There are many new phone apps coming out all the time, especially for iPhones, which already have over 900,000 apps. Leading publications vie with one another to publish their list of the best apps of the year. TIME magazine is the first to publish its list of the 50 best apps for 2013. The following is a short list of 10 of my favorite apps, extracted from the TIME list.
Just as you need to keep your body moving so it doesn’t turn to mush, your brain can benefit from daily exercise as well. Lumosity Mobile serves up daily brain teasers that aim to improve your memory, concentration and more, allowing you to track your progress just like you would with a physical workout regimen. These mental exercises are fun and suitable for all ages.
With each passing year, our smartphones resemble little pocket computers more and more. But for those of us that still rely on actual personal computers to get us through the day, LogMeIn helps bridge the gap. LogMeIn’s app will let you tap in to your computer remotely, controlling it from your phone’s screen as though you were sitting in front of it. It’s great for retrieving a forgotten file in a pinch or lending some quick tech support to faraway friends and family members.
You don’t have to go too far on any social network to find daily doses of negativity. New app Happier offers up something refreshingly different. It’s a social network for good stuff. Upload happy moments and personal victories for others to see, or peruse the positive photos, quotes and joyful snippets left by others. The world may be a cruel place sometimes, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take time to acknowledge the good parts.
The reigning champion of helping you get from point A to point B, Google’s mobile Maps app is a must-download for just about any iPhone owner. Sure, the app helps you get where you’re going – or figure out where you are – but it also pulls in restaurant recommendations leveraged by Google’s purchase of Zagat, and real-time traffic information leveraged by Google’s purchase of Waze – two other interesting apps.
You’re signed up for various online services, and many of these services have additional services and apps hooked into them. The MyPermissions app lets you see how many apps have access to your personal information, sending you alerts when new apps connect and letting you quickly remove apps that you’re not okay with.
Before you start moving furniture around, consider giving MagicPlan a whirl. The app captures images of the room you’re thinking of changing and converts everything into a floor plan. With a few swipes, you can get your virtual furniture arranged just right, before committing to moving it in real life.
WhatsApp looks to relieve your reliance on costly text messages with a group messaging service that lets you send text, images, video and more to your friends. The app works on most mobile platforms (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and others). There are other messenger apps in the market but WhatsApp is the clear leader.
Flipboard is no stranger to best-of-apps lists. The slick service presents web content in an aesthetically pleasing layout, with stories selected by Flipboard’s editors or culled from your social feeds. You can build your own personal magazines, too, which can be perused by other Flipboard users or shared online with the rest of the world. If you do any sort of daily reading using your smartphone, Flipboard is a must-have.
Because sometimes you have to turn paper into bits, there is CamScanner. The app lets you take a photo of the document, intelligently formats it into a digital file and then recognizes the text contained in the document in case you want to search for it later. You can also password-protect documents, add watermarks and share scans with others.
TripIt acts as a virtual travel assistant. When you book travel – whether planes, hotels or car rentals – just forward the confirmation emails you get from those bookings on to TripIt, which will automatically organize the information into a mobile itinerary for you, complete with maps, directions and weather info. If you use Gmail and Google Calendar, the entire process can be automated too.