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What are the Most Innovative Mobile Apps & Services?

China Apps

To prepare for the China Unicom panel on Thursday, I asked some GWC co-workers what they thought were some of the most innovative apps and services. From our view, much of the innovation in mobile is related to education, communication, cloud, voice/sound, online to offline (O2O) and social reading. These are some of the companies that came up in our discussion in no specific order:

  • SmarTots – Winner of GMIC 2011 G-Startup competition that helps parents track their children’s learning across educational apps
  • 微信 WeiXin – A China-fied Whatsapp Messenger that is possibly better than the original and features a cool “stanger discovery” function.
  • Flipboard – Turns your social graph into a beautifully readable digital newspaper
  • Beintoo – A mobile gaming platform that gives developers new monetization methods and unique analytics while it gives users offline rewards for attaining online goals.
  • Pleco – The Chinese language learning app and dictionary with built in OCR that turns Chinese character into the language of your choice
  • Rainbow Six – Delivers a rich, console-like FPS experience on your iPad
  • 图秀秀 Meitu Xiuxiu – Photo editor that makes it surprisingly easy to share across social networks and especially Weibo microblogs.
  • Siri – By just saying the command, make your iPad 4s send messages, set reminders or even open a can of beer for you. (Debatably, Android has been able to do many of these functions for over a year…well, except for the can of beer part.)
  • Dropbox – The cloud based file sharing app that we can no longer live without
  • QQ 讯录 (QQ Contacts): Contact manager that seamlessly syncs between local device and cloud and includes SNS contacts (Tencent Weibo, Sina Weibo, RenRen, Kaixin, etc.)
  • Evernote – A burgeoning app ecosystem built around helping users remember anything
  • YY – Social network featuring a group chat function that recently derailed Alibaba’s price hike
  • Tango – Cross-platform, video calling app for mobiles and now, desktops too
  • Blood & Glory – An action packed gladiator game with gorgeous 3D graphics
  • CardMunch – Quick way to digitize your the business cards you collect and add them to your contacts.  Owned by LinkedIn.
  • Square – Mobile Point of Sale Credit Card reader.

What do you think are some of the most interesting mobile services and apps in or outside of China?

What area of mobile do you expect to see the most innovation in the next year? Education? Sound? Online to Offline? Payment?

We’d love to hear your opinions in the comments below!

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Square is by far the most innovative of the ones above, in my opinion. Payment solutions have the potential to be the most disruptive in 2012. Would love to see more genuinely meaningful mobile apps and less social gimmicks.

  2. Thanks for the comment, danoprey. I completely agree with your take on Square and mobile payment solutions. We just met with Jack Dorsey a couple weeks ago and should have a Square post up soon.  Define social gimmicks…

    1. Anonymous says:

      Sounds great, will keep an eye out for that.

      I feel like the majority of social apps are just refining current systems or trying to put an ever so slightly different spin on things rather than being genuinely disruptive or adding anything but time wasting value.

  3. […] not the only one that thinks Beintoo is innovative. If you saw my post a few days ago on the most innovative mobile apps and services, you might have noticed that I put this relatively unknown Italian company on the list. […]

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