A day with apps

All right, we confess: we cannot live without our smartphones. But it’s not the phone part that we care about much (because really, it’s only when we can’t buzz someone on Facebook, send a tweet, a BBM ping, or a Google Talk instant message that we actually bother to dig out the phone number and make a call) – it’s the apps that we do.

brunch Updated: Feb 25, 2012 20:00 IST

All right, we confess: we cannot live without our smartphones. But it’s not the phone part that we care about much (because really, it’s only when we can’t buzz someone on Facebook, send a tweet, a BBM ping, or a Google Talk instant message that we actually bother to dig out the phone number and make a call) – it’s the apps that we do.

Yes, apps, those nifty little pieces of software that help us find directions, wake up, kill time, get ready, disconnect from the world in general, watch a movie, plan a date, heck, even break up with our partners. We use them pretty much every waking hour and in all possible situations, so we thought we would suggest a few of our favourites to you.

Phone appsDisclaimer: Android and iOS users only. If you use anything else, feel free to drop us a line about your favourite apps.

This symbol, which you will find across these two pages, stands for a game we’d like to recommend

Rise and Shine
Ditch your alarm clock and wake up to one of more than 41,000 internet radio stations with the snazzy Radio Alarm (iOS, $0.99)! We love the interface, which is designed to mimic old radio – there’s even a static effect when the app connects to a radio stream. On Android, try Tune-In Radio (free), that, in addition to waking you up with radio stations of your choice, will help you fall asleep at night by playing sounds of gulls and babbling brooks.
Trivia freak? Start your day with Today In History (iOS, free) that will show you all the major events that happened on the day!

Tiny Wings (iOS, $0.99) Soar over sun-splashed hills in this cheerful game that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face every morning. Wakes you up better than coffee nine out of 10 times (yes, we tested)

Winding Down
Finally, curl up with your favourite book with the Kindle app (iOS, Android, free). If you’ve got annoyances like barking dogs or noisy neighbours, drown them out with Ambiance (iOS $2.99), an app that generates soothing nature sounds and white noise.
Dear diary: Blog away to your heart’s content with the excellent WordPress app (iOS, Android, free)

Where’s My Water? (iOS, Android, $0.99)
Fix damaged pipes and navigate through toxic ooze, triggers and traps to help Swampy the Alligator shower. A perfect end-of-the-day stress buster

In the bar/pub
Restaurant Shazam (iOS, Android), a nifty little tool, lets you instantly identify the song blasting through the pub speakers. You can’t go wrong with this one. Tip Top: Take the guesswork out of tipping with Tipulator (iOS $0.99, Android, free) that lets you enter the check amount, select a tip percentage and split it among as many people as you specify. Very cool!

Wolfenstein 3D Classic (iOS $1.99)
Get drunk, then blow away Nazis in this perfect replica of the ’90s PC classic shooter, now available right on your iPhone!

After Hours
Keep everyone in your friend list posted about your evening plans through WhatsApp (iOS, Android, free), book seats at the nearest movie theatre through BookMyShow (iOS, Android, free) or look up Zomato (iOS, Android, free), to find and compare thousands of restaurants in your city.

Let It Out

Get Burrp (iOS, free) to get hundreds of reviews and reccos of the most happening events and restaurants in town Gold Miner (iOS, Android, free) On your own? Gold Miner will keep you busy for hours

https://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/Apps illustration.jpg

On the Treadmill
Carting your iPod Shuffle to the gym is oh-so-last-year. If you haven’t stocked your phone with at least one of these gems, well, let’s just say you’re missing out – big time. Endomo Sports Tracker (iOS and Android, free) is our pick for the best fitness app, period. Using your phone’s built-in GPS, this app tracks your fitness – running, walking, cycling, lifting weights at the gym, hiking, kayaking and pretty much anything else you can think of. Our favourite feature? Hook it up to your Facebook account and your friends can follow you live and send you pep talks in real-time – just the push you need to squeeze in that extra push-up.

Notable Mentions:
RunKeeper, Pedometer (iOS and Android, free)
Tap Tap Revenge 4 (iOS, Android, free): Got gym blues? Bunk, we say, and jive the morning away with the best music and rhythm game of all time. Guaranteed to set the pulses racing.

At Work
At Brunch, we swear by Evernote (iOS, Android, free). When we’re busy tearing our hair out juggling stories, interviews and photo shoots, Evernote helps us stay organised by saving notes, capturing photos, creating to-do lists and adding reminders among other things, and syncing them not only across our phones but also PCs.
Also see: Documents To Go (iOS, Android, $16), if you miss having
Microsoft Office on your smartphone.

RacingMoto (Android, free)Need a break? Race at full speed, dodge traffic and get the highest score you can. Addictive!

At the breakfast table
Hit the mute button on the TV, skip the morning paper and let Flipboard (iOS, free) and Pulse (Android, free) keep you on top of the day’s happenings. One of Time magazine’s Top 50 innovations, Flipboard grabs all your news feeds, Facebook stream, Twitter timeline and more and creates a personalised magazine that looks pretty as heck. Pulse transforms your favourite news sources into a colourful interactive mosaic.

Wonder Weather
Weather+ on iOS (free) and Beautiful Widgets
(Android, $2.50) give you the forecast for the day better than that pretty weather girl on your TV screen

Grabatron (iOS $0.99, Android $3.99)
Take control of a UFO with a retractable claw and destroy the puny humans. For action-packed mornings!

Getting Ready for Work
If there’s anything more difficult than waking up on time every morning, it is deciding what to wear. But not anymore, thanks to Fashion Buddy (Android, free) that helps you organise your wardrobe by maintaining a list of your old and new purchases, which you can mix and match on the screen to get that perfect look for the day. Or check out Stylebook (iOS, $3.99), to import your actual clothes and track the people whose style you follow secretly.

Hot Or Not?
Not sure if a look works? Use Thumb (iOS, Android, free) to post a picture and instantly get feedback from thousands of users across the world Dress Up and Makeup (iOS $1.99, Android $0.99).
Guys, feel free to skip this. Girls, if you’re the sort that likes online dress-up games, you’ll love this one

On the Go
What’s a guy (or girl) to do stuck in the morning rush hour? Use Pocket Casts (iOS, Android, $1.99) to subscribe and tune in to hundreds of podcasts, of course. Or use your time in traffic to organise your day ahead. Simply jot down your to-do list and set reminders in 2Do (iOS, $6.99), a powerful task manager that lets you focus on what’s important. Or check out Any.Do (free) on Android to quickly sync your tasks for the day with your Gmail Tasks. Being efficient couldn’t get simpler.
Trivia freak? With a zoomable multi-day view and complete sync with your Google account, Business Calender (Android, $5.75), our favourite calendar app, is something you shouldn’t miss out on.

Need For Speed Hot Pursuit (iOS $0.99, Android $6.99)
Who cares about the traffic on the roads when you can drive up to 20 precision-performance cars in adrenaline-fuelled showdowns across 24 day-and-night tracks right on your phone?

From HT Brunch, February 26

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First Published: Feb 24, 2012 16:54 IST