In the modern and very busy world we live in, our phones can often be the center of our lives. Not because we are obsessed with the phones themselves, but because we depend on them to keep us on schedule with what’s most important to us. Gone are the days of carrying around planners and calendars. These have all been replaced by smartphones, tablets, and the various applications that serve to keep our world in order. Fantastical 2 is a shining example of a product that fits such a need.
Flexibits is the mastermind behind the Fantastical line of apps. I purchased the original Fantastical about 8 months ago and was completely obsessed with putting everything important on my calendar. It helped immensely when trying to manage my time and making sure things got done. For me, using calendars has always been a bit of a task. A chore I never wanted to do, because it was just too much of a hassle to set up. All that changed when I started using Fantastical. Thanks to the natural language parser, you can create an event by simply typing it out naturally. For example, you could type: “Meeting with John Marshall on Wednesday at 5″, and Fantastical would set up an event for exactly that. All of the details can be changed and managed on a more micro-level, but I personally never needed those things. Fantastical made things simple, and that’s what pulled me in. Not having to click on a date, type out the event name, and edit every last detail, is well worth the small price tag of the app itself.
Now, within the last week or so, Flexibits has released the sequel to this amazing calendar app: Fantastical 2. With this release came a visual overhaul to match the updated design in iOS 7. Not only that, Fantastical 2 can now sync in with your reminders. A lot of people have found it hard to buy something they already paid for originally, just for a an updated version. Do yourself a favor and support the developers that work for months on end to update their apps for the latest look and feel. They put a lot of effort in and give us an amazingly polished product! Anyways, the app offers all of the things I would ever ask for in a calendar application and more. As always, it may not be perfect for everyone. Do let us know in the comments if you have a favorite of your own!
To a lot of people, podcasting has replaced the radio. Some might even say it has done to radio what on-demand and streaming services did to TV. There is a wealth of different podcasts covering every imaginable topic. So what are some of the best podcast apps?
ESPN is sometimes referred to in the sports community as “the mothership” due to its far-reaching sports media empire. The ESPN Radio app lets you listen to hundreds of different programs on demand produced with the backing of the mothership. The topics cover a broad range of subjects, and some are even devoted entirely to non-sports material (such as the Grantland Pop Culture channel). Also, if you have a favorite ESPN TV show that you can never seem to catch, you can stream the audio through the ESPN Radio app.
Public Radio & Podcast (Android)
National Public Radio sometimes gets the reputation for being a hard news source, which it definitely is, but there is also a veritable treasure trove of non-news-related content produced on Public Radio. Some Public Radio podcasts, such as This American Life, are some of the most-listened-to podcasts in North America. Since the content base is far and wide, public radio has a podcast for all sorts of tastes from those who love good storytelling (This American Life) to interesting science facts (Radiolab) to the way economics influences even the most mundane, day-to-day activities (Freakonomics Radio).
TED Talks have taken the world by storm over the past few years. For those who don’t know, TED Talks are just lectures given by thought leaders on a variety of topics. They cover just about every imaginable subject, from science to music to politics to self-motivation (such as how to stop procrastinating). One neat feature of the TED app is the option to input the amount of time you have, and then receive a TED Talk recommendation based on that amount of time. If you only have 20 minutes, the app will show a selection of podcasts that are around 20 minutes in length. These insightful and entertaining talks are great to listen to or watch during a train ride or when sitting in a waiting room.
Podcast Addict (Android)
Whereas ESPN Radio and Public Radio & Podcast only let you listen to podcasts produced by ESPN and public radio, respectively, Podcast Addict is an aggregator that lets you listen to podcasts from all sorts of different publishers and have them all right at your fingertips. You can subscribe to podcasts from a variety of sources and see them on your podcast dashboard so that you never miss out on your favorites.
While the majority of podcast apps are going to be found exclusively for iOS and/or Android, there is still a good option for those who use Windows phones. Podcatcher is a great app for Windows podcast listeners. It works in a similar fashion to Podcast Addict in that it lets you search and subscribe to podcasts from several different publishers. It also gives you the option of streaming those podcasts or downloading them for later use or when you’re away from WiFi.
Never will a day go by with a lack of third-party Twitter apps. After all, without developer support and constantly evolving apps, who knows where Twitter would be today. That being said, we as Twitter users, have come to expect a certain level of quality and features in these apps. Thankfully, Twitterrific excels in these two areas.
