8 Very Basic Apps We Couldn’t Live Without in 2014

The ubiquitous, not-that-cool downloads we actually used to save and waste time

1. Tinder

Some of us single FADER staffers went on actual Tinder dates this year, but for the most part, using the app became just an end in itself—savoring that little jolt of adrenaline that comes when you match with someone, having the odd dead-end conversation with a stranger, Tindering some more. Sometimes, Tinder-surfing resulted in temporarily losing all faith in humanity, but nonetheless there was always the strange compulsion to go on. —Emilie Friedlander

1. Tinder
2. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood

Why struggle to make a living when you could struggle to make two livings—one for yourself, and one for your cartoon alter ego in Kim Kardashian's astronomically successful, celebrity-in-the-making role-play game? Ultimately, we ended up getting a little tired of upgrading to new hairstyles, going on soul-crushingly surface-level dates, and flying between photo shoots and paid club appearances in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, but the app was so unbelievably addictive for a time that it successfully distracted us from all the anxieties we were feeling in REAL LIFE, like how we were going to make rent AND eat AND buy cool clothes AND go out to social events where we could show them off. Then again, those were the goals that our in-game avatars were trying to hit, too, which is why Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, ultimately, ended up making us think a whole lot about life. —Emilie Friedlander

2. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood
3. Uber

Probably the coolest thing about living in the Uber era is this: if you had a friend who was stranded somewhere in Saint Petersburg right now—or Tokyo, for that matter, or Paris or Bogota or Istanbul—you could go on your phone right now and order a cab to go pick them up and bring them back to their hotel. Maybe people ordering cabs for people in other countries doesn't happen that often, but Uber definitely made the world feel like a smaller, friendlier, more easily navigable place—that is, when it wasn't busy getting mixed up in all sorts of drama with other private car services, collecting data on passengers, and scheming up smear campaigns against journalists. Unfortunately, when you're running between that 6pm meeting and 7:30 pm dinner date, convenience has a way of trumping things like ethics, privacy, and New York yellow cab nostalgia (though a lot of those are just Ubers too now). —Emilie Friedlander

3. Uber
4. Google Drive

Before Google Drive, having an off-site work meeting in NYC meant lugging your laptop to a café and praying that it would be a non-Starbucks coffee shop in this city that actually still offer wifi to customers. Now that there's Google Drive, though, you can access your docs and spreadsheets on your phones with just a few finger-swipes. That means you can have a business meeting pretty much anywhere now, making Western society's transition to a 24-hour work day complete—not not necessarily a happy turn of events, but at least one we can now all be equipped for. Pay $2, and you can also get a whopping 100gb of cloud storage on this baby, so you can hoard up on as many selfies and MP3s as your heart desires. —Emilie Friedlander

4. Google Drive
5. 2048

There was a time during the summer of 2014 when you were hard-pressed to find someone on the subway or bus who wasn't furiously swiping tiles across their smartphone screen. If you still haven't gotten the elusive 2048 tile, it's time to cross that off your year-end bucket list. —Steven Aguiar

5. 2048
6. Snapchat

Snapchat earned a place in our hearts and homescreens this year. There's never been an easier way to share moments once deemed inappropriate for social media. Even if you don't upload anything yourself, browsing through other people's debaucherous Snapchat stories is an all-time great way to kill time. Just remember, no screengrabs! —Steven Aguiar

6. Snapchat
7. Hormone Horoscope

Ladies: ever wonder why you feel like you hate everything and everyone at certain times of the month, but other times you can't get enough of Tinder? As it turns out, cyclical hormone fluctuations are a lot less cut-and-dry than a simple distinction between "pmsing" or "not pmsing," and Hormone Horoscope breaks down the physical and psychological effects of rising and dipping levels of testosterone and estrogen in your body, one day of your cycle at a time. The result is fewer surprises: on days when you'll probably be feeling like nobody in this world understands you, this app literally tells you to go home and hide under the covers. —Emilie Friedlander

7. Hormone Horoscope
8. ​Venmo

For better or for worse, Venmo revolutionized the experience of dining out this year. The money-sending app eliminated the need to run to an ATM and get cash before a meal—if one of your fellow dining companions ends up spotting you, you can just reimburse them straight from your phone. It also made paying rent and utilities a lot less of a headache for those of us who work crazy hours, turning these chores into tasks you can squeeze in from your desk or on the train. (The app occasionally even comes in handy for the odd poker game or DIY business transaction.) More importantly, more than any other app out there, Venmo portended that, sooner or later, technology will make it possible for us to live entirely cash-free. —Emilie Friedlander

8. ​Venmo

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8 Very Basic Apps We Couldn’t Live Without in 2014