6 hot apps that Silicon Valley insiders are buzzing about

clubhouse app

  • To be part of the in-crowd in Silicon Valley, you have to know about and use the latest hot new apps.
  • Years ago, that was Gmail; this week it’s Hey, a new email service.
  • Below is a list of six of the hottest apps in the Valley.
  • Unfortunately, most of them are invitation-only, so there’s good chance you won’t be able to join the hip crowd.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Silicon Valley can be a cliquey place.

Every so often, a new app or service launches that only the in-crowd knows about or can even access.

Fifteen years ago, it was Gmail, Google’s now super-popular email site that started as an invitation-only service. This week, it was Hey, a brand-new email service that promises to fulfill Gmail’s promise of helping users better manage their inboxes, or Imboxes, in Hey parlance, as long as they have an invitation to use it.

But Hey’s not the only hot new app to set the Valley a buzzing. Here are some of the latest ones the technorati are talking about:

SEE ALSO: The coronavirus crisis is force-feeding 2 big changes into the stodgy enterprise software market. Here’s why some startups are already benefiting.

Hey

What is it? An email app and service
What’s different about it? It promises to make email easier to manage by automatically grouping together receipts and transaction-related messages; newsletters and promotional email; and personal messages. So, it’s sort of like Gmail, only it’s supposed to be better. It also promises to give users more control over the inflow of messages, allowing them to ignore messages sent to a group of people, merge separate conversations together in one thread, and block trackers that detect when and where a message was opened.
Who developed it?
Basecamp, the makers of a project management app of the same name.
When did it launch?
Tuesday
How much does it cost? $99 a year
Can I use it? Not yet, unless you have an invitation. Basecamp plans to open it up to the public at large in July.

Clubhouse

What is it? A group voice chat app.
What’s different about it? Clubhouse has gotten notable people talking — literally. The app allows users to join different virtual rooms and strike up conversations with the group of people who happen to be in there. So far, that’s been a limited and exclusive crowd, reportedly including people such as venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, actor Jared Leto, and hip-hop artist MC Hammer.
Who developed it?
Paul Davison, who previously founded Highlight, a location-based service that was acquired by Pinterest.
When did it launch? This spring as a private beta.
How much does it cost? $0
Can I use it? Not yet, unless you have an invitation. You can request one through its website.

Roadtrip

What is it? A music listening app.
What’s different about it? Roadtrip is kind of like Clubhouse for music. Users can join others in virtual rooms where someone is serving as a kind of DJ, queuing up songs in a live playlist. They can chat with each other via text, suggest songs and, if invited by the DJ, talk out loud to the DJ and others in the room. 
Who developed it?
Matt Mazzeo, a former managing director at Lowercase Capital, and Brian Wagner, formerly a lead developer at Embrace, which provides app debugging services.
When did it launch? This month in private beta.
How much does it cost? $0
Can I use it? Like Clubhouse, only if you have an invitation. You can request one through its Product Hunt page.

Superhuman

What is it? An email app.
What’s different about it? Superhuman promises a streamline, superfast email experience. Its app and site are distinctly minimalist and intentionally so; the company wants pages and messages to load within 100 milliseconds. Users can schedule messages and undo already sent ones. The service offers a collection of keyboard shortcuts that allow users to quickly scan through their inbox or send messages. And it automatically sorts messages into different areas, including one for newsletters and another for calendar invitations.
Who developed it?
Rahul Vohra, who founded Rapportive, which pioneered extensions for Gmail; Conrad Irwin, who was Rapportive’s first engineer; and Vivek Sodera, who cofounded RapLeaf, a database marketing company.
When did it launch? 2017, in private beta testing.
How much does it cost? $30 per month
Can I use it? Only if you have an invitation. You can request access through Superhuman’s homepage.

Notion

What is it? An all-in-one productivity app.
What’s different about it? Notion is designed to be ultra-flexible. Users can take notes in it, create to-do lists, collaborate with colleagues, create shared information pages, and manage projects.
Who developed it?
Ivan Zhao, who previously worked at mobile learning company Inkling, and Simon Last.
When did it launch? 2016.
How much does it cost? Free to $10 a month, depending on features.
Can I use it? Yes.

Collab

What is it? A video and music collaboration app.
What’s different about it? Collab allows people to make music together, virtually. Users upload videos of themselves playing music and combine their videos with two others. Users can combine their own videos, work with friends, or make mashups using videos uploaded by other people. 
Who developed it?
Facebook’s NPE (new product experimentation) group.
When did it launch? May.
How much does it cost? Free.
Can I use it? If you get an invitation. You can sign up for the waitlist on the app’s homepage.

 

Got a tip about the next hot new app or another tech story? Contact Troy Wolverton via email at twolverton@businessinsider.com, message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.