Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fun apps for all your new electronics!

With Apple's attempt (a successful one, I'm thinking) of Total World Domination, I am sure there are a few of you out there that received Devices for Christmas...iTouch, iPhone, iPad? So I thought it would be a good time to offer this public service announcement with a few apps that I've found quite helpful in my day-to-day life:

1. Weatherbug (Free) - Ask my friends, I have an obsession with the weather. Florida, as a rule, is pretty consistent with its temp, but the rain is what drives me crazy, especially with football practice, the golf game, and yard work. Enter Weatherbug. It not only provides the current temp and various stats, but the seven day forecast (hourly if you'd like), the current radar map which you can zoom on to your neighborhood, and even live camera footage from places around town.

2. AllRecipes (Free) and Epicurious (Free) - meal plan on the run! Access thousands of recipes for anything and everything. Epi even will create a shopping list for you from the recipes you choose.

3. Open Table (Free) - I am assuming you have all heard of this, but if not, you must partake. Say you are laying around your house on Saturday at 4:00pm, and you decide you want to go out to dinner. Dang it, it is too late to find an open reservation! Not with Open Table. You plug in what time, how many people, and it will give you all openings for restaurants within a specified mile range. And it will make a reservation for you. You earn points every time you use it, for cash back. Greatest thing since sliced bread.

4. Angry Birds (99 cents) - Beware all you obsessive personalities. Slingshot various angry birds at blockaded pigs that snort and snigger at you. Crush those pigs. It is excellent stress relief and the best buck you will ever spend. (There is an Angry Birds Lite for free...test it out. But it is worth the buck for the full deal.)

5. Have2P (Free) - Have you ever had those moments where you HAVE TO GO and there are no bathrooms to be found? Get this app. Whether you are at a mall or in the middle of nowhere, it will show you the quickest path to relief.

6. Point Inside (Free) - I probably should have given this to you right after Thanksgiving. Sorry. But it has detailed maps for every mall and airport known to man. Never again will you need to race manically through an entire mall to find a Starbucks.

7. .Parking (99 cents) - This is another one that probably would have been useful during the holidays. For any of you that have lost your car downtown, or at a large shopping mall, this will solve your problems. Via GPS, mark the location of your car, and the app will lead you back to it when you are ready to leave!

8. Common Sense Media (Free) - Reviews on movies, video games, websites, apps, books, etc. from a parent's perspective. This provides rankings from one to five on messages, role models, violence, sex, language, consumerism and drugs, and offers what parents need to know, and what families can talk about. My kids are at the age right now where they are attempting to push the envelope, and this app gives me quick and practical advice on what is appropriate and what isn't.

9. Pizza Hut (Free) - Plant yourself in your comfy chair, declare yourself on strike from making dinner, and pull up your Pizza Hut app to order your meal. It is sloth at its best. You will have to register before you order, and I found I couldn't do that on my phone, it had to be done on the computer. Still.

10. Yelp (Free) - You want to find something, you've got it. Plug in the name of whatever (restaurant, theater, attraction, etc.) and not only will you get the address and reviews on the place, but a live map and directions. If you are on a road trip and you need to find a grocery store, just type "grocery store" and it will show you everything in your area. You want pizza, type "pizza" and it will give you choices, with a million reviews on which one is best. It is a beautiful thing.

Which ones are your favorites? I'm always looking for the newest and most clever.


Susan said...

Sandy, these all sound great! I don't have an iPhone (I'll get one as soon as Verizon has them), but mine has internet access which is great. What's even better is the Navigator. Goodbye GPS! I don't know how I ever found anything before.

You probably already know about this, but my latest discovery is ChaCha. You can text any question you can think of to 242242, and they will get back to you with an answer muy pronto! It's too addicting.

bermudaonion said...

I keep hearing so much about Angry Birds, but I'm too cheap to pay for apps, even the 99 cents ones.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

This is so great - now all I need is an IPhone or IPad and I'll be in business! I don't know why I keep resisting - I think I'm afraid it would take away too much time!

