The world of mobile phone apps can seem a little daunting to the uninitiated.
With so many options, it’s hard to know which ones are the best, or which ones are worth paying for. Like, do you really need an app that can generate excuses to get out of awkward situations? Or one that tracks where you’ve pooped? They both exist, but you probably don’t want them.
That’s where we come in. The folks at Buzzfeed have compiled a list of 13 free, but totally awesome apps that basically everyone needs in their life. Since the video moves through them pretty quickly, we broke it down for you. Check them out:
1) Songza is a great app if you want to get your groove on, but don’t know what to listen to. Rather than genres, you select moods or activities (ex. “driving” or “a sweaty dance party”) and–presto!–instant playlist. There’s something here for everyone, no matter your musical taste.
2) Gas Buddy relies on websites and its users to supply gas price information at stations all across your country. That way, it can pull up the best deal instantly. Additionally, the app also includes a gas price heat map and a trip planner, which will let you know how much gas will cost you when covering a specified distance.
3) Duolingo is perfect for anyone who needs to learn a new language on the quick. It uses games and a point system to challenge you in all sorts of ways to make those new words stick, from speaking and listening, to translating and answering multiple choice questions. Plus, they also have a study on their website that claims 34 hours on the app equals one entire university semester in a language course. Sign us up!
4) Star Chart puts an end to the nights when you’ve looked up at the night sky and had to wonder whether you’re looking at a satellite, planet or star. Using your device’s compass and GPS, Star Chart pinpoints your location and shows the night sky you’re looking on your phone–except it’s labelled. You’ll officially never miss the Big Dipper again.
5) Period Tracker is good for women who are planning to have a baby, but it’s also good for those who don’t want to have a baby. You simply enter what time of the month your time of the month falls into, and the app uses that (as well as some other information) to gauge not only when your next period will be, but also when you’re most fertile. Then you can either get busy on those days, or avoid them like the plague.
6) Our Groceries. Have you ever opened the fridge to find the milk is empty again? This app will put an end to that. It keeps your grocery shopping list on your phone, where you can’t forget it. To modify the list, simply tap items to cross them off, or drag them to re-arrange. The real gem of this app though, is that you can connect it with your family or roommates so that everyone has the same list (so everyone will know there’s an empty carton of milk sitting in the fridge).
7) Vscocam is perfect for anyone who’s wanted a little more creative control over their mobile phone cameras. In addition to many other neat traits, it gives you the ability to manually focus the camera, control its shutter speed and even white balance! Then, after the photo is taken, the app allows you to edit the image and view side-by-side comparisons. Picture perfect, every time!
8) Plant Nanny. Most of us probably don’t drink enough water, even though are bodies are practically made up of the stuff. With Plant Nanny, it won’t be so easy to miss your next glass. The app is basically a tiny, digital plant that will live in your phone and remind you how much water you need to drink today (and tracks how much you drink in general). If you drink enough, the plant grows. If not, well, you’ll have to find out for yourself.
9) Stop Breathe & Think is the answer to the stressful lives we all live. The app essentially guides you through the process of meditation by prompting you to stop what you’re doing and check in with how you’re thinking. Then it prepares you for mindful breathing and compassionate thought. If you’ve never tried meditation, this is a great way to start.
10) Runpee seeks to solve an age-old problem: having to pee during a movie. With this app, when new movies hit theatres, it will immediately tell you what the best parts of the flick are to duck out for a quick bathroom break–without missing any important plot points or “LOL” moments. It’s basically better than popcorn.
11) Think Dirty. If you’re worried about what might be lurking in your cosmetics, this app can certainly shine a light on them. Think Dirty allows you to scan the barcode of your personal care products, and will then show you a list of any potentially harmful ingredients they contain. Each one is marked either green, yellow or red, for the severity of potential harm.
12) Vivino. We all love wine, but unfortunately, we still don’t love all wine. There’s some bad brands out there, and there’s nothing worse than coming home with a bad bottle of vino. To make sure that never happens again, there’s Vivino. Use the app to scan a wine label, which will then direct you to a series of ratings and reviews about the product. It will also tell you how the wine ranks within its country, the world and the wine region itself.
13) Bandsintown. Did you miss when your favourite performer was in your area? That’s probably because you didn’t have this app. Bandsintown will figure out where you are via your device’s GPS signal, and then it will provide you with a list of all the upcoming performances. You can even receive alerts for when your favourite artist arrives!