound dings, wherever we may be? 

The dating apps: Tinder and Bumble (among others)

Online dating is hardly a new development. Before Tinder and Bumble, there was okCupid and chat rooms. But these apps have made it even easier to meet new people and foster new connections. Tinder, which launched in September 2012, has popularized “swiping left or right” in the world of dating, and Bumble, which launched two years later, revolutionized the way online dating has become: On the platform, only women can initiate the conversation after a match. 

The streaming apps: Spotify and Apple Music

Though Spotify has been servicing users since 2006, it was only in 2014 when it launched here in the country. On the music streaming app, you can listen to your favorite songs and albums on-demand—making CDs and iPods even more obsolete. A year later in 2015, Apple Music launch, competing against Spotify, and since then, a few other apps have cropped up: TIDAL, Jay-Z’s music streaming platform, and YouTube Music, YouTube’s very own on-demand streaming app. 

Two of the most defining apps of the decade are, without a doubt, Candy Crush and Pokémon Go. Candy Crush has fostered many a gaming addiction; Pokémon Go brought out teens and even adults to the outdoors, especially during its launch in 2016. Today, the games are still played worldwide, and are still a staple on many people’s phones. 


AirBnB has changed the way we vacation and travel. These days, it’s so easy to throw out the phrase “Just AirBnB it,” referring to a destination or itinerary. We no longer book hotels; we book rentals on AirBnB, and we’ve never slept better. 

The ride-hailing apps: Uber, Angkas, and Grab

No car? No problem. Since the launch of these ride-hailing apps, it’s become common practice to just ‘grab’ or ‘uber’ (though in the country, of course, more grab than uber) to any destination of our choosing. We still miss you, Uber. 

The food deliveries: Foodpanda, Honestbee, and GrabFood

Deliveries—whether food or otherwise—have become so much easier thanks to these apps. With just the click of a few buttons, you can get a whole meal right in front of your doorstep, from restaurants that ten years ago would never have delivered. With Honestbee, whose operations are still on hiatus, you can even have groceries delivered to you whenever you needed, and honestly, how did we ever live without that? 

And of course: Waze. I can’t even imagine how we’d get through the traffic crisis in the metro without this trusty old app. It was launched in 2006, but gained popularity in the Philippines only this decade. Really, Waze, we cannot thank you enough. 

And of course: Waze. I can’t even imagine how we’d get through the traffic crisis in the metro without this trusty old app. It was launched in 2006, but gained popularity in the Philippines only this decade. Really, Waze, we cannot thank you enough. 

Photos from the App Store

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