J.R.R. Tolkien popularized the genre of fantasy with The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, and in general, this genre usually takes place in a medieval setting (think swords, shields, and catapults) that has an additional magical facet. But what if there was a touch of modernity in Tolkien’s world? Obviously, the existence of phones in the LOTR universe would quickly resolve plot dilemmas, but let’s ignore those big picture what-ifs and instead focus on the fun aspect of this technology in Middle-Earth–i.e. what apps would be the most useful or significant for the four main races living in Middle-Earth.
Hobbits, according to the LOTR movies, eat seven times a day. They are also content to live a sedentary life as they are generally rather lazy and don’t like to leave the Shire, their comfort zone. These factors make a food delivery services like Postmates or Uber Eats an easy choice for the hobbits. With these apps, hobbits could stay safe at home for their elevensies meal rather than venturing outside and risk running into Gandalf (who might send a hobbit on a dangerous and tiring adventure!)
Elves are often considered “superior” to the other races in many ways, particularly due to their immortality and their ability to function without sleep. However, in these race-specific gifts, I also see an opportunity. Imagine being alive and active 24 hours a day for thousands of years. Chances are, you are going to get pretty bored. And that is where 2048 comes in. The ultimate time-waster app, 2048 will offer an enticing challenge for elves whose only other means to pass the endless hours are walking slowly through wooded areas and reciting vague and confusing prophecies to visiting travelers. With this much time on their hands, the elves might even beat the AI world record for 2048.
According to the LOTR wiki, Dwarven women are “less than a third of all dwarf-kind” …[and] “alike in manner, voice and appearance to their menfolk.” Other races aren’t even sure that there are female dwarves and some are convinced that dwarven women also have beards. So clearly Tinder is needed here as it will create a clear gender distinction (as one must put in their sex when creating a profile) and will allow dwarven women to find partner opportunities among races that didn’t even think they existed. Plus since most dwarven women stay at home while the men travel, this will allow the two sexes to connect even when they aren’t in close geographical proximity.
The philosopher Thomas Hobbes famously referred to the lives of men as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”. This description extends to the men and women of Middle-Earth, who definitely pulled the racial short straw. Mankind has the shortest life-span of all the major races, they are constantly under attack by Orcs, and they often have terrible leaders (see Denethor burning his own son alive or Theoden being under the control of the evil Saruman). So in this tough life, mankind needs a bit of joy and positive thinking. And that is where Happify comes in. The app helps improve mental health and overall well-being through a series of activities and games. This should be the perfect app for any Middle-Earth man or woman who is looking to improve their mindset after the local dragon burned down their house for the fifth time in the last year.
Edited: JRR popularized, rather than invented