When it comes to picking out the best apps you need to download on your smartphone, you will be surprised by some of our suggestions. Drawing on a mix of some old and some new, we test apps from across the whole app store, including camera apps and photo editors, health and fitness apps to improve your well-being and physical health, and security and customization tools to help personalize your phone so it works for you. If you are looking to kick-start your dating life, learn a new workout routine, or even expand your culinary repertoire, these are the apps for you. Here are our mini-guide on 12 apps you need to download on your smartphone:
1 - Google Chrome
If you have an iPhone, Google Chrome is a significant upgrade from Apple's default Safari in almost every way. What makes Google Chrome so incredible is that it syncs across multiple devices so that you can access your history or bookmarks from any device. If you need to pull up the website, you were looking at a week ago on your PC? No problem, Chrome will remember and be able to pull it up in seconds. It also includes a range of other features, including search bar autocomplete, data saving services, and unlimited tabs. Just remember to clean your tabs out occasionally — no-one needs 80 open tabs.
2 - Facebook
We get it - it might not be the early 2000's, and while Facebook may have peaked, there's no doubt in anyone's mind that Facebook is the social media site. Don't be afraid to make that phone Facebook official! Facebook has evolved from just being updates from friends - now, you'll find a local marketplace, video center, and even memories from the past. It's also a must-download because a bunch of other apps like to use Facebook as a login option, giving you a simple opportunity for registering instead of always having to create another account.
3 - Instagram
Instagram is still the best social network for sharing pictures and memories with your friends and followers. You can follow specific interests as well as people, making it a great place to gather inspiration for projects, holidays, or just about anything. If you're not the type to take lots of pictures, you don't need to feel pressured to share — lurk on the homepage and enjoy shots from those you follow. Need a little pick me up - follow those cute dog accounts!
Communication and Messaging
4 - GroupMe
For those who find themselves participating in a ton of group chats, GroupMe makes it easier to keep track of them all instead of having them bombard your phone's messaging center. When it comes to creating a conversation, add people solely with their phone number, and they can begin chatting without even needing to download the app. You can name your groups, set avatars, and also save your photos and videos within group chats to refer back to later.
5 - Messenger
Facebook's Messenger service is also offered as a stand-alone app, which lets you be able to chat with your Facebook friends and anyone in your contacts who has the app installed. Best of all, you don't even need to be signed into Facebook to use it. We recommend this app as it is convenient to create group chats with numerous amounts of people, you can video chat with people, and take screenshots of the conversations and videos if sharing work or notes between co-workers.
6 - Marco Polo
Marco Polo isn't merely just a swimming pool game for the summer! It is a fantastic video chatting app for busy people. Rather than waiting until a bunch of you are ready for a call, Marco Polo gets you to record your video and send it out whenever you have a moment. Your friends can then watch it live, or if they're busy, they can watch it later. Plus, you don't have to worry about any of those annoying skips or misconnections.
7 - Discord
If you want to set up or are looking for a chat group for a bunch of like-minded people, then Discord is the way to go. From gamers to sports fanatics, Discord is a fully cross-platform messaging app that allows you to go from your phone to the computer, and back again without losing a second of banter! Discord also has all the features you expect from a chat app, such as voice chat or link sharing, to make it easier for your friends to join.
8 - Very Veggie
Based on a series of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, Very Veggie is your easy answer to “what's for dinner tonight?” Very Veggie includes over 100 vegetarian and vegan recipes from around the world! You’ll find both familiar-looking dishes and exciting new cooking challenges within, being sure to keep you on your toes when finding the perfect meal. No internet connection is required once you’ve downloaded the app, and it can filter by ingredients, so you can find something to cook without having to go out to the store! Perfect for those busy workdays too!
9 - Happy Cow
Veganism is an amazing goal to achieve, especially when wanting to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable. While cooking vegan recipes is usually a fun and rewarding challenge, sometimes finding the perfect meal out can be just the thing you need! Unfortunately, it can be tough to find a good vegan restaurant while you’re out-and-about — which is why every vegan (aspiring or otherwise) should download the HappyCow app. HappyCow searches and catalogs over 108,000 vegan restaurants, cafes, and stores in over 180 countries worldwide. You’ll find reviews and photos of the various eateries thanks to HappyCow’s ever-growing community, and thanks to a selection of filters, it can search for vegetarian, gluten-free, and other dietary choices too to ensure you can find the right match for you!
10 - Open Table
Open Table is great for planning dinner on the fly. The free app allows you to search for new restaurants, explore menus, and even reserve a table. You can check out reviews, look at photos of the meal, and be sure that you will be finding the best place for you - and even your boo!
11 - 7 Minute Workout
How long do you need to start getting fit? Well, if you can spare seven minutes, that might be the best option to get the workout that you need! 7 Minute Workout aims to give you the most benefit possible in only 7 minutes through a series of quick exercises that target specific areas of your body. There's no equipment needed, just enough space to get going. It's free to use, but there is a full-version, paid membership known as the 7 Club for just $10 a month (or $60 a year). It will give you access to a broader range of exercises, personal workout plans, and support and guidance from a certified personal trainer.
12 - Meditopia
Meditation has many benefits, and taking the time for a few minutes every day can make a huge difference when it comes to practicing mindfulness and promoting well-being. Meditopia is a great place to start if you’re interested in meditation. It’s not just about relaxing you or helping you get to sleep. Instead, it offers over 1,000 meditations that aim to cover the whole spectrum of the human condition.
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