What makes some apps stay popular while others disappear? Look at a list of the best mobile apps on the market is a great way to start answering this question.
So, we’ve decided to make a list of the best apps of 2023 and highlight some of the things that make them stand out. If you are an entrepreneur with an app idea or a business leader who wants to improve their mobile game, this list will give you ideas. It will also show you what works for some of the best tech companies in the world so that you can copy their success.
Most Popular Applications in 2023
The Most Important Lesson? Solve a Problem
Whether you’re an entrepreneur with a new idea or a marketing leader looking for better ways to serve your customers, all of the best app ideas below have one thing in common. They solve a problem with the help of mobile technology. If you can solve a big problem for a big chunk of the market, you’ll be successful.
With a market that is always growing, technology that is always getting better, and customer needs that are always changing, mobile apps help businesses stay relevant and competitive. The online magazine eMarketer found that the average time a US adult spent on a mobile device went up by 31 minutes in 2022, and that 88% of that time was spent in apps.
In other words, there is a strong and growing need for mobile technology. People all over the world love apps and are willing to use them, but most apps fail for a reason. If you want to get a lot of people to use your mobile app, you need to make one that solves a problem and gives the user a good experience. The 10 best smartphone apps below do just that.
What are the Most Popular Apps in 2023
Look at the top 10 trending apps of 2023 and see what they’re doing right. This will help you make a mobile app that stands out from the rest.
Uber is the world’s leading on-demand ride-sharing service, connecting 103 million riders to drivers in over 70 different countries across the globe.
Uber has a lot of competitors now, but they still have 71% of the market share in the mobile app development market in the U.S. They also have a strong presence in most places around the world, even though they left Russia and China.
What made Uber such a big hit? Being the first to market was a big plus, but the app itself also gives users a better experience. Anyone who has used local competitors in different parts of the world can attest to this.
A few things the Uber app does right:
- Excellent GPS integration with Google Maps, allowing users to drop pins in precise locations and giving them the option to make their location known to the driver.
- Seamless payment processing, with the option to pay in cash in parts of the world where credit cards are less widespread.
- Price calculation so riders know what they’re paying upfront. We’re all used to this by now, but this was an innovative feature when it launched.
Price: Paid as per ride.
One of the world’s largest social media platforms, with 1.4 billion monthly users, Instagram offers an easy way to connect through images and videos. Instagram came out in 2010 and was bought by Facebook in 2012. It is very popular with Millennials and Generation Z, which makes it a great way for advertisers to reach those groups.
A few things the Instagram app does right:
- The “stories” feature first appeared on Instagram before it spread to Facebook, making it easy to capture videos and photos that would automatically disappear within 24-hours.
- In-app video and photo editing for on-the-spot uploads.
- In-app shopping, allowing users to connect with brands they love and browse new products for sale.
ByteDance, a company based in Beijing, made the popular TikTok app, which lets people make and share short videos. Lip-syncing and dancing are two of the most popular types of videos on the platform, but many people also use it to make very creative short films. TikTok used to be popular with people under 18, but now it’s popular with everyone.
A few things the TikTok app does right:
- A highly-effective algorithm Figuring out what users want to see keeps them coming back. Sure, every social media site does this, but TikTok is “sticky” beyond belief—with the average user spending 52 minutes per day on the app, and with 90% of their monthly users accessing it daily.
- Automatic filters that make everyone look a bit better looking on camera. Maybe this is not the best for teaching self-acceptance and body-positivity, but it sure does drive engagement.
- Duets feature, letting users work together to make group videos on different devices. Since lip-syncing is so popular on TikTok, this is useful for videos like this one, in which users add to viral videos that have already gone viral.
Airbnb connects people with rooms or apartments to rent with people who are travelling and need a place to stay. The company’s founder, Brian Chesky, had a hard time in the beginning. He asked venture capitalists for $150,000 in exchange for 10% of the company to keep it going. One of these VCs left a meeting with Chesky in a coffee shop thinking he was a crazy person with a bad idea. Oops!
A few things the Airbnb app does right:
- Powerful filters that make it easy to find the precise accommodation you want, down to details like whether the place has an iron to iron clothes or a desk to work from.
- Easy in-app communication so hosts and guests can coordinate directly from the app.
- Fully integrated payment system that includes being able to pay for small things. For example, if you lose your house keys and owe extra money to the landlord because they made a copy, you can handle that transaction through the app.
Price: Paid as per booking.
Netflix is a video-on-demand app that you pay for with a subscription. It is the best subscription Over-the-Top (OTT) media service in the world, and you can use it on many devices, including your phone. Netflix is always adding the newest and most popular movies and TV shows from a wide range of genres to its huge library of films.
By the end of 2020, Netflix had over 204 million paying subscribers, and 47% of Americans liked Netflix better than any other video streaming service. As the Covid-19 pandemic went on, the number of users went up even more, since many of us were locked down and wanted to escape into a movie world.
