Most startup founders are driven by the desire to change an industry, disrupt a market, solve their personal problems, change a particular industry trend, make an impact in the world around them and of course the opportunity to make a fortune out of the industry if all things turn out the way they expect. Usually they don’t! A few apps were able to disrupt the market. The likes of Instagram, Airbnb, Pinterest, Evernote, Dropbox, Flipboard, and Square disrupted their markets and are on course to becoming great companies, all things being equal. The following iPhone and Android apps are very promising and have recorded the most press coverage in 2012. Some of these startups (both mobile and web apps) recorded significant downloads in 2012.


Pocket, formerly Read It Later, lets you  save everything in a central location for viewing either on your computer on your smartphone or tablet. Put articles, videos or pretty much anything into Pocket. Save directly from your browser or from apps like Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse and Zite. Pocket currently has over 4.5 million registered users and is integrated into over 300 apps including Flipboard, Twitter and Zite.

Camera Awesome

Camera Awesome is one of the best alernatives to Instagram.  The app takes takes sharper, better-exposed shots.  It has a stunning  interface, automatic levelization and color adjustment. Camera Awesome makes it very simple to share photos across your favorite social networks (Instagram included). is a social media website that allows users to interactively share music. Users play DJ on the music platform by discovering songs and creating playlists to be judged by Facebook friends. The service opened to the public in May 2011, and by late June had already reached 140,000 active users.


Robin is a great  Siri challenger for Android devices. You can ask Robin for directions, local places, real-time parking, traffic info, gas prices, weather, your Twitter news.


Instapaper is a web service that saves articles for later reading on web browsers, Apple iOS and Android devices, and Amazon Kindle. Save web pages for later offline reading, optimized for readability on your tablet or smartphone.


Socialcam makes it fast, easy and fun to capture, share and view high quality movies of life’s moments with friends and family. Socialcam has recorded over 10 million downloads. The app allows unlimited video length and storage and you can maintain private accounts and private videos. shows you real public Facebook profiles of single people around you. This dating site aims to strengthen what many Facebook matchmakers already do: find you a love connection via the social network.


Clear lets you put in what tasks you need to do, color-code them by importance, and then swipe them away once they’re complete. The app is unique because forgoes common navigational elements – like buttons positioned either at the bottom of the screen or towards the top – in favor of an all-gesture interface.


TED’s official mobile app presents talks from some of the world’s most fascinating people: education radicals, tech geniuses, medical mavericks, business gurus and music legends. TED is available for both the iPhone and Android devices. Find more than 1,100 TEDTalk videos on technology, business, relativity, Innovation etc.


Highlight alerts you when a Facebook friend or individual with similar interests is nearby, and lets you learn more about other Highlight users when they are in your vicinity. You can see their name, photos of them, mutual friends, and anything else they have chosen to share.


Paper app aims to make analogue activities like drawing, painting and scribbling notes feel both natural and enhanced using the iPad’s technology. Sketch, capture and share your ideas across the web. Paper recorded 1.5 million downloads in its first two weeks of availability.


Fab is everyday design. Fab can be used to discover  everyday design products at great prices, to connect with the world’s most exciting designers, and to share their favorite design inspirations.


Summly lets you to browse news fast, easily and beautifully, by viewing concise summaries of online content.S ummly is built on a simple idea: you only need quick summaries of the news. It only gives you a couple of short paragraphs for each story.  You can always double-tap on the feed to read the full article.


Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service by Google  now the home of Google Docs, a suite of productivity applications, that offer collaborative editing on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. Use the Google Drive to access your photos, documents, videos etc.


Bump lets you swap contacts and other content with nearby mobile devices over a Wi-Fi network.  Share your contact info; connect on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, Share photos with friends and family, Find friends in common with people you bump from your social networks and phone contacts

Flow Free

Flow free is a simple and  addictive puzzle game. Connect matching colors with pipe to create a flow. Pair all colors, and cover the entire board to solve each puzzle.  Pipes will break if they cross or overlap!

Google Currents

Google Currents is a social magazine app (closest Flipboard competitor) for tablet computers. It is currently available for Android and iOS devices. The application covers a variety of sources and offers a list of featured content that includes Forbes,Techcrunch, Mashable, Inc., Entrepreneur etc.


Saya offers an instant messaging and SMS service to feature phones geared specifically to emerging markets. Unlike common chat applications, Saya works on low-end phones, enabling advanced functionality such as Facebook chat, group discussions, location-based chat, and exchange of multi-media.


Wunderlist is a free and open-source software application from 6Wunderkinder that can be used for task management and list making. Tasks are categorized into lists, such as a shopping list or a to-do list. Tasks can have completion dates and reminders. View and modify your tasks on Windows, Mac, Linux,iPad, Android and the Web.


Tweetbot is a third party iOS client mobile application for the social networking site Twitter meant for use on the  iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Mac platforms. Save drafts, add locations and POI’s, attach photos/videos/notes, manage your lists, and much more. Multiple Timelines. You can quickly switch between your lists as your main timeline.


CloudOn brings Microsoft Office to your iPad and links it to your Box, Dropbox and Google Drive accounts. Create and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files stored on your Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box account in mobile versions.

What was your favourite app in 2012! Which apps are likely to make headlines in 2013?