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.
Technology has become a staple of our lives with innovation moving at a breakneck pace. Just think, 20 years ago almost nobody had the internet. Ten years ago, the word “smartphone” wasn’t in many people’s vocabulary. Five years ago, tablets were unheard of.
One of the latest innovations to hit the market is the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA).
What is DLNA?
We all have digital devices, whether that’s a smartphone, tablet, TV, game system, digital camera, computer or any other number of consumer electronics. However, outside of physically connecting these devices, they don’t “speak” to each other. DLNA allows all your electronics to communicate with each other.
What can DLNA do for me?
Let’s say you took a picture with your smartphone, and you want to print it out. You probably are going to email it to yourself, download it from the email and then print it, right? With DLNA, you can print that photo by sending it directly to the printer.
Here’s another scenario. You have some people over and want to show them a funny YouTube video. Instead of trying to get everyone to crowd around your tablet screen, DLNA gives you the ability to watch that video on your TV screen wirelessly.
It’s all about integration, cross-compatibility and providing a way for all your devices to work with each other.
How can I get DLNA?
You probably already have several of the individual pieces needed to form a DLNA network. There is a slew of DLNA-compatible products already on the market. The only other thing you need is a WiFi connection. You can technically use DLNA through wired connections, but it kind of defeats the purpose. Once you have DLNA devices and an internet connection, you’ve got yourself a DLNA network.
If you’re interested in learning more about DLNA or DLNA-compatible products, talk to your local Cellular Sales Verizon Wireless rep.
If you are a serial tweeter, Echofon is an app that can make the Twitter experience on smartphones and tablets just a little bit easier. A third-party Twitter app, Echofon doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does offer some subtle features which heavy Twitter users may find refreshing. The ability to click on user names, links and hashtags directly from the timeline; to retweet with comments; and to switch between multiple accounts without logging in and out are what sets Echofon apart.
One of the newest players on the social media landscape, Vine is growing in popularity at an enormous rate. This app, which is owned by Twitter, gives users the ability to create six-second, looping videos. Think of it as a new version of the GIF. In addition to having its own Instagram-style wall (with videos instead of images), it also allows seamless sharing on Twitter. A lot of people are still trying to figure out Vine’s uses, but many predict it will become huge in 2013. It’s worth noting that it’s not currently available on Android, but it should be arriving on that platform soon.
If you’re not on Instagram yet, then what are you waiting for? This app burst onto the scene in 2012, attracting the attention of Facebook, which bought it for a cool $1 billion. Inspired by the look of over-exposed photos from the 60s and 70s, this app gives users the ability to apply different filters to their photos, providing a lot of options for altering the look of your images. In addition to its photo-editing capabilities, there’s also a social aspect, as you can follow other Instagram accounts and see other people’s Instagram photos.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. For the on-the-go texter, Snapchat can be worth an immeasurable amount of verbiage. This app allows users to send images to their friends’ smartphone or tablet, with the caveat that the photo will disappear after 10 seconds. It also offers the ability to caption images before you send them. If you’ve ever wanted to send your friend a picture of you making a goofy face, but didn’t want that silly expression to live on forever, Snapchat is your outlet.
As we are given more and more options, social media can get overwhelming at times. The constant urge to tweet, post, pin, like, share, check in and hang out can bog you down at times. HootSuite helps alleviate at least some of this madness. It offers a place to organize and keep track of all your social media profiles, allowing you to seamlessly send a tweet and then check your Facebook without having to cycle through all the different apps on your smartphone or tablet. While it’s not compatible with every social network, it does work with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, foursquare, mixi (a Japanese site) and even MySpace.
The game that has entertained elementary school students in computer labs for generations is now available on smartphones. This timeless classic is sure to keep the kids occupied for a couple of hours as they get to experience the daunting journey across the Oregon Trail in 19th Century America. Besides, it has become a rite of passage in modern times to realize how treacherous fording a river is, where so many good oxen have been lost.
The in-car sing along is a road trip staple, particularly with young children. Wheels on the Bus can serve as your maestro. Aside from just holding a cache of children’s songs, the app provides other fun features to keep the kids entertained. It can sing in different languages, provide different musical instrument accompaniments and record your in-vehicle performances.
Toca Boca Hair Salon 2 (iOS)
This creative app is bound to hold your kids’ attention for at least a hundred miles. Toca Boca Hair Salon 2 gives users the creative freedom most hair stylists can only dream of. It lets players use their own creative devices to cut, style, shave, curl and accessorize the hair of several different characters. Just be mindful that it might inspire your child to test their hair-styling prowess on an unsuspecting parent or sibling.
