We’ve all seen these lists and most of us have probably downloaded the apps.  We get these apps with the best of intentions, thinking, “Wow, this app will make INSERT SEMI-ANNOYING TASK HERE so much better!” only to have the app sit on our phone untouched until we get a notice saying that our phone is almost out of memory and it gets deleted. Now you are probably asking yourself, “Well then what makes this list any better?” Here it is… These are apps that you will actually use! All the apps listed here are on my phone and I really do use them. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

Allrecipes Dinner Spinner

allrecipes-dinner-spinner-iphoneYou just got off work, you’re tired and you’re hungry. What’s for dinner? All the local take-out places are starting to know you and your order on a first name basis, so maybe it’s time to actually cook something. So what is it going to be? Chicken? Beef? Pasta? Too many options? Well, never fear, Dinner Spinner is here.

In this app, there are three dials: “Dish Type” (Appetizer, Soup, Main Dish, etc.), “Ingredient” (Beef, Cheese, Chocolate, etc.), “Ready In” (20 mins, 45 mins, Slow Cooker, etc.). You can “spin” all three categories or you can “lock” the categories. For example, if you have fish you can lock the Ingredient on Fish and spin the other categories.  Another great feature of this app is that you can search recipes if you are lucky enough to already know what you would like to make. This app has gotten me out of quite the pickle when trying to figure out what to have for dinner and my brain just can’t make a decision.

Grocery iQ

grocery-iq-screenshotsThis app is all about saving money on groceries. You can enter your grocery list and it will tell you what coupons could use or you can just browse all the available coupons to see if anything catches your eye. All you have to do is clip (tap) the coupon and Grocery iQ saves it for you. Once you’ve clipped to your heart’s content you can either email your coupons to yourself (or anyone, really) to print or you can print wirelessly.

Uber

uberWe’ve all heard of it but some are still waiting to take the plunge. Trust me, for all of us who hate the wait after you call a cab, Uber is where it’s at. With this app, gone are the days of taking a cab. You just select your location, see what cars are near you (this is convenient if you’re in a group and know you’ll need more space) and give it a tap. You can also select different levels of comfort shall we say, i.e. the swankier the car, the more expensive the ride. Once you’ve pinned your location and selected a car, Uber will give you the name and contact for your driver. This is great if you’re in a not-so-easy-to-find location.

The rates do vary depending on where you are but Uber will tell you rates when you pick what car you would like, so there isn’t a nasty surprise when you have to pay, but the rates are usually cheaper than taking a cab. Speaking of paying, all payments and tips are done automatically through the card (or PayPal account) you put on file when you downloaded the app.

Once your ride is complete and you’ve reached your destination, you can rate your driver (kind of like a Yelp review) so others can check it out, but this is a double edged sword. Uber recently launching the feature that allows drivers to rate their passengers, so be nice.

Shazam

Shazam-App-1024x906I know, I know, it’s been around forever. For me, this is one of those apps that you don’t miss until it’s gone. When I got my new phone and started added all the apps from my previous phone, I looked at Shazam and thought, “Meh, I don’t really need that.” That was until I was out with friends when a song came on and we all said, “I really like this song, who is it?” and nobody had the answer and nobody had Shazam. I made the quick scrabble to try to download it before the song was over, but was not successful.

Now, I’ll never know who sang that super catchy song I heard that one time, but at least I’ll be prepared next time. The user interface of this app is pretty simple. You open the app, you tap “Listen,” it tells you what song it is, and gives you the option of buying it on iTunes. Can’t get any more straight-forward than that.

 

Do you have an app that you just can’t live without? Let us know in the comments below!