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The World’s Most Popular Smartphone Apps and What to Learn from Them

smartphone appsWhat is it about some smartphone apps that make them so much more popular than others? According to GlobalWebIndex 2013 data, Google Maps was the most popular smartphone app in the world (54 percent of smartphone users), followed by Facebook, YouTube and Google+, with 44, 35 and 30 percent of smartphone users respectively.

Moreover, when we look at user statistics (the top ten most frequently used smartphone apps in Q2 2013) we notice that six out of the top ten are social media apps and the other four are messaging or VoIP apps.

This comes as no surprise considering the popularity of social media and the interconnectedness that characterises 21st Century society, but what does it tell us about great smartphone apps; moreover, what insights can we derive from them?

Here are eight characteristics of a great smartphone app which you’€™re likely to have noticed from the world’€™s most popular apps, all of which you can apply to yours when working with an app development agency to create an app for your business.

  1. Appearance

We are visual creatures at the end of the day and as you’€™ll have noticed from the world’€™s most popular apps, nothing has been spared aesthetically in their design.

You’€™re aware of the importance of first impressions -€“ ensure your app looks enticing.

  1. Platform appropriate

The above-mentioned apps are optimised for all brands, devices and platforms and take advantage of the qualities that smartphones and tablets possess.

Consequently, it would be a mistake to create an Android app without optimising it for iOS because you’€™d alienate a high percentage of smartphone users.

  1. Ease

Admittedly most of the smartphone apps above-mentioned come pre-installed on smartphones, but they’€™re easy to download, easy to install and easy to use -€“ anybody can do it.

That’s what you should be aiming for with your app, though in addition to being easy to download, easy to install and easy to use, your app should also be easy to find.

  1. Free

The world’€™s most popular smartphone apps are free which makes people willing to try them out even though they might not continue using them.

If you need to charge for your app, create a free version and a full version. By offering a free version many will feel inclined to pay for the full version if they think they have need of it.

  1. Shareable

Popular apps are shareable with the most popular offering users ‘€˜rewards’€™ of some kind as the impetus to share them with other users.

  1. Unique

The world’€™s most popular smartphone apps all stand out in their own unique way and that’€™s something that your app must do if it’€™s to capture users’€™ attention.

Whilst it’€™s OK to take design elements from your competitors, your app must stand out for its own unique reasons.

  1. Memorable

The importance of making a lasting impression for the right reasons can’€™t be stressed enough. There are many techniques that can be used -€“ design, interface, wording, etc. -€“ to make user experiences memorable and make users want to use your app time and time again.

  1. Enjoyable

What is it about your app that’€™s enjoyable and makes it fun to use? At the end of the day smartphone apps are all about the enjoyment that users derive from them and although the primary function of your app might no€™t be the most fun function, users should still find it enjoyable to use.

These are eight characteristics which apply to the world’€™s most popular smartphone apps. If your business app is to prove popular it will need to boast all eight characteristics.

Written By

A company that uses the latest app development, user interface design, and technology, Creation Application is one of the leading providers of mobile app services. Information on their solutions for Windows, Blackberry, and more can be found on



  1. Sudipto

    April 12, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Hey benjamin,
    Nice post and Yes, Appearance is very important factor for and thing as the first impression is the last impression and if the appearance is not good then the thing cannot become popular. Other point you mentioned above are also very important. Thanks for sharing this post.

  2. Stephan

    April 14, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Nice sharing.
    Unique is one of the most important element to create and apps, that make the app different from the others.
    thanks for your information.


  3. Peter

    April 14, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Oh, I thought this is a list of most popular apps. Lol. But anyways, these are the characteristic of popular apps nowadays. Not to mention apps that are annoyingly addictive tends to become very popular, like the flappy bird.

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