A group of us were talking earlier this week about the “must-have” apps that we just can’t live without – which inspired me to share with you my top five:
Venmo & Mobile Payments With Friends– Venmo is all about mobile payments between friends. Its purpose is to pay back and charge people for life’s expenses without ever opening your wallet. I use this app to pay my roomies for rent and utilities, my best friend for cab fare and my brother for happy hour. It’s safe, secure and, oh, so easy. I highly recommend this app to anyone who hates owing people money and splitting dinner 10 ways.
Pulse & Dashboards – Pulse is one of the best ways out there to browse news on your iPhone or Android. It’s a dashboard for online publications and it’s one more app that underscores consumer interest in the elegance of panning through multiple sources at once. Why browse TechCrunch, when you can browse The Verge, HuffingtonPost and GigaOM all at the same time? These dashboards allow us to take everything in at once; indulging us of not being deprived of even more media content.
Mint.com & Financial Organization– Financial organization may be the most important trend to ever catch my attention. I can honestly say I would be a lost cause without Mint.com for putting all my financial matters in the palm of my hand. It syncs all my credit cards and bank accounts and keeps my budget on track each and every month. I’ve become so aware of how I am spending my money and honest with myself regarding where I stand financially.
My Fitness Pal & Fitness Tracking – As highlighted by my colleague Thomas a few posts ago, My Fitness Pal is a simple and motivating tracking application that helps keep track of what you eat, how much you exercise, while also tracking progress over time. Just like Mint.com tracks your financial health, this application helps us stay honest about your physical health habits. I’m starting to see a lot of my friends hop on this bandwagon as well. As a young person in the 21st century, it’s so easy to live life on auto-pilot and forget how we are maintaining our bodies. I think it’s terrific that apps like these are becoming so popular, if not for just helping us be more mindful.
Find my iPhone & Location-Based Technology – This application only become a necessity in my app arsenal two weeks ago when my iPhone disappeared for the first time. I wasn’t sure if it fell out of my pocket, if someone stole it, or if it simply slipped into the cracks of my couch. But what I was sure of was that I needed this app, and my Verizon store manager let me know it. I then went on a mission to make sure all my friends had it on their phone too (apparently the iCloud works for locating your phone too). Location-based technology has become a seamless feature in a lot of the applications and technologies we have now. I don’t care that I have to navigate my way three blocks down the street using my iPhone Maps app– having the luxury of locating yourself or lost items is as good as magic.
A little bit about me: I am a former loyal Blackberry user and passionate consumer of news that I can absorb in 140 characters or less. I admit to sleeping with my phone in my hand on a regular basis, and as much as I loved my Blackberry, I broke down and bought an iPhone so I could play Word-With-Friends and Angry Birds on my morning BART ride. In addition, I am currently saving money for an iPad, which I will use if for nothing else than to read magazines and The New York Times.