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Apps, Technology, This Week in Apps!, Tips+Tricks

Fun Language Learning Apps

Last year, I made a New Year's Resolution to travel more in 2016 -- and I am happy to share that I actually achieved it. In February, I packed my rain boots for Seattle, enjoyed the sunshine and salty ocean of Mexico in March, tasted fame in L.A. in September, and explored the amazing history of Spain in October.  Read more

Apps, People, This Week in Apps!

App Review: Meetup

I’m always interested in befriending new people, so I was excited to try out Meetup for iOS after one of my friends recommended it as a tool for local community building and networking. The app basically connects people with common interests.  Read more

This Week in Apps!

This Week in Apps!

ThisWeekInApps

Esther’s Pick
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App: Flipagram
Flipagram is described as the easiest way to create and share amazing musical video stories. You can shoot video to music or use your existing photos and videos, then pick the perfect soundtrack; you can share the final video on your social channels, like Instagram and Facebook.
Where did you hear about this app? Word of Mouth
What got you interested in the app? I love using Flipagram to create photo montages of special moments in life, whether it’s to celebrate a friend’s birthday or partake in festivities around National Dog Day.
What do you think of the app so far? I think the app was semi-recently updated. It has some snazzy features, like auto-editing of your video to make it fit within Instagram’s video limits. It’s pretty easy to use overall, and I like that not only can you choose music from Flipagram’s library, but you can upload your own tunes to your video as well.
Would you recommend this app to others? I would!

Hyeri’s Pick
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App: Penny
Penny is a “personal finance coach” that analyzes your expenses and sends you colorful, easy-to-digest charts about how you’re spending your money. You can interact with Penny to ask questions about your spending this week/month, and to see how it compares to the previous months.
Where did you hear about this app? Product Hunt!
What got you interested in the app? I was looking for a personal finance app that’s not as complex as Mint or other services, but still gives me a general overview of my expenses. Also, I really liked Penny’s intuitive and simple interface and design.
What do you think of the app so far? I like Penny because it’s focused on doing one thing really well -- to provide personalized charts and insights about my weekly and monthly spending. I can easily “talk” to Penny and find out where I’m tracking in my finances for the month, and make sure I’m staying within budget. I also love that Penny automatically categorizes my transactions into four simple categories -- food, transportation, shopping and bills!
Would you recommend this app to others? Yes, especially if you’re looking for a real-time analysis of your spending!

Nena’s Pick
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App: The Path to Luma
It’s a puzzle game that’s all about saving a galaxy of planets using sustainable solutions like solar power.
Where did you hear about this app? It took over my Facebook feed a few weeks back.
What got you interested in the app? I love a good game app, and I’m pretty picky. But this app is really fun with puzzles for each planet that you’re solving using the sun, wind, and more to restore the planet.
What do you think of the app so far? It starts out really easy, but then gets quite tricky. But it’s beautifully designed, free, and reminds us how important sustainable energy and solutions are.
Would you recommend this app to others? Yes!

This Week in Apps!

This Week in Apps!

ThisWeekInApps

Sam’s Pick

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App: Moovit

Moovit is a *free* local transit planner that features real-time arrival and departure times, bus and train line schedules, maps, and service alerts in SF, NYC, Chicago, Miami, Boston, LA, and D.C. Ever since downloading the app, I’ve spent less time waiting (impatiently) in bus lines. I find it to be one of the most accurate apps when it comes to transit times.

Where did you hear about this app? App Store

What got you interested in the app? I have a very poor sense of direction, so I am always on the hunt for technology that will help me get to where I’m going safely and efficiently.

What do you think of the app so far? The app is pretty, but it does not have an immediately intuitive interface. I had to fiddle with it before I figured out how to use all the goodies. My favorite discovery? There’s an option to enter your current route to get a live ETA to your destination.

Would you recommend this app to others? Yes!

Nena’s Pick


App: Spotify

Music galore!

Where did you hear about this app? Um, everywhere.

What got you interested in the app? Yup, I’m the last person to get on the Spotify boat, but I’m so excited about it. They had a deal for their premium membership so I went for it, and am totally hooked. Having Spotify made it so much easier to listen to new music, which was so great for my most recent trip -- I spent over 24 hours traveling and needed fresh tunes!

What do you think of the app so far? Love it. Great playlists and downloads music quickly once you have a solid WiFi connection.

Would you recommend this app to others? Yes, but pretty sure everyone else in the world has it already. 🙂

Megan Tyrie’s Pick

App: WhatsApp

This is a messaging app which allows users to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. It’s available for iPhone, Android, Windows phone and even BlackBerry (for Hilz and other BB lovers out there). The app allows users to create groups, and send unlimited images, video and audio messages.

Where did you hear about this app? A Cutliner

What got you interested in the app? When my brother moved to China, I wanted a way we could continue to be in touch without having email involved. We text each other frequently and this platform allows us to continue to do that even though he’s more than 12 hours and almost 7,000 miles away.

What do you think of the app so far? It’s simple to use, free and gets the job done.

Would you recommend this app to others? I highly recommend it!

This Week in Apps!

This Week In Apps!

