Smartphones are an integral part of lives of over two billion people across the globe, who on an average spend about three hours a day on their smartphones. While most of this time is spent on getting social media updates, at other times they are busy communicating with family and friends, watching videos, playing games, etc. Smartphones, however, can do more than just being a mode of communication and entertainment. With millions of applications available on App Stores it is tough to know which ones are helpful and can enhance the overall smartphone using experience. To help, we list 10 applications that can greatly add to users’ smartphone experience.
Thanks to the excessive use of digital technology, the attention span, over anything, is decreasing rapidly. People are finding it really difficult to focus on immediate tasks. The cell phone addiction, also known as Nomophobia is the only culprit. The addiction is so prevalent, that there are formal treatments to overcome it. That said, users can get over the obsession of using their mobile phone itself, through an app named Forest. That’s right, the app works on users’ mobile phone addiction. Upon opening this app, the user can plant seeds, grow a forest, and earn coins but if they exit the app to check a notification or for any other reason, their trees will wither away. It is an interesting mechanism that invokes a sense of achievement and responsibility in the users, making it easy for them to stay away from their phone and focus on their work or study. That’s not it, every time users spend their coin to plant trees, the Forest team donates the same amount to a real-tree-planting organization, Trees for the Future, to plant real trees. The app is available for free on both Android and iOS.
In the social networking age, it is crucial for active users to keep all their social profiles up to date, however, updating all the profiles separately is cumbersome. Thus, there was an immediate need to have a mechanism where different apps could be synchronized to perform similar tasks at the same time. The answer came in form of IFTTT. Short for If This, Then That, IFTTT is a unique app that enables users to connect their favorite apps and get more done with every task. IFTTT allows users to connect various services and create Applets to automate tasks. This means, with IFTTT users can simultaneously post a photo or update the profile picture of all of their social networking profiles. Additionally, they can connect their devices such as Amazon Echo or Google Home and voice control them, and in short build a smart home. The app available for free on Android and iOS offers seamless connectivity over 400 apps, making life easy.
Researches indicate that widespread use of mobile phones significantly affects the working of our brain, making it lazy. It is, therefore, crucial that users find a way to rely less on mobile searches and use their brain power more. The idea is to keep the brain functioning all along, whether it’s recalling an incident or memorizing important details. Scientists and game designers worked on the same principle and came up with a brain training app called Lumosity. The application trains the memory and attention span through several scientifically designed challenges targeting various cognitive skills, ensuring users can work their brain to recall information or perform simple calculations, without any assistance from gadgets. The app is widely popular on both iOS and Android with over 90 million downloads globally.
A majority of people will admit that managing money is extremely difficult. They flatten in monitoring monthly spends and paying bills on time. Mismanagement of money often results in many feeling broke at month end. To help the digital generation, developers and economists came up with Mint, a finance management app that enables users to stay on top of their bills and at the same time foster better spending habits. Users can link and see all their bank accounts, credit cards, and investments at one place, set bills reminders, and get an informative breakdown of their spending. That’s not all, Mint users can also get their credit score for free, along with improvement tips. In short, it can be a life-changing app for many. Mint is available for free on iOS and Android.
Development of Musi holds the saying “necessity is the of invention” true. Without a doubt, the most annoying aspect of using YouTube app is that the video stops playing the moment users lock their phone or exit the app. Thus, came Musi, an app that takes care of the situation and allows users to stream music directly from YouTube, even on a locked phone. All a user needs to do is add videos from YouTube to create custom playlists or browse through trending songs and enjoy break-free music. Musi is entertaining iOS users for free but is not yet available for Android users.
Today, to be connected 24X7 is a norm. To cater to the demand, public Wi-Fi’s are mushrooming at a great pace, exposing critical data to nefarious individuals. Using internet over public Wi-Fi’s particularly pose a risk of hacking and theft of critical information. Such risks are predominantly high for frequent travelers who readily connect to local coffee shop’s Wi-Fi. The simplest and best way to stay safe when being online via public Wi-Fi is to be on a virtual private network (VPN). NordVPN is one such product that prevents nefarious individuals from intercepting information in a public Wi-Fi network. It also hides user’s IP address from advertisers. With more than 2,000 servers across the globe, including specially optimized servers, NordVPN is able to offer seamless service to millions of its global users. It is available for free download on both Android and iOS.
In this fast-paced world, stress has become a part of our lives. From students to professionals, everyone is burdened by challenges and expectations, increasing stress and anxiety – a mental health disorder that affects 33.7 percent of global population. Thus, the need of the hour is to lower anxiety levels. Although courses and treatments are available, there’s another way to overcome the condition, especially for those who do not prefer visiting mental health specialists; an app called Pacifica. It is a daily stress and anxiety management tool based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Meditation. The app lets users rate and track their mood over time, and accordingly provides guided deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises, together with daily anti-anxiety experiments, and mental health goals. Recording their thoughts enables users to analyze their thinking pattern and discover possible triggers that they need to work upon, in order to lower anxiety. Users can also share their experience with the community for more support. Pacifica is available for free on both Android and iOS.
Travelling is one of the best ways of pacifying your soul and creating lasting memories. That said, few years down the line, recalling those moments in the past isn’t that easy. Photographs of picturesque landscapes, joyful adventures, and distinctive cultures do help but finding them in the heap of pictures is cumbersome. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a personal Travel Book with record of every trip? That’s what Polarsteps does. The app tracks the users travel route and creates a digital journal that records the routes, stories, photographs, and travel statistics, turning travel moments into lifetime memories. To help travelers experience a new way to record memories, Polarsteps are available for free on both Android and iOS.
Sound sleep is the key to positive mental health and balanced emotional state. Today, however, most people have more than what they can consume, on their plate, resulting in less and irregular sleep, eventually leading to tiredness. Timing of waking up too plays a crucial role in ensuring our body and brain is well-rested. Sleep Cycle, an app, does exactly that. The app analyzes users sleep to wake them up when they are most likely to feel well-rested. Sleep Cycle relies on sound analysis and tracks movements in bed to identify user’s sleep state and quality over time, to wake them up softly, when they are in the lightest possible sleep state. The app is available for free on both Android and iOS.
Standing out in the digital world is challenging. It requires the right mix of colors, graphics, and text to catch the attention of the masses, thus, taking up few hours before users get their perfect post. The work, however, is made simple by an app called Word Swag. Available for free on both Android and iOS, Word Swag enables users to create stylish and shareable graphics within minutes. All a user needs to do is to choose from their gamut of templates and combine them with images and text to create a great-looking graphic shareable on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and anywhere else over the internet. In short, Word Swag is a pocket graphic designer.
World Around Me (WAM)
One of the most troublesome aspects of travelling is locating places of interest nearby. WAM, the winner of the Google Play Awards ‘Early Adopter’ category, can save the day. The app is an intuitive way to discover local hot spots. It makes use of users’ phone’s camera to highlight eateries, recreational parks, cinemas, and other interesting places in their immediate area. To use the app, user’s need to point their cameras at the surrounding areas, the app then operates on very basic augmented reality to display small cards next to places of interest with the name of the place, review ratings, and distance to that particular location. For those who don’t want to use their camera and point, WAM simply displays a list of the nearest places of interest along with a map view. Another great thing about WAM is the sheer number of places it highlights, comparable with any search on Google Maps. WAM is available for free on both Android and iOS.
That’s it from us folks! We feel these 10 apps can augment the use of smartphone by billions of people. Not only that, these apps can even bring about a positive change in life.
Please let us know in comments if we have missed out some more interesting applications and leave your valuable feedback.
Until next time!