Smartphones were put on this earth to make our lives easier, so take full advantage of your clever gadget with the best organization, finance and lifestyle tools on the market. Here are the hottest 20 apps that will revolutionize your life.
Well hi there! Hello? Just look up from your smartphone for one minute. It’ll be worth your while. We know you have about a million things that need to get done: organizing schedules, sharing files with friends and colleagues, reading books, transferring pictures, figuring out finances… The list goes on. The good news is that the clever gadget in your hand can help.
We’ve searched high and low to bring you 20 of the hottest and smartest of smartphone apps. These clever bits of software will help you to deal with the nitty-gritty so that you can get back to more important things (like Candy Crush Saga).
If you’re an important person about town, then you might need a sleek-looking mobile website you can refer onto other important people when you meet them. But who has the time — or money — to build a website from scratch? This is where the super-cool GoDaddy GoMobile (formerly M.dot) app comes in. It’s free and has a ton of nice-looking templates so you can create a simple mobile website for yourself or your business. Although basic, each website includes all your critical information, images and logos and even has an interactive “call me” button so your clients, friends or colleagues can get in touch.
This one is brought to you by the folks at Dropbox (the cloud storage provider). Carousel (for Android or iPhone) helps to manage your photos by organizing them into handy, swipe-able folders by date and location. It also synchronizes with Dropbox and saves any photos you take to the cloud so that they don’t consume space on your phone. And should anything happen to your device, you won’t lose your images. Additionally, there’s a chat function that lets you share events or photos with your friends and save them to your Dropbox.
Sometimes you desperately need something from your desktop — usually while you’re nowhere near your computer. TeamViewer puts an end to those woes with an app that can grant you access to your PC or Mac while you’re out and about. That means that rather than lugging around your laptop, you can gain access to your desktop with a few swipes of your hand. Genius!
AirDroid or iTransfer
Digging around for cables is no fun, which is why several apps have been developed to stop this from ever having to take place. AirDroid (for Android) and iTransfer (for iPhone) are two just such pieces of software. Both can connect your phone to a computer wirelessly so you can transfer documents, photos, music or just about anything else you want onto your (or a friend’s) computer. With AirDroid, you can even lock your phone or wipe all of its data through your computer should it ever fall into the wrong hands.
Ever come across a really interesting article you just don’t have the time to read? Pocket — a new, schmick app — lets you save anything you didn’t get around to reading or watching onto your phone: articles, videos, recipes and so on. When you find a moment, you can flick through your list and catch up on what you’ve missed, even if you’re offline. Plus Pocket has been integrated into more than 500 other apps (such as Twitter and Facebook), which means you can easily throw things into the app while doing your social media stalking.
This is an iPhone-only app, but it’s a doozy. Mobile Mouse (formerly Air Mouse Pro) turns your phone into a remote track pad (or mouse) for your computer. Which means you can check your email, play various media, surf the net or do anything you want without having to hunch over your laptop or desktop.
Ever wish you were the editor of your very own magazine, one that only had stories that interested you? That’s the concept behind Flipboard. In a very minimal, sleek package, this app allows you to search and prioritize stories, publications and websites that pique your interest. So you can mix breaking news stories with your favourite SheKnows articles and the latest from your favourite blogger. It’s organized in Pinterest-style tiles for easy browsing, and you can share your magazines if you like.
IFTTT works on the principle “if this then that.” In other words, the app streamlines as much of your life as is humanly (or phone-ly) possible. You just tell it what you’d like it to do — for example, if you take a photo on Instagram, then you want it to be saved to Dropbox — and IFTTT automates your request. It’s integrated with a whole bunch of apps, such as LinkedIn, Email, Facebook, Blogger, BuzzFeed, Instagram, Pocket, Stocks, Twitter and more, so if used correctly, it can eliminate a lot of noise and make your life a lot easier.
If you ever find yourself in a new place and jonesing for some Italian food or to see a local attraction, then Wikitude might be just what you need. It’s a fun augmented reality app that works with your phone’s camera to display the interesting things around you. It has a search function, so you can type in what you’re looking for (like an Italian restaurant) and use your camera to scan the surrounding area. The app also has fun content, like currency conversion, a Twitter feed and upcoming events, so you can interact with the area around you.
It’s hard to find the time to curl up with a good book these days, which is why the team at Amazon (the online book store) released Audible — an app that plays good-quality audio books for your listening pleasure. The library of selections is immense (although you’ll have to pay for each audio book), and the app even tracks your reading patterns and rewards you for being active.
