The best apps of Mobile World Congress 2012

James Thornton


As the World Mobile Congress closes its doors for another year, we reminisce over some of the highlights of this year’s show. Here’s a guide to the best apps from the MWC 2012, as chosen by the mobile industry, exhibitors at the event and, most importantly, us!

The Industry favorites

Every year, the organizer of the Mobile World Congress, the GSMA, throws a party at the conference to name the best mobile apps of the year. The Global Mobile Awards 2012 celebrated the industry’s favorite mobile applications and games of the last year.

There weren’t too many big surprises in the apps categories, but it was nice to see developers of popular favorites rewarded for their efforts. Visit the awards site for a full list of winners, including the victors in other mobile sectors, such as devices and services.


WhatsApp was the king of the Global Mobile Awards this year, winning the prize for Best Overall Mobile App. The text messaging application has revolutionized the way people communicate. Millions of users have waved goodbye to SMS charges, and more than 2 billion messages are sent through the app every day.

Angry Birds Rio

Rovio scooped the gong for Best Mobile App for Consumers for its latest Angry Birds game, set in Brazil. The accolade was given for Angry Birds Rio’s excellent gameplay, originality of the story, realistic physics – and praise was given to the game for reaching 120 million downloads!

Citrix Receiver

This powerful app provides access to desktop and enterprise applications from a mobile device, including Android, iOS, and BlackBerry phones and tablets. Citrix Receiver, which has had more than 100 million users, was crowned Best App for Enterprise.


SwiftKey is an intelligent keyboard that studies what you type in order to predict what you want to type as you write on your phone. The Cambridge-based start-up behind SwiftKey won the Most Innovative Mobile App award. It was labeled by judges as: “a much-needed innovation that will make typing on smartphones and tablets so much easier”.

Exhibitors’ favorites

While catching up with app developers and professionals at the MWC, we took the opportunity to get their view on the best apps. Here’s what the top app authors say they like best (they weren’t allowed to pick their own app, of course!)


Beatrice Farina, Vice President, Communications, Shazam, chose Facebook and Twitter as her must-have apps. She told us: “I love all applications for social networks. I love to share information with people around me anytime. I cannot imagine my iPhone without the Facebook and Twitter applications.”


Kevin Nakao, President and Chief Operating Officer, White Pages, plumped for productivity tool Evernote as his number one app. He loves the way the application lets you record everything efficiently, including ideas, photos and to-do lists. He also praised Evernote for the way it syncs between different devices.


Rory Kenny, Director of Partnerships, Trip Advisor, confessed to his adoration of photo effects app, Hipstamatic. He said: “I’m a lover of photography and I must admit that Hipstamatic is truly amazing. The image quality is excellent and it’s very easy to use”


Darren Austin, Mobile Product Manager, Glympse, is a big fan of the password manager and form filler, RoboForm. Darren said: “these days there are so many sites where you have to remember usernames and passwords, and I couldn’t live without RoboForm.”


Martin Rode, Director or game developer Zero Scale, places Tetris as his top mobile game. He’s a huge fan of the arcade block-building classic, and believes that EA’s mobile version of the game is the best mobile title around.

Our favorites

We got a chance to see plenty of innovative new apps at the Mobile World Congress 2012, as well as checking out the latest versions of some old favorites. Here are the titles that really stood out for us:

Photoshop Touch

Launched for iPad on the first day of the MWC, the tablet version of Photoshop is a joy to behold. It offers powerful photo editing features not seen in any other mobile application, wrapped within a user interface that’s easy to find your way around even if you’re a novice.


Glympse is a truly remarkable app that allows you to share your precise location with people in real time. Followers can see where you are on a map and track your movements as you travel. The developer announced some updates to the app, which now includes Android Beam support, and the ability to sync your calendar with Glympse to share your location with people you’re due to meet with.

CoPilot Live

This top-class mobile navigation software announced an interesting new agreement with Renault. CoPilot Live has been selected as the official supplier of navigation for the new Renault Twingo. The car maker will install the Audio Oxygen Series O in-car system in the Twingo. The driver simply inserts their iPhone into a special holder, transforming it into a dashboard where they can get turn-by-turn navigation delivered by CoPilot.


This application simplifies the way you capture and share ideas and information. The developer of Catch showed off the app’s innovative voice-to-text technology, which allows you to speak into your phone and Catch will turn your words into text. Support for NFC will also be added to the application, allowing you to quickly share documents between devices. The enhancements will be added for users with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Scalado Remove

We finally got a chance to try out this much-hyped augmented reality photography app. Scalado Remove allows you to delete items from a photo that ruin what would otherwise be a great shot. You can wipe out passing cars, tourists or stray dogs from your shot with just a tap of the screen. It’s still in beta at the moment and the app isn’t foolproof, but the potential for this technology seems awesome.


This is an interesting app for managing your leisure time. Synctur gives you access to so much useful information from a single platform, including restaurants, museums, festivals, hotels, airports and more. Whether you’re going to Paris, London, or Amsterdam, Synctur will provide information and news in real time to help you make the most of your trips.

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