15 Companies That Are Dominating App Design Right Now

sun web app

The way an app looks is one of the most important aspects of mobile development.

When a new user first taps open an app, it has to look beautiful, be simple, and work quickly. Otherwise, they won’t come back.

We’ve found 15 companies that are dominating the mobile app experience.

Sun is a web-based weather app that emphasises a heavy use of gestures.

Company: Pattern.dk

Release date: July 2012

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Why you should care: Sun is a web-based weather app that's simple, clean, and beautiful. There's no installation required to use the app. Sun makes heavy use of gestures so you can pinch, swipe, and scroll to stay up to date on the forecast.

Price: Free (Only works on the iPhone.)

Twitterific 5 is our new favourite Twitter app. It's functional and looks great.

Company: iconfactory

Release date: December 2012 (Twitterific itself launched April 2010)

Location: Greensboro, N.C.

Why you should care: Twitterific is one of the best looking iPhone Twitter apps around. It's very simple, easy to read, and a delight to use. After the sun sets, Twitterific automatically switches from a light theme to a dark theme. It makes tweets easier to read.

Price: $2.99

Any.Do is trying to defeat procrastination by helping you remember what you have to get done.

Company: Any.Do

Release date: November 2011

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Why you should care: Any.do is a beautiful app. It's minimal design focuses on five principles: capture, organise, sync, share, and personalise.

Price: Free

Haze is another pretty weather app.

Company: Robocat

Release date: Feb 2013

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Why you should care: Haze is one of the most beautiful weather apps out on iPhone right now. Robocat says it wanted to give users an audio/visual experience, and it definitely delivers. The app uses a ton of gestures to reveal specific information about the forecast and it provides exact weather data from wt360.

Price: $2.99

Letterpress is a beautiful, addictive, fun iPhone word game.

Company: atebits

Release date: October 2012

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Concept: You and a friend take turns trying to create words. The point is to fill the board with your colour to win.

Why you should care: Letterpress is one of the most beautifully designed apps ever. It's beautiful, simple, easy to use, and most of all, fun.

Price: Free

Google Maps is the best maps app available for iOS.

Company: Google

Release date: December 2012

Location: Mountain View, Calif.

Why you should care: When Google Maps was kicked off of Apple's iPhone operating system last year, a lot of people were upset. Google fired back and launched an independent Google Maps app for iPhone that blew away Apple's Maps.

Google Maps for iPhone features built in Google search, voice-guided navigation, transit directions, and street view. Besides have all these extras it looks great.

Price: Free

Everest wants to give people the tools and community they need to achieve personal goals.

Company: Everest

Release date: Jan 2013

Location: San Francisco, Calif.

Why you should care: Everest is a to-do list app that wants to help you live your dreams. The company is inspired by our desire to become organised. Everest wants to help you accomplish the things that matter most to you. Everest's CEO Francis Pedraza told Business Insider, 'if Facebook is a social network, Everest is an action network: it does not define you by who you know, but by what you do'.

Price: Free

Mailbox is an email client that helps you to quickly get through a lot of email.

Company: Orchestra (acquired by Dropbox)

Release date: Jan. 2013

Location: Palo Alto, Calif.

Why you should care: Mailbox is beautifully designed, simple to use, and functional email app that helps users shred through massive inboxes and finally get them down to zero. Mailbox changed the mobile email game. It launched with a ton of hype. On launch day, there was a 500,000-person waiting list just to download the app. The company sold to Dropbox a few months later for $100 million.

Price: Free

Clear is a simple to-do list for Mac and iPhone.

Company: RealMac

Release date: Feb. 2012

Location: Brighton, United Kingdom

Why you should care: Clear was designed by RealMac, a company that is well-known for its careful attention to detail and breathtaking design. All of the company's apps are visually simple and beautiful, making them a delight to use.

Price: $1.99 (iPhone) and $9.99 (Mac)

Evernote has a suite of productivity apps that help you remember everything.

Company: Evernote

Release date: June 2008

Location: Redwood City, Calif.

Why you should care: Evernote's design places everything you need right at your finger tips. Besides being functional, it also looks great. There are no hiccups when entering a new note and it's fast and simple.

Price: Free

Dark Sky is another beautiful weather app that lets you know exactly when its going to rain and for how long.

Company: The Dark Sky Company, LLC

Release date: 2012

Location: Troy, NY

Why you should care: Dark Sky is not only beautiful but the app, it's also very functional and accurate too. Dark Sky also uses a detailed radar to help you stay on top of precipitation in your area.

Price: $3.99

Moves is a new fitness app that wants you to ditch wearable trackers.

Company: ProtoGeo

Release date: Feb. 2013

Location: Helsinki, Finland

Why you should care: Moves is a new way to understand how much physical exercise you get -- just by keeping your phone in a pocket or bag. The app automatically recognises activities (walking, running, cycling, transportation), routes, and places. It displays all that data on an attractive map.

Price: Free

Ridiculous Fishing is an addictive game about fishing with guns, chainsaws, and toasters.

Company: Vlambeer

Release date: March 2013

Location: Utrecht, Netherlands

Why you should care: Ridiculous Fishing is not only fun to play, its also fun to watch. The company behind the app teamed up with designers to, 'work on depicting realistic simulations of traditional redneck fishing.'

Price: $2.99

Path might not be the most popular social network, but it is the best looking.

Company: Path, Inc.

Release date: Nov. 2010

Location: San Francisco, Calif.

Why you should care: Path is a private social network. The service is intended to help keep you connected with friends and family. Path's iPhone and iPad apps are gorgeous. It's easy to tell that the designers carefully considered every aspect of the user experience.

Price: Free

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