Everyone's got jokes about how Millennials are tethered to their smartphones, but the reality is that technology today makes virtually anything possible with a swipe of your cell screen. But while you're aware of the wonders of Facebook and the omniscience of Google Search, there are tons of lesser-known apps that are definitely worth downloading, too. In fact, if you spend any time cruising Reddit threads, you've likely seen a recommendation at some point for an app that hasn't yet hit the mainstream. So, hey, wouldn't it be great if there was a place you could go and make a mental note of all the random apps you don't even realize you needed in your life, like, yesterday? Well, now there is.
You can thank Redditor luckytaurus, who posed the simple question yesterday, "What is a lesser-known app for any mobile device that is worth downloading?" As is often the case with Reddit, the responses started streaming in. And I, for one, am sitting here wondering why no one ever bothered to tell me about these brilliant apps before. You may have heard of some — you may even already have some — but rest assured there exists a virtual treasure trove of unbelievably useful, fun, and/or absolutely necessary apps buried in the thread for everyone. Join me as we take a look at 10 lesser-known apps I cherry-picked from the bunch because, well, discovering their existence boggled my brain a little.
I kid you not when I say this is the app my family has needed since, well, the dawn of time. We always seem to be running 10 minutes (aka fashionably) late everywhere we go and, on top of that, have a special penchant for finding long-cuts and getting stuck in traffic jams. Glympse is a fast, free, and super simple way to share your location using GPS tracking in real time — thus eliminating the endless phone calls inquiring about your ETA. Available through Google Play and iTunes.
So you've finally decided to jump on the Walking Dead bandwagon and see what all the fuss is about, but there's just one hitch — you don't have cable. JustWatch allows you to browse your favorite movies and TV shows to see if they are available via any streaming providers. Available through Google Play and iTunes.
Ever wished you could just make your own ringtone? Let me introduce you to Ringdroid, which does exactly that. An open-source ringtone editor, Ringdroid lets you create personal ringtones, alarms, and more using existing audio files or by recording new ones to your Android device. Available through Google Play.
I rue the fact that, in all my years of traveling, I was never clued into the sheer genius that is Tunity until this very moment. This free app — which allows you to hear any muted, live TV audio directly on your mobile device — sure would have come in handy in all the crowded airports I've been stuck in over the last decade or so. Available through Google Play.
5. Solo Photo
Listen, it's not that I have anything in my photo gallery I want to hide, per se. It's just that I'm not a huge fan of people nosing through my stuff, and this seems to be the natural reaction when someone asks to see one picture on my phone. Inevitably, they start scrolling. Not anymore, though, because I just downloaded Solo Photo. Now, the picture I choose opens in this app, and the rest of my gallery is password protected. Available through Google Play.
6. Out of Milk
If you download this intuitive app, you no longer have to worry about the dreaded feeling that comes from forgetting the things you originally went shopping for to start with. You can keep multiple shopping lists, sync and share your lists in real-time, get notified of grocery deals, scan items into your list and set reminders. Available through Google Play and iTunes.
Hello, time-management skills! If you have a little (or a lot) trouble staying on track, ClearFocus can help make you a more productive person. Based on The Pomodoro Technique, it alternates timed working sessions with short breaks to boost efficiency. Available through Google Play.
This may not be as obscure as some of the other apps on the list, but it merits mentioning because no one I know seems to be on board — and they obviously should be. The Starbucks app lets you pay for coffee via Mobile Order & Pay, then pick it up from you local Bux without waiting in line. Yes, please! Available through Google Play and iTunes.
Then again, if you're more into imbibing alcohol than caffeine, consider Untappd the app for you. This social discovery and check-in network for beer lovers lets you find nearby craft beers and bars, see what brews are trending, and find out where your buddies are drinking. Plus, the more beer you drink, the more badges you get. Available through Google Play and iTunes.
In full disclosure: I've always been a Pandora girl. That may soon change, though, given my new-found love for Songza. Not only is it free, but it doesn't have commercials. Big bonus there. And I'm definitely digging the "Music Concierge" feature and the playlists curated by moods like "having fun at work," which I'm listening to now. Available through Google Play and iTunes.