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My top picked apps in 2019 (Last Part)

By February 4, 2020August 8th, 20212 Comments



Slowly is not a dating app per se, but it brought me the hype and feeling that transcends even the most popular dating apps like Tinder

The app maker even did not brand themselves as a dating app:

So what is it? 

Slowly is a real-time letter-exchange app that digitizes the traditional letter-writing experience. In this app, we’ll be able to communicate with people in or out of the same country through letters. The further you are from each other, the longer you will have to wait to receive a response.

Reading letters is a lot different from reading continuous snippets of text messages, emojis and stickers. Perhaps it is the eagerness of receiving a reply, or more precisely, a sign of caring to your emotion from your penpal, that makes the entire experience incomparably unique. 

Each Slowly letter has a stamp. The more people in the world write to you, the bigger your collection!

Catering for the need of humans to stay connected, Slowly has delivered this experience very well with their polished and beautiful design. They even went extra miles in building features that caress our excitement before receiving the reply. We can virtually see how many hours ago the letter (from our penpal) was sent, and how much time it is estimated to land into our inbox. The thought of “how many hours left” make us (or…me) want to open the app way sooner than I should have, only to see an empty inbox and thus my longing grows even stronger. Agrrr!

People always say: “It’s easier to share with a stranger” and some even go as far as making songs about it, and I think this is another lovely aspect this app has touched on. 

Personally, I am not afraid of sharing my deepest thoughts here, rather encouraged, because no one is going to judge me or harm me. It is the personal stories and little secret thoughts that made me open the app every day to read and reply. Most of the time, it’s to re-read. It’s the beauty of knowing another (deeper) layer of a person a bit more by reading their words. 

If you are old-schooled and don’t like instant messaging/dating apps, give Slowly a try. Although their onboarding needs to be much clearer and the letter composing experience easier, I’d still recommend this app to everyone.

Oh, if you don’t believe me, read these heartfelt stories of Slowly’s users. 

Honorable mention: OkCupid

I found this app in the desperation of being unable to swipe more on Tinder. Ironically, I could swipe even less here on OkCupid due to their small number of users. But don’t let that discourage you since there’s a good reason behind it. OkCupid has a super long onboarding that requires you to answer 10x more questions than any other apps. This is what I love. Questions about regions, sexual desires (looking for one night stand or long commitment) or personal hobbies help improve the matching results and also filter out non-serious daters. I gotta say whoever matches me on OkCupid is fairly cool, at least in a way that they took more than 15 minutes of their life completing the questions. If you’d like to know more about the app and how awesome their attention to detail is, I’ve written a post here



It is very hard to decide the winner for this category since I use a lot of extensions and many of which have been sitting in my browser for years. Let’s just assume everyone is familiar with the popular Youtube Adblock, Grammarly, and Pocket

Today, I’m proudly presenting to you a less well-known app called Toby.

Toby helps us reduce our horrendous series of unfathomable tabs like this

into this

by keeping all the open-yet-never-used tabs in folders, and displaying the folders to us whenever we CTRL + T. 

Since I write a lot, researching is an inevitable task and thus I often have up to 10-15 tabs opened at the same time. The cool thing of Toby is that it does not technically keep the tabs open (and hey, if you’re on Chrome, beware of lags!). It just bookmarks them temporarily in folders that I set up by myself, which has nothing to do with the browser bookmarks. Whenever I get down to writing, I only need to open my browser (which…is always opened) and click on a button and all the tabs that I have been working on will be opened at once. Voila!

Notice that little button “Open 6 tabs” and “Share”? They are the core features of this extension!

Another cool feature of Toby is “Sharing”. This feature will come in handy when we want to present a lot of information to someone (in tabs) but resent copying/pasting the links manually.  For example, my Customer Success teammate has to reply to customers on many channels like Intercom, emails, Twitter, app stores… and she couldn’t remember them all. Being able to save them into a folder and opening them in one click not only save her mental resources but also increase her response time. Two birds, one arrow!

Honorable mention: Bitwarden Password Manager

It took me some courage (and sweat) to actually start trusting a password manager after all the leakages on the news. Bitwarden is the best free alternative to 1Password (paid)  that I have not known (yet) and scandals and that I find most beautifully designed. I have been using this to register almost all websites with super complicated strings of passwords that otherwise I could not have remembered. The pro? I only need to remember one Master Password to get access to others. The con? The registration/sign-in process might take 10s longer. But well, I feel assured that my account cannot be hacked anyway. 


Sayonara Wild Hearts  (Apple Arcade)

Before going deeper, let me show you that I am not the only one madly in love with this game:


Overwhelmingly Positive ?? 😀 ??

App Store

4.8 ⭐️ for a 4-month old app is not bad!

To its core, Sayonara Wild Hearts is a music-based game where you’ll have to take actions according to the rhythm. However, Sayonara transcends the boredom of traditional tap-tap games like Deemo, Tap Tap music or Piano Tiles

It’s a splendid combination of music, shooting, fighting and speed (infinite running) that I have never seen before. Even when I had passed the first 10 stages, I was still amazed by the new interactions that the game presented. The game is dominated by ear-worm music rather than scripts, and to be honest, who cares about the script when the storyline is so well demonstrated by the design? 

And who on earth would imagine a three-headed, missile-firing Fluffy-inspired mechanical dog would appear in a musical game??? 

What I also love about Sayonara is that I don’t have to worry about “lives” or “hearts” to play. If I’m dead, I play again, from where I was, easy peasy. As part of Apple Arcade, it will cost you around $5 per month to play Sayonara and all other games. I think it’s worth every penny even if I have to pay $5 to play it alone every month. 

Honorable mention: Tetris by EA

Remember this son-of-a-gun? Then you know what Tetris is.

Oh no no no no. Don’t laugh. It’s not childish like you think to play Tetris in the jungle of Fortnite or PUBG. In fact, if my phone memory runs low, I will delete this and that, but not Tetris. If you cannot feel me on this, watch here and feel the hype. I guarantee after the first few tries, you’ll be hooked to this game regardless of your entertainment taste. The modernized version on iOS I’m playing is going to be stopped developing from this April, but I believe there are plenty of alternatives out there. If you want to compete, hit me up, I’m at level 12 🙂 

Sooo this is the end of my “Top picked apps in 2019″ series. Although admittedly, there are many eye-opening apps out there that are either accidentally or intentionally omitted, I believe these apps have had significant impacts on the way I live and learn. And I hope they will for you, too!

Let me know in the comment which app you’d like me to try for this year 2020 or let’s grab a ☕ and chat! 


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