The app itself has been around for years. Several months back, the release of Twitterrific (version 5) marked a renewed emphasis on content rather than menus and bars. With gesture driven interactions, there was much less need for menus and buttons, leaving more room for the content itself. Some of you may recall, this is exactly where Apple was headed when they designed iOS 7. So, in multiple ways, Twitterrific beat Apple to the punch.
Back to the app itself. Twitterrific shows off most, if not all, of the features most people are looking for. Push notifications work perfectly for mentions, DMs, retweets, favorites and even new followers. The gestures I spoke of before are super easy to get used to. Swiping on a tweet from left to right will trigger a reply. Similarly, swiping from right to left will bring up replies to that tweet, in a conversation-like thread. Also included in Twitterrific is the ability to keep up with your Twitter Lists. I actually use Twitter for my tech news, so it’s perfect for me, being just a tap or two away. The app even has an automated theme, switching from light colors to dark as the evening progresses.
Last but not least, the app includes a “Today” section, eerily similar to the one found in iOS 7′s new notification shade. This section will keep track of people who have interacted with your tweets that day. Since the release of iOS 7 last month, Twitterrific has been updated to support the new keyboard, along with a design that even more closely matches Apple’s latest software. Just a week or so ago, they released yet another update to allow extensive profile editing from within the app. So, to say the least, these developers are hard at work to make this the best experience around.
Priced at $2.99, Twitterrific is not only the best quality Twitter client available for iOS, it’s also the best value. Either way, give it a look through and let us know what you think. If you know of an app that may be better, give them a shout out in the the comments below!
Every so often, you go browsing through the App Store on your phone and stumble across a fantastic new game. From the moment you open it up, you’re greeted with great visual design and simple gameplay that ends up leaving you addicted for weeks to come. This week, we want to introduce you to one of the best we have come across, Dots.
Dots is a simple, yet addictive game. It starts with a premise similar to Candy Crush Saga, or even Tetris. You have a grid of colored dots. They fall into place randomly at the start of the game. From there, you find colored dots in a row, and use your finger to connect those dots. The more dots you put together, the more matching dots fall from above to replace them. You get more bonuses by making squares and rectangles out of matching dots.
To mix things up, there are three power-ups in the game. The first is a time-stop power-up, which stops the clock for 5 seconds while you strike through as many dots as your fingers can handle. The second power-up allows you to remove any single dot from the board one time. Lastly, you have a color removing power-up that lets you remove all of one color dot from the board at once. These power-ups help make an already awesome experience even more fun and addictive.
Now, there are three game modes in the app (although one is a paid upgrade). The first is a timed mode, in which you have 60 seconds to match as many dots as you can. The second mode gives you 30 moves, and allows you to clear as many dots as you can with only those moves. The third is an unlimited mode, in which you have unlimited time and power-ups (see below) to mess around with. This mode is the paid mode, but a $1.99 worth spending if you really love the game. Let’s not forget, there are some fun achievements to get within the game. Some are for playing the game so many times, while others are more dot-specific. On Android, these are just in-game activities to have fun with, while on iOS they are integrated with Game Center.
Dots is a really fun game that you will enjoy every time you have 60 seconds free. The game is currently available for free on iOS and Android, and I can’t say enough how much of a gem this game really is. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments below!
The quintessential professional social network, LinkedIn is a great place to look for jobs. Many companies post job openings on through LinkedIn, but LinkedIn also provides networking capabilities. And we all know that networking is a big part of looking for a job. LinkedIn is a bit of a one-stop shop for those looking to connect with professionals in their field and for finding job openings.
Indeed is like the Google of job search sites. Companies post available positions on Indeed, but Indeed also acts as a search engine. You can search using a number of criteria (keywords, city, state, ZIP code, company, etc.), and Indeed will bring up results not only from the openings posted on Indeed.com, but also on other job sites.
Maybe you’re able to be a bit picky in the job search (lucky you!), and you’re looking for a job that’s a little closer to home. Job Compass is a way to search for available jobs based on location. You can put in your address, and Job Compass will show you openings located within a five-mile radius. This is a good tool for those who are looking to work a little closer to home.
In today’s tough job market, sometimes taking contract work can be a good bridge to keep working while looking for a more permanent solution or to possibly use as a way to get your foot in the door. GigWalk is all about contract work. It allows employers and job seekers to connect using mobile devices for temporary or contract work. Who knows, getting a good review from a job on GigWalk could catch the eye of an employer looking to hire you full time.
