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Annus Horribilis: Which Apps Helped You Survive 2020?

It seems like only yesterday that, overnight, we all had to upend our lives and stay at home as much as possible.

Work and play had to be strictly virtual. Just imagine how life would have been this year if we didn’t have our phones to steer us through this crazy 2020. Apps have helped us adjust to a new normal, and even though Phase 2 is coming to an end (yay!), we rely on apps more than ever to get through and get on with our lives.

Here’s what we believe are the most essential, indispensable apps that have helped Singaporeans survive this year.

Check-in apps

Trace Together

It’s almost second nature now for us to pull out our smartphones and check-in to somewhere via SafeEntry. While the SingPass app has been great and easy to use, it’s time for all of us to switch to the TraceTogether app for more accurate contact tracing. And the gahmen has emphasised that it’s needed for us to move into Phase 3 (which happens on 28 Dec 2020), so let’s all play our part.

Food delivery apps

GrabFood, Foodpanda, and Deliveroo

When we need that quick makan during WFH or you miss your favourite food joint in the CBD, GrabFood, Foodpanda, and Deliveroo have been our knights in shining armour (with packets of food!). These food delivery apps were especially essential during CB by keeping restaurants in business when they weren’t allowed to serve dine-in customers. A huge salute to our food delivery workers, the unsung heroes who work rain or shine to bring us our lunch and dinner throughout this year.

Shopping apps

Lazada, Shopee, and Carousell

How else could we scratch the shopping itch when malls were closed, if we didn't have apps like Lazada, Shopee, and Carousell. You can buy just about anything with these apps - even your groceries on Lazada and Shopee. The CB period was also the perfect time to Marie Kondo our homes, so Carousell become a great app to offload all your extra unwanted stuff (and buy more to replace them, too; so much for decluttering ). One man’s meat is another man’s poison mah. Just remember to opt for postage instead of meet-ups.

Banking apps

POSB Digibank, DBS Digibank, OCBC Mobile Banking, Seedly

With banks closed during CB, virtual banking via telephone or using banking apps (such as POSB Digibank, DBS Digibank, OCBC Mobile Banking) was the only way we could manage our finances during that difficult period. Now, these apps have taken over as a more convenient way to settle our banking issues without braving the long queues to a branch.

Then, with many of us facing pay cuts or looking for new work to tide us through the year, it’s become more important than ever to budget our finances well. Many people have taken up using expense tracking apps like Seedly to better manage their monthly budget.

Video streaming apps

Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Viu, Hayu, and MeWatch Prime

What else has there been to do cooped up within the four walls of our homes this year than binge-watching the Latest Releases on Netflix. Luckily, they’ve continuously churned out new shows to keep us all entertained after the work day is done (or, ahem, secretly during the work day while WFH; my new favourite is "The Queen’s Gambit").

Don’t like the shows on Netflix? There are plenty of streaming apps available to watch in Singapore such as HBO Go, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Viu, Hayu, and our local MeWatch Prime (catch up on some old PCK episodes anyone?). Which video streaming app to choose? Find out here!

Disney+ is coming to our shores on 23 Feb next year – perfect timing for "WandaVision" in January and "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" in March.

Dating apps

Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, OKCupid, Happn, and Paktor

Dating didn't and doesn’t have to end just because we need to stay 1m apart from one another. It’s still possible to find that special someone to say “BTO ai mai?" to during this new normal. What better way to use your new SingapoRediscovers vouchers than on an enjoyable day with someone new? Plus, with dating apps, you can get to know so many new people from the comfort of your bed.

From Tinder to Coffee Meets Bagel, to OKCupid, Happn, and Paktor, check out all the best dating apps to find your bae in Singapore. Or if you’re looking to bring back the spark in your relationship, here are 5 cool date night ideas despite the pandemic.


Have we missed out on your essential app that has helped you survive this year? Let us know! Also read our roundup of the best sports games available on mobile if you’re missing the roaring crowds in today’s sports.

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