Functional & Minimal Apps

 
 

I have these iPhone apps on heavy rotation for their UX and usefulness. Bookmark this page as I'll frequently be adding to the list. 

I'm a sucker for sleek interfaces, clean typography, and intuitive navigations. But even with the right design elements, an app still risks being deleted if it can't be integrated into my day-to-day. 

These apps have it all – beauty, utility, and affordability (most are free) – and have managed to become a few of my favorite iPhone staples. 

AMOUNT

For any type of unit conversion this should be your go-to resource. As a frequent traveler I use it often for currency, temperature, and apparel size conversions. However the app has hundreds of other units including mass, length/distance, cooking, and speed. It is much more efficient to whip out this handy app than googling say, USD to EURO, on a regular basis.

BEAR

This is the best writing app I've come across hands down. It's sleek and sophisticated with a stunning yet simple interface. You can use it for a range of writing needs from jotting down simple notes to composing complex essays.

MINIMALIST CALCULATOR

The standard iPhone calculator is just fine so it's hard to justify downloading a duplicate app. Thing is, this one looks so much better and has custom fonts and colors (useful if the bright orange in the iPhone version feels off-putting) along with a few more functions and features. Moreover, it also looks good on the iPad which doesn't have a built in calculator.

EMAIL

This is the app I've used ever since the (super disappointing) phase out of Mailbox. I originally turned to Inbox by Gmail but found the navigation and interface too cluttered. I tried a few more Mailbox-esq solutions and Email is about as close as it gets to replicating the clean and seamless UX of Mailbox. For an easy way to get to inbox zero give it a try. 

GRID DIARY 

If you love the idea of journaling but find it hard to stay disciplined enough to write on a daily basis, this is for you. This is a beautiful app with an outstanding set of features that make it easy for you to muse and reflect. Your daily entries are made up of "grids" which are a set of simple questions (you can choose from or create on your own) that prompt a more focused response. You can easily read and share including exporting to other apps like Evernote.

MINIMALIST

This is the epitome of a minimalist to-do list manager. If you require any kind of advanced task managing features this isn't for you. This is completely stripped down and straight to the point. You can add simple tasks, reminders, and a "focus timer" with most of the features manageable on one screen. You also have the ability to search tasks, change theme colors, and adjust simple settings like snooze time, but that's about it. I love it for that reason, but if you want something more advanced try Swipes.

NOISILI

This is one of the best ambient noise resources I've found for focusing or relaxing. It's nothing more than a handful of clean screens with subtle colors and simple icons representing the different high-quality soundtracks (cafe, train, water, wind, birds, etc.) you can choose from. It also allows you to mix your own sound combinations and create timers and fade outs. I keep this running on low in the background everyday.

N26

If you live in Europe and are in need of a bank take a look at N26. It's part of the rise of the rise of startup banks hoping to be a welcome supplement (or even replacement) to stuffy, complex, and inflexible traditional finance institutions. They have a gorgeous app with an intuitive interface that makes it easy to manage all of your day-to-day money needs. 

VSCO

The most beautiful image capturing and editing app on the market. Hands down. I love it for the sophisticated filters that enhance my photos 10-fold. VSCO is also a community of photographers and you can publish your content in-app like you would other social networks and explore the work of others. That said, the Moment app has been giving VSCO a run for its money (in terms of taking iPhone photos).