Dr. Seuss Beginner Book Collection #1 (iOS)
Bring the magical storytelling of Dr. Seuss to your iPhone or iPad with the Dr. Seuss Beginner Book Collection #1. This app puts five of the iconic author’s works onto your mobile device and adds interactive options to the reading experience. It can follow along as you or your child reads the story. It will highlight words when a picture is touched and add sound effects, among other features. This is a bit pricy when compared to other apps at $14.99, but considering you get five books with it (The Cat in the Hat, The FOOT Book, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Mr. Brown Can MOO! Can You? and Fox in Socks), it is a bargain. Also, the collection is not available on Android or Window devices, but you can buy Dr. Seuss books individually in the Android store.
If your kids are going to be traveling, they might as well learn some geography, right? Kids Maps presents the U.S. map as a puzzle game. Aside from having fun and learning where the states are located, this tablet app also teaches children fun facts about each state.
The serial business flyer knows that where you sit on the plane can be the difference between a pleasant flight and a horrible one. SeatGuru is a smartphone app that lets you book flights, and even select your seat on the plane. It also provides information that will help you make decisions by showing where on the plane the power ports are, how much the seat reclines, as well as user reviews.
In online travel-booking, there is a never-ending onslaught of confirmation and reservation numbers: for flights, hotels, car rentals, etc. TripIt, available for smartphones and tablets, organizes these numbers for you in one convenient app. All you have to do is forward your confirmation emails to a TripIt email address. TripIt then puts them in the app, allowing you to have them all in one place.
Simply Declare (iOS)
Recording expenses is a necessary part of business travel, and for those who are on a company expense budget, an app like Simply Declare can be invaluable. This iPhone app lets you put in your daily or overall budget. As you input expenditures, Simply Declare keeps track of how well you are doing at staying on budget. In addition to helping users keep track of expenses, one can also take photos of receipts and email them (to yourself or someone else), and for international travelers, there is a currency converter.
If you’re on a business trip in a big city, chances are you’re probably going to need to get a cab at some point. Taxi Magic will bring a cab to you, and you won’t have to dial a single number. Instead of having to flag one down or search for local companies, the app will use the GPS on your phone to send a cab directly to you. It even allows a customer to pay for the cab using the smartphone app. Taxi Magic works with cab companies in 43 U.S. cities, as well as London and Vancouver.
One thing smartphone users dread the most—losing their phone. Since people traveling for business are often using their phones for work, this can be more than just a slight inconvenience that can be fixed with a trip to the mobile store. Lookout allows you to track your phone, sound an alarm/page it if it’s lost or erase the memory remotely. This way you can either find your lost device or make sure any sensitive information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
At the end of the day, shopping is a price game, and RedLaser can be your trump card at winning that game. This app allows you to scan barcodes with your smartphone’s camera and see how those prices compare to other stores. After a scan, you can see what the price of that particular item is at several nearby retailers, as well as online retailing giant, eBay, which publishes the app.
GeoQpons is made for the coupon-conscious consumer. It delivers coupons from thousands of retailers, restaurants and other businesses directly to your smartphone. These coupons aren’t just for big-box stores, either. Local businesses can use GeoQpons to send their own discounts to their customers. In addition to providing the coupons, GeoQpons will also send you notifications when your coupons are about to expire so you can make sure you get the deal before it’s gone.
Ibotta is a smartphone app which acts as sort of a reverse coupon. The app sends you offers on products, and after viewing a small promotion for that product (such as a video or product fact), you get rewards for that item. When you purchase those items at one of several national retailers, simply snap a picture of your receipt and Ibotta gives you money back using PayPal. Another cool feature is that instead of taking the cash, you can choose to donate the money to any school in America.
For those who crave a social approach to shopping, there’s Wrapp. This smartphone and tablet app allows you to give gift cards to your Facebook friends. Some of the gift cards available are free, too, meaning you can send a friend a $5 gift and pay nothing for it. Since it connects through Facebook, Wrapp can show you when your friends’ birthdays are coming up, allowing you to send them a nice little gift without having to remember when their birthday is.
Amazon is the largest online retailer and a go-to source for online shoppers. This app does a great job of translating the Amazon website to a mobile platform, making it easy to use on a smartphone or tablet. You can do everything on the app you can do on the website—update your wish list, buy things and look at the daily deals. Additionally, the app comes with a barcode scanning feature that allows you to compare prices at brick-and-mortar stores with those on Amazon.
Here are a few smartphone apps to help you keep those New Year’s resolutions.