Nobody said running a small business was easy. Many times you’re the CEO, entry-level employee, accountant, secretary and janitor at the same time. These smartphone and tablet accessories may not allow you to kick up your feet and manage your business from a beach in Hawaii, but they can be useful to a small-business owner.
You might have heard about this one before. Square is an app and accessory that turns your smartphone or tablet into a credit/debit card reader. A lot of consumer-facing small businesses are eschewing the traditional cash register in place of a tablet. And why not? A tablet can be a versatile tool for small businesses, so if you can cut expenses by purchasing a tablet and Square, rather than a cash register and computer, you can save yourself some money. Square charges 2.75 percent per card swipe or $275 per month (your choice); takes Visa, Master Card, American Express and Discover; and works on Android and iOS devices.
It has become a popular theme among small businesses these days to turn away from traditional laptops and desktops in favor of tablets. However, not all of us are very proficient at touchscreen typing. The ZAGGkeys FLEX Portable Keyboard and Stand connects to your tablet using Bluetooth. The stand allows you to set your tablet down so that it’s more like a laptop, and the keyboard is like a traditional computer keyboard, offering you a lot of functionality that can increase your typing speed. The stand also doubles as a case for the keyboard component. The keyboard’s battery lasts for several weeks between charges, and it works on both Android and iOS devices.
Smartphones can occupy multiple roles within a small business, from serving as the main telephone to being the platform for your accounting software. While 16 gigabytes seems like a lot apps, documents and pictures on your phone’s hard drive start to chip away at that number, and it’s very easy to find yourself needing more storage. SanDisk microSD cards can add storage to your Android devices. Think about them in the same vein as USB hard drives (better known as thumb drives or jump drives). With up to a 64 GB storage capacity, you can easily quadruple your phone’s hard drive space with just one of these.
If you use a smartphone or tablet within your business for something other than playing Angry Birds, this can be a crucial accessory. A common complaint for smartphone users is that they don’t have sufficient battery life. If you’re using your mobile device to do something other than update Facebook, your battery may get sapped quickly. When this happens, leaving it on the charger for a couple of hours might not be an acceptable solution. The Satechi Portable Energy Station (which works for many devices: including iPads, iPhones, Samsung Galaxies, Kindle Fires, HTC Ones and Blackberry Playbooks) attaches to your device and charges it without restricting movement to within 18 inches of the closest power outlet. This allows you to continue business as usual while simultaneously charging your device.
Smartphones are incredible machines, packing a computing power that might have seemed incredulous to techies in the 90s into a device that can fit inside a pocket. One drawback to these smaller computers is that they are easy to misplace. Cobra Tag alleviates this issue. It is an app and keychain device which lets you press a button that will cause your phone to ring, helping you find your lost phone. It also works the other way; if you lose your phone, there’s an app that will cause the keychain to make a noise should you lose your keys. Just hope you don’t leave your keys and phone in the same place.
If you use your smartphone to listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks or radio during your workout, this is an essential accessory. This product is essentially a smartphone case that attaches to your arm, freeing up your hands for other fitness activities. Belkin makes armbands for just about every smartphone on the market, so you can certainly find one for your particular device. With this strapped on, there’s no more running with your iPhone in your hand or your Galaxy S4 flopping around in your pocket.
Nike has a great app for the fitness-minded individual, Nike+. The app does several things, such as track your run or bike ride using your phone’s GPS, challenge your friends in fitness competitions and even map out new and different routes for your daily run/jog/bike ride. The Nike+ Fuelband adds even more functionality to the Nike+ app. The Fuelband can track your heart rate, number of steps taken and calories burned. Combining this data with the Nike+ functionality can show you at which points in your workout you were really pushing yourself and when you were slacking off, as well as give you a clearer picture of your overall fitness performance for the day.
The Fitbit One is a small, fob-like device which can clip onto your pants or belt or fit inside your pocket. It is a 24/7 data-mining device that offers you loads of information about your daily (and nightly) activities. The One keeps track of the number of steps you take in a day, the number of stairs climbed, your total distance traveled and the number of calories burned. But it doesn’t stop gathering information once the sun goes down. Wearing the One while you sleep can provide you insights into how long you slept, how frequently you woke up at night and how good your sleep was. You can even use it as an alarm that will silently vibrate to wake you up as opposed to the traditional blasting of your ears with a loud noise.
