If you’re part of the smartphone generation, chances are you understand the benefits and usefulness of apps. What you may or may not be aware of, are the sheer number of apps that are out there to help you make your life a little easier (and more fun). Check out our list of the five types of apps you need to have on your phone now- and our recommendations.
Social Media Apps
If you’re a social person, chances are you’re also active on social media. I like to keep my top networks on my home screen – easy to access and quick to update.
Facebook: Great for sharing quickly with a large amount of people on a popular platform. It’s hard to find someone without a Facebook account these days, so if you’re using it on a desktop, it’s time to “Facebook” from your phone as well. Like us on Facebook, or download the Facebook app.
Twitter: Perfect for sharing articles, getting tidbits of information, and keeping up with major news sources, organizations, and celebrities. The Twitter app is clean and easy to use, so there’s really no going wrong here.
Instagram: Most popular with those ages 18-30, Instagram offers a clean and straightforward platform for sharing photos and short videos. The two main features of Instagram are filters for your photos, and the ability to tag your posts so that they are searchable by anyone on the Internet.
As a business, Instagram can significantly help boost your brand because it gives you a platform for expressing the personality of your business while showcasing your product.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is one of the most used apps for those who love to network, especially on a professional level. LinkedIn benefits its users by connecting you with people you already know and sharing your professional histories. Having LinkedIn on your phone is a great way to keep up with requests to connect, as well as birthdays, articles, and new jobs in your area.
You never know when you might be looking to try something new, and it’s great to have all of the information in the palm of your hand. The great thing about having a review app on your phone is that you can get reviews on stores, attractions, and restaurants. Quite a few times, I’ve eaten a couple places that weren’t so great, and having one of these apps could’ve saved me the disappointment (and the money).
Yelp: Yelp provides ratings on every business, restaurant, and pretty much anything else you could need. The app is easy to use and gets to the point, showing you a rating out of five stars for each destination. You can read comments, get a feel for the price of the menu, and see photos. Download Yelp.
Foodspotting: This app is a bit more of a social network for foodies, and more complicated than Yelp. However, it’s a great way to see which dishes from specific restaurants are most popular, and you can search for restaurants by a specific food item. Download Foodspotting.
SkyScanner: SkyScanner is the app for comparing millions of flights from anywhere in the world. It helps you plan the best trip for your dollar by finding the cheapest dates to travel and the cheapest flights from your local airport, and allowing you to share your flight plans with friends or relatives. Download Skyscanner.
Gogobot: Dreaming of a trip with friends? This travel guide app helps you find the most popular destinations, whether going on a trip cross-country, internationally, or exploring your own city. The app features hotel booking and the ability to create your own postcards from your travels.
Money Management & Saving Apps
Despite what you may have heard, banking with an official app from your bank is safe, and pretty efficient. Being able to transfer money, check your balance, and access your account numbers on the go can be more useful than you might think. Just last week I had to deposit my tax return like a grown up, and actually use a deposit slip (the horror!). Of course, I didn’t know my account number, so having the app on my phone really helped me out. Aside from your bank’s account management app, here are four other money-related apps that can make your day a little easier:
Mint: Mint is an app that connects to your bank account, integrating all of your data from multiple bank accounts onto one screen, allowing you to see where your money is going, and pull reports to show you long-term how your finances are being managed. The app makes you more aware of your spending habits, and lets you set goals that can help you be more successful with your finances. Download Mint.
Square: Have a garage sale in the future? Square may be able to help you up your sales. Square works by allowing you to accept payment for services or products with your smart phone, and deposits the money right into your account, giving the buyer a receipt. This is also great for those operating small businesses, as there is only a 2.75% charge per swipe, and that is the only fee involved in using the POS system. Download Square.
Starbucks Card Mobile: We mention this one because it’s someplace you probably frequent, possibly every day – Starbucks. With this app, you can use a Starbucks gift card to earn rewards and free Starbucks drinks. The app is easy to use – just show it to your Barista either in store or at the drive-through. Download Starbucks Card Mobile.
Mobile AllPoint: Can’t find an ATM? Mobile AllPoint can show you where the closest surcharge-free ATMs are located in your area. Saving you time and money, this one is a definite must. Download Mobile AllPoint.
Photo Editing Apps
If you’re anything like me, you love to show off your photos. But of course, only after adjusting the lighting and adding stickers and effects…and well, you get the picture. Photo editing apps allow you to be a kid again – most are really simple to use and can create a fun little piece of content that your friends might take interest in.
PixShape: Ever see those weirdly-shaped photos on Instagram and can’t figure out how your friends made that happen? PixShape lets you take photos and crop them into pretty much any shape imaginable, as well as adjust the opacity, add text, and apply filters. This app is $1.99, but definitely worth it. Download PixShape.
PicStitch: The simple collage app for the iPhone that allows you to combine multiple pictures into a perfect, ready-for-Instagram square. Download PicStitch.
PicCandy: This app is great if you have a small business and want to create graphics for Instagram. Pic Candy allows you to add doodles, text, and pre-generated phrases to a photo. It also has a multitude of unique filters to put the finishing touches on your work. Download PicCandy.
Overgram: Overgram is simplistic yet stylish in that it lets you add any color text over any photo. With an extensive font library, Overgram is a necessity for any photography fanatic. Download Overgram.
Digital Radio Apps
If you have a car with an auxiliary outlet, this one’s for you. Digital radio apps allow you to choose your genre, artist, or mood, and listen to a radio station that matches it. It’s great for driving, reading, studying, pizza eating, working, or pretty much anything else you could spend your time doing.
Pandora: Probably the most popular of the digital radio apps. It works by typing in an artist or genre, and Pandora generates a playlist that follows your preset guidelines. Yo
u can vote songs up or down, and Pandora will make future playlist decisions based on what you do and
don’t like. Download Pandora.
iHeart Radio: This app allows you to listen to all radio formats, like news or talk radio, along with music playlists sorted by genre, artist, and the “Perfect For” feature, that gives you a playlist based on what activity you are doing, or mood you are in at the time. Download iHeart Radio.
Spotify: The free version is similar to Pandora, in that it gives you a random
playlist dictated by your preferences. The premium version, ($10 per month) gives you access to any song or album at any time, with unlimited plays. Kind of like an unlimited iTunes library. Download Spotify.
We’ve told you ours, so now you tell us yours. What apps make your life easier?