Whether you’re purchasing your first Smartphone or trading up for the newest, shiniest tablet, everyone wants to download the coolest, most useful APPS available. Since there are over a half million APPS available for download, knowing which ones are most popular will spare you hours of lost productivity and the wallet-draining expense of trying out unproven ones.

Listed are the most popular APPS in their category this year:

  1. Social Media – FACEBOOK – It goes without saying that FACEBOOK is the behemoth of all APPS, much less the social media category. If you haven’t heard of FACEBOOK, well then, welcome to Earth and to this century! With over 800 million members and a brand new IPO (Initial Public Offering), this company’s success is due in part to the habit-inducing ease in which one can whittle away every waking moment staring at friend’s unsavory party photos or playing Farmville. FREE.
  2. Personal Finance – MINT – This APP has the amazing ability to track all of those 401K-robbing purchases that you’ve been hiding from your spouse. By linking all your financial accounts, including bank, credit cards, and retirements accounts, MINT will distil all of the data and make it a cinch to create a plan for digging yourself out of a financial hole (or out of the doghouse). FREE.
  3. Music APP – PANDORA
  4. – This digital “jukebox” will allow you to listen to your genre preferences by simply adding your favorite artist to the station list. For instance, if you happen to LOVE famous, lip-synching twins from the 80’s, just create a Milli Vanilli station and you’ll be rocking to “Girl You Know It’s True” and similar-sounding songs faster than you can say “Flash-in-a-Pan”. FREE. AD – free version available for a nominal monthly fee.

  5. Utility APP – DROPBOX
  6. – You know all of this talk about cloud computing? Well, they’re not referring to a weather-related APP. They’re referring to the technology that allows one to store digital documents, photos, videos and other data onto an off-site server. This allows you to access all of your saved “stuff” from any of your digital devices, be it a laptop, Smartphone, tablet, or workstation (um, it might be prudent not to access that hot tub photo of yourself at work). FREE

  7. Gaming APP – ANGRY BIRDS
  8. – The most addicting game on a mobile device has been a top download for at least a couple of years. Easy to play, entertaining, and with multiple levels of difficulty, the game has earned legendary status amongst cube mates and rug rats alike. The popularity of the original has now spawned several versions. Now if we could only get rid of the mind-numbing jingle out our head. FREE.

    Kathleen Hubert is a blogger who writes on a variety of different sites. Check out more of her work at lahainahotels.com.