12 Apps We Love (And Would Love To Work On)

AI Playlists, Horoscopes, Lunar Messages, Discounted Wine

Small Planet
4 min readJul 30, 2019


Small Planet understands the time, effort, and ingenuity that goes into making unique mobile experiences. We love apps, even the ones we didn’t make, so we collected some staff recommendations you should check out.


There are a lot of nature apps out there identifying all kinds of flora and fauna, but we’ve field-tested PlantSnap in several environments and it works as advertised (we see you, Swamp Milkweed). This plant identifier is intuitive, very fast, and features an elegant auto-detection feature. Android and iOS

Obscura 2

Our friend Ben Rice McCarthy did the near-impossible with this camera app. It’s loaded with pro DSLR features, but somehow still very easy-to-use. The minimalist design helps, especially the use of a “Control Wheel” that echoes classic camera design. iOS


Curing a plastic water bottle addiction is tough, especially in a place like NYC, where convenience often trumps ecology. Perfect for road trips or day hikes in the city, the Tap app shows you the nearest locations you can refill water bottles. iOS and Android


“Your personal lunar portal” is as much an art piece as it is a moon phase tracking utility. But the weird, wonderful push notifications are really where it’s at with Moon, even if you hate push notifications It’s like getting text messages from the moon. (Example: “Sometimes I forget what kind of power I have.”) Also, read the app store reviews, they are next level. iOS


If you’re looking for more of a point-and-shoot camera app with a ton of fun filters, Retrica offers an easy-to-use free version (plus a premium version for $21.99 a year) that’s perfect for all ages. Android and iOS


We weren’t sure what “generative music” meant exactly when we downloaded Mubert, but it’s a pretty interesting idea. An algorithm generates mood music tailored to each listener’s tastes, tagged by action (like studying or meditation), genre (electronica, ambient, etc.) or place (cafe, meetup). Android and iOS


How much time do you spend (waste) on email or distracting websites? Or watching videos? Or stuck in meetings? We wish the iOS version were as robust as desktop, but we’re fans of this “personal analytics service” which recently added a Slack integration. Android and iOS


Ok, yes, this new-ish payment app is only really applicable to certain NYC-area neighborhoods, but the discounts are legit (especially the wine store specials that pop up regularly) and the mission of buying local instead of online feels good. The neighborhood shops really embrace it as a traffic-builder and openly tout it as a way to save $. iOS and Android

Dark Sky

Would you like to know exactly where you are likely to get rained on, and when? Answering those primary questions can be a struggle for most weather apps, but Dark Sky is hyperlocal in the best way. That’s probably why reviews typically include words like “stunning” and “essential” and “scarily accurate.” iOS and Android


HomeCourt is like a pocket version of those advanced data-capture tools you hear about in pro sports, but its capabilities are no joke. The NBA-sanctioned app captures your drills on a basketball court, then uses AI to track and analyze your movements, generating reports and video reviews of everything from three-point attempts to dribbling. iOS


Everybody has written about this astrology app since it came out last year, especially about its AI-generated, NASA-fueled, snark-forward horoscopes. But Co-Star is addictive because it seems to understand what’s going in your life, delivering deeply-personalized messages that regularly inspire self-reflection. iOS

REI Co-op Guide to National Parks

Pretty solid parks guide, plus it’s free (and ad-free). Lots of photos, maps, visiting tips, and extensive trail descriptions. Plus the notes about lodging, tours, food and drink, etc. are informative without barraging you with too many options and details. Android and iOS



Small Planet

Experts in UX, mobile products, and streaming services.