8 Essential Apps to Power You Through the Day
It’s 2019, and no matter how much your overly hipster friend wants to tweet otherwise, mobile apps are as much a part of our lives as the ever-rising price of your morning latte. With more than 2 million applications to choose from, the tech-y possibilities are limitless -- but your precious phone battery definitely isn’t. So how are you supposed to know which ones you truly must have? If your idea of fun is trying out every app until you find the perfect combination to meet your everyday needs, go right ahead. But for those who don’t want to waste time scrolling through the App Store, we’ve rounded up a list of mobile apps to keep your day running smoothly, from wake up to bedtime.
GET OFF TO A GOOD STARTAlarmy
By now, we know that hitting the snooze button for a few extra zzz’s doesn’t actually give you more energy, and can start your morning at a pretty unproductive pace. So if you absolutely hate waking up in the morning, what are you supposed to do? Enter Alarmy, the app that will get your butt out of bed -- literally. There are three separate ways to turn off the excessively annoying alarm: shake, solve, or snap. Shaking your phone like salt shaker for a given amount of reps gives your forearms a mini-workout and gets your blood flowing, making going back to sleep kinda impossible. Solving a math problem? Easy for some, harder for others, but it still gets your brain cells kicking (and is definitely a better alternative to scrolling social media first thing in the morning). But the real payoff is the “snap” feature, where you have to take a picture of a predetermined location in your house. By the time you finish one of these, you’re wide awake.
Cost: Free, premium plan $12.99/month
Between walking, driving, or taking public transportation to the gym and back, battling for a turn on the squat machine, and trying not to embarrass yourself in front of the Arnold Schwarznegger-bodybuilder-types, going to the gym in the morning seems like a hard pass. Thankfully, Keelo lets you avoid all the headaches of gym life, while still giving you more energy for the rest of the day through high-intensity, sweat-inducing workouts that can be done right in your home. No hassle, no questionable gym hygiene, just you and your sweat. And the best part is, the workouts are under 20 mins -- perfect for squeezing in before you start your day.
Getting caught in a storm is fun in the rom-coms, but not so much when you’re sprinting home through puddles of water without an umbrella. With Dark Sky on your phone, however, there are no more excuses to not knowing what’s going to be falling out of the sky, or the temperature, or anything else regarding the atmosphere. Dubbed as a hyperlocal weather app that uses robot technology to predict the weather, Dark Sky gives you the exact minute when it will start to rain at the exact spot you currently are.
BEAT THE 2PM SLUMP
Stop, Breathe & Think
Cost: Free, premium membership $9.99/month
When the day hits 2pm, you get tired, distracted, and generally cranky. But this app provides quick and accessible guided meditation to recenter your mind and body. Easy to use, Stop, Breathe & Think is built for all levels of meditators, from beginners to pros. The text-based introduction to the app gives first-timers the chance to learn the basics of meditating. During guided meditations, vibrant images and relaxing audio help users tune out the noise of everyday life. So whether you’re reeling from a clash with a coworker or exhausted on the subway home from work, Stop, Breathe & Think can give you the inner peace you need to get through the rest of the day.
Cost: $9.99 (for iPhone)
Let’s face it, there are hundreds of apps to help you manage your hectic workflow, but none are as thoughtful, and flat-out customizable as Things. Whether it’s collecting your thoughts or getting organized for the week ahead, Things is the modern to-do list that allows you to set timers and add events to your calendar in just a few taps. Use the “This Evening” feature to separate the to-dos you can only check off at home, easily drag and drop items from one day or list to the next, and add headings to break up larger projects into smaller tasks. To top it off, the Things app has a very minimalist design, making your calendar feel less cluttered already.
IT’S ALL ABOUT HOW YOU FINISH
Cost: Free, premium subscription $4.99/month
Enjoying a strong drink at happy hour is fun. Chilling in your house after a long, tiresome day behind a desk is also fun. Combine your two competing desires with Cocktail Flow, the app that teaches you how to concoct a delicious drink right in the comfort of your own kitchen. Search for recipes by category, like strength and even color, and filter by whatever base spirit you have at home. The free app saves you the cost of tipping a bartender, and puts hundreds of different cocktail recipes right at your fingertips to create a tiny happy hour of your own -- minus the crowds.
Keeping up with all the new releases on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, etc., is exhausting. And although it’s tempting to give up and just watch reruns of Martin, Just Watch lets you instantly check which titles have been added to each streaming service without the hassle of scrolling through the home screens yourself. Updated weekly, the app’s interface is easy and fast; simply select which streaming services you subscribe to and filter results by genre, date, and popularity. The days of “IDK what to watch” will vanish (though finding a title both you and your roommate can agree on is still on you).
Cost: Free, pro subscription $9.99/month
Even after the longest of days, it can still be hard to relax, unwind, and turn off all the distracting thoughts that keep us awake. For that, there’s Pzizz, a sleeping app that uses music, a variety of sound effects, and soothing voiceover to ensure you fall asleep fast, stay in your REM cycle, and wake up feeling like a new person. Using advanced algorithm technology (that we won’t even try to explain here), Pzizz creates a personalized soundtrack that slightly differs each night, teaching your mind to associate those sounds with a restful sleep.