ThisWeekInApps

Shelby’s Pick

App: TripIt

TripIt organizes all your travel plans from plane tickets to hotel reservations in one convenient place.

Where did you hear about this app? TechRadar

What got you interested in the app? I’m currently planning a somewhat solo trip to Europe this summer, so I was looking for ways to help make the planning process as simple as possible. When I first started, I found that I was struggling to keep all my reservations in order, especially when dealing with different time zones. After reading about various travel apps, I downloaded TripIt to help me organize all my plans!

What do you think of the app so far? I love it! It’s extremely straightforward. It shows me all my reservations/tickets in one timeline. It’s exactly what I needed to make sure I wasn’t double booking myself, or purchasing a ticket at 4am. You also have the option to grant TripIt access to your email and it will automatically scan for new reservations and update your itinerary for you.

Would you recommend this app to others? Yes!

Nena’s Pick

App: Launcher

Add a shortcut on your Notification screen for up to eight apps.

Where did you hear about this app? Somewhere on the Internet

What got you interested in the app? I love utilizing technology, and the Launcher app seemed like a great way to better use the iOS notification page. Now, along with the widgets some apps already offer, I can quickly get to my major apps.

What do you think of the app so far? Works great. Easy to add and organize eight apps, and always loads instantly! Great iPhone shortcut app.

Would you recommend this app to others? Yes.

Libbey’s Pick

App: SoulCycle

The SoulCycle app is a super easy way to book your next ride!

Where did you hear about this app? InStyle

What got you interested in the app? I’m a huge fan of SoulCycle, but the website wasn’t super intuitive on my iPhone. The new app makes it SUPER easy to view class availability at all locations, shows photos of the instructors, and you can book a class in just a few steps.

What do you think of the app so far? LOVE.

Would you recommend this app to others? Definitely!

Rachel’s Pick

App: Waze

It’s the best navigation app (for driving) in the world.

Where did you hear about this app? My Lyft driver!

What got you interested in the app? Well, I hate traffic and am always interested in finding new ways to avoid it.

What do you think of the app so far? What I love most about Waze is its accuracy. The data is amazing and it has never led me astray, unlike *cough cough.* The only downside is the UI. It can be tough to navigate and key features like volume control are hidden from the menu.

Would you recommend this app to others? Most. Def.

Megan Tyrie’s Pick

App: Strava

Strava allows you to track runs and rides with GPS, join challenges and see how your time, distance and elevation gain stacks up against friends and other Strava users.

Where did you hear about this app? A friend

What got you interested in the app? My friends who bike were always talking about it so I had to check it out and got hooked instantly.

What do you think of the app so far? Overall, I like the app and it’s a great companion if you’re trying to improve. It’s easy to use. I open the app and push one button to start tracking your workout. I like that the app can track my elevation gain and segment times throughout the course I run or bike. For instance, it can track the time it takes for me to climb out of Sausalito to the Golden Gate Bridge. The I can see how that time compares to the other times I’ve ridden that same segment - have I improved and am I slower that day? Once I’m finished, I hit the stop button, name the ride, and instantly my workout is uploaded to the Strava platform, which then I can view on my phone or desktop.

Would you recommend this app to others? If you run or bike, and like to track your workouts, then yes!

This Week in Apps!

This Week in Apps!

Megan Tyrie’s Pick

App: Mr. Chilly

This is a hyperlocal app for San Francisco only. It shows the weather in San Francisco’s different microclimates. You can check out temperatures across neighborhoods and look at future forecasts.

Where did you hear about this app? Word of Mouth

What got you interested in the app? It helps me get dressed and prepare for a day out.

What do you think of the app so far? It’s user-friendly and quick. I open it and can instantly see the weather for that day across the city for the next 12 hours. It helps me figure out what I need to wear/bring (beyond the always-necessary jacket) if I’m going to Ocean Beach for the afternoon, out to enjoy the sun in Dolores Park or to visit a friend in another neighborhood.

Would you recommend this app to others? Yes!

Jo’s Pick

App: Wunderlist

The most simple yet useful app ever! You can make countless lists and check them off when completed.

Where did you hear about this app? From the App Store

What got you interested in the app? This app is incredibly useful for all my fellow list-makers out there! I use it for my grocery list, to-do lists and a general packing list. It’s really handy and gives me the satisfaction of checking it off when I’m done.

What do you think of the app so far? It could be better designed, but you do have the option to change your list backgrounds. BONUS: It’s free!

Would you recommend this app to others? Yes!

Nena’s Pick

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App: Alto’s Adventure

Basically, the prettiest infinite runner game ever.

Where did you hear about this app? My boyfriend.

What got you interested in the app? I finally caved and bought Monument Valley, the most beautiful and intriguing game I’ve ever played. But it only has 10 levels and I knocked it out in a few hours. Totally worth it, but now I want more! Luckily, at the same time my boyfriend was trying out a game called “Alto’s Adventure”, and reviews have compared its beauty to Monument Valley. You’re a snowboarder going down the mountain and I quickly got hooked.

