Choosing the right apps for your smartphone can be tricky. There are so many options in the Apple App Store and Android Google Play stores that it can be overwhelming to sort through the choices.
A few years ago, we did a roundup of apps that our team of IT consulting pros get the most mileage from, and we just ran a new poll this month. Almost all of the choices we picked in 2013 still get plenty of use, so take a look at this post as well if you’re looking for new apps.
Here are the 2015 highlights from our team:
Waze. Outsmart traffic in your city with Waze. The app uses real-time data to find the best route to your destination. Users also share gas prices, speed trap locations and other information to make your time on the road as productive as possible. Fun hidden tip: you can change the voice that gives direction in the Sounds menu. Some of the choices available right now include Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator, Colonel Sanders or Rusty Griswold from the new Vacation movie.
Instructables. You’ll find thousands of instructional articles on a broad range of topics in Instructables. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to grill artichokes, create a custom DIY iPhone case or find out the best way to restore an antique toolbox, this app has step-by-step instructions that will walk you through each of these projects and more.
Seamless. This foodie app continues to be a favorite at the New York office (Denver is still new to Seamless). The app serves over 600 cities and, in New York City, you can choose from nearly 7,000 different dining options. Seamless gives you access to a range of restaurants in your neighborhood that you can sort by price, ratings and delivery options.
Spotify. Take your music and podcasts with you anywhere you go. If you have a paid account, you can download your favorite albums and playlists with the Available Offline slider. This option lets you protect your monthly data plan if you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. If you’re a podcast fan, the new Shows tab in the main menu is where you can manage audio and video content from your favorite shows.
Pocket. Use this app to save interesting links to read at your convenience. You can add tags to each link to make them easy to sort through. You can also add the Pocket extension to the Chrome or Firefox web browsers so you can sync saved links from your desktop with your phone and vice versa.
Google Hangouts. Keep in touch with your IM friends on the go. In addition to classic instant message conversations, you can also use this app to start free voice or video calls. Voice and video calls made without a Wi-Fi connection will use your phone’s data plan, so plan accordingly.
Snapseed. Create amazing images from your phone with this photo editing app from Google. You can adjust contrast, brightness and other settings in the Tune Image menu. The Ambiance and Shadows options let you bring out details in dark sections of your photos where your phone’s camera overcompensated because of bright sunlight or window light.
Amazon Instant Video. As part of their membership, Amazon Prime members can access a wide range of free streaming video content that’s not available anywhere else. Look for the white “Prime” banner in the thumbnail image for each listing to find the complimentary stuff. You can also watch any films or TV shows you may have purchased through the Instant Video app.