What makes a great app?
A large component to what makes a great app is the design and user experience. Some people may even choose a well-designed app by an indie developer over a well known app from large corporations, including myself. The cherry on top is when these apps are also native and not built with web technologies.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, I've compiled a list of beautiful iOS & macOS apps that nail the following:
Features & functionality
Two-Factor Authentication • Website
Step Two is a TOTP based Two-Factor Authentication app that features iCloud sync as well as apps for iOS, macOS, and watchOS. Easily access your color coded passcodes wherever you are using this minimal app by Neil Sardesai. The Mac app also features a Safari extension to autofill codes with just one click.
Comparing this app to the alternatives such as Google Authenticator or Authy, it's clear why this app belongs on this list.
Media Player • Website
IINA is an open source media player for macOS that has the features of VLC, while retaining the Apple design of QuickTime. This versatile media player embraces all the features of macOS, including Dark Mode, Touch Bar support, Picture-in-Picture, and so much more. This app is what QuickTime should have been, directly from Apple.
Since IINA is open source and built by almost 100 contributors, many of which are still active in development, this app will keep getting better with time.
Flight Tracker & Log • Website
A must-have companion for travellers, Flighty can track your upcoming flights and provides valuable information to make your trip easier. Stay up-to date with notifications for updates like flight delay, gate changes, cancellations, and so much more. For the frequent flyers, Flighty logs all your previous flights and gives you an overview of how much you've travelled and to where with beautiful visualizations on the globe.
Most features are free, but Flighty offers various plans for additional features like delay predictions and viewing incoming flight information. Whether on the free or pro plan, Flighty is a must for your next adventure.
Package Tracker • Website
While there are other apps for package tracking that have plenty of integrations, they often require access to your personal information such as your Shopify or Google account to work. For the privacy focused group, this is less than ideal.
Deliveries solves this with a super simple & clean app that syncs your data via iCloud across all your devices. While it can't automatically track new packages from your inbox, you can select a tracking number from anywhere, such as your email, and share it to Deliveries.
Note-taking • Website
Most people have a need for a note-taking app at some point, whether you're a professional writer, a student, or you're just looking for a place to jot down some ideas. Apple Notes is a good starting point, but it lacks a lot of features such as Markdown support, 3rd party integrations, embedded content, and more.
Craft brings power-user features with a super simple interface to everyone. You can embed tables, code, formulas, and so much more all while being able to export your document in various different formats including Markdown. Craft lets you create beautiful documents with nested pages across all your devices, all while providing an API for 3rd party integrations to bring your writing to the next level.
Movie and TV Tracker • Website
The Must app is a must for any movie or TV enthusiast. This app is a social network for a movie junkie, including features like watch history, next watch recommendations, sharing recommendations with friends, keeping track of new releases, and so much more.
If you find yourself watching content across multiple platforms like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Disney+, Must can track all your favorites and even recommend new content based on what you like, regardless of what platform you use.
Music Player Widget • Website
Sleeve's purpose is short and simple, but it does it really well. This app creates a music player widget on your desktop and integrates with Apple Music, Spotify, and more.
The elegant widget lives on your desktop and gives you an overview of what is currently playing along with controls to change your music. Sleeve also features plenty of settings to change the look & feel of the widget, ensuring it can fit well with your desktop setup.
There are many more apps that I've come across that may have a great design, but lack one or two other key components that prevented them from making this list. If you have any apps of your own that you'd like to recommend, let me know on Twitter or shoot me an email.