Nowadays nearly everyone has an iPhone, an android phone or some kind of variation of a smartphone. Most people won’t leave the house without their phone, it becomes like another body part! If your smartphone is packed full of the latest games and social networking apps then you’re probably missing a trick. There are literally hundreds of apps that can actually improve your life, whether that be to help you get fitter, learn a new skill, or just improve your general wellbeing. We’ve hand picked some of the top apps that will improve your life right now.
If you have ever misplaced your phone, or had it stolen, then you know how devastating it can be to lose all of the things you cherish. We all keep hundreds of pictures, videos, contacts and messages on our smartphones; many of which we would be gutted to lose. With the Dropbox app you can instantly back up everything on your smartphone, without having to connect to a computer. All you need to do is sign up for an account, then select the files you want to back up. You can even get it to sync automatically. Then, if the worst does happen, you won’t have lost anything! Your pictures, videos and files will all safely be stored in the cloud. You get a certain amount of free storage with a Dropbox account, which you can upgrade by doing things such as referring a friend or paying for extra.
If This Then That (IFTT) may seem like a really strange app to get your head around, but once you’ve mastered it you will wonder how you ever lived without it. The concept is simple; you can make your own recipes (or use other peoples) so that if one thing happens, then something else happens. You can sync this with nearly every app on your smartphone, which really does come in handy. As an example, if you take a picture then it can automatically be uploaded to Facebook or Twitter. Alternatively, if you star an e-mail then it will set up a reminder for you to deal with it. You can come up with hundreds of different recipes to help make life easier, or choose from the wide range of premade recipes instead. You’ll become strangely addicted to IFTT and end up organizing your life in a way you didn’t know was possible.
Want to get fit and donate to charity at the same time? This clever app lets you do just that! If you don’t donate to charity because you can’t really afford to, then never fear as Charity Miles is here. This app will monitor any outdoor activities that you do and then make a donation to charity for every mile you cover. You can pick which charity you want your donations to go to and then get exercising! The app will track all outdoor activities which includes walking, cycling, and running. You will donate 10 cents for every mile you do on a bike and 25 cents for every mile you do walking or running. Imagine how much weight you could lose and how much money you could donate to charity at the same time?! We think this idea is genius and will definitely improve your life once you have downloaded it.
If you would prefer to make money for staying fit and healthy, as opposed to donating to charity, then you simply must download Pact. This app is a community of people who have all made ‘pacts’ to do certain things; eating fruit and vegetables, keeping a food diary, and exercising. Every time you complete one of your pacts you will get rewarded with cash! However, miss a pact and you’ll have to fork out. Those who don’t fulfill their pacts are basically paying for those that do. You can earn a steady stream of pocket money using Pact, although don’t expect to become a millionaire. We have used this every day for 3 weeks and have just under $5 so far. The more pacts you agree to do, the more money you can make. Fines for not completing pacts start at $5, so it is certainly motivation to hit the gym.
Although a fairly price app (around $10 on the Apple App Store currently), this is one app that you won’t be able to live without. As our lives get busier it becomes harder to remember all of the important things we need to do in a day, week, month or even year. This simply designed app is basically a to-do list, but with so many more features and benefits. You can add in all of your daily tasks, along with tasks that are going to come up in the future. There is also a section to add notes of things that you’ve just thought of; perfect if you’re always coming up with great ideas and then forgetting them. If you’re used to using reminders or a basic calendar to schedule your to-do list then you’ll be blown away by Things. You’ll never forget to do something again, unless you want to of course.
Always seen yourself as a bit of a cocktail master? Well, you’ll probably be put to shame with this next app. Long gone are the days of buying a beer keg for your party, it’s time to practice those cocktails. The Speakeasy cocktails app has hundreds of recipes for different drinks, along with step by step guides on how to make them. It will also tell you what equipment you need and if there’s any particular skills you need to learn (like how to rim a class). The next time you have a party you will be able to impress all of your friends and family with your cocktail making prowess. It may even land you a job in one of those fancy cocktail bars, where the tips are pricier than our rent. Of course, if you don’t fancy making drinks for a living then you could just use it for parties.
Trust us when we say that you will never, ever find an app that will change your life as much as this one. Sleep Cycle is an innovative new app that monitors how you sleep and even wakes you up at the optimum time. By using the accelerometer in your phone, it can see when you’re awake, when you’re in deep sleep and when you’re lightly sleeping. It will put all of this information into a clever little graph, letting you know how efficient your sleep was that night. Anything above 80% is average! You can also use this as an alarm, letting it know what time you want to be woken up. It will wait for you to be in a light sleep phase within half an hour of that alarm time, and wake you up gradually. You’ll feel so much more refreshed after a good night’s sleep with this app.
There is nothing worse than not having time to finish reading something on your phone. By the time you’ve gone back to it, you can no longer find it. If you’re researching for a college paper or work assignment, or just have an interest in a particular topic, then you’ll probably come across this problem a lot. Evernote is a handy app that lets you save all of the things you were looking at, along with making notes. You can do a whole ton of things on this app, including collect snippets of texts or whole pages. They can then be accessed on your phone at a later date or synced to a desktop version of Evernote for easy browsing. Even if you don’t need it for work or college, this is one app that will change your life for the better. You can even use it to collect trashy celeb stories, if you really want.
If you run a business and need to get things moving fast then say hello to Postmates. This app will deliver whatever you want, to your office, in under an hour. Most people use this to get healthier take out options, as they will pick food up from any restaurant in the area. Instead of ordering a pizza, how about a mezze of Greek food instead? Instead of McDonalds, how about a posh burger from your favorite restaurant? The app will process your order, then someone goes to pick up your food and deliver it straight to you. You can also use this app to order things you need from stores, such as the Apple Store and Staples. The next time you run out of printer paper, Postmates can make sure you have some within the hour. This is a truly clever time saving app, however it’s not available everywhere just yet.
Last up, an app we think everybody should have on their phone! It doesn’t matter how often you come into contact with people speaking another language, there is something just so fascinating about using this app. Google Translate can interpret different languages through voice, then translate it into your language. It can also do this through text, text-to-speech and conversation. It is like something out of a sci-fi movie made in the 80s! Hold your phone up to someone’s face whilst they’re talking and it will translate. You will be able to travel the world, meet new foreign friends, and just generally seem like a whizz-kid with this app on your side. Even if you’re not planning on speaking another language, just use it to translate your own words into something unusual, such as Japanese or Arabic. It’s a whole lot of fun and much better than most smartphone games, honest!