We set out to find apps that don’t receive a lot of recognition because either they don’t have a lot of exposure or because they aren’t used on a regular basis. We left out the shopping apps because shopping enthusiasts know all of the underground apps. However when “app”lied, they become convenient and helpful. Here are the 5 useful apps for IPhones:
Useful App 1 – Compass
Developer – Apple Inc.
Price – Free
I know…what use is a compass to a few techy, indoor guys. It’s simple. Download the app, swipe the screen to the left, and you got yourself a level (another tool we don’t have). Now make sure your 60” flat screen is level for the next Call of Duty game.
Useful App 2 1Password
Developer – AgileBits Inc.
Price – $3.99 monthly (Free trial is available)
We all have been there; trying to remember last year’s fantasy football password. Was it last year’s girlfriend’s name or was it your Pacman high score? “1Password” app software syncs with your devices and apps and automatically identifies the unique password you may have selected years ago by simply entering your “1password” password. While a monthly fee for this service may seem pricey for the avid techy who might have hundreds of passwords, it is convenient and saves you the time of resetting passwords for rarely used applications which are certain to get lost next year when you try to cancel that Jelly of the Month Club subscription you signed up for at 2:00 am.
Useful App 3 – Pacer – Pedometer plus Weight Loss and BMI Tracker
Developer – Pacer Health Inc.
Price – Free for the basic and $4.99 for Premium/month
I am interested enough in my health where I sincerely desired to see how many calories I burned and how much walking I do daily (or lack thereof). I am defiantly not interested in dropping money on a Fitbit such that I have to flaunt this on my wrist and allow my coworkers to laugh when they notice it, not to mention my lanky physique. The basic service is great and reliable and tracks your steps and calories burned. The user interface illustrates statistics for the current, past days and months. The premium service provides for add-ons for the fitness guy that my wife wishes I was. The premium service will set daily goals for you based on your desired weight loss and will even recommend workout plans and schedules called “habits”. As I see it, the only down side is, it does appear to be a drag on your smartphone’s battery life.
Useful App 4 – Grocery List by Voice
Developer – Bit and Web
Price – Free
For those of you who don’t own an Amazon Echo, the best feature is the hands free grocery list skill. While this grocery list app isn’t as useful as the Amazon Echo, it sure beats the pen and paper that you will inevitably forget to use and even remember to bring you with you to the grocery store. The app’s voice recognition is great and dependable. However, the app must be open to access it, and you are required to press the start/stop buttons for recording.
Useful App 5 – Cheers! – Blood Alcohol Content Calculator
Developer – Jaroslaw Bielawski
Price – Free ($2.99 to monitor BAC above .08)
So your wife’s Holiday Party is next week, and she prefers you not to unleash “Frank the Tank” again. Give Cheers! App a shot (Pun fully intended). Seriously, this app makes some assumptions and doesn’t accurately calculate your BAC. You shouldn’t use the app as an instrument to decide if it is safe to drive or perform any task involving motor skills. If you have been drinking at all you, call an Uber. I used the app for a couple of weeks just to figure out how I reacted at certain BAC levels, and more importantly how my body reacted the next day which it didn’t as I laid on the couch in an episode of self-loathing. The limited information you input into the app lends itself to being inaccurate as it doesn’t take food or water consumption into account. I found the app too be very easy to use, and was entertaining to an extent. A quick swipe of the screen will change the alcohol type, and simply use your finger to adjust the quantity and alcohol percentage of the drink.
Bonus Useful App -1 – Secret calculator + Private Photo and Video Vault
Developer – One Wave AB
Price – Free
While I don’t have any use for hiding pictures (other than my 1990’s grunge phase), I did find the app to be cool and know a lot of people who might find value in it. The app opens to look like a typical calculator, after typing in your 4 digit pin code and then the % sign, it reveals your photo albums. It is easy to use and upload pictures. The disadvantage is your content isn’t backed up. You have to subscribe to the premium service for $4.33 a month for the cloud backup. Additional premium features include unlimited content, web browsing through the hidden interface, and a break-in attempt log.
Bonus Useful App 2 – 1Weather
Developer – OneLouder Apps
Price – Free
This app does all the features seen in other weather apps but provides a little more. Look at your current weather forecast, but quickly toggle to live color radar. I cross checked the color radar with my local news station for accuracy. Another pretty cool feature is the moon & sun menu which portrays the current moon and what to expect in the days to come. Great resource for fans of astrology. Finally, the two great features putting this weather app above the competitors are the aviation feature , a must when travelling, and the alerts and notifications the app will text you depending on your current location.