For many people “favorite mobile app” is a transient idea. If you ask the same person what their favorite app is multiple times in a month you will get many different answers. There are tons of “best mobile apps” lists floating around on the internet. Those lists are created by objectively identifying the most useful applications by comparing feature sets, design and usability. The result is a sterile list of good applications that you might find useful. This isn’t that list.
Favorite App: Duolingo
Duolingo is a great application because it combines a fantastic learning platform with a well designed mobile application that effectively converts quiet down time into lifelong language learning. In combination with the social component, I find myself popping out Duolingo in bed before going to sleep or in the airport before getting on a plane. I love this app!
I have an hour commute each way to work, so listening to Audio books has become a good way to spend the time. Audible has a direct link to my Amazon account so I can automatically shop for books, pay for them, and download them to my phone. When I’m playing a book my phone automatically connects to the Bluetooth in my car and resumes playing the book at the place where I last left off.
My Favorite App is Sleep as Android. It allows me to track my sleep cycles and set a wakeup window. So if I need to get up at 7 AM and I set a 30 minute window, it will wake me up at the ideal time in my sleep cycle between 6:30 and 7:00 AM, which makes waking up in the morning far more pleasant.
Infinity Blade (the whole series) is a perfect gaming experience for mobile. The touch controls are perfectly suited for a twitch-reflex sword fighting game, which would probably be clunky and impossible with standard gamepad or keyboard controls. The segmented 1-battle-at-a-time style let’s you to enjoy the game in almost any timeframe. Don’t even get me started on the addictive loot-hunting gameplay. The graphics are amazing by any standards, especially on a handheld.
Favorite App: Viber
Viber allows me to chat, send images, conference and call over VoIP, which here in Bulgaria with the excellent and strong Internet connection, is very useful. It helps me save money. I’m using it more and more frequently.
It’s da bes [sic]! I like the idea of little windows of the world traveling through space and time. The lack of record makes it feel lightweight and life-like.
Favorite App: Power Toggles
Power Toggles makes it really easy to do common things like opening favorite apps, disabling WiFi, knowing the battery status, and using the flashlight. It’s like the Control Center is iOS, only packed with way more features, and with the ability to customize everything. What really makes Power Toggles stand out is its simplicity and high configurability.
Favorite App: Instagram
This app is easy to use and super fun! It’s great to be able to edit your own photos and videos with ease. Also, it is easy to switch between photo apps while using Instagram, such as Frametasic or Whitagram. These apps work seamlessly together to create a great user experience and great photos to share!
Favorite App: Badland
Badland has a beautiful art style, superb music, an excellent atmosphere, and one of the best multiplayer modes in any iOS game.
Favorite App: Snapchat
SnapChat It isn’t a complex or even the most beautiful app, but it does one simple thing incredibly well. I like the psychology behind it – sharing small moments with friends/family and seeing theirs… and just like real life, the picture only lasts for a moment so you appreciate it more. It provides a sneak peak into someone’s day that they are only sharing with a select few.
Favorite App: Flipboard
It allows me to quickly view the business and technology news my peers and clients are reading and promoting. As result, I’m able to have more meaningful conversations with clients and prospects
Favorite App: GroupMe
GroupMe allows you to set up and join multiple groups to communicate via text and pictures in. It beats the competitors because it lets users change name and picture for separate groups. This can come in handy if you want to represent yourself differently to different groups of people. For example, you might want to go by a nickname with a funny picture to a group of friends, but a full name and professional picture to a group of coworkers. Additionally, GroupMe has an easy to use liking system for comments, where you press a heart on the side of the comment. It counts how many likes the comment has received and displays that below the heart.
Favorite App: Spotify
Play any song anywhere I can get a signal on my phone. It’s wonderful.
I never remember to upload songs from my laptop to my phone via iTunes, so it’s good on the go. I get stressed or anxious if I’m not surrounded by a lot of noise, so it’s great that I can always get to whatever music I’m in the mood for.
Also the UI is so similar to iTunes that I immediately knew how to use it from the first time I opened it. Not sure how many points on originality it gets for that one, but I did find it easy to use from the start.
1. Great music selection, huge database, all styles covered
2. Premium membership is $10/month and you can have all the music you want at any time, anywhere
3. The radio in my car does not work, so having Spotify on my phone has been essential for my commute
Target’s Cartwheel gets me discounts and makes it fun and interactive to shop. It gives me deals on items that are already in my cart – I can just scan them and it tells me if there is a deal, or I can run a search on anything I want.
Favorite App: OurGroceries
I like to cook and keeping written grocery lists synced with my wife can be a pain. We often go to the grocery store separately and double up on items accidentally. This app allows us to build a list from items provided in the app or by adding in items – either manually or with an optional bar code scanner. We can then share and update this list from our own devices in real time.
When at the store, the no-frills UI lets us just tap each item as we find it. And because our lists sync in real time, my wife and I can go shopping together and split up so we can save time. I just tap an item and she knows I found it.
Paper is a great drawing app. The different pens and brushes are very responsive to artistic hands and the interface is very elegant with some unique and fun to use gestures.
Favorite App: Exoplanet
It sends me push notifications when planets in other solar systems are discovered. It has a detailed database which notes the type of exoplanet and size comparisons with planets in our solar system. It has a very slick navigation view where it zooms in and out of the Milky Way galaxy, starting in our solar system, to give a visual idea of how far away an exoplanet is.
RSS is my preferred way of staying up to date with news & articles from my favorite websites. So naturally, I was a huge fan of Google Reader. The seamless syncing between the mobile and web apps let me scan my feeds while taking the bus to/from work; marking all the articles I wanted to dig into when I got home.
Unfortunately Google stopped seeing the value in RSS and killed off Reader last year. A number of services stepped up to fill the void, but Feedly rose to the top… Delivering a slick web & mobile RSS platform every bit as good as Google Reader was.
Pushbullet lets me send and receive links, pictures, and files between devices and it has excellent Google Chrome integration. It is similar to Dropbox but I prefer Pushbullet’s user interface and simplicity.
Favorite App: Google Now
There isn’t a direct competitor giving you all the information you can get from Google Now. I can see everything that is important when I need it. I keep track of meetings, events, and of course, the location based services like weather, and places to visit, etc. It is very helpful when you are in a foreign country. All the extra information can be found easily with a single gesture.
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