A few things the Netflix app does right:
- Suggestions Based on what users like to watch, Netflix has been able to keep them interested and has also been able to make a lot of original TV shows.
- Offline viewing lets users download shows and movies so they can watch them when they don’t have data service, like on the metro or at home. We’re used to it now, but we used to only be able to stream content when we were connected live.
- Parental controls allows parents to easily control the content their kids download on a family plan, and it can all be done via the app.
Pricing: Paid subscription.
The Amazon ecosystem is one of the biggest tech companies in the world. It has digital streaming, cloud computing, e-commerce, and more. The Amazon app is always on the cutting edge of UX innovations. It makes it easy to buy, review, and return products from anywhere in the world.
A few things the Amazon app does right:
- Barcode scanner feature, which allows shoppers to scan a barcode for an item they find in a store and compare it to the price on Amazon.
- A high-tech, seamless returns process users can choose products they want to return and return them directly from the app. Customers can then take the items they want to return to a local retail partner in some parts of the world. The partner scans a QR code from the app, gets the item, and takes care of all the return shipping.
- Buy Now button that lets users make a purchase with a single click, assuming they’ve already uploaded their credit card and address information.
YouTube is the most-used video site in the world. It is a treasure trove of entertainment and original content that helps millions of creators shoot and share their work with the world.
A few things the YouTube app does right:
- Video chapters allow creators to break longer videos up into sections, that way viewers can jump to the “chapters” they want to view and skip past segments that don’t interest them.
- Easy-to-access caption buttons so viewers can see captions on any video.
- Subscribe button that allows users to subscribe to a favorite creator’s channel with one click. This means users will receive notifications each time that the creator posts a new video, thereby boosting engagement and growing the platform.
Pricing: Free, with the option to purchase an ad-free subscription.
Dropbox is a good cloud storage app that works well on a number of different devices. It makes it easy to share files with teams or store important documents in the cloud for later use. You can even add comments to documents that you have shared with others.
A few things the Dropbox app does right:
- Easy integration with other top apps and web service available, with zero compatibility issues.
- No file-size limit on uploads.
- Easy sharing features, allowing users to create secured links to documents they want to share with a handful of people.
Price: Free to download, with a paid version that includes additional benefits like extra storage.
Spotify is one of the most-used music apps out there. It has always made improvements to its mobile app design, streaming quality, and ability to share music. The free version of the app has ads, but a Spotify premium membership gets rid of the ads and adds more features.
A few things the Spotify app does right:
- Offline listening for premium members, allowing users to download the songs they like and listen without an internet connection (saying goodbye to iTunes).
- Playlist following and sharing allows users to share and discover new music.
- Made-for-you playlists, with the app’s algorithm sending you new music based on your preferences.
Price: Free, with paid subscriptions available for ad-free listening and additional features.
WhatsApp is used all over the world. It was started by Brian Acton and Jan Koum in 2009, and in 2014, they sold it to Facebook for $19 billion. It lets people chat, make phone calls, and talk to each other without going through international phone networks. It has more than 1.5 billion users around the world right now.
A few things WhatsApp does right:
- End-to-end encryption helps keep users’ data safe.
- Voice messages with no time limit (unlike Facebook Messenger, which limits your messages to one minute).
- Pin-dropping that allows users to share their live location with friends.
Honorable Mentions: Seamless and Pocket
Beyond our top ten, we wanted to mention two more popular apps that didn’t make the big mobile apps list but still deserve a shoutout for their great UX and overall execution.
Through an app called Seamless, people can order food online from their phones. GrubHub has Seamless, which lets people order food from more than 35,000 restaurants in more than 900 cities.
A few things the Seamless app does right:
- Offering tremendous variety from a wide range of restaurants.
- Simpler, more user-friendly ordering process compared to similar apps.
Pocket lets people save videos, articles, and emails to their phones and share them with other people. The app finds out what you like to read and suggests more articles like that.
A few things the Pocket app does right:
- Highly readable interface for offline viewing.
- Computer narration, in case you’re occupied and want a Siri-like voice to read the content to you.
Why Should a Business Invest In Mobile App Development
Since the number of mobile users is growing steadily, it’s important for most businesses to have a mobile presence. Users love working with companies that make it easy to get to their content and do the things they want to do right from their phones and tablets.
The best mobile apps keep customers interested by helping them solve a problem and giving them a great user experience (UX). They also give customers a personalised way to connect with a business and a quick and easy way to reach customer service.
Every online business’s future is being shaped by digital transformation, and failing to take part in it could be disastrous. The most popular apps, which we’ve shown here, have been successful all over the world because they use technology. With the help of a skilled team of developers and designers, you can grow your business by making an app with lots of features.