How I select mobile apps


I’m always looking out for new apps, and in order to filter out bad ones, I have some personal rules that I follow when selecting, downloading and buying them. My rules are based on my philosophy of simplicity, functionality, and usability.

My app rules

  1. Apps need to be simple, uncluttered and have a clean design. I value and respect good design.
  2. I don’t use apps that have advertising. I will pay for a premium ad-free version of an app, or pay to disable ads.
  3. I don’t use apps that have unnecessary skeuomorphic design. Apple used to do this, but we have moved on for the better.
  4. I will buy apps that provide the best functionality and design for my purpose.
  5. I prefer apps that are regularly and most recently updated. Why bother with apps and software that the developer themselves don’t care about enough to improve and update?
  6. An app should have an attractive screen icon. You judge a book by it’s cover. An app’s icon is a good start for initially determining quality.
  7. I prefer apps that can be viewed natively on all my iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPad Pro).
  8. I prefer apps that sync and save to cloud services (e.g. iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive etc.) where necessary.
  9. I prefer apps that integrate with core Apple functions and services (e.g. iCloud, HomeKit, HealthKit etc.) where possible.
  10. Look out for an app’s search presence, review and rating.


What’s on my iPhone series:

  1. The Home screen
  2. The Secondary screen
  3. The Folder screen
  4. The Sandbox screen
  5. How I select mobile apps

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