Melissa said...

I refuse to be a part of Apple's world dominace, but I did just get an Android phone at Christmas. I haven't had much time to play around with apps (except for Angry Birds, love it!), but your list will give me a great place to start.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I love iPhone apps! My kids (and husband) are addicted to Angry Birds, we've used Open Table, and I have ParkIt (doesn't do so well in parking garages, unfortunately).

Keep those app recommendations coming ... I've got an iPad on my wish list for the spring!

Heidenkind said...

I love Accuweather! It gives you the temperature, plus what it feels like outside based on wind, sunshine, etc. That's a big deal in high altitudes where the temp can drop ten degrees if the sun goes behind a cloud.

I agree with you on the Epicurious app, which is great, but my favorite restaurant-finding app is Urban Spoon. Search by cuisine type, neighbood, location, price, or have it pick one randomly. Hello Vino is an excellent app for finding good wine. For readers, there's the Goodreads app. Then there's Kayak, which lets you search the entire web for deals on flights, hotels, etc.

Walgreens has a very convenient app that lets you refill prescriptions from your phone. For art lovers, I am absolutely in awe of the Yours, Vincent app, which has all of Vincent Van Gogh's letters searchable by topic or time period.

Finally, I honestly don't think I would be able to live without the AmbiSci app. Put it on deep sleep mode and I'm out in about five minutes (usually).

Unknown said...

I'm afraid I'm apple free, but my husband is always playing angry birds on his phone - it annoys me so much!!

ds said...

I have a shortcut to Epicurious on this (non-apple) machine and can attest to its value as a solution to the "I'm bored and need to make something from the stuff currently rotting in the refrigerator" blues.

Alice said...

Oh yes... I've heard all about Angry Birds and my friend have been trying to get me to cross over to the "dark side". I'm playing the free version of Cut the Rope and it's fun too!

I'm also using WhatsApp for free texting and Viber for free calls, both can be used globally.

Beth F said...

I'm an "i"-free person, but many of these apps are also available for the BlackBerry.

Katherine said...

I LOVE my iPhone and have many useful apps including several of the ones you've mentioned. I have a few to suggest as additions below! Most of them are free as I'm not a fan of paying for apps.

Flixster is awesome to find movie theaters nearby, what movies are playing, and the times of the movies. is a great website if you haven't checked it out yet. There's an app available that puts books, book reviews, and more right at your fingertips!

If you use Netflix, you can download the Netflix app and watch movies right on your phone using the live streaming option!

If you're a Kindle user but like me, you don't take your Kindle EVERYWHERE, download the Kindle app. It will automatically sync with your Kindle so you can pick up where you left off.

Overdrive is great if you have a local library that uses it. I download my audiobooks using this app.

Redbox is also great! You can reserve movies at your nearest Redbox right from your phone!

Trip Advisor has a free app which is great for when you travel. You can conveniently look up reviews and suggestions of things to do.

Keeper is a password keeper. I don't know about you but I have TONS of passwords to keep track of and this is an invaluable tool to do just that.

Finally, I'm an avid user of Facebook and use my Facebook app on my phone almost as much as I access FB online!

Zibilee said...

I just found the crack that is Angry Birds the other day, and have to admit that a few hours of reading time went into that little time suck right there. Open table also sounds fabulous and I am going to have to try that one out. Thanks for sharing all these great apps! I am going to be downloading quite a few of them!

Jenners said...

I "discovered" Angry Birds this summer ... and played it obsessively until I stalled out at a level and could not get by and gave up in frustration. one day I will return and knock those stupid birds down!!!!!

Marie said...

Sandy, you might be interested in this article I posted on my blog last week, with a link to Working Mother's best 20 iPhone apps:

Kathleen said...

I just received an iPhone for Christmas and am very excited to check out these apps.

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

For three weeks of my life last year, I devoted most of my "non-working at my real day job time" with Angry Birds. I got nothing done other than trying to make the angry birds happy...