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The 10 most popular mobile apps built in Boston

Posted by Scott Kirsner  December 7, 2011 09:35 AM

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It can be hard to tell exactly where an iPhone or Android app hails from, since geographical labels are non-existent in the iTunes Store and Android Market. But I think this is a pretty solid list of the most popular and well-reviewed mobile apps built in Boston, compiled with help from Meredith Flynn-Ripley, the chief executive of HeyWire, a Cambridge company that makes a "social messaging" app.

The ranking uses each app's total number of user ratings as a proxy for number of downloads (which the app stores don't disclose.) Most of these apps have ratings of at least four stars. When companies offer more than one app (like Kayak or SCVNGR), I included stats for only their most popular app.

1. LoseIt
Boston, MA
Weight-loss app that claims it has helped its users shed more than seven million pounds.
Total # of Ratings on iTunes & Android Market: 309,055

2. Where
Boston, MA (now owned by PayPal)
Discover restaurants, stores, and things to do near you, and access special offers.
Total Ratings: 98,457

3. Vlingo
Cambridge, MA
Update your Facebook status, send text messages, or search the web by speaking.
Total Ratings: 98,380

4. TripAdvisor
Newton, MA
Info and user reviews of hotels, restaurants, and activities in hundreds of cities.
Total Ratings: 77,093

5. Kayak
Headquartered in Stamford, CT, but mobile apps developed in Concord, MA
Searching for prices of airline tickets, hotel rooms, and rental cars.
Total Ratings: 57,929

6. MocoSpace
Boston, MA
Games and social networking for mobile phones.
Total Ratings: 41,574

7. HeyWire
Cambridge, MA
Free texting and photo messaging.
Total Ratings: 41,133

8. Springpad
Charlestown, MA
Note-making, organization, and reminders.
Total Ratings: 26,719

9. SCVNGR
Cambridge, MA
Game that encourages you to earn points (and discounts) by checking in or doing location-based challenges.
Total Ratings: 19,966

10. RunKeeper
Boston, MA
Keeping track of your runs, bike rides, or other exercise, and sharing stats with others.
Total Ratings: 19,467

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About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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