18 Beautiful and Useful Mobile Apps for Your Inspiration
I’m in love with mobile design. When it’s done well, it can look so good! I’ve collected some of my favorite apps that aren’t only useful but also beautiful. Mobile design can be a big challenge. I don’t use many apps on my phone. Many of them are not very well-designed, as it’s hard to create useful and seamless applications for small screens. Still, some products use that feature to their advantage.
Good design leverages the tiny screen real estate to make an uncomplicated and easy app. Some apps are truly fantastic. I’ve gathered a thorough list of well-designed mobile apps. Check out this list; I’m sure you will find something that you like, too. Almost all of these apps are also free—a great bonus. I’ve linked both the iOS and Android download links. Let’s get started!
1. Headspace (free)
Headspace is a multiplatform software that helps people meditate. Meditation has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety and improve focus, among many other benefits. The app is widely praised all over the internet. They even have a quote from Emma Watson praising it as well. What I love about the app is its design style. The language is real and a bit funny. The UI design is light, friendly, and all around pleasant.
2. Sleep Cycle (free)
Sleep Cycle is a sleep tracking app that has recently updated its UI. The app is useful in learning about your own sleeping patterns to improve the quality of your sleep. The app also has beautiful dark UI design that is stunning. The use of the accented neon colors, for instance the neon green bars, is a nice touch. It gives the app some personality, makes it prettier, and makes the graphs easily distinguishable.
3. Day One Journal (paid)
Day One Journal is a multiplatform diary app. Over the years, the app has expanded its features which makes the app smart and useful. The user experience is phenomenal because you can save the location of your entry by default and the mode of transportation if it detects you moving at a higher speed. It’s extremely good at keeping note of your situation when you’re jotting down your journal entry. It can even save the song you were listening to.
4. Automatic (free)
Automatic is a car adapter that lets you keep a closer eye on your car. It notifies you about maintenance issues such as low oil. It can also improve your driving habits. Automatic’s mobile app has a great design, too. The visuals are clean and easy to distinguish. The graphs are helpful as well. It shows you all sorts of important information with ease.
5. Keezy (free)
Keezy is a super fun music game. It’s a great app whether you’re looking to have a little bit of fun or entertain your kids. The interface is so dumb and so simple—I love it. The design is very primary and it works so well! It doesn’t distract you with unnecessary UI elements. It just lets you play and have fun. I wish more apps were this straightforward.
6. Snapseed (free)
Snapseed is a mobile photo editing app. If you’re into mobile photography I highly recommend this app. It has a lot of features but it’s also stunning and beautiful. The design of this app is very modern; you can easily see that if you observe the rectangular shapes, slim fonts, and overall minimalist design. The app doesn’t feel cluttered, even though it does have many editing features.
7. Qapital (free)
Qapital is an app for keeping track of your savings. The unique thing about Qapital is that you can set up a budget for a specific goal, for instance a new car or TV or whatever you need to save money for. You can even invite people to join and help you reach your saving goals. The product design makes this app amazing.
8. Digit (free)
Digit is another savings app. It works by removing a certain amount from your checking account without you really noticing it. I love this app for what it’s doing to my savings. Its minimalistic design style is stunning and clean. Most banking apps are cluttered and heavy but not Digit.
9. Shorts (free)
Shorts allows you to browse through your friends’ photo files to see what they have most recently snapped in their Camera Roll. The app has given users a new way to interact and share moments, memories, or adventures with their close friends.
The app tries to get out of the user’s way to let them experience the photos and videos. I love that the application doesn’t defeat its own purpose.
10. HotelTonight (free)
HotelTonight lets you book a last-minute room at a hotel for a night or two. I’ve been a big fan of the app for many years now. I’m especially a big fan of their dark color scheme.
It makes a very good sense of what the product is selling. The design is well executed too; the purple and black colors are a great choice.
11. Lifesum (free)
Lifesum is another app for a healthy lifestyle. It can help you achieve various goals. I like it for its use of gradients and colors. They are used throughout the app in small amounts. The use of both is subtle, so they don’t overwhelm any interaction. There are also a few pages with big colorful backgrounds but limited actions, which balances out nicely.
12. Artifact Uprising (free)
Artifact Uprising is a photo printing service. You can order books, calendars, or prints of your own photographs. They provide you with beautiful templates that you can customize and just drop in photos as you please. The end product is a well-made, high-quality print. Their mobile app is easy to use and just as stylish as their prints.
13. iA Writer (paid)
iA Writer is a well-known writing app for multiple platforms. I’m a big fan of their minimalism but mostly their typography. Actually, it’s hard to find a mobile app that does both of these things well because of the small screen space.
It has two themes, a light and a dark one. Both use nice shades of white and gray so as not to be too bright and drastic. It’s a very simple but pleasant app to write with. I wish more apps were to the point that much.
14. Poncho (free)
Poncho is a weather app that is overflowing with personality. The app shows ample information besides temperature and cloudy skies; it informs you about possible allergies and transit conditions as well. With the colors, mascot, and its snazzy comments, this weather app takes the cake. The product design here is very much on point; it’s funny and fun to use, and not just for the weather updates.
15. Lola Travel (free)
Lola Travel is an on-demand travel service assistant. Currently, there is a waiting list but if you travel a lot it’s worth the wait. The app has amazing features and it looks great, too. The design of this app is simple, which I love. The icons and graphics are friendly. The typography and the line height are well-chosen. A lot fits into the different screens.
16. sweetgreen (free)
Sweetgreen is a mobile app for a salad franchise. Their salads are really good and you can pre-order them with their app. My favorite thing about their app is their icons. I can’t get over how awesome they are. The overall design is amazing; the lines are classy and clean. The photographs of the ingredients and salads are stunning, too.
17. Days (free)
Days is an event countdown app, be it a wedding, a birthday, or a vacation. The thing I love the most about this app is the way you fill out a new event.
It’s a bunch of forms, sure, but it doesn’t seem like you’re filling out one because the inputs don’t look like typical input UIs. I love that you’re just filling out pieces of the event. The reliability of this app is another question. (Yes, that is a photo of Pisa when I’m going to Rome!)
18. Verse (free)
Verse is a mobile payment app. I recently came across this app and I’m in love with its user interface. The numbers are big and bold. The interfaces are simple, to the point, and clean. The app could use a little bit more color, but I digress. I am very fond of the app’s simplicity; it really improves the user experience.
How did you enjoy this list? I hope you got a chance to be inspired. I also hope you found a new favorite app, or two. Let me know if there is an app you love that fits into this list of useful and well-designed apps and I’ll add it to my next post 🙂