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Apple unveils the most popular iPhone apps of 2019

Brace yourselves. The “best of” everything end-of-year lists are here. 

With 2019 coming to a close, Apple released its list for this year’s most downloaded iPhone apps. And … it’s not very different from last year. Taking the number one spot for the second year in a row is YouTube. Meanwhile, second and third place is again occupied by Instagram and Snapchat, respectively. 

While the list isn’t as extensive as 2018’s — in fact, it’s been cut down by half — here are the top ten free iPhone apps downloaded in 2019, according to Apple:

1. YouTube

2. Instagram

3. Snapchat

4. TikTok

5. Messenger

6. Gmail 

7. Netflix

8. Facebook

9. Google Maps 

10. Amazon 

None of the apps on this list come as a shock, either. It’s highly uncommon that anyone you meet nowadays doesn’t use at least one, if not all of them on a daily basis. 

But what is impressive is how high TikTok has jumped in just one year. Coming from spot number 16 on last year’s list, the app is now at number four. That’s also no surprise, though. Back in February, the viral video app hit one billion downloads and ranked #3 in Apple’s App Store. 

And, even though Instagram placed second on the list, it’s clear the social media platform might be feeling a tad threatened by TikTok’s rise. The company is currently testing its own video tool in Brazil, allowing users to create short 15-second clips, complete with music, that can be uploaded to their stories.

Who knows — maybe it’ll be enough to keep Instagram in that top spot? Guess we’ll have to wait until next year to find out. 

As for paid apps, Facetune took the number one spot for the third year in a row while scheduling app, HotSchedules, took second, beating out special effects app kirakira+ from last year. 

Apple tucked its top free iPhone games into a separate category. Fortnite was knocked from the top spot by Mario Kart Tour and ranked number eight this year instead. 

Here’s the full list:

1. Mario Kart Tour

2. Color Bump 3D

3. aquapark.io

4. Call of Duty: Mobile

5. BitLife – Life Simulator

6. Polysphere – art of puzzle

7. Wordscapes

8. Fortnite

9. Roller Splat!

10. AMAZE!!

As for top paid iPhone games, Minecraft takes the crown followed by Heads Up! and Plague Inc. 

Apple also threw in its own top picks for 2019. Spectre Camera (Lux Optics), an AI-powered app that allows you to take long-exposure photos, took the title for Best iPhone app of the year. Meanwhile, Best iPhone Game of the Year goes to indie adventure game Sky: Children of the Light.

Man Tries To Sneak Gun-Shaped Toilet Paper Roller Past TSA

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Transportation Security Administration agents at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty Airport uncovered a more decorative than deadly item when they checked a passenger’s carry-on.

Agents on Tuesday thought there was a gun in the bag when they put it through the X-ray machine. However, a closer inspection revealed a gun-shaped toilet paper roller. The realistic replica gun was designed to spin paper instead of bullets.

Travelers are not permitted to bring real or replica firearms through security checkpoints.

TSA says it gave the man the option to place it in a checked bag, hand it off to a companion or surrender it. He decided to give it to TSA.

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15 faux plants that look as good as the real thing

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No care needed.
No care needed.

Image: mashable photo composite

Within five seconds of scrolling down your Instagram feed, you’re bound to come across some super aesthetically pleasing, boho-as-hell interior design photos. And what do you always see in them? Plants. So many damn plants. Where do they get the time to water all of those? 

Many of us want our homes to basically look like a nursery, but not all of us were gifted with a green thumb at birth (and that’s nothing to be ashamed of, by the way). Us plant-inept folk just can’t seem to stop accidentally murdering our photosynthetic friends, either due to pure obliviousness or a streak of bad luck (it’s definitely just bad luck, right?). But, that doesn’t mean we don’t also deserve a totally chic abode like the more graceful plant caretakers. 

SEE ALSO: What to get for someone who loves plants

Luckily, faux plants are a thing — ones that you don’t have to feed, water, re-pot, or place in perfect lighting conditions. Just try to kill one. You can’t. Because they are not real. 

And they look (almost) just as good as their living counterparts. Check these out. 

Who wouldn’t want to display this beautiful thing right in the center of their living room? Also, it’ll “live” forever. So that’s good!

You can’t really go wrong with The Sill, whether you’re getting something living or not. We liked this one, but they have a lot of other (albeit pricey) options on their website

Top off your zen sanctuary with this bonsai plant that’ll bring a sense of calm to any window sill or countertop.

You can group them all together, or spread them around like some sort of plant-based Easter bunny. 

A cactus that won’t actually prick you

Finally, a cactus that won’t attempt to kill you or your pets (although your cat might think it’s a scratching post). 

Well ain’t that pretty? Spruce up your nightstand or add a flourish to your dinner table with this dainty faux orchid. 

A smorgasbord of succulents? Yes, please. Mount this planter on the wall for bonus points (or don’t, that’s fine too). 

