For our (not-always-so-smart) smart phones, all those nifty apps are at our fingertips — but with so many out there (225,000+ and counting), how to choose? Check out snoety’s selects for our first edition of “Apps 2 Add” – a standing post to tell you our favorite must-have apps of the hour – we give you the absolute essential apps you should have on your droid or iPhone (until the next batch, anyway).
1. The Weather Channel – FREE: The weather feature that comes on your iPhone only gives you a general overview of the weekly forecast without much detail. This app can tell you where you are and automatically pulls up the forecast for you, without typing anything into the search field! Get up-to-date weather by the hour, 36 hour or 10 day. It also updates your phone with severe weather alerts and even comes with a 5 day forecast video with a real meteorologist for your area. No need to wait by that television screen in the morning! Snoety uses this EVERY day.
2. Google – FREE: Search for anything online using the best search engine by typing, taking a photo, or, yes, even saying the name directly into your phone (though, we don’t necessarily recommend this feature yet as it isn’t always accurate). The app also gives you access to your google docs, buzz, talk, calendar, maps, translate, earth, and more. Much easier to use than going directly through your internet browser on your phone and capable of a lot more. Another daily DO.
3. Yelp – FREE: Looking for a place to eat last minute can be daunting, but with this app, sifting through the masses becomes easier. The app detects your location and gives you a list of the best restaurants in your area as well as the option to filter the results by neighborhood, distance, highest rated, price, etc. It also allows you to search for bars, coffee and tea spots, banks, gas and service stations, drugstores, sales, and much more. This app has saved us a lot of hassle in the past, not to mention introduced us to a lot of new things. Also check out the app Urban Spoon for good food spots in your area.
4. Pandora – FREE: Still trying to figure out how to load music onto your phone? Don’t have enough music (or time) to even think about the whole download and upload process? Check out Pandora, an internet radio app. Type in the name of your favorite artists or songs and create your own radio station tailored to your musical taste. Or, browse through the Pandora stations and genres if you don’t feel like putting that much thought into it. Service can cut out at times, but overall, this is a blessing when we get sick of the same albums rotating on our phone (or when we get into the holiday spirit… Pandora has all kinds of holiday music stations to carry you through December!).
5. Shazam – FREE: Remember that song you heard at dinner last night? It went something like… uhhh… la da da… di? No? Well, no need to stress about this happening anymore. Shazam allows you to identify songs playing with one click. Just open the app, touch the icon to Shazam, let the app record the snippet and it will pull up the name of the artist, song and album for you. It even gives you a link where you can buy it on iTunes and stores all your old tagged songs. Probably the most impressive part? It works well even in loud areas like bars and restaurants.
6. iVanity – FREE: So, okay, I guess you could also accomplish the same thing with your front-facing camera. Download this mirror app to make sure there’s nothing in your teeth, to see if you need to freshen up your makeup, or other quick check. Warning: There can be some distortion, so it doesn’t always make you look so great. But for the purposes just mentioned, some might say it’s an essential.