(from Brian Molina, news.verizonwireless.com)
The Fit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker calculates distance and calories burned during everyday activities or exercise while monitoring progress made. Keep track of calories with the Calorie Counter: My Fitness Pal app, which also features nutritional information, more than 350 exercises and the ability to set goals.
Quitting smoking can be extremely difficult, but with the Time to Quit Smoke app, achievements are displayed to help users stay strong. The app informs users of how long it has been since their last cigarette, how much money they have saved and how many cigarettes they have not smoked.
The Windows Phone 8X by HTC and Nokia Lumia 822, the latest Windows Phone 8 devices, are able to assist users in staying organized while on the go. Live tiles on the home screen allow users to select which apps, bookmarks and contacts they want to be able to access quickly. Built-in Microsoft Office and SkyDrive integration let users be productive and access documents right on the device.
Another popular resolution is to find a better work-life balance in the New Year. A great way to step away from the office and spend time with your family and friends is to take a weekend road trip. To ensure a relaxing car ride, parents can pack a tablet to play movies, TV shows and other video content for the kids with viewdini. If a family is taking a trip abroad and needs to stay connected to life back at home, they can purchase a global data plan to use data while traveling outside the United States.
This New Year, achieve your resolutions with the help of the latest technology and have a successful 2013.
Hotel Tonight (Android | iOS)
This app allows you to book last-minute hotel rooms as late as 2 o’clock in the morning and at a big discount to boot (up to 70 percent off, according to the app makers). Hotel Tonight is great for people who travel a lot for business. If your flight is cancelled, you are no longer stranded at the airport with no hotel options. This app currently has hotel listings in almost 50 U.S. states, as well as nine international cities, and growing.
Yelp (Android | iOS)
Yelp is an app that has user reviews for all kinds of local businesses, such as restaurants, shops and salons. If you’re visiting an unfamiliar city, Yelp can help you decide where to eat by showing you restaurants close to you to go along with other people’s ratings of those establishments. With reviews for everything from florists to jewelers to dentists, Yelp has reviews for just about every type of business. If you decide you want a haircut while on vacation, Yelp can help you figure out which local salons and barber shops are the best bets to get a good cut.
HearPlanet (Android | iOS)
HearPlanet is like having a tour guide in your pocket. This app offers guided audio tours that can provide facts and history of nearby landmarks. If you want to learn about the Golden Gate Bridge while you walk across it, just open the HearPlanet app and throw your headphones in to get an audio-guided tour. This app can also send you push notifications to alert you when you are near a spot of interest. For those who like to take a more laid-back approach to travel, this can allow them to wander the city and have the app inform them of nearby points of interest. For those keeping an eye on how much data they use, this app allows you to download any audio tours you might want while connected to WiFi and listen to them later.
Gas Buddy (Android | iOS)
This app is for the road trippers out there. Gas Buddy allows you to see gas prices at stations around you so that you can find the cheapest places to fill up. You can also search for gas prices in other cities, so you can find inexpensive gas in cities that are on the way to your destination.
Packing List (Android)
It’s something we’ve all experienced at one time or another—forgetting to pack something. Whether it’s socks, a razor or a hair dryer, we’ve all been stranded out of town without a crucial item and been faced with the choice to tough it out and go without or break down and buy something we already own. Packing List allows you to create checklists so that you’ll always have everything you need. This app doesn’t just cover the typical clothing and toiletry items, either. There are options for documents (you wouldn’t want to drive to a port for a cruise without your passport), medicine and other necessities.
Google Sky Maps (Android)
To provide lessons in astronomy, the Sky Map app uses GPS and the Android accelerometer to project an augmented reality of the night sky. In addition to showing constellations, stars, and planets above, Google’s search capabilities will help find a particular celestial body and a universe of information about it.
Vibrometer (Android | iOS)
Vibrometer aids student seismologists by using the phone’s sensors to measure a real earthquake, a simulated temblor for research or any other vibration. An especially interesting feature of this app is the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale (MMI), which is a key measurement in earthquake research.
Barometer HD (Android)
Smartphones and tablets with a barometric sensor can run the Barometer HD app to make meteorology fun. Users see real-time barometric pressure in various scientific units to help predict the weather. The app also indicates the altitude Standard Temperature and Pressure.
NOVA Elements (iOS)
For chemistry-lovers, the NOVA Elements app includes a full two-hour video of NOVA’s Hunting the Elements. The app also features an interactive periodic table of elements to learn fun facts about every element from hydrogen to ununoctium.
Frog Dissection (Android | iOS)
When it comes to biology, Frog Dissection is a great alternative to cutting up an actual frog on a lab table. The realistic app mimics the actual procedure using step-by-step instructions, 3D imagery and virtual dissection tools.