These headphones were made with outdoor activities in mind, but those who prefer their exercise indoors will appreciate them, too. First off, they are cordless, using Bluetooth technology to transport the sound from your phone to your ears. This means that pesky headphone cord isn’t constantly slapping against you while running or getting in the way while you’re trying to lift weights. They are also sweat proof and made out of Kevlar® fiber, meaning these babies can take a lot of abuse.
For the cyclists out there, the iBike Powerhouse can be a great accessory for iPhone owners. It serves as a handlebar mount for your iPhone, which is a great accessory alone. However, in addition to serving as a place to put your smartphone, it also syncs up with an iBike app in order to track your distance, speed, elevation changes, cadence, calories burned and other useful workout information to give you a better picture of how your ride went.
We all know that kids don’t always do well sitting in vehicles for long periods of time, and who can blame them? Looking at the back of someone else’s seat is boring. Luckily, we’ve got some great apps to keep your kids entertained on your summer road trip.
Brain Quest (iOS)
Depending on your age, you may remember these trivia flash cards from grade school. Like many other relics of our childhood that have withstood the test of time, Brain Quest has now gone mobile. With questions for grades 1-5, Brain Quest is a great, fun learning tool that will keep your kids occupied for a good bit while you’re traversing the roads.
Have you heard about the wheels on the bus? In case you were unaware, they go round and round. Wheels on the Bus can serve as your maestro for the classic roadtrippin’ song. Aside from just holding a store of children’s songs, this app keep the kids entertained by singing in different languages, providing different musical instrument accompaniments and recording your in-vehicle performances.
Grandma’s Kitchen (iOS)
One of the best ways to get kids to learn is to incorporate teaching exercises into games. That’s exactly what Grandma’s Kitchen does. This app, geared for children between the ages of 4 and 7, incorporates math, language and critical thinking skills into mini-games centered around helping grandma cook. And who doesn’t want to help grandma in the kitchen?
Perhaps the original road trip, Oregon Trail has been entertaining children for decades now. Naturally, it has migrated from the world of desktop computers weighing several dozen pounds to smartphones. With The Oregon Trail app, you can get your own children hooked on the game that has become a rite of passage for elementary school students everywhere. A childhood that doesn’t teach you the perils of fording a river or make you terrified of catching dysentery is no childhood at all!
State Bingo and Road Trip US (iOS)
Road trips can be fun, but they can also be an opportunity to teach your kids about geography. As you cross state lines, you can sprinkle in little facts about your location to your young ones. However, if you’re fresh out of facts, State Bingo and Road Trip US can fill in the void. This app is two games rolled into one. State Bingo uses maps, riddles and bingo to impart knowledge about the 50 states, while Road Trip US can help your child get familiar with the US map.
Some people have a keen sense of direction, and for the rest of us, there are smartphones. These travel apps can get you to your destination, and provide a few life hacks along the way.
Scout is the Swiss Army Knife of roadtrippin’ apps. It has it all: GPS, maps and gas prices on your route. They say the trip is about the journey and not the destination, but once you get where you’re going, it’d be nice to have something to do. Scout’s other, and perhaps best, feature is that it can show you stuff to do in your destination city. Just enter in your location, and Scout will inform you of nearby events, restaurants, gas stations, hotels and a number of other points of interest.
Road trippers often don’t know where they’ll be when sleep sets in. In the old days (like 1995), one would have to plan a trip out ahead of time to make sure he had a room for when drowsiness prevailed. But this is the 21st Century, and ain’t nobody got time for dat! Hotel Tonight allows you to book last-minute hotel rooms as late as 2 a.m. and at discount, no less (up to 70 percent off, according to the app makers). This app currently has hotel listings in 75 North American cities, as well as nearly 30 European cities, and those numbers continue to grow.
The Weather Channel app is pretty self-explanatory, because weather. If you’re on the highway, this app can help you see that thunderstorm rolling in ahead of time and also help you pick the best time for a pit stop at a roadside diner.
We all want to find the lowest gas price. Even if you save all of two cents a gallon, we all feel a sense of thrifty accomplishment. Gas Buddy can help you maximize that feeling of satisfaction. You can also use it to see what the petroleum market is like in the next town over to see if it’s more prudent to fill up now or later. Oh, and not to mention, you can actually save fractions of a dollar on your next fill-up with some prudent gas station selection using Gas Buddy.
