The past year has been exceptional and unlike any other, to say the least. While the world still struggles with lockdown measures and various guidelines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, people continue to rely on digital tools for everyday obligations. With the help of these instruments we managed to stay in touch, and maintain our social lives. However, our social lives suffered transition from in-person to digital. Even though most of these apps and technology services have been with us for some time, some have gained a crucial importance in the past year.
You may have an idea about which digital tools have been mostly used during the coronavirus pandemic, but we decided to dive in deeper and do our research on this. Here’s what we found, Horizon’s List of Top 5 most used digital tools during the lockdown.
We used Zoom to meet – The word ‘Zoom’ has now received new meaning. Let’s zoom in. The videoconferencing software company gained its popularity as universities use it to hold classes, friends to build digital clubs, and some people use it even to host weddings! It racked up almost 300 million downloads across Apple App Store and Google play from the beginning of 2020 to June. In April alone, it was installed 96 million times, which is far more than it has been in the period from its launch in 2014 (51 million). The reason behind this is that it is easy to use and offers free, and 40-minute conference calls with up to 100 attendees.
We used Strava to work out – We may have not moved a lot, but we moved a lot more. The popular social training platform Strava, which tracks and challenges users when they’re walking, running and cycling, also offers an analysis of their performance. These functions were apparently crucial to people during Covid-19. During the pandemic Strava gained 2 million new members per month, with a total of 21.5 million uploads per week. People are now hiking, running, walking more and constantly trying something new in sports. Just like Strava, we are more than happy that people are using their free time like this.
We used TikTok to create – I’m a savage, classy, bougie… Oh right, sorry but we couldn’t resist the hype either. TikTok has received meteoric growth over the past year. Being creative and creating content on social media is another way of how people used their boredom during quarantine. However, the posts found on TikTok have proven to be fun, accessible, relatable and easy to enjoy, which made it popular for people of all ages. In Q1 of 2020 alone, TikTok achieved 315 million downloads. This is compared with Q4 of 2019, where it gained around 219 million installs and Q3 of 2019 with 176 million installs.
We used Google Classroom to learn – We never learned the definition of virtual classroom at school, but now we know it better than anything else. Since the beginning of March last year, it has doubled its users to more than 100 million. Google Classroom enabled teachers and professors to communicate with their students a lot easier. They can create assignments, make announcements, store classroom material and allow students to interact. By using Gmail, Google Meet and G Suite for Education students are able to read any announcement, “turn in” assignments and participate in virtual classes. Google functions in a way that it doesn’t charge most schools for using Classroom. Instead, it teaches young people how to use its software, so they can later keep using the paid versions. Smart move, if you ask us!
We used Plague Inc. to play – This may not be surprising but, the whole gaming industry has been increasingly entertaining during the period of Covid-19. It reached 1.2 billion downloads of all games in general between the month of January and April, last year. Now, Plague Inc. may not be Super Mario, but it is a pretty cool real-time simulation video game that reached recording success. The goal of the game is to create a bacteria, use it to create a plague and bring about the end of humanity, while humankind tries everything to defend itself from it. The game uses an epidemic model with a realistic set of variables to simulate the seriousness of the pandemic. Speaking of irony! We can now only wish for Covid-19 to be a game and not a reality anymore….
And you? What digital tool did you use the most and what did you use it for? Let us know in the comments!
In any case there’s never been a better time to express your technological creativity, by using any of these apps or even creating one of your own. All you need is an idea, the tools to create are out there. And if you need help, feel free to get in touch and see what we can do for you!