Ask a Developer: The 10 Best Apps of 2017
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on email
Share on print


Research has proven that mobile applications are rapidly becoming a fundamental part of everyday life. In 2017, app downloads for both iOS and Google Play hit a staggering 27 billion worldwide, and that doesn’t include updates and reinstalls.


With the mobile app market as saturated as it is, finding quality applications to fill your home screen is not an easy task. High-quality apps all have something in common: they provide valuable solutions above and beyond anything else in the market.


So if you’re trying to determine which apps are essential and which ones are expendable, here’s a list of the top 10 apps of 2017 from app development experts.



Uber is easily one of the most used ride-hailing services available. Uber positions its service to riders as the simplest way to get around: tap a button, get a ride. As Uber has evolved, more features have become available through the app, and consequently caused the company to rethink the way they deliver valuable experiences to their riders.  


Uber places considerable emphasis on user experience. Over time, the app has gone through a multitude of design cycles and prototyping iterations to deliver the best possible service. The app provides riders with upfront fares, arrival times, driver information, and data-driven trip lines.


“For me, Uber is flexible and convenient,” says Aleksandr Sharaev, Director of Engineering at Clearbridge Mobile. “Like most people, I always have my phone with me and the app eliminates the need to call or schedule anything. With a single click of a button, I have a ride, the driver knows exactly where I’m going, and it’s already paid for.”


The app doesn’t neglect the trip itself either, rather it provides users with a connected interface allowing them to access information about the places they’re going, and the people they’re going to see. The iOS app also gives riders the option to play their own music with premium versions Spotify or Pandora.


It’s hard to believe there could be a better navigation app than Google Maps, but the Israeli startup behind Waze has been making some noise in the mobile app market.


The app’s main purpose is to be a navigational assistant. One of the most favorable aspects of Waze is the interface doesn’t incorporate anything purposeless. Waze is fast to give the user real-time traffic alerts, such as hazards, roadblocks, accidents and law enforcement warnings.


Mobile Developer, Kinjal Dua, speaks to how well-rounded Waze is in terms of delivering information. “It’s very simple to access a number of different traffic reports from the app: police reports, traffic density, and accident alerts,” she says. “I like to be in the loop about how traffic is moving around me and on my route.”


Waze also incorporates a social aspect to your commute. A user can earn points by submitting alerts and warnings which they can redeem for personal avatars and mood settings. Waze delivers value by allowing drivers to work together to improve the universal commute.




One of the pioneers of streaming services, Spotify, is still going strong throughout 2017. The app provides a colossal music library of over 30 million songs, along with a number of convenient features focused on the discovery of new music.


The app incorporates weekly Discover Playlists, and recently added a Release Radar that keeps users updated on new music from their favorite artists. The app even integrates a pace-matching feature for runners.


Spotify is arguably one of the most well-rounded streaming services available today, and extremely popular with the developers at Clearbridge Mobile. With handmade and curated playlists, podcasts, video content and social sharing it’s safe to say this app will continue to be popular throughout 2018.

Bitcoin Wallet

Bitcoin Wallet is the first mobile Bitcoin app and connects directly to the Bitcoin network. The app has a simple and efficient interface and is free for users.


With Bitcoin wallet, users can send and receive Bitcoin with NFC, QR-codes, and Bitcoin URLs. The app is also equipped with an address book of regularly used Bitcoin addresses. Even if a user is offline, you can still pay with Bluetooth.


“It’s fascinating to watch the price of Bitcoin fluctuate up and down,” says iOS Developer, Conor Masterson. “When I bought back in 2013, the price dropped and it’s been climbing back ever since. It’s like playing a game of Chicken with the rest of the market.”


Throughout 2017, Whatsapp was one of the fastest growing mobile apps in the United States. In two years, the app witnessed a 91% increase in unique visitors. Whatsapp automatically syncs with your contacts, is rich with features, completely ad-free and incredibly popular with users. In fact, the app is used by 1.2 billion users worldwide.




