Useful Smartphone Apps
Looking for some useful apps to get? This article lists and describes some of the common, useful, free apps for iphone that we have encountered.
Originally Published: 5th of January, 2014
Last Updated: 28th of February, 2014
There are thousands and thousands of apps out there. However many of the are not very useful or are just duplicates of other apps that have the same functionality. It's often hard to sort through them all and locate the ones that can really add useful functionality to your iPhone, iPad or other smart device. Here's a short list of some of the types of apps we've tested and found ourselves using regularly.
An App to Navigate.
App Name: Google Maps
Anyone who was a big user of the default iphone "Maps" update will know how the quality and reliability of the updated version was terrible and unfit to act as a GPS. Google recently released this lovely app that comes with many features that you'd normally have to pay for when getting a real GPS. Voice notifications, alternate routes and trip time predictions that include traffic congestion data. All for the low price of Free. If you use your smart phone to navigate or are looking at buying a GPS, try this first.
Apps to Keep You Connected.
App Name: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+
These are basic must haves if you're a regular user of any of the major social media websites. Just beware, some of these apps lack the functionality of the full websites and you'll likely find yourself checking for updates more than you'd initially planned.
An App to Light up the Dark.
App Name: ITorch Flashlight,
Drop your keys in the night, need to light up a dark location, don't want to trip over anything when walking in a dark area. Use your phones camera flash as a light! There are many apps that provide this feature but we settled on the one above as it was quick to load, simple to use and had everything we wanted. Remember though having your phones light on will drain your battery fairly quickly. So keep an eye on your battery when using it for extended times.
Update (28/02 /2014) : The iphone now comes with this functionality built into the shortcut menu.
An App to Find out What That Song is Called.
App Name: SoundHound, Shazam
SoundHound (or Alternatively, Shazam) can figure out the name of most popular songs just by listening to them. It goes like this:
You hear a song you like on the radio, you open the app and press the SoundHound button & after a few second the app will tell you the name and artist of the song, It'll even store it in a history list so you can go back later to find out what songs you recently discovered. Really useful if you are tying to grow your music collection. We preferred SoundHound over Shazam due to a slightly higher success rate when testing the two of them.
An App to Scan Barcodes and QRcodes.
App Name: QR Reader (built into most android phones)
Nice, simple and easy to use. Ever seen those odd square pixely shapes on posters or in magazines that tell you to scan them to see more information (QR Codes), well this app allows you to do just that. They can link you through to websites just by scanning the code. Also if you use this app to scan regular barcodes, it will provide the price of that item on popular online shopping site. Which is useful to check to see if you are getting a bargain when shopping.