Smartphones are ubiquitous, as are the mobile apps that power them. While you’re on the go, you can order a car, dine, watch a movie, or play a game.
Millions of mobile users have turned Uber, Seamless, Netflix, and Pokemon Go into household names that need no introduction. However, there is a new breed of budding apps vying for consumer attention, and some of them have a good chance of at least being on the radar.
With that in mind, CNBC recently probed the burgeoning app universe and found a few gems worthy of a spot on your phone.
Lisa, the “social media assistant” who will choose the perfect selfie
Lisa is a photo app powered by machine learning
This artificially intelligent application selects the photo you must choose to share. For example, if you have three photos that look alike, Lisa appoints herself as the judge, one of which deserves a spot on your Instagram or Facebook feed.
The app can schedule Instagram posts and generate hashtags that increase engagement by extracting thousands of features from a single image. CEO Tarik Demir told CNBC that most people the company has spoken to are often undecided about which image to choose, especially on Instagram.
“We’re making Lisa a smart social media assistant through and through,” Demir said. “Long term, our goal is to make Lisa the sole decision-making mechanism for all visual content selection processes…even creating them.”
The comment section, in real time
Recactus is a live reaction social video app
Think of it as the video version of YouTube’s comments section, but running simultaneously with the video. ReCactus is a reaction app, a video timeline of user reactions to recorded content. Whether you’re a contributor or a viewer, split-screen displays video and reactions side-by-side, making it hard to look away. CEO Bernard Tan told CNBC that users can share their reactions to everything from a presidential election to an airline incident.
Your GIFs come to life
Pops is an application that allows users to print animated photos
Pops allows users to take GIF-style moving photos, which then print as a physical sticker. These stickers come to life on your social media feed or in your hands – much like the holographic dinosaur stickers school kids once slipped into their bags on the way to school. The app launched in May 2017, after just six months of beta testing.
“We are still very early. In two months, we reached 10,000 active users on the app and delivered over a thousand orders,” said CEO Antoine Marie.
For now, users can either use animated photos pre-taken using apps like Boomerang and then upload them to print, or use Pops’ technology to take a live photo. The company will launch its first live photo printer in October.
360 degree photos
Although there are now many cameras that take 360 degree photos, it is difficult to find a platform to share the content. Facebook, one of the most widely used social networks by consumers, introduced support for 360-degree photos on its platform last year.
With Lookabout, users can share panoramic content without owning a 360 degree camera. The company, spun off from the Science Inc. incubator that spawned companies like Dollar Shave Club and DogVacay, has plans for augmented reality and virtual reality as future extensions of the platform.
CEO Jack O’Grady told CNBC the app has already posted more than 1,000 posts in more than 10 countries, but declined to share full metrics.