Sometimes gesturing wildly at a baffled waiter in a foreign country will result in the chicken dish you wanted; sometimes you’ll get something slimy, green and possibly still alive. If you’d rather err to the side of caution, then you can use CamDictionary to instantly translate between 36 languages. The app translates any text you hover your phone’s camera over, can read the translation in the native tongue thanks to a nifty text-to-speech function and allows you to save words you find particularly useful or intriguing.
CodeGoo’s Baby Monitor
Babies are precious when they sleep. But they don’t always sleep. Sometimes they wake up, and when they do, you’d probably like to know about it. CodeGoo’s Baby Monitor is an app that turns your phone into a portable baby monitor. You just need to place your phone near your baby, and if your little one starts to cry or makes a sound, then your phone will call or text a number of your choice (brilliant for holidays). You can even connect it to FaceTime to see your bundle of joy.
The trouble with selfies is that they are completely reliant on the length and coordination of one of your arms. If you’re gifted, hooray; you’ll probably get everybody in at a decent angle. If not, then there’s a good chance body parts will be cut off. CamMe circumvents the problem by allowing you to use hand gestures to control your phone’s camera, so you can set up your phone wherever you like and then use simple signals to instruct it to take one or a series of photos.
If you find you’re a little groggy in the mornings, chances are you woke up at the wrong point in your sleep cycle. Had you woken up just a few minutes earlier or later, you probably would have felt a lot better. But your alarm clock didn’t know that. On the other hand, Sleep Cycle knows that very well. The bio alarm clock app tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up at the optimal time so that you feel refreshed every time. An additional sleep lab feature also tracks your sleep patterns over time.
This is an app similar to GoDaddy GoMobile in that it creates websites; however, it is a lot more involved. Aside from basic info, Webr lets you add galleries, text pages, audio and video links and blog entries. It offers a range of themes to choose from — including font and colour options — and once you’re happy, you can publish your site to the net from your phone. It’s the perfect tool if you’re in between websites or just need a mobile-responsive landing page.
Does your phone run out of data really fast? The folks behind Onavo Extend have tackled this problem with an ingenious budget-friendly app for both Android and iPhone. Onavo Extend compresses any download over 3 gigabytes — including images, texts, videos and so on — to save your data plan. It also analyzes the way you use your data and tells you which mobile activities and apps suck up the most of your monthly allowance. You can even play around with the settings to control how much data you want to save.
Closet+ and Stylebook
Hey, fashionistas — or ordinary gals just trying to organize their closet — the Closet+ and Stylebook apps are here to help you categorize and coordinate your clothes so you’re never caught with a mismatching or repetitive outfit. Both apps allow you to take photos of the items in your closet, organize them in various ways and add them to a calendar. Closet+ lets you create categories and subcategories as well as tag the items you have for a quick and easy guide to your closet. It also has an outfit feature and a packing list so you can be better organized for work, holidays or special occasions. Plus the lite version is free. Stylebook will set you back a little more, but aside from a “Closet” feature (with which you can organize and categorize your outfits), it also has a “Looks” feature, which lets you turn the items in your closet into inspiration boards, as well as an “Inspiration” feature, with which you can gather clippings from the internet or photos.
A traditional scanner is a little too bulky to carry around. But what if you need to scan and email an important letter, a receipt or some other imperative document? That’s where Genius Scan comes in. The portable scanner app can digitize and email all manner of documents. It’s brilliant for keeping track of business-related documents and can synchronize with Dropbox to allow you to back up and share anything you like.
This app is roughly like having a little accountant in your pocket. It aggregates all your account balances, transactions, bills, investments and budgets, and displays them in a logical, clean manner so you can stay on top of your finances. Additionally, Mint uses the same encryption security as banks do to keep your information safe and confidential, tracks your balances in real time and sets reminders for your bills so you’ll never skip a payment.
Tons of documents require signatures — contracts, forms, agreements, letters — but you’re not always in possession of a pen and a means to digitize a document once you’ve signed it. Not to worry. If you have the SignNow app, then you can sign using a stylus or your finger and send a document to wherever it needs to be. The signatures look realistic (so nobody will ever know they were done on a phone, mid-lunch), and you can create reusable templates in case you ever need it again. Plus, the app comes with a secure bank-quality encryption, so you need never worry.