Enough with the App Obsession. Here are the Only 10 Apps You Need on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry 10!
Am I really the only one that finds it completely ridiculous when people don’t buy a phone because it only has 70,000 or 150,000 apps? I can’t possibly be. If I hear one more person say that Windows Phone has no apps or BlackBerry 10 can’t succeed because it is “missing” 700,000 apps that iOS has, all faith in humanity will be lost. Enough already, people.
Unless you review apps for a living or just like to collect them, there really is no need for more than 10, max 20 apps on your smartphone. Here is what you “need” in order to perform basic functions on your phone and to stay in touch with friends and contacts. A good GPS app, Facebook (yea, ok, I know, you hate it. So do a billion other users), a good Twitter app, something to snap pictures with and possibly share them, something to read content with, a possible replacement for Apple’s photo gallery, and one or two more apps based on personal taste (like for note taking or task management).
If you like to play games from time to time, there is always that category of apps, but I am talking about basic necessities, and things you would use daily. Obviously, there is a lot of my opinion here and everyone has his or her own choice of apps. My only point is that no one normal needs more than 20 apps on their phone.
So here is what I use to meet the requirements I mentioned above.
There are of course many many apps that provide turn by turn navigation, but there is no other app I know of, and definitely no free app out there that does it a well as Waze. Chances are, if you are reading this, you heard of Waze, but you might not know that Waze also provides real time crowdsourced traffic reports to the extent that I often turn Waze on to decide which route to take home based on the amount of traffic on each road. Waze also provides gas prices and many other goodies like some fun gamification elements. Again, free. Kind of a no-brainer.
While there are many iOS/Android/Windows Phone apps that enable you to interact with your Facebook. I find that on almost all platforms, the original app is the best. Maybe it is the integration you get when using it, or the way notifications work, while it is far from perfect, it is the best we have.
Of course, this is a much-debated topic, but I can safely say, I have tried all major Twitter apps on all platforms, and the three apps mentioned above are the best out there. You can see other great Android Twitter apps here. I think by now, most iOS Twitter users agree that Tweetbot is the best out there and as for Windows Phone, Rowi is the best there is, hands down.
Photo sharing apps are so ridiculously common, I would tell any entrepreneur to stay far away from this space. At the end of the day though, between its engaged network, its trend-setting filters, and its snappy UI, Instagram is still the leader here. Except even Instagram is not perfect, far from it. Its main disadvantage I would say, is the low res picture you end up sharing when using the app. If you want to share larger pictures across Facebook and Twitter, Path is another option. I know I know, you hate it and want to murder it. But it works, it is beautiful, and it gets the job done.
This is another heated space with some truly fantastic apps contending for the crown, but the undisputed king of mobile reading apps is Flipboard. Flipboard is on iOS and Android, which leaves Windows Phone and BlackBerry out in the cold. For me, this is a deal breaker. I cannot see myself using a smartphone without Flipboard. Try it, it’s beautiful, it’s fast, it’s functional, and it has everything I need to read/share my daily content.
Flayvr (iOS / Android coming soon)
Till now, you probably did not learn about new apps you had never heard of. Here is one for you. Did you ever take a look at your smartphone and realize that you have replaced almost every app it came with? Take iPhone for example. You have a better GPS, a better camera, a better calendar (still looking for the perfect one), etc etc. But when it comes to the gallery, at least on iPhone (Android has some awesome options), you still use Apple’s boring and unorganized gallery. Good luck finding a picture from four months ago. Meet Flayvr. An app that organizes your photos based on time and place into beautiful little mini folders. Try it, you wont regret it.
Other Loose Ends
Here is where things get personal. I don’t use a task manager but if I did, I would use any.do (iOS / Android). I use Google+ (iOS /Android), again, you might not be into it. I also use an awesome app called Cloudmagic (on all platforms: iOS /Android/ Windows Phone) to search old messages, whether on Twitter, FB, email, or pretty much any other service I use. I also use Apple’s Podcsasts app, which has many solid replacement options.
Other apps I use from time to time include YouTube (iOS /Android), Skype (iOS /Android / Windows Phone), Chrome (iOS /Android), Scanner Pro (iOS) (I hate scanning papers but this makes it painless), Dropbox (iOS /Android / BlackBerry), Linkedin (iOS /Android / Windows Phone / BlackBerry), the occasional Temple Run (iOS /Android), and that is pretty much it.
I didn’t count, but I am fairly certain if you take all the apps I mentioned here, I did not reach 700,000, but I might be wrong.