Expedition White Shark (iOS)
For something a little more intimidating than frogs, the Expedition White Shark app from the Marine Conservation Science Institute includes numerous features, including the ability for users to track satellite-tagged great whites in real-time as they swim the seas. There is also a “meet our sharks” section that provides photos and data on all of the tagged sharks.
Grill-It! (Android | iOS)
Grilling ability has long been a measure of manliness, and while not everyone can be an expert, Grill-It! gives you access to enough recipes and tips to make you feel like one. The app gives you specific instructions along with professional photos of the completed dishes so you can see how yours match up. You can browse the recipes by meat types, key words or ingredients. Don’t know what temperature to cook a certain meat? Grill-It! provides you with a list of the correct internal temperatures for cooking every kind of meat. A new recipe is added every week, so you’ll never run out of new meals to try.
ESPN Scorecenter (Android | iOS)
No man wants to be caught not knowing the score of a game or the latest sports news. Stay informed 24/7 with ESPN Scorecenter, an app that provides scores, news and standings from hundreds of different sports leagues around the world. The feature myTeams allows you to select your favorite teams and creates an individual page for each one. You can even subscribe for alerts to be sent to your phone for the start of your teams’ games, scoring plays, end of period/quarter/half notifications and final score updates. No matter how hectic your schedule is, ESPN Scorecenter lets you stay up to date on everything sports.
Fitness Buddy (Android | iOS)
Personal trainers are expensive, but that’s no longer an excuse for not getting a great workout. Fitness Buddy features over 1,700 exercises and 1,000 HD videos to provide you with the best personal training app available for your phone. It provides detailed exercise instructions, as well as full workout plans, so you can get your body to its prime condition. The app also tracks your progression, so you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your workout.
SkyDroid – Golf GPS (Android | iOS)
Say goodbye to expensive GPS devices for tracking your position on the golf course. This $0.99 app provides you with a satellite view of the course you’re playing on, as well as distances to greens and any hazards. There are currently over 22,000 courses mapped on the app, but you can map any course you want to online.
Mixologist Drink Recipes (Android | iOS)
If you don’t want to have to deal with the crowds at your local bar, Mixologist Drink Recipes will provide you with your own personal bartender. With almost 8,000 drink recipes and 1,300 ingredients, this app gives you access to the steps to make any drink you could want. If you only have a limited selection of alcohol, you can tell the app what you have in stock, and it will give you recipes featuring only those ingredients. Or, if one of the drinks that you don’t have the right alcohol for catches your eye, the app will find the nearest liquor store to your current location.
Out of Milk (Android)
While women often get stuck with the unceremonious task of grocery shopping, there are ways to make the process simpler. Out of Milk is an app for your phone or tablet that allows you to create a shopping list, pantry list and a to-do list all in one app. Make a grocery list, and then scan items as you pick them up to cross them off. Have trouble remembering what to put on your list? The app allows you to scan and save what’s in your pantry, and it saves your purchase history, as well. You can even group items by category, helping you to get all items on one trip through the store.
Daily Yoga (Android)
Looking for a productive stress-reliever but don’t have time for the gym? Daily Yoga provides full yoga classes designed by certified yoga instructors, available on your phone or tablet. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner, a yoga veteran or somewhere in between, as Daily Yoga provides different levels of difficulty for the user. The app even provides you with HD videos and step-by-step instructions for all poses. Daily Yoga divides the sessions into four categories (Abs, Back, Butt, Chest), for which you’ll have to download the appropriate plug-in.
My Pregnancy Today (Android | iOS)
If you’re currently expecting, or even considering it in the future, My Pregnancy Today is the perfect app to help make your experience as easy as possible. Once you enter your baby’s due date, the app will provide you with daily instructions, including nutrition tips and a checklist of activities. A particularly interesting feature of the app is a series of images that show fetal development. This lets you get an idea of what your child looks like at different stages of your pregnancy. Also, if you’d like to get in touch with other mothers-to-be that have similar due dates, My Pregnancy Today offers birth clubs for you to join.
Womanlog Pro Calendar (Android | iOS)
Keeping track of your menstrual and fertility cycles is a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. Womanlog Pro Calendar is a convenient and user-friendly calendar app that lets you track your menstrual cycle, ovulation forecast and fertility forecast in one place. All functions of the calendar are accessible from one screen, making it simple for you to view all of your schedules at once.
