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Apps that will change your life for the better

Quit social media and try these apps that are game changers in their own way

brunch Updated: Apr 01, 2018 00:52 IST
Rajiv Makhni
Rajiv Makhni
Hindustan Times
There are several apps that have helped in making things like money transfer, payments and even bookings convenient for all of us
There are several apps that have helped in making things like money transfer, payments and even bookings convenient for all of us

The verdict is in and it’s absolutely unanimous. It’s time to reboot your life. There are crystal clear reasons you should quit social media, according to science! Not reduce, not cut down, not lessen – completely quit. Not tomorrow, not in an hour – right now!

Reasons given are many, including eating disorders, making you dumber, ruining your real relationships, encouraging narcissism, leading to depression, messing up your work flow and making you part of a mob mentality. These were suspected, now proven! Add to this the Facebook security breach and the story is complete. But once you’re off social media, what do you do with the hours and hours of time you’ve just brought back into your life. Here are some apps that you may not have heard about. These aren’t the typical boring utility apps that columns like these usually feature. Some are fun, some are insane and some are game changers – but each will change your life in a good way.

IFTTT

IFTTT allows you to automate tasks based on rules you set

‘If This, Then That’ is the biggest secret of the Internet age. To those that know of it and use it, life is a completely different experience. They’ve understood that technology can be the most powerful ally and that doing repetitive tasks on your phone or computer is for fools. And while it may look daunting and confusing, it’s my guarantee that anyone and I mean absolutely anyone, can use IFTTT and become a pro at it within minutes. So what does it do? The app allows you to automate tasks and inflow of information based on rules you set. Basically it uses the rule that if this happens then immediately it should trigger that. The trigger can be anything – time, a message, a new post, an update on a website – literally anything. For instance if there is a new cricket score posted, you can receive it as a message or email. Triggers and actions can be from websites, apps, devices and even smart bulbs etc. You can even check other people’s triggers, featured recipes, themed collections and all-time favourites, and use them yourself. Get IFTTT now, you can thank me later.

RunPee

Time your pee breaks with RunPee app

Okay, so the app name doesn’t sound life saving but believe me this is the biggest life, pants and embarrassment saver app of them all. It works like this. You’re in a movie hall, you’ve gorged on coke and popcorn, you’re dying to pee but don’t want to miss a critical part of a movie. Sounds familiar? Well, that agony and guesswork is now history. Snap open this app and it’ll tell you exactly when to take that pee break without missing out on any important part of the plot. It’ll even give you a synopsis of what you missed when you get back. Movies and plots, and pee-worthy timelines upload in real time and almost any movie is covered. This is basically the best thing to happen to your bladder in a long long time.

UTI Mutual Fund App

You can buy mutual funds and get real time information via UTI Mutual Fund app

This one operates at a completely different level. I’ve had more questions about this one on Twitter than maybe anything else in recent times. Let me try and answer them here. Yes, you can actually buy mutual funds direct from the app, yes you can set up an account on the app itself, yes it allows you to invest even in liquid funds (potentially better returns than saving accounts without any lock in). The app also offers you all details on New Fund Offers and you can check Net Asset Value of every Mutual Fund in real time. Existing investors can even get their statement of accounts mailed to them from within the app. For me the awesome part was that they even have a UTI chatbot working through Facebook messenger that can answer most of your queries and even guide you. I’ve used this app extensively and got some great new investments at tax time.

Selfissimo! and Memrise

Selfissimo! helps take a selfie every time you pose

I’m combining the last two as I discovered them both on the same day and have been using them incessantly. Selfissimo! is for all the selfie addicts of this world. Fire it up and it takes a photo every single time you pose. Yes, it shoots as soon as you are still and not when you’re moving. Gives you an entire reel of photos to choose from once you’re done. Memrise can get you started on learning a new language and uses tools, games and experiences to make sure it’s not boring or difficult. It even has chatbot assisted learning, speed reviews and speaker video interactive games. I tried out all the Spanish I had learnt through Memrise in Barcelona this time. The natives looked impressed!

There it is. Time to go off social media and bring in something different onto your phone. Apps that will change your life, not take it away!

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

From HT Brunch, April 1, 2018

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