In this day and age, almost everyone owns a smartphone and they are here to stay. You can either let this technology work for you or end up with grossly underutilised potential right in the palm of your hand.
This article will introduce you to twenty applications that will customize your phone, improve your daily life or at least give you an edge over the person next to you.
Blinkist is an application that lets you read or listen over two thousand bestselling nonfiction books. Boost your knowledge and gain new perspectives to become a better, smarter you.
“There is no such thing as too much knowledge. If you would like to expand your horizons, but don’t have the time to read, Blinkist is a speedy and convenient way of learning” – TheNextWeb
If you want to manage your money, keep track of your expenses and budget based on your recent and average spending – this application is for you. What you can do:
- See all your money in one place.
- Get a personalised budget, automatically.
- Keep track of your money more simply.
- Invest tax-free, at low cost, and 100% online.
- 22seven is secure, private – and insured.
22seven is a free service from Old Mutual and currently works with accounts from South African banks and financial institutions.
3. Tiny scanner
Tiny Scanner is a scanner app that turns your device into a portable document scanner and scans anything as images or PDFs. It is free, high speed and gorgeously designed for both phone and tablet.
In today’s busy and hectic lifestyle, oftentimes it is difficult to unwind. Use TaoMix to take you to a calm place by way of meditative sounds.
And you are in control – you can drag sound discs to adjust the mix, mix up to three sounds, save and load mixes, and use the timer.
Duolingo is an enjoyable, interactive, quiz-type application that aims to teach you various different languages. It currently supports English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, Russian, Ukrainian, Esperanto, Polish and Turkish, and ‘playing’ it frequently will definitely help you develop at least some ability in your chosen language.
1Weather is an application that not only gives you the weather forecasts and current conditions, but also radar, predictions, fun facts about meteorology, graphs, and even a sun and moon tracker. It has a stunning design and even has widgets.
7. Blue Mail
Blue Mail is one of those applications that makes organizing and prioritization super easy. It helps you keep your emails in line by colour coding, app theming and widgets. The application also includes a variety of smart features such as blocking notifications during certain times (per account) to boost your efficiency and avoid untimely distractions.
8. Maps and Waze
These two navigation applications not only give you turn-by-turn directions, let you view businesses (and their reviews), and the street view of the location you want to travel to, but also assist with faster routes should there be roadworks, congestion or accidents. Both applications are very similar but you can’t go wrong either way.
Have you ever written a to-do list only to misplace it somewhere or made a shopping list and forgot it at home? Wunderlist has got you covered. It’s user-friendly and it allows you to break up your various tasks into different groups to ease your planning and organization.
You can effortlessly create things like grocery lists and also share tasks and whole categories with others (think chores and group projects). The free version has everything you may need or want.
10. Street Hunt
In need of motivation to increase your physical activity with walking? Then Street Hunt is the application for you. How it works is you choose a distance from your location and then Street Hunt will give you a target to reach that’s roughly that distance.
The catch is that it doesn’t give you directions or tell you the address, it simply gives you a Google Street View image of it. From there you’ve got to either work it out from the photo or simply start walking, at which point Street Hunt will tell you whether you’re getting warmer or colder.
Adding yet another element to this application, completing a hunt gets you points and you can compete with friends or the world at large.
11. Offline Survival Manual
Your thorough guide to all you need to know when you’re in the wilderness, at the tips of your fingers with Offline Survival Manual. It’s saved offline for your convenience and so that you’ll be able to access it in the middle of the forest/desert/ jungle/your garden.
It covers everything such as skills (how to start a fire or build a shelter), helpful advice (where to look for water and which plants are poisonous) and how to deal with different types of weather or hazards (e.g. crossing a river).
If you love GIFs and forming your own dialogue over some of them, Shabaam will entertain you endlessly. It lets you search or browse through millions of GIFs, then add a short audio recording to one. It uses your phone’s microphone, so you can record the sound of anything around you.
Oftentimes cooking can be incredibly frustrating if you need to consider various complicated dietary requirements. Mealtime aims to streamline the process, by having you select from various menu types (vegetarian, paleo, low-carb, flexitarian, pescatarian or no holds barred) and then indicate any allergies or restrictions and any ingredients you dislike.
You can choose between two or four servings and it will instantly offer four meals that fit your preferences. Ingredients will be added to a built-in grocery list and there will be step-by-step instructions for each dish.
The previous application’s younger and healthier sister has a healthier angle, with all the recipes approved by dieticians and fit for various requirements, whether low-carb, high in protein, low calorie, gluten-free, or any number of other things.
The icons displayed at the name of each recipe indicates its nutritional contents and you can also filter by a variety of requirements, such as those above, along with preparation time and difficulty.
It also has both step-by-step written instructions and a video guide for every recipe!
It is hardly a new app, but it is a regularly updated favourite. There are over 2000 TED talk videos and episodes of the TED Radio Hour podcast, it includes interesting content from inspiring speakers on various different subjects, with talks covering everything from “the emotional impact of architecture” to “what a driverless world could look like.”
Most of the talks are usually short (average of 18 minutes) – so after you have streamed or downloaded the talk your daily dose of inspiration can easily fit into your coffee break.
Photomath solves our math problems from images, just take a photo of a written problem (typed or hand-written) and the app will provide you with the solution. You’ll be given a step-by-step guide to reaching the same conclusion as Photomath, so if you have no idea why X equals 6, the app will teach you.
For the serious runners and cyclists out there, Strava allows you to track your performance, set goals and see daily progress updates. It also contains leaderboards and challenges to give it a competitive edge!
And if you want to try a new route to run or cycle you can find user created routes on the app and share your own.
Transforming the manner in which we travel, you can quickly and easily request a taxi using this app and get picked up within minutes. It’s fast, convenient and a whole lot more modern than taxis have ever been before.
19. Google Translate
Everyone knows that Google Translate is not your best friend when it comes to school or university assignments, but if you quickly and easily need to find out what something means in another language, it’s great. You can translate between 90 languages!
They have upped their game even more by adding the translation of real-world objects such as signposts and posters. Just point your camera, shoot and translate! Couple this with Google Maps and you’ve got all you need to travel the world.
20. Calorie Counter – MyFitnessPal
If you are into calorie counting and label reading, this application will definitely intrigue you. The Calorie Counter – MyFitnessPal app makes watching what you eat easier than ever. The app holds a huge database of foods and is at hand to help you log your meals. The excellent barcode scanner makes it simple to log your food throughout the day.