ccording to Pew Research, 77 percent of all Americans now carry a smartphone. There has even been a dramatic increase in smartphone usage for those over 50 years old. As Americans realize how many tasks they can get done on their phones, new and completely radical apps are being created.
Today’s smartphones have powerful processors and LTE connectivity. This is more than enough power for meeting apps, calendars, to-do lists, games, and mobile office suites. Depending on what you need to accomplish, you can find an app for just about any task, including scanning, file management, and travel booking. Though iOS is still the preferred platform, more apps are now available for Android as well. Below are our top 12 apps for making the most of your smartphone.
PocketGuard (Android and iOS)
For those who want to know where all your money goes each month, PocketGuard is a budget management app that also allows you to manage your bank account. The app uses encrypted, read-only technology that connects to your credit card and bank accounts. You can view balances, track spending and purchases, and get a quick look at bill payments. PocketGuard shows you what you can safely spend without being overdrawn or over credit card limits. It’s a great way to stay on a tight budget and the app is free.
Adobe Scan (Android and iOS)
This is the favorite mobile scanner app due to its versatility. You can convert paper documents to PDF, then search and edit the document using Adobe Scan. The app uses optical character recognition to transform a document into digital text. Despite its powerful components, this app is free to download. You can save your downloaded documents to the Cloud using a free Adobe Document Cloud account as well.
Files (iOS only)
The Files app was first released by Apple as part of iOS 11. It works well with either iPhone or iPad to provide a higher level of productivity. Using the Files app, you can connect to iCloud, Dropbox and other file storage programs. Browse, organize and search through documents on any Apple device. The app makes file management much easier. You can also connect with other iCloud users in real time. The Files app is free.
Hopper and Hopper Hotels (iOS only)
These two apps have become a favorite of travelers because they save you money on travel expenses. Hopper helps predict the cheapest time to fly. You can also book your airfare ticket. Hopper Hotel gives users the ability to look for the cheapest hotel rates and book those reservations as well. Hopper Hotels is currently only available in major markets including Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, but the developers are working to include many other cities. They’re also planning to roll the app out to Android soon. Both apps are free.
HP Smart (iOS, Android)
HP Smart replaces the HP All-in-One Printer Remote app. You can set up and manage any HP printer or scanner using this app. It integrates well with programs like Google Drive, Dropbox, Instagram, and Facebook. You can share documents via text messaging or email.
IKEA Place (iOS only)
IKEA has tapped into a major market for those who are trying to furnish or remodel their home. The IKEA Place app lets you browse through their furniture and see how certain items would look in any room of your home. You begin by scanning the rooms you want to furnish, then simply look through their virtual store for furniture and accessories. The app provides a higher level of augmented reality to users. This app can help you avoid buying things that won’t fit in your space.
Microsoft Teams (iOS and Android)
Microsoft Teams is a popular chat-based workspace that allows workers to meet online and share files. It integrates well with other Microsoft products and even some programs from outside vendors. You can be more productive using MS Teams. The app is free.
Things 3 (iOS only)
This task management app is the third release from Cultured Code and reportedly took five years to develop. It enables users to connect with other apps in order to set project goals, brainstorm, and schedule appointments. The app includes easy-to-use features like “Collect Your Thoughts”, “Get Organized”, “Plan Your Time”, and “Make the Most of Your Day”. Though it costs $9.99, it does offer a number of valuable productivity features that can help you create and complete any project on time and within budget.
Just Press Record (iOS only)
Just Press Record makes it easy to record anything. With one tap, you can record your kids at play or an important meeting. This mobile audio recorder also features built-in transcription capabilities and it syncs to iCloud so you can transfer files to other devices. Recording can be completed from a lockscreen, making it fast to use. It also has the ability to transcribe speech and supports a number of different languages. The cost is $4.99.
Chefsfeed (Android only)
If you have a hard time choosing a dining spot, the Chefsfeed app can help you decide. This app includes food and restaurant reviews from professional and celebrity chefs. Learn all about the best dishes and the best restaurants in your area. You can even book restaurant reservations. The Chefsfeed website contains articles and videos that would appeal to all foodies. Chefsfeed is free to download.
Gorogoa (iOS only)
This visually stunning iOS puzzle game takes you on a surreal journey to find and stop a magical beast. Using overlay panel elements and objects in the environment, players can combine elements to create a living game world. This unique puzzle game is beautifully hand-drawn and full of surprises. This game is also available on many gaming systems including PlayStation, Nintendo, and Xbox. It has won a number of prestigious awards. The app costs $3.99.
Notion (iOS and Android)
Notion uses artificial intelligence and unique algorithms to help users sort through and organize their email inbox. The Radar feature shows you what messages require an immediate reply. It includes helpful features like swipe controls and customizable notifications. Notion has an Alexa skill that makes it possible to use the app with Amazon’s smart speaker system. Notion is free and supports Gmail, G Suite, Office 365 and IMAP email services.