Disclosure: I’m a Verizon Wireless Voices SE Ambassador and have been provided a phone to use through the duration of this program. No other compensation was received. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Generally when someone compiles a list of their favorite apps, it includes the usual suspects: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, your bank’s mobile app, Pandora, etc. I decided to only install apps on the Galaxy S4 as I needed them, rather than download every single app I had on my previous phone.
Here are five I ended up installing within 24 hours of activating the phone:
1. IMDB We’re constantly playing the “ughh she looks SO familiar, what is she from?” game while watching a movie or TV show. It’s nearly impossible to hold out for longer than two minutes before one of us reaches for our phone to “IMDB it”. Yeah, we’ve also managed to turn the app into a verb. The most recent time this came into play was while watching The Voice (we’re really behind) and E.G. Daily was auditioning.
Her claim to fame was the voice of Tommy Pickles in “Rugrats” and Dottie in “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” but neither of those were what I knew her from and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
Until I IMDB’ed it.
Phoebe’s ex-partner, Leslie, from Friends. Thank you IMDB, you solved the mystery.
2. Out of Milk I’m the person in the store that knows for a fact she’s out of something, but can’t quite figure out what it was. I’ll end up buying dish soap instead of dish detergent and then be pissed when I get home. Out of Milk has helped me out a ton. When I run out of something, I just enter it into the app manually or – this is my favorite part – you can just scan the item and it will automatically add it to your list. Then when I’m wandering the aisles aimlessly in Target, I can just open the app on my phone and see exactly what I need. And then because I’m in Target, also spend $50 on things I don’t need.
3. Yelp This app doesn’t need much of an introduction. For example, if you’re out of town and need a great restaurant fairly close to your hotel, Yelp is a great resource. You can find honest reviews from real people and recommendations on the best dishes to try. This was super helpful while we were in Dallas a couple weeks ago having brunch at Smoke.
I was stuck between a handful of items but once I read a few reviews on Yelp, we promptly ordered the Blueberry Pancakes with Vanilla Poached Apricots, Smoked Brisket Cornbread Hash, and a side of thick-cut Pork Belly bacon. Which reminds me, I still need to recap that weekend. The pancakes were life-changing and I am not exaggerating one tiny bit.
4. Untappd So many places in Austin have 15-20 beers on tap and it’s impossible to keep track of all the varieties I’ve tried. This doesn’t help when I’m in Trader Joe’s or HEB building my own 6-pack and trying to remember what IPA I had at the movies 6 weeks ago. Enter Untappd.
You can “check-in” and rate each beer you try. The app will also recommend similar pints or find your new favorite beer on tap at a local bar. If you’re a beer drinker, this needs to be on your phone. There also needs to similar app for wine because I’m also horrible at keeping track of cabs and sauvignon blancs. (I tried Vivino, but didn’t love it.)
5. Swiftkey This was one of the first (and maybe only? can’t remember) apps I ever paid money for on Google Play. I hated the stock Android keyboard on my Droid X and knew I needed something else. The app had just been released so I only paid $1.99 for it, but if I had to pay today’s price of $3.99 I’d do it in a heartbeat. It scans your email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to learn how you write and your most commonly used phrases. It takes predictive text to a whole new level. Sometimes I’ll type only a letter or two and Swiftkey will predict the entire sentence for me! Let’s say I want to send Brad a message to let him know I’m on my way home:
If you look in the first box, I typed “On” and one of the three suggestions was “my”. In the second box, one of the suggestions was “way” and so on. You get the point. I hardly had to type anything! The app also learns the way you type, like if you always hit the bottom right corner of keys. The keyboard will adjust so it doesn’t show you hit the ‘h’ instead of the ‘y’.
If you frequently text, tweet, or draft emails on your phone, Swiftkey will save you a lot of time in the process. If you’re not willing to shell out the four bucks, you can give it a try for free here. The free trial lasts 30 days. Prepare to buy the app though – you’ll love it.
Your turn to share. Tell me your favorite underrated app that I need to download.