My Favourite Apps That You Should Try

    I was really late to this whole smart phone thing, mainly because I was worried that instead of reading books on my commute I'd be stuck on my phone. Unfortunately I was right, but the smart phone also made up for that. I use it to organise my day, and I am really really greatful for Google Maps -- before that I was always phoning my husband asking for directions!

    Here are my favourite apps. Most of them are meant for Android (I use a Wiko Cink Peax), but many also work on iOS). Almost all are for free. Many people who switch from iPhone to Android find the latter a bit "clunky", because the apps bundled with most Android phone are usually less than stellar. But for every function you can choose from dozens of apps from the PlayStore -- for recommendations try the LifeHackers site, or brows through the PlayStore's Editors' Picks. Here are the apps I love and recommend to my friends:


   If you're always forgetting to silence your phone during appointments and to switch on the volume afterwards, you'll love this app. You can pre-program it to be silent for certain amounts of time. It can also pull appointments from Google Calendars. It also manages the behaviour of media, Wifi, etc.


    If you're not thrilled with WhatsApp crappy privacy policy, Threema is a great alternative. It has a very similar interface, but all your messages are encoded, and the app doesn't try to go through your address book and SMSes. At 1,80€ it's also really cheap.

GPS Status

   If your GPS seems to be off, it's probably because you have never calibrated it. Install GPS Status (you can also do it without this app, but it does help speed things up). Start the app and place your phone on a flat surface outdoors. There should be no roof or trees above, preferably no clouds either. Don't touch the phone until it has located the nearby GPS satellites -- this could take around 15 minutes. You only need to do this once, now the phone "knows" the satellites and can quickly find them each time you switch on your GPS.

Daily Art

    Each day you get a painting and a paragraph about the artist. This little dose of daily culture always brightens up my evenings.


   If you are looking for a minimalistic and easy-to-use interface for Google Calendars, try Cal. It's also beautifully designed and a pleasure to use. It does all the basic stuff, but "power-users" might miss some of the bells and whistles that other apps provide.


    The default Google address book is really horrible, but you should definitely be storing your contacts on google and not on a phone-only address book (if your phone gets lost or broken, lost contacts is the worst part). Contact+ is a really great app to manage your contacts, plus I love the interface with the photos -- great for visual people. Mine has sepia photos of all my friends!


   It's like the lightweight version of Evernote. The perfect place to store shopping lists, photos of a product you want to remember, voice memos and all the little bits of information you pick up during the day. Evernote is too bulky and slow for that, I prefer to use it for bigger projects. Google Keep is like that little pocket notebook to jot down things on the go. Downloading the app Sketch For Keep lets you draw notes.

Juice Defender

    This app really cuts down on battery use by managing battery-draining processes. You can really customise the stuff that it does.


    The best place to store your passwords. Recommended by my guy, who actually knows a great deal about this stuff.

   That's all for today, I think I have covered about half of my favourite apps, I'll write about the rest in my next post. Till then I'd love to know what your favourite apps are!

photo credit: 1Q78 via photopin cc

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