If you own a smartphone, you use plenty of apps. Yet while you certainly have favorites among them, you probably don’t spend that much time reflecting on which ones are actually having an impact on the world—good, bad, or otherwise.

We’ve done it for you, by choosing six apps that were key in 2017. They’re not all ones we like.

But they are significant right now for reasons ranging from power over political conversations to technological innovation to the issues they raise about privacy and communication. Take a look at our list, and let us know in the comments which apps you think mattered most this year.

  Store | Coinbase

Coinbase virtual currencies that depend on distributed computer networks using encrypted transactions, rather than banks, to move value from one person to another—soared in popularity this year. Consider, for instance, the price of biggest one of the bunch, Bitcoin: it rose from less than $1,000 at the start of 2017 to, briefly, a high of over $19,000 in early December (exact prices seem to depend on which pricing index you look at). Read more from technologyreview.com…

thumbnail courtesy of technologyreview.com