Do you feel that? 

That constant thought in the back of your head about how chaotic life is?

You aren’t sure what, but something is telling you to make some changes to your daily routine to improve your overall well-being. 

Maybe it’s that you’ve been working overtime the last few weeks. Or that recently you haven’t carved out time in your schedule to workout and are missing the physical and mental therapy. Or maybe you just want time to sit and binge the most recent episodes of your favorite Netflix series!

Whatever it may be, you’re not alone if you’re feeling run-down and want some simple aids to improve your daily productivity and ease stress. 

With the world readily available in the palms of our hands, the mobile web opens endless doors of opportunities. 

Smartphones often-times have a bad rap with its influence on user behavior, but if used wisely, smartphones can, in fact, improve the efficiency of users’ lives, not destroy it. 

The Bytecraft Team has picked its favorite mobile apps that are not only beneficial on a day-to-day basis, but also have strong user experience platforms that optimize the time users spend online.

1. Slack

Slack is a workplace app that has made instant communication for working professionals easy, enjoyable and understandable. Essentially, Slack is Google Drive mixed with social media-like features and displays. 

The mobile app is broken down on a side menu with threads, unread messages, “channels” or groups and direct messages. Its key features include document sharing, group chat, direct messaging and reminder controls. Since there is a desktop version, using Slack is easy to use no matter where you’re working from. 

2. Google Photos

Google Photos is a photo storage app that makes organizing and searching for photos a seamless process. The best part? Google Photos won’t eat up all of your phone’s storage, it’ll actually help clear it up.

Google Photos has basic features like photo albums, favorites and sharing. It even has a search bar that makes tracking down photos by type, date or location simple. The most impressive feature of Google Photo is its ability to effortlessly clear up phone storage. When opened, the app automatically backs up photos on the local device into the app. Once all the photos are stored in the app, there is the option to delete those photos from the device to free up mobile storage. 

3. Spotify

Spotify Premium opens up a whole new world for music lovers. 

The app offers endless curated playlists, the ability for users to create their own compilations and song suggestions based on user song history. Spotify has song selections from arrays of eras and genres, and also has a podcast library. Even better, paying for Premium gets rid of commercial disruptions and gives users unlimited skips. Most importantly, Spotify is extremely intuitive so users can spend more time indulging in the music they love than taking time to navigate through a poor interface. 

4. Venmo

That awkward moment at a restaurant when you have to ask the waiter to split the bill into 10 different checks…With Venmo, you no longer have to live through this agony. 

Venmo has made splitting checks and sending money as easy as 1,2,3.  Paypal, the owner of Venmo, made the right move by developing this easy-to-use app that solves a real-world problem, with the app name that has become a widely known and used verb. Venmo conveniently serves as a digital wallet that allows users to receive and transfer funds by connecting their bank accounts to the app. Users can not only send money, but also can request money from others, which makes keeping tabs on “I Owe-Yous” easy. If users worry about security, Venmo also has a security feature that requires Face ID or a passcode to access the app every time it’s opened. 

5. Nike Training

Have you ever wanted a personal trainer but don’t have the drive, time or funds? With Nike Training, users can access personalized workouts based on their gender, activity level, intensity and workout types tailored towards certain areas of the body.

Once users choose a workout in the app, an overview page shows workout details including objectives, equipment required and images of the workout flow. If users decide this is the workout they want to do, they simply download, start and follow the guided visuals of movements until the workout comes to an end. Nike Training also allows users to sync up with the Apple Watch so users have an accurate summary of their completed workouts.

6. Headspace

If you’re someone that wants to find a way to feel more mindful and centered during times of stress but doesn’t know how to, Headspace is the app for you. 

Headspace is a relaxation and stress management app that offers guided meditation. The guided meditations are broken up into the following categories: meditation essentials, stress & anxiety, falling asleep & waking up, movement & sport, physical health and work & productivity. 

No matter which category users fall under for why they might be practicing these guided meditations, the goal of Headspace is to assist users in reaching their goal of mindfulness. With that goal for its users, all of the guided meditations are anywhere from three to twenty minutes so that users can fit this practice into their everyday routines. 

7. Postmates

If laziness were to be taken step past going to the grocery store in pajamas, there would be Postmates. With Postmates, food orders can be delivered to users virtually anywhere within range of the drivers. Based on user location, Postmates shows restaurants in that area that can be ordered and delivered through the app. 

What differentiates Postmates from its competitors? It offers a wider variety of food options, has better availability, offers lower prices and has an extremely user-friendly interface. If you’re already a frequent user, the app now offers Postmates Unlimited; a premium version of the app that offers free delivery on orders over $20 without being subject to surge fees for a small membership fee per month. 

8. Starbucks

Nothing screams the stress of running late in the morning like not having time to pick up a coffee on the way to your day. With the Starbucks mobile app, this will no longer be an issue.

On the Starbucks app, users can connect a card or Apple Pay to preorder and pay to a selected store location so that when they arrive, they can simply grab their drink and go. The entire Starbucks menu is listed on the app along with customizable options so users have the ability to make their order as detailed as they’d like to, just as if they were ordering in-store. Once the items are added to the cart and users checkout and pay, the app suggests an estimated time that it will take for their order to be ready, which allows users to make every minute of their mornings count.

9. Uber

Hailing taxi cabs was fun while it lasted, but Uber is the game changer has been adapting the way we use transportation for a while now.

Uber is a ridesharing service that easily allows users to request a ride, see how much the ride will cost prior to ordering, split the fare with other riders, add stops at several locations, “pool” with other riders for lower fare and tip if they’d like. Uber also gives riders the option to request a variety of vehicle sizes and options, including a luxury vehicle. Since initially launching, Uber has done an outstanding job with expanding its offers to customers, as well as improving its functionality and usability. 

10. Google Maps

Toss the paper foldables aside because Google Maps is the only map you need!

Google Maps is a virtual map with customized directions and routes based on user inputted start and endpoint destinations. Google Maps offers different directions based on whether the user is commuting via car, public transportation, walking or biking. Want a more accurate time frame of how long the commute will be? When you enter your destination, simply adjust the date and time of departure to plan ahead. 

What sets Google Maps aside from its competitors? It offers distinguishable features like live public transportation trackers, Google Map street views (with more than just drivable paths) and all-around has more consistent accuracy from user perspectives.

What’s Next?

Narrowing down our favorite apps that exemplify seamless UX was not an easy task. Although we would love to include dozens more to our favorites list, we wanted to keep things clean and concise. Not only do these apps make everyday lives easier, but also, they are engaging and simple to use.