Beauty Product Reviews (Android | iOS)
Want to know the difference between two anti-aging creams before you buy one? Is one make-up remover really better than another? Beauty Product Reviews will tell you everything you need to know. Featuring 45,000 products and over 280,000 customer reviews, this app will help lessen the chance of buyer’s remorse from your purchase. Products are organized into easily navigable categories and subcategories based on intended use, as well as their brand. There are also pictures of all of the products, so you can be sure that you’re researching the correct item. And since the reviews are posted by real customers, you can trust the information on the app to be up to date and honest.
Temple Run (Android | iOS)
One of the most popular smartphone games of all time, Temple Run utilizes all of the technology of your smartphone. As you run away from the Evil Demon Monkeys, you swipe the screen and tilt your phone to maneuver through the course. An easy and intuitive game to learn, Temple Run is truly enjoyable for everyone. It’s free on both Android and in the Apple App Store, so it’s a great app for new users to learn the gaming capabilities of their phone.
Facebook (Android | iOS)
In many ways, the mobile version of Facebook is sleeker and more efficient to use than the traditional version. There are also great features that just aren’t available on the computer, including taking pictures on your phone through the Facebook app and “Checking In” to your current location. Facebook also does a great job of updating the app regularly, which keeps minor problems from becoming major issues.
BBC News (Android | iOS)
Possibly the best news app available for smartphones, BBC News provides the award-winning content of the international news company, conveniently in your pocket. With this app, you get the latest national and regional news, from business to politics to science, arts and everything in-between. The layout of the app is simple and easy to use, and you’re also given the option to personalize the page, allowing you to see only the content which interests you. A great feature that sets it apart from other news apps is its access to BBC World Service Radio. This app truly can serve as your main source of news.
Pandora (Android | iOS)
The best free internet radio website is also available on your smartphone. Pandora is a personalized radio app that lets you listen to your favorite artists, genres and songs, while also finding music that you may like based on your preferences. When you first open the app, you’ll be prompted to create a “Station” by entering the name of your favorite artist or genre, and then Pandora will play songs based on what you enter. This app gives you access to music no matter where you are, but because of its significant data use, we recommend that you use Wi-Fi where you can.
Urbanspoon (Android | iOS)
One of the more popular apps of all-time, Urbanspoon, is the most convenient restaurant finder available for your smartphone. This app makes deciding where to eat a simple process. Enter preferences such as price range and food type, shake your phone and Urbanspoon will give you a random suggestion on where to eat. The app also gives you directions to and reviews of all of the restaurants it suggests, helping to make your planning process that much easier.
Evernote (Android, iOS)
Evernote is a free cloud storage app that lets you integrate your notes across several different devices, allowing users to access and edit files on any Internet-connected device, from smartphones to desktop computers. Students can use this app for notes, to-do lists and to record voice reminders. Evernote also has other useful features. For instance, there is a feature that can be used to search for text within an image. Instead of trying to write down an entire whiteboard’s worth of material, a user can just snap a photo and search for the pertinent text later.
StudyBlue Flashcards (Android, iOS)
This app gives you the ability to create flashcards, using text and images, on your mobile device. StudyBlue Flashcards also allows you to quiz yourself, providing statistics for study-session performance. That way, students can identify their weaknesses and focus on the topics giving them the most difficulty. The flashcards can also be used offline, making it possible to study without the need for Internet access.
Mint.com Personal Finance (Android, iOS)
Mint.com is a budgeting app that gives you a holistic view of your personal finances. It allows you to integrate your bank accounts and credit cards to provide a better view of where your money is coming from and where it is going. The app can create a budget for you, and will even send alerts when bills are due, allowing students to stay on top of their finances.
Alarm Clock Xtreme (Android)
Having trouble waking up for those 8 a.m. classes? Alarm Clock Xtreme can assist with that. Those guilty of habitual snoozing can customize their alarms so that they have to correctly answer math equations to get those few extra minutes of sleep. Users can also set the amount of times they are allowed to hit the snooze button or make it so the duration between alarms is shorter each time they snooze. There are also features for morning people. For those who prefer a gentler wake-up call, an alarm can be set to gradually increase in volume, instead of a loud, boisterous siren.
Real Simple No Time to Cook? (Android, iOS)
The stereotypical college diet consists largely of fast food, pizza and ramen. For the adventurous types who want to cook food that requires a little more preparation than adding a packet of pasta to boiling water, there’s Real Simple Recipes’ No Time to Cook? This app provides simple, fast recipes for the novice chef. It starts by asking users what the foundation of their dish will be (i.e. chicken, vegetarian, pasta) and then gives them an option for desired preparation time: 20, 30 or 40 minutes. Aside from providing simple, fast recipes, the app also has how-to videos, a kitchen timer and it can send grocery lists via text or email to ensure you leave the grocery store with the necessary ingredients.