When you fire up the Paytm app for the first time, you are greeted with a message: ‘Handcrafted in India’. What if one were to list such ‘handcrafted in India’ apps? The response I got on Twitter included some common apps – Cleartrip, Zomato, Paytm to name a few. Most were commenting on the looks while some talked about the UX too.
I have a 16BG iPhone and so I am pretty carful with the number of apps I load in it. Sometimes, I download the app use it for a few days and delete it after I find the app I want in that category. The most number of apps I have is under News – 29 of them. With most of the other categories (photo, travel) I stick to the bare minimum that I need and only those which have ‘delivered’ after a few uses. Sometimes, a poor offline experience can lead to deletion of an app – MeruCab app for example.
While downloading apps, design plays an important role: the app icon, the screenshots on the iTunes page etc. go a long way in deciding if the app is to be downloaded or not. Poorly designed apps usually get the boot.
If I were to list down the apps which made me go ‘wow’ at first sight and then went on to be a delight to use, they would be (in no particular order):
I have been a fan for many years now, right from the desktop-only days. Their consistency in being brutally minimal and placing the customer experience first has won them a lot of fans and respect. The brand has also consciously projected a ‘design savvy’ image and that pays dividends when it comes to brand preference in a me-too world. After all, what they offer can be matched by any other travel aggregator. But they truly practice ‘design as a differentiator’ strategy.
I have been a user of this app for years now but got to know that it is an Indian product only recently. A hallmark of this app: regular, huge updates and improvements.
Loved the fact that it highlights events in the city other than movie shows. Nice way to discover plays, classical music concerts and more.
I have always been in a dilemma about using a mail app other than the default mail client on my Mac and iDevices. On the Mac, I was initially happy with Airmail but of late it is far too slow on startup. On the iPhone, I stick to the default mail client but on the iPad I have been experimenting with a few. By far, CloudMagic is the best overall mail client design & experience.
I am not a big user of messaging apps (must have received all of 10 messages last year on WhatsApp) but found the design of this app clean and inviting.
I wasn’t a fan of Gaana.com in it’s earlier avatars on the web. But the mobile app has completely changed my perception about the brand. The mobile app is feature rich and despite the truck loads of content and options, it is easy to find your way around.
While I have heard of and dabbled with the product for a while now, I really did not put it to use until recently. My Twitter following list was getting a bit unwieldy and decided to delve into @JustUnfollow. Beautiful to look at, designed to find & get things done easily and mighty useful, no wonder it is a global hit.
Need I say more? A must-have app across platforms (web & mobile) and has been a saviour many a times.
I am a post-paid customer of Airtel and also use DTH services like TataSky. I should be a regular user of this app – but somehow I have paid my bills directly through the respective brand’s websites. Nevertheless, the app is gorgeous, easy to use and the features delight you. The new ‘chat to bargain’ feature on e-commerce merchandise is a master stroke. It gently nudges the fence sitters into a decision and who doesn’t want a bargain anyway?
An app I regularly use to search for movies nearby and of late, book tickets too. While the new version looks better than the earlier (iOS 6) version, I thought searching for theatres nearby is a tad slower in the current version.
Aside from News, my most populated category would be photo apps. I have a range of free & paid camera apps (often used being Camera+, VSCO and Blux Pro) and a serious new contender is Camera Plus from Udupi-based Global Delight. Loved the new Air Snap feature – read about it here.
Everyone’s favourite e-commerce brand in India. And a mobile app that is useful and good looking.
Another visual led app – given that it is not focused on one category (like say, eating out) it can get overwhelming. But the app (with colour coded categories) makes it pretty easy to use.
Write packs a ton of note taking, sharing, and syncing features into an incredibly simple interface, says Lifehacker. While I have been a long time user of iAWriter, this app designed by Tanmay Sonawane does look great.
I did not have the details of the design team (in-house or otherwise) behind these beautiful apps, so I could not share the credits (both designers & developers) for each app, as I usually do with ad campaigns. Kudos to them all.
Any apps I missed which you think should be included? And which apps would go in the list of ugh apps from India? Do comment in.