It's hardly breaking news that we use our smartphones to streamline everything these days. You can use them to work on the go and even scope out some potential dates and, every once in a while if you're feeling nostalgic, you may even make a phone call on one.
Here's one more thing to add to the growing list of reasons you can't live without your phone: a sizable handful of apps that let you earn money for doing what you're probably already doing anyway, like listening to music or taking selfies. With a little patience and, in a lot of cases, less time than it takes to collect Lady Meow-Meow in Neko Atsume, you can earn rewards like gift cards and cold, hard cash from these 12 free apps.
Let's start with the very first thing you see when you pull your phone out of your pocket: your lock screen. If you've got an Android, Slidejoy is an app that pays you just to keep tailored ads on your lock screen, whether you choose to interact with them or not. It's not as intrusive as it sounds — just ask anyone who hasn't bothered to go ad-free on Kindle — and you can cash your points out for cash, gift cards or charity donations. (Free, Google Play)
This app will let you claim "tasks" that require you to take a selfie and pay you anywhere from two cents to a whole dollar and lets you cash out when you hit $20. The point is to provide consumer insight for advertisers and marketers, so you'd have to be OK with that. If that rankles you a little, consider this: Every selfie you take already provides that information, so you may as well get paid for it, right? (Free, Google Play, iTunes)
Pact has been around for a while, but it's always worth a mention. If you exercise frequently or wish you did, the app helps keep you on track by having users ante up a little dough and putting it down on a fitness goal. If you stick to your goal, check in at the gym and take snaps of your meals, you get paid — by all the people who slacked off. A little bloodthirsty, sure, but at least it's effective. (Free, Google Play, iTunes)
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