AAA serves as the guardian angel of the roadways, so why wouldn’t you want this app? AAA Mobile has maps, navigation and, if you’re a member, shows you nearby AAA discounts. Any AAA member knows there are crazy discounts you would never think of, so it’s nice to have them spelled out on screen. Also, did you leave your AAA card at home? No problem, you can punch in some information and get an electronic version on your smartphone or tablet screen.
As fun as roadtrippin’ can be, sometimes staring at the road can get a little, well, boring. Here are some games that will occupy your attention for a few hours. Best of all, they’re free.
This side-scrolling game puts your character inside a factory and armed with a jetpack. As we all know, factories can be dangerous places, so there are plenty of obstacles to avoid. There are a whole host of jetpacks and other vehicles you can earn as you navigate the factory and pick up coins along the way. Jetpack Joyride presents enough challenges and new vehicles to keep you playing for hours.
This game has been exploding in popularity recently, with players begging their friends for additional lives and moves. Candy Crush Saga is an addictive game where you are tasked with making rows and columns of three like candies. You’ll get sucked into this highly addictive game and before you have time to say “sugar crush,” you’ll find yourself at your destination.
This Temple Run-esque app puts you in the shoes of an adventurer navigating mines for gold (as adventurers are wont to do). Aside from bringing up the age-old question of why a mine would construct a rail track that is so elaborate only to allow it to fall into disrepair, this game is extremely. Your adventurer is in an old mining cart, navigating said broken tracks and grabbing gold nuggets along the way. There are lots of quick turns and obstacles to avoid and many gaps in the track that need to be traversed, making Rail Rush an entertaining ride for your summer road trip.
Who doesn’t like mini golf? No one, that’s who. Mini Golf Matchup’s name says it all. This mini golf app presents players with interesting courses to navigate. There are items to pick up by hitting the ball in the right areas. You can also challenge your friends to see if they can best your score.
This game is simple, yet completely addictive and sometimes frustrating. You are presented with four pictures that share a common theme. Guess the theme and move onto the next set of four. Sounds easy, right? As you advance, the common thread becomes more abstract and harder to discern. 4 Pics 1 Word is a game that will surely keep you occupied for a few (hundred) miles.
Anyone who knows anything understands that music is an integral part of any summer road trip. Making sure you’ve got the right beats can make or break your vacation. Here are some apps that will ensure you’ll be cruising to the best tunes this summer.
Building your own summer playlist can be daunting. Should I put this song on there or this one? Will it create the right vibe? Fret not, friends. 8tracks lets other people do the work for you. You can browse through playlists made by other people by searching through tags. With more than 750,000 playlists, you can find a soundtrack for any mood, artist or genre. Discover new music, follow your favorite DJs or share your music by creating playlists. 8tracks is easy and free, and best of all, there are no audio ads.
Having Pandora on your phone allows you to listen to free, personalized radio while you’re on the go. You can create stations according to artist, song or genre. You can even make a quick mix of all your favorite Pandora stations if you aren’t feeling particularly picky. With every like or dislike, Pandora adjusts the radio station to your preferences. It’s a great way to listen to your favorite artists and songs while discovering new music along the way. You can even purchase a new song you found through the app.
With Spotify, you can listen to custom radio stations and playlists, even playlists made by your favorite artists. You can create a mix on your computer or select playlists to follow and have them stream through your phone. But what sets Spotify apart from other smartphone music apps is the ability to choose a specific song. If you’ve had a song stuck in your head all day, or if you’re on the road and everyone wants to start off the trip with “Get Lucky,” you can search for it and play it over and over again.
Pocket Hipster (iOS)
So there’s this one app, you probably haven’t heard of it. It’s kind of obscure. It’s called Pocket Hipster. Yeah, it’s no big deal but the app lets you listen to the hottest indie artists from all over the world. Two hipsters, Sebastian Fowler and Delilah Delavigne, scan your iTunes library and recommend replacements. They aren’t really big into labels, just really good music. They also share their views on life, music and the latest trends. You should download it before it becomes too mainstream.
iHeart Radio is a free radio streaming app that lets you listen to your favorite live radio stations from all over the nation. If you really miss your local radio DJ’s beats, you can take him on the road with you. This app allows you to keep your hometown radio station with you wherever you go. Not only that, you can also create stations featuring specific artists. A great way to start the day is using the alarm clock feature. Wake up to your favorite music and leave it playing while you hit the road.