Over the past year, Whatsapp added a number of features to improve the user experience. First of all, the app introduced a universal delete feature that allows users to remove messages from one-on-one and group chats. Text, photos, videos, and files can be deleted from both the sending and receiving end of the chat.


Also, Whatsapp recently overhauled the status component of the app borrowing inspiration from Snapchat. Now users can incorporate video and picture statuses that will disappear within 24 hours instead of generic text statuses. The app has increased its media sharing limit, introduced in-app YouTube viewing, real-time location sharing, among many other improved in-app features.  


Evernote has been around for awhile, but it still remains one of the most useful note-taking apps to date. The app keeps all your office docs, PDFs, images and research in one secure location. Evernote’s rich feature-set allows users to share information and collaborate from anywhere.


Ludmilla Sivanathan, Release Manager at Clearbridge Mobile, praises Evernote because she can “organize a number of different projects in one convenient, shareable workspace. I’m able to track deadlines, delegate responsibility and monitor progress anywhere, anytime.”


The app is incredibly effective for managing complex projects with multiple moving parts. Users don’t need to switch between apps because everything is in one place. Evernote allows you to easily track deliverables, revisit material, and share meeting notes.


Reddit is the best way to discover and consume the internet’s trending topics. This app provides something for every user, whether that’s breaking news or viral videos. As the app becomes more popular, the latest iOS and Android versions are including several new features to deliver a more inclusive experience.


The app now includes “Cake Day” icons, which celebrate user anniversaries, and trophies to acknowledge specific accomplishments. iOS users will now be able to preview content in landscape mode and support live comments. Android users are now privileged to speed read functionality that allows them to navigate comments in specific threads.


Over the past year, Reddit has been particularly focused on improving its app to deliver the top-of-mind content its users love.


Strava is a fitness application made by athletes for athletes. Strava hosts millions of athletes all over the world and provides the largest trail database in the app market. The app can help you find your ideal cycling or running route, and users have the option of uploading their own trails.


Mobile Architect, Lyle Resnick starting using Strava as a mapping resource for his cycling routes. “I was interested in where other mountain bikers were riding and everyone seemed to be using Strava,” he says. The more Resnick used the app, he found value in the features it provided. One of the most appealing features is the ability to “leave breadcrumb trails when exploring unfamiliar routes.”


The app syncs with most devices, including mobile phones, GPS watches, headgear, and heart rate monitors. With Strava you can track almost any performance metric and retrieve deep data insights. Strava also incorporates a social aspect to keep users connect with other athletes. Users can share photographs and real-time updates during their activities.


TD Canada

According to App Annie, TD’s mobile banking app has the most monthly users in Canada. TD aims to provide users with the ability to bank whenever, wherever, and however they want.


Mobile developer, Dan Schnabel says he’s “impressed with the TD app’s intuitive navigation. The app provides the right amount of information on each screen – not too much, not too little.”


With TD’s app, users have reliable access to essential banking functions. Users can make credit card payments easily, send, request, and receive etransfers, and effortlessly deposit money on the go. The app also provides investment features which allow users to quickly scan market opportunities, trade stocks, and receive push notifications regarding real-time price alerts and market changes.


Facebook Local

Facebook’s standalone events app, Facebook Local, could potentially pose a serious threat to Yelp. Facebook recently rebranded their events app which now fuses local events and permanent establishments into a unified search engine. The app comes supported by Facebook’s reputable collection of business pages, reviews, and user check-ins.


Users can stay up to date with real-time events wherever they are. The app allows users to explore recent activity and receive updates from particular hosts and followed business pages. Users also have the option to sync their mobile calendars and keep their plans all in one place. Facebook Local will provide recommendations from friends as well as make suggestions based on previous history and preferences.


Although Facebook Local is a recent app launch, it’s likely to pick up traction as 2018 progresses.

Looking Ahead

2017 was an inventive year for mobile app development. As technology progresses, developers will continue to provide more in-depth experiences to meet user demands. Mobile innovation is becoming a critical component of every business strategy, and it’s crucial for companies to pay close attention to trends as they evolve and the mobile apps that outperform the competition.