My Must-Have iPhone Apps (that go beyond Mint and Starbucks)

Since moving to New York City a few months ago, I have added a lot of apps. It helps that my iPhone 6 is still relatively new, and when I transferred everything from my iPhone 5, I cleaned it up – deleting the apps I downloaded, opened once then never opened again. Now I have plenty of room to stock up on the latest and greatest in the App world.

I’ve been talking with a few people about the apps on my phone, such as the essentials for 20-something in New York City, to-do/productivity apps, and HopStop. It got me thinking about the relatively new apps that have proven to be invaluable to me.

Quick note about productivity apps: I think there’s a difference between having your thoughts and to-do’s organized in one list (Wunderlist!!) and having a productivity app that says “you spent 15 minutes doing this activity, time to move on.” The former is a great way to make sure you don’t forget any important tasks while the latter – and I’ve tried many apps like this – wastes your time input that kind of data when you could have already completed the task at hand.

purebarreapp Pure Barre: I love Pure Barre. My obsession with Soul Cycle is well-documented, but cardio recently has proved downright exhausting. I want to work my muscles in a different way and PB lets me do that through various strength training exercises. Three classes in the past week, I already notice my posture is better throughout the day, and I’m not holding my stress in my shoulders.

This app lets me manage the classes I’m signed up for, and the classes I’m on the waitlists for, and sign up for more classes in a completely streamlined way. It’s simple, because it can be – no need for a million different widgets. Bonus: you can see what position you’re in on the waitlists. I’m next in line for the 6:10am class next week!

hopstopapp HopStop: Moving to New York City, I’ve had to combat some fears. One of them being the subway – for no particularly reason beyond I find it intimidating – but this app makes it dummy-proof. Input your actual start and ending locations and it will tell you where and when to get the subway and how much walking (distance and time) it’ll take. As someone who’s paranoia runs high when it comes to traveling (I double-, triple-check I’m getting on the right bus/train, going in the right direction, every time I get on a means of transportation. I even re-verify with Uber drivers.)

overcastapp Overcast: I already talked about this a few days ago. Love it. Need it. Live it. Here’s what I had to say about it: “We all know the pre-installed Podcast app from Apple is not the greatest. Heck, it’s not even good. So, I coughed over the $1.99 or whatever it was to buy Overcast. You can get the free version, but the paid one is so much better. I put the speed level at 1.2x, just fast enough where I feel like there’s no long pauses, but I can still understand people and they don’t sound like chipmunks.”

postmatesapp Postmates: I got a case of water delivered to my apartment at 9 p.m. for $11 – where else in the world can you do that?! (No where else I’ve lived, I’ll tell you that.) Admittedly I haven’t used it for anything beyond this one time, but oh man does it seem promising. Allegedly it works virtually all hours of the night, but there’s humans on the other side of the delivery requests and sometimes it doesn’t beat being in-store yourself. If there’s not an item in stock at say, the Duane Reade you’re ordering from, there are some options – such as pick a close substitute or leave out the item, but like this feature, Postmates won’t replace real in-store shopping.

flavourapp Flavour: I like to eat a lot. I want to make sure the food I eat is good. While Yelp is still a go-to, I love Flavour for it’s easily customizable map of restaurants. You can categorize the search by neighborhood, cuisine, and/or the real standout: features. Under Features, there’s options like “brunch,” “dine at the bar,” “no reservations,” “rooftop,” or “burger,” filtering restaurants that are known for your selection. Search the results and get the price range, hours of operation, ‘notable dishes,’ ‘best for,’ the place’s number and a link to their menu. It’s a powerful little app that I use almost daily.

overdriveapp Overdrive: The NYPL has a huge, robust e-book catalogue and I love being able to read them wherever I go. I hooked it up to my Kindle, and with this app, I have all of my checked-out books and audiobooks at my finger-tips. Free books that I don’t need to leave my apartment to get? Yes. Please! Overdrive does, however, quite possibly have the most corporate-looking app image, but it’s more like a handy little tool in the toolbox than a spiffy show-off of a hammer or something.

What apps are on your must-have list?

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