With MOG, you get access to over 16 million songs. MOG allows you to jam-pack your mobile device with all the tracks it can handle and hear your music even when you’re offline. This app is sure to provide you with several great summer playlists.
Rhapsody gives you the power so you can always hear the music you love, with over 16 million songs and every genre to choose from. You can listen to your old favorites or check out the newest releases. With Rhapsody you can hear the perfect album or kick back and listen to ad-free radio by artist or genre.
Perhaps the first smartphone game to gain massive popularity, Angry Birds not only launched itself into the hands of every smartphone user, but also into their hearts. Players help the birds retrieve their stolen eggs by catapulting them towards the thieving pigs. Sequels such as Star Wars and Rio have kept players hooked with new levels and types of birds to try out. Although this is a great game to pass the time between classes or meetings, once you get on a roll, it’ll be hard to put this game down.
Don’t be fooled by the name. It’s not just about cutting up fruit. This addicting slice-and-dice game keeps players on their toes by adding bombs to the mix. One minute, you’re racking up points with number combos and the next you slice into a lit bomb. There is an option with the full version to play in the zen mode, which allows you to practice combos without the worry of a bomb sneaking onto the screen. Either way, you will spend all your time “training” in the virtual dojo that is Fruit Ninja.
Ever wanted to relive an Indiana Jones film? Well Temple Run is the game for you. You start the game sprinting from a temple (of doom) with a stolen statue in hand. On your heels are a pack of demonic monkeys desperate to retrieve it. This never-ending race to escape leads you through a labyrinth of obstacles – quick turns, sudden drop-offs, overgrown trees and fire beams. And don’t forget, those monkeys are still at your heels, ravenous and angry. “I think it’s time to ask yourself; what do you believe in?”
Candy Crush Saga is one of the leading “match 3” games out there. This candy-coated game expands the concept of Bejeweled with timed levels, puzzling objectives and chocolate hurdles. Candy Crush Saga also connects to Facebook (like everything else these days) where your friends can give you extra lives and moves to help you get past those annoyingly difficult levels.
4 Pics 1 Word asks you to make the connection between the pictures in one word. Sounds simple enough, right? They’re pretty easy at first, but as you progress, the connections become more and more obscure. Who knew a picture of a volume control board and a picture of assorted M&Ms were related? With the bonus features, you would get the ‘I’ in the middle and guess ‘MIX’. But for a cost of 60 coins, maybe you should ask your friends first.
Flixster is an all-in-one app for moviegoers. It shows you movie times at local theaters, offers movie reviews powered by Rotten Tomatoes, watch trailers and even manage your Netflix queue. If you’re a fan of visiting the movie theater, Flixster is an essential app for you.
Fandango offers some of the same functionality as Flixster, such as the ability to see showtimes at local theaters and to see fan ratings of movies. However, its best use is the ticketing feature. Fandango allows users to buy movie tickets through their smartphone, meaning you can avoid waiting in the ticket line for a hot new release only to discover that movie is sold out. You don’t even need to print the tickets (even though Fandango does have an ATM-like ticket printing area at many theaters). Once the tickets are purchased, a QR code will appear on your screen that a theater employee can simply scan.
Not everyone wants to go out to catch a flick. Redbox operates tens of thousands of video-renting kiosks across the U.S. The idea is simple—find a kiosk, peruse the selection and rent a movie, video game or Blu Ray. The amount you pay for your rental is dependent on how long it takes you to return it to any Redbox kiosk. There are three app features that are really useful. One, you can find Redbox kiosks on a map to see which ones are in your area. Two, you can view the DVD, Blu Ray and video game selection at a particular kiosk, and three, you can actually reserve a disc at a particular kiosk.
This is a bit of an off-the-wall app, but it is an interesting app nonetheless. Let’s face it; occasionally we can’t sit in a dark room for two hours without hearing nature’s call, but we don’t want to get up and miss the best part of the movie. That’s where RunPee comes in. You pick the movie you’re watching, and it will tell you when the best time to take a bathroom break is. With RunPee, you can order that extra-large soda without reservation.