A tropical areca for year-round beach vibes

Can’t go on vacay at the moment? Bring the vacay to you instead and imagine that you’re poolside with a piña colada. 

This one also gives off that tropical feeling and has the capacity to hit most studio apartment ceilings. 

Some baby’s breath for a nice little accent piece

Extra credit: Put them in this little glass milk jar to really pull the look together. 

A staple for plant-loving homes, just without the stress of having to climb up on a ladder to water it. 

A floor plant with a little pop of color

This plant kind of looks like it has fingers, but it’ll add a cool splash of yellow to your space — and it’ll brighten up your day. We swear.

A decorative plant that’s perfect for your work desk

Have the whole office “oo-ing” and “ah-ing” at the new greenery in your workspace. Just be prepared to explain why nobody ever sees you watering it.

Add some pizzazz to that desk plant, baby!

Or just get a pair, because your desk can never be too cluttered (right?) 

Somebody is going to have to stop you soon if you keep putting plants everywhere (but you should keep doing it anyway). 

Kristen Bell Felt ‘No Sparks Whatsoever’ When She First Met Husband Dax Shepard

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are more of a “love at second sight” couple, it seems. 

The “Frozen 2” actor revealed that when she met her now-husband and father of her two children at an intimate dinner party for a producer, all she could remember was how much he talked. 

“I had just gotten out of a long-term relationship, like two months prior. And in retrospect, I realize [he] had just gotten out of a long relationship,” Bell says in an upcoming clip of her “Sunday Today with Willie Geist” interview. “The only thing that I remember is that he talked so much. I was like, ‘This guy can talk!’” 

“And then I didn’t know who he was,” Bell added. “I’m like, ‘Maybe is that one of the guys from ‘Jackass’ or something?’” 

Shepard had a slightly different impression of their night together. 

Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrive at the premiere of "The Boss" on March 28, 2016, in Westwood, California.



Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrive at the premiere of “The Boss” on March 28, 2016, in Westwood, California.

“He remembers, ‘You were telling a really intense story about a deal you had gotten at Target,’” she jokes. “And I was like, ‘That sounds like it was on brand.’ And then we left. There were no sparks whatsoever.”

Fate brought them together again a second time, and then Shepard found a way to keep the conversation going and asked Bell out on an actual date. 

“Two weeks later, we both met at a hockey game. We are both from Detroit and Red Wings fans. And we saw each other at the hockey game. Started to flirt. Left,” she said.

“And then a day after that I get a text that says, ‘Hi, my name is Dax. I violated your privacy and got your number from Shauna. How do you feel about that?’ And I was like, ‘Excuse me? You sound stimulating,’” she said. 

We all know what happens next, as the two later got married and now have two children: Delta Bell, 4, and Lincoln, 6. But both Bell and Shepard have been very candid about the ups and downs in their relationship and what it takes to make their marriage work. 

“All these movies from the ’80s taught us that it’s love at first sight, and it is supposed to be easy and [that] all you have to do is find that person,” Bell said in an interview with People in March. “It took me a while to realize, ‘Oh, that was such a lie,’ because things that you work really, really, really hard for always yield the best results.” 

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Wild Turkeys Are Taking Over A New Jersey Neighborhood

Just weeks before Thanksgiving, wild turkeys are taking a bold stance in a New Jersey neighborhood, reportedly terrorizing humans, breaking windows and pecking at cars.

Several local media outlets have spoken to the fearful residents of an over-55 community in a township named, coincidentally, Toms River. (A male turkey is called a tom, though that’s not why the town has that name.)

“I can’t get out of my door,” one person told News 12. “Sometimes I can’t get out of my car. They go to attack you.” The individual was not named in the story, presumably out of fear of retaliation from the turkeys.

Another local woman, Donna Scala, told TV station WPVI the birds are damaging property. 

“They’re pecking at our roofs,” she said. “Our brand new vehicles? They’re pecking at our vehicles.”

Scala wants the birds to be “moved,” and suggested finding a “big property, hundreds of acres of property” where they could roam.

The turkeys typically show up around dawn and dusk. It’s unclear exactly how many there are, though some reports say they are traveling in rafters of dozens of birds.

While some residents have been complaining about the turkeys, others appreciate their presence.

“They come around, say hi,” one person told CBS New York.

And although mail carriers and turkeys have traditionally not gotten along, local mailman Stephen Triolo doesn’t seem to mind the big birds.

“They do their thing, you do your thing,” he told WPVI. “You’re not trying to get in their way.”

Plus, humans, as a group, appear to be the original instigators here.

Ross Licitra, executive director of the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, blames the confrontations on overdevelopment, noting to radio station NJ 101.5 that the turkeys have lost their own homes to humans. He also said the turkeys are “harmless.”

To deter the wild turkeys, experts recommend tactics including making loud noises, opening and closing umbrellas and blocking reflective surfaces, since male turkeys can sometimes be aggressive towards their own reflections.