Go to the iOS App Store, Android Play Store, Amazon Appstore, or around the internet and you’ll find more than a million apps available for your smartphone or tablet. Even though these apps have been broken down into categories and organized into lists by popularity, price, and ratings, getting a new device and having to set out and find the apps you actually want can be a challenging process. Of the tons of available apps, here are seven useful apps that you should definitely not forget about:
This app is useful for pretty much everything—you can write notes, record audio, take pictures, clip articles from the web, and more. Use it to order your daily life, keep track of your creative thoughts, take notes during lectures, or whatever else and you’re sure to see an increase in productivity. Even better, the app syncs seamlessly between phones, tablets, and computers so you can really access it from anywhere!
In conjunction with Evernote, you may want to use Any.do. This app is strictly for making lists, whether they’re to-do lists or shopping lists. You could do this in Evernote, but the best part of this app is it will allow you to put widgets on the home screen of your phone or tablet, meaning you’re constantly reminded of the things you have to do and actually have incentive to keep on top of it and check things off that list.
Whether you’re interested in world news or more niche information, Flipboard is a great app to grab. You can select your interests and then flip through magazine-style pages of articles, videos, and photos to see what catches your fancy. The app pulls stories from all over the web, so you’re sure to find something interesting and keep on top of the news or editorials that are important to you.
- Pocket Expense
We’ve all got bills to pay, and it’s never fun trying to keep track of what we have to pay to whom or how much we’re spending on necessities like food and clothes or things like entertainment. Having an app like Pocket Expense on your phone makes it a lot easier: you can record the things you’re spending money, color-code them, and look at a breakdown of where your money is going. Better yet: you can use that information in the app to then create a budget for the future. Even if you’re not interested in tracking your daily expenses, having an app like this can be useful if you’re on a trip so you can see how much you’re spending on transportation, food, accommodation, and so on.
- A VPN
A Virtual Private Network is a must, regardless of what it is you’re using your phone for. We all keep lots of private information on our phones, and you want to make sure not just anybody has access to that information. Believe it or not, your phone isn’t quite as secure as you might hope and is susceptible to viruses the same way a computer is. A VPN will give you a more secure connection to the internet and to your apps, and since it’ll hide your location by providing a false IP address, you’ll also be able to get around annoying geo-restrictions on Netflix, Pandora, and other apps when you’re traveling abroad.
Looking to learn a language or practice a language that you already know? Duolingo is an excellent app to use. With audio, visual, and translation activities, you’ll find yourself learning the language quickly—and better still, it’s totally free! They offer a broad range of languages at the moment, from French and German to Ukrainian and Swedish, and are adding more all the time.
Google Maps is great, but unless you’ve saved maps ahead of time, you need to have data in order to use your phone as a GPS. However, if you grab an app like NavFree, you can download full packs of apps depending on your location and use those maps in offline mode for navigation. Use them around your town to discover new places, or download packs for foreign countries and use them when traveling. Of course, if you’re traveling around the world, you’ll definitely want to make sure you have a VPN (see #5), since hackers like to target travelers who are accessing public Wi-Fi. Keep your location and your personal information secure!
Although there are, of course, plenty more useful apps out there, this list should at least get you started. The world of apps can get a bit overwhelming at times since there’s so much out there that can be useful in your daily life—but of course, that’s the benefit of having a smartphone or tablet! Try out apps and see what fits your lifestyle; you’re sure to find many apps that are wonderful additions in your life and increase your productivity.