This app does a lot of stuff similar to Flixster or Fandango. You can buy tickets, browse showtimes, etc. However, what really makes this app unique is that it is the only app that offers a second-screen experience with movies. You can look down at your smartphone during a movie and see different and interesting content. Having supplemental content on a mobile device is a growing trend, and Movie Night Out is the only app like this for movies. Just be mindful of the people sitting next to you while you use this app.
The app for the popular Internet Movie Database is sure to help you figure out who that guy was in that one movie. Any veteran player knows movie questions are a staple of any trivia game, so the IMDB app can be a game-changer. Hey, did you know that the first feature-length movie Tim Burton directed was “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure?” If have the IMDB app, you might have known that.
Remember the old days when you would hear a song, not know the title or artist and be stuck wondering what it was for the rest of the night/week/eternity? Yes, those truly were the dark ages. Luckily, we live in the tech age where we no longer have to be tortured by our own curiosity. Shazam is a popular app which can “listen” to songs and identify the name of the tune and the artist who plays it. It’s a great way for figuring out those hard-to-identify tunes, a handy tool during a lost lyrics question. This app prevents you from ever having to live the horror of not knowing what song is playing on the jukebox right now.
Public Radio & Podcast (Android)
News junkies tend to fare well in trivia, as there will undoubtedly be at least one current events question. Firing up the ol’ Public Radio & Podcast app can give you some time to prepare for the night’s contest by catching up with what’s going on in the world. It allows you to listen live to more than 200 streaming National Public Radio stations around the country, as well as listen to a library of on-demand podcasts from hundreds of NPR shows.
If you’re going to be well-rounded in trivial knowledge, knowing what’s going on in the sporting world is a must. The Yahoo! Sportacular app can keep you current on sports news, including real-time scores. It even streams news from outlets like the BBC, just in case your trivia master wants to throw a curve ball in there and ask about European soccer, as they are wont to do from time to time. It also lets you create a favorite teams list that will allow you to view news and scores from your preferred sports franchises. You know, in case you use it for non-trivia purposes.
Celebrity news—some people can’t get enough of it, while for others it is the bane of their existence. Either way, you’ll want to be up on the latest gossip if you want to earn that $50 gift card to the local pizzeria. TMZ is one of (if not the) top out outlet for celebrity gossip and news. Perusing the app before your trivia game starts will fill you in on the latest goings-on in the Hollywood social scene. Because you would only use this app for trivia purposes, right? At least you can tell your friends that.
While it probably wasn’t the first smartphone game that allowed you to play with other mobile users, Words with Friends was certainly one of the first to become popular. It is a Scrabble®-style word game where you and your friend take turns building words onto other words until all the letter tiles are gone. If you haven’t ever played this game, it’s almost guaranteed that once you download it, you will see several of your friends have been playing.
Ruzzle is a word game that will inspire competition among your friends. Both players are presented with a 4×4 grid with letters in it. Then, players are given two minutes to find as many words as possible within the grid. While the words can start with any letter, the letters must be adjacent to each other. For instance, in the word “next,” the “e” must be adjacent to both the “n” and the “x.” Longer words are worth more points, as are words which use less common letters such as “z” or “x.”
This game has gained a lot of traction within the past year or so, and with good reason, it’s a lot of fun. Each player is given three subjects to choose to draw (an easy, medium and hard selection). The player then draws their selection, while the other smartphone user attempts to guess what it is. The guesser then sees the drawing come to life in real time and attempts to identify the subject. Just as much fun can be had in seeing each other’s terrible drawings as from the competitive element of Draw Something.
This music trivia game will test both you and your friends’ music knowledge. In SongPop, a music collection is chosen (i.e. 90s pop, modern hits, 60s rock) and five songs are chosen at random. A short clip of the song is played, and the players are presented with four answer choices. The goal is to correctly identify the song or artist in the shortest amount of time possible. This game is quick, easy and has several music libraries to unlock.
This comes from Zynga, the company that made Words with Friends. Hanging with Friends is a take on the game most of us played in elementary school—hangman. Each player takes turns guessing the other player’s word one letter at a time. For each wrong guess, a player loses a balloon (the characters on the screen are suspended in the air by holding onto five balloons) until either they guess the word or are out of balloons. However, there are some twists Zynga has added to this game to enhance the experience. For instance, players creating the words only have a limited amount of letters to choose from, and the word creator can earn bonuses by making longer words.