The next best app is always right around the corner. But it seems to be a rare thing for an app to stick around — to become part of your daily routine. In an effort to investigate, here are five apps that have been keeping my attention.

1. Duolingo

This language-learning app lets you go at your own pace, sends you daily reminders to complete your goal for the day, and charts your progress. It’s a productive way to kill time. It’s free. And I’m hooked.

2. Words with Friends

I’ve always loved Scrabble. I recently downloaded this app back from the cloud and have been playing games with my college friends. It’s a fun way to stay in touch.

3. Elevate

The brain training app that is actually challenging. And beautifully designed.

4. Candy Crush

Yep, I’m hooked. I’m in it for the long haul. This is now a test of stamina.

5. Moves

This is one that’s always in the background. I rarely open the actual app, but I read all of the notifications. It provides a subtle push to walk more and it’s an easy way to keep track of places I go. Simple.

The common thread: competition. Whether it’s competing with myself or against others, these apps keep me coming back.