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.

GPS app

Waze: (iOS / Android)

Waze

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.

Facebook

The official Facebook app: (iOS / Android / Windows Phone / BlackBerry)

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.

Twitter

Tweetbot (iOS), Carbon (Android), Rowi (Windows Phone):

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

Instagram (iOS /Android) and Path (iOS / Android):

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.

Reading Content

Flipboard (iOS /Android)

Flipboard

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.

 Photo Gallery

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.

Author: Hillel Fuld

"Hillel is a tech blogger who manages multiple sites such as Technmarketing, Appboy, and inneractive. In addition, Hillel has written on many leading online publications such as Mashable, Gigaom, and others. In addition to his blogger hat, Hillel is an active Twitter personality who defines himself as a "Social media addict". When Hillel is not blogging or tweeting, he is the Head of Marketing for inneractive, a mobile startup that deals with app monetization across all mobile platforms."

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  • Diego!

    Fantastic post! I agree 100% with you! I would also add Nokia Maps if available and/or Google Maps and that’s it :D

  • opteron opteron

    Actually, this is the same thing that I have posted on any site that bashes Windows because of the lack of apps when there are as of today 160,000 apps.

    How can a normal person need more than 10 apps? Wait, can you even sift through 750,000 apps in order to find the 5 or 6 apps that you need daily. Most of those zillions of apps are usually craps that do not even deserve my time and I have used iPhone 4 before finally getting a Lumia 920 for it’s stylish design and the Lumia specific apps. I do Not even need more than the apps that are from Nokia and Microsoft.

    If you look closely, most smartphone reviewers never even used a Windows phone and are Apple cult followers even after the death of the guru. When I was using IPhone, it was just because it was the best on the market at the time. Now, Apple is no longer the only innovation leader in the smartphone market (check 2012 smartphone awards and you’ll notice that Apples is nowhere to be seen) and I don’t see why I should stick with their products. I am not a cult follower, I am following technology trend and that’s all.

  • JewDroid

    Hillel , you can really use a rotary phone to make phone calls, it does the job.

    Kidding aside, most people use their phones differently. The more options it has, the more people it can target.

    I’m sure there will be quite a few people who will find the bberry very useful, we just don’t know how many.

  • Gregor Park

    A refreshing view Hillel.

    Every persons app list is going to differ slightly to their own lifestyle, interests and needs.Nobody needs tens, let alone hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands of apps.

    The focus should be making quality apps which add real value to peoples lives.
    What would be refreshing is if apps which have never been downloaded from a shore were removed after a 6 month period, much like operators removing unused SIM cards from their base!

    The app stores need to measure actively used apps, rather than total numbers!

  • http://twitter.com/nzshoreboy Stephen Dickson

    The thing is that of all the apps you listed only two of them were on all 4 platforms. This is why the apps available on a particular platform are now a deal breaker for a phone. I use around 30 apps on a weekly basis and around 20 more on a once in a while basis. The only platform that has all of the apps I use and are integrated into the system is Android. If Blackberry can get their Android emulator to integrate the apps from the Play Store as if it was a native BB10 app and work with apps that are newer than Gingerbread then they may be able to win me from Android but until then, I have only one option and I’ll bet there are a lot of people like this.