Posted on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019 by Will Hagle
All My Faves presents our favorite 11 weekly faves of 2018.
2018 was, like every year, a time of rapid growth and change in the tech industry. Products came and went. Some of them were helpful distractions, to cope with the trials and tribulations of a challenging year. Some of them were revolutionary, and show promise to help transform the world in 2019 and beyond. Many of them were just fun. In every week of 2018, All My Faves curated the best and most exciting apps, games, products, and websites. The only requirements are that the products must truly impress us and add some positive benefit to society. The following list is a collection of the best products that we came across in 2018. It includes a career aptitude quiz, an ASMR site, a site that lets you fly drones around the world, and multiple sites that utilize AI in innovative ways. It showcases the depth and breadth of tech innovation in 2018, and contains apps and products that will remain useful in 2019. Happy New Year from All My Faves. We look forward to continuing providing you with recommendations for world-changing (and just plain entertaining) tech in the new year.
If your resolution is to change careers in 2019, or discover the job that best suits your personality, you should visit Sokanu. Even if you think you’re set in your career path, the site’s career quiz is both accurate and entertaining. It’s lengthier than most career quizzes you’ll find online, but that’s only because it asks highly specific questions that tailors the results to your interests. The career options update in real time, listing results from more than 800 options. The test is also entirely free. It’s almost difficult to explain why a career quiz site was the best of 2018, but once you start exploring the site and learning more about your career options, you’ll understand.
Some of the best editorial content online can be found in newsletters. Unfortunately, many of those newsletters get lost in spam folders or ignored among more important emails. Stoop has re-imagined the newsletter-reading experience, compiling all of your newsletter subscriptions into one easy-to-read app. Stoop describes itself as “like a podcast app, but for newsletters,” which is a fairly accurate description. You can easily search for new subscriptions, browse your existing ones, and read through all of your newsletter content in one location. If you’ve subscribed to a lot of newsletters but don’t end up reading them enough, perhaps 2019 is the year you should break free from your inbox and download Stoop.
Otter is one of the smartest voice recognition apps available, and the company demonstrated its numerous uses for people of all types throughout 2018. The site and its accompanying app let you record conversations, lectures, interviews, or speeches in real time. It then transcribes them in real time, and offers an interface that lets you easily search for, edit, and organize your recordings. Otter’s free plan offers 600 minutes of transcription per month, a number which jumps to 6,000 minutes per month for just $9.99 per month. It’s a smart, practical use of AI that can have a positive impact on many different people as they work and play throughout 2019.
New technology is expensive. In 2019, buying a new iPhone, Macbook, or even a drone doesn’t have to be as cost-prohibitive as it is when you buy directly from the manufacturer. Instead, you can visit Back Market. The site sells refurbished products that it guarantees to be “good-as-new” at a fraction of the price. All kinds of tech products are featured on Back Market, although the site does definitely favor Apple items. The best part about Back Market, aside from the lower costs on tons of otherwise expensive things, is that it’s well-designed and trustworthy. Despite its name, Back Market doesn’t feel shady at all. Shopping on the site is a pleasant experience, and it could be worthwhile if you’re looking to buy some new products at a lower cost in 2019.
ASMR enjoyed a huge increase in popularity during 2018, with the tingle-generating experience entering the mainstream. One of the best, most comprehensive sites of ASMR videos is the aptly-named Tingles, which is essentially a YouTube-like platform specifically designed for the YouTube subgenre. On Tingles, you can watch playlists of ASMR videos, subscribe to ASMR artists, download videos, and watch without ads. You can also let videos play in the background with a sleep timer, so you can fall asleep to the tingly sound of someone crinkling a potato chip bag, or whatever the ASMR artist might have done. It’s no longer strange to be into ASMR, so check out Tingles as soon as you get the chance.
AI technology makes significant advancements each year, and 2018 was no different. Ada is one of the most promising use cases of AI for the average consumer. The company, which was founded in 2011, launched globally in 2016, but expanded rapidly in 2018, created an AI-driven health platform that’s useful for both doctors and patients alike. Using the app is like visiting a virtual doctor, as Ada asks questions that help the company better gauge your symptoms and lead it to providing better health recommendations. Like any real doctor, the more practice Ada gets, the better it will become. So give it a chance if you want an easy alternative to visiting the doctor this upcoming year.
Do you want to visit Cancun, Mexico in 2019? How about Bali, Indonesia or Thailand? With FlyThere, you can visit all of those places for just $4.99 each, and you never have to leave your couch. FlyThere is a super innovative site that launched into beta in 2018, offering visitors the chance to explore locations around the world via remote controlled drone. You become the pilot from wherever you are, flying a drone in beautiful and exotic locations. Many of the flights are even free, if you choose to fly standby. It’s a crazy experience that demonstrates a unique utilization of technology, and it must be seen to be believed.
Did you watch TV in 2018? If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you did. Even if you haven’t watched TV in years, there’s a good chance you’ll still enjoy PopCorn TV. The site contains an interactive game in which 66 references to various TV shows are hidden in one large image. To play, you simply type the name of a television show once you’ve spotted the reference and hit enter. Each show that you guess correctly earns you points and unlocks an additional quiz about that show. Each incorrect guess lowers your score. It’s tough to find all 66 references, but it’s a challenging and entertaining way to spend an afternoon in 2019. The site also contains a mesmerizing design that makes it worth the visit for that alone.
In 2018, Hawaii received a false alarm scare that a ballistic missile was inbound. Nuclear proliferation remained a hot button issue in countries around the globe. Although a nuclear weapon hasn’t been used in an attack since World War II, it remains as relevant today as it was then. Nuclear Dissent is an interactive documentary about the history and future of nuclear weapons. The site voices its support for the UN’s 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which aims to ban the production of nuclear weapons but wasn’t signed by all countries. It’s a slightly terrifying yet informative and ultimately optimistic look forward at the future, in 2019 and beyond.
Our favorite flash game of 2018 was Dinogen, a top-down shooter that has a fairly comprehensive story mode. The game, created by Amor Games, contains several bit of dialogue that relate to the various objectives and assignments. You can click to shoot on the screen. Although people who have become accustomed to more advanced first person shooters may have a difficult time adjusting, the controls eventually feel natural and offer a fun throwback alternative to other shooters out there. It’s a dark but fun game that will have you enjoying killing dinosaurs in 2019.
It wasn’t difficult to determine the best mobile game of 2018. Fortnite was ubiquitous throughout the year, with children, parents, and basically everyone at least hearing about the cartoonish battle royale alternative to PUBG. One of the coolest things about Fortnite is that it’s cross-platform, playable on Xbox, Playstation, PC, and on the phone, and equally as entertaining everywhere. 2018 made Fortnite players like Ninja superstars, and the game amassed a global reach. Epic Games inspired other manufacturers to take the “free to play” model. Although the game is known for its continuous updates to the gameplay, it will be interesting to see whether the Fortnite hype extends into 2019.