Let’s face facts: You likely carry your phone with you constantly like it’s an extra limb/brain/child you love unconditionally and don’t have to feed. If our phones are going to be on us essentially all the time, it’s probably a good idea to make sure we’ve got the essential apps everyone should have on their phones.
If I’m being honest, I wouldn’t call myself “tech savvy” or an “early adopter” when it comes to the latest apps. If I’m being very honest, my phone is pretty bare aside from some social apps, the apps that came on my phone, and the Wheel of Fortune app. (Listen, we all have our vices and mine is solving word puzzles to the applause of a Vanna White avatar.)
I’m assuming most people have the basic social apps downloaded and that everyone is using the calculator app on a regular basis. Additionally, in the spirit of being the best grown-ass selves we can all be, there are more than a handful of apps of which we should all be taking advantage. From helping us navigate our personal finances to literally navigating a new place, here are 16 apps for your phone consideration. Also, they’re all free.
If you’re a person with a period, Clue is for you. It’s one of the most recommended period tracking apps by OB/GYNs. Whether you want to make sure you know when your period will start or if you want to track your mood during your cycle, Clue will help you monitor your menstrual cycle like a pro. (...If there were such things as “professional period havers)
Download the Clue app here.
Mint is a personal finance app that makes it easy to manage your money. You can see where you’re spending your money as well as set monthly budgets to stay on track money-wise. Whether you want to start saving for something specific or you just want to figure out how much you’re actually spending at Chipotle each month, Mint is for you.
Download the Mint app here.
Flipboard puts the news you’re most passionate about in one easy-to-see location. When you download the app, you can select the types of stories you’re most interested in and Flipboard will curate “magazines” of up-to-date news for you based on your interests. It’s a great way to both organize your news as well stay informed on the things you’re most interested in.
Download Flipboard here.
Need to get in better habit of understanding and using your health care? You can use Practo to do things like schedule doctor appointments, order medications online, and keep your medical records accessible and on hand. So, now you don’t have any excuse not to take advantage of your employee-provided dental benefits.
Download Practo here.
Duolingo will help you check “learning a new language” off your bucket list. It’s free, easy-to-use, and gamifies learning a new language. Will Candy Crush teach you German? Probably not. Duolingo makes learning a language fun and approachable, and it’ll be your new favorite “time waster.” (If you consider learning a lifelong skill a waste of time.)
Download the Duolingo app here.
RunPee solves the problem that has vexed mankind for generations: When can I run out of the theater to pee mid-movie? You’re grown now. You don’t have to hold your pee through subplot exposition. Let RunPee tell you the most optimal times to go to the bathroom when you just can’t hold it in the theaters.
Download RunPee here.
For good reason, many women worry about walking home alone. Apps like SafeTrek makes your journey significantly less scary, literally with the press of the button. All you need to do is open the app and put your finger on the safe button. When you release your finger, you’ll be prompted to input your pin to let the app know you’re safe. If you’re in danger, just release the button and don’t enter your pin. The app will notify local police of your location and someone will be on their way to help. It’s like a digital version of pepper spray or a quicker way to call for help.
Get SafeTrek here.
IFTTT stands for “If this, then that.” It’s a service that helps streamline all your apps so you don’t have to bounce back and forth to, say, add songs from videos you like to Spotify playlist. You can also do things that would otherwise be kind of complicated to do, like log how much time you spend in certain places into a spreadsheet. It’s peak smartphone efficiency. The future is now, people.
Download IFTTT here.
Waze is a navigation and travel app that does more that tell you where the closest Starbucks is. You can see how to best avoid construction, traffic, even police using Waze. You can also help other drivers by reports things like accidents to the app, so other people know what areas to avoid.
Download Waze here.
If you’re constantly running out of space on your phone, Google Photos will change your life. It provides unlimited storage of photos and video so you can free up space on your phone. With quite literally the click of a button, Google Photos will upload photos from your device, save them safely on Google Photos, and then remove any duplicate versions on your phone. It’s an essential for anyone whose phone doubles as their most-used camera (which is everyone).
Download Google Photos here.
Countable is democracy made easy. It lets you stay up-to-date on what bills your reps are voting on as well as send messages directly to congress people, making sure they know where their constituents stand. You can select the issues you’re most passionate about from the environment to reproductive rights and get a notification every time relevant legislation is on the table.
Download Countable here.
If you’re sick of splitting the bill at dinner or want an easier way to pay your roommate for this month’s electric, Venmo is a secure, easy-to-use money transfer app. Instead of worrying about writing out a check or carrying cash, you can Venmo money from your bank account to someone else’s. Also, you can send emoji messages along with your payment which would arguably make paying rent slightly more bearable.
Get Venmo here.
Oops, did you just drop this shameless plug? Oh, it must have been me then. If you’re here, you must be a least a little bit into Bustle. Take that relationship to the next level with the Bustle app which gives you everything from breaking news alerts to easy style tips to v. important memes.
Get the Bustle app here.