What do you think of the app so far? It’s a beautiful game that I can play for hours. As you snowboard, you have different objectives to get to new levels and win characters that snowboard in different ways. You catch your llamas that are on the run, land flips, collect coins, run away from elders, and more. I’m addicted.

Would you recommend this app to others? Yes!

This Week in Apps!

Esther’s Pick

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App: Goodreads

Goodreads is a genius idea. It’s like a virtual bookshelf where you can see what your friends are reading, comb through reviews, and even receive targeted recommendations based on books you’ve already read. The app is pretty much just like the website -- super easy to use and a great way to get inspiration for your next read.

Where did you hear about this app? Uzma!

What got you interested in the app? I’ve never worked with so many voracious readers at one time, so was inspired to download the Goodreads app and start actively using my account! I love seeing what my co-workers, friends and family are reading, and will be coming back to this app often whenever I’m ready to start a new book.

What do you think of the app so far? It’s great! Just like the site but allows me to more easily navigate while on BART, waiting in line, etc.

Would you recommend this app to others? Sure would!

Darah’s Pick

App: TurboScan

Since faxing is pretty much extinct, TurboScan makes it super easy to take a doc that you have to fill-out in pen (versus online), take a few photos and email it out. It has been a life-changer.

Where did you hear about this app? HuffPo’s Top 10 Apps

What got you interested in the app? It helps whenever you are doing administrative work and are not at an office or near a Kinkos - and it’s so easy to use. Not a sexy/fun app, but very practical. #GetYourScanOn

Would you recommend this app to others? Absolutely!

Jordan’s Pick

App: Dubsmash

Choose your favorite sound, record yourself with the sound, and play it back. Watch a dubbed video of you talking with a favorite character’s voice!

Where did you hear about this app? Instagram

What got you interested in the app? My friend posted a Dubsmash video of herself talking...but with Patrick from Spongebob’s voice. After laughing for about five minutes straight, I had to get my hands on the app. It’s hilariously entertaining.

What do you think of the app so far? I think it’s great. There’s nothing fancy about it--it’s completely simple to navigate. There are a ton of sounds to choose from in multiple categories, and once you’ve created your video you can share it through WhatsApp, iMessage, or Facebook Messenger. You can also save it to your phone and upload it to Instagram, etc. Final perk--it’s totally free.

Would you recommend this app to others? Yesss

This Week in Apps!

This Week in Apps!

Libbey’s Pick

App: Trulia

This real estate app simplifies your home search. You can instantly browse homes and apartments for sale or rent, and also view open houses.

Where did you hear about this app? Word of Mouth

What got you interested in the app? I’m obsessed with HGTV and all things home, so perusing homes and NYC apartments on the app feeds my obsession.

What do you think of the app so far? I love it. You’re able to narrow down your home search based on number of bedrooms, bathrooms, price, location and more. The app has multiple photos of each home listed (the addicting part), as well as a map that shows exactly where the home is located. Each home listing also provides background on the school district, and breaks down the cost of your monthly mortgage, taxes, etc.

Would you recommend this app to others? Absolutely!

Camille’s Pick

App: Trivia Crack

Trivia Crack is a mobile / social trivia quiz you play with friends via Facebook. You simply spin the wheel to answer a question from 1 of 6 categories (science, history, entertainment, sports, geography, or art). Once you answer 3 correctly, you play to win a character. Once you win all 6 characters you win the game. This app is fun and tests your trivia knowledge!

Where did you hear about this app? App Annie, Word of Mouth

What got you interested in the app? It's super entertaining. My husband challenged me to a game, and I haven't put it down since!

What do you think of the app so far? It's fun, easy to use, interactive and free! What more could you want?

Would you recommend this app to others? Yes! Add me!

Megan Tyrie’s Pick

App: Fitmob

Fitmob offers unlimited, unrestricted access to workout facilities, studios and classes in your community. Class options are available in the Bay Area, Seattle, Austin, Dallas and Portland. They offer everything from yoga to spin to dance classes and more. The app lets you review, book and cancel or reschedule classes!

Where did you hear about this app? My friend Dana

What got you interested in the app? I’m trying to diversify my workouts while also cutting costs so I signed up for Fitmob. I downloaded the app so I could take an array of classes - yoga, spin, TRX - and book the classes while I’m commuting to work or standing in line at the grocery store.

What do you think of the app so far? It’s super easy to navigate! I can search for classes by city and neighborhood, date, and the type of class I’m looking to take. It’s also really easy to sign up for a class and cancel if a conflict arises. You don’t pay for the app (which is free) but you do pay for the membership which is $99/month.

Would you recommend this app to others? Yes!

This Week in Apps!

This Week in Apps!

Jo’s Pick

App: RetailMeNot

RetailMeNot lets you search for favorite stores and gives you coupon codes to use in-store and online. It also uses your location to see some of the nearby deals.

Where did you hear about this app? Featured in the App Store

What got you interested in the app? I love shopping, but I also love a good bargain and saving money. RetailMeNot has SO many coupons for a ton of my favorite stores and it’s awesome.

What do you think of the app so far? It’s not the prettiest app to look at, but it gets the job done. It’s really easy to use and it’s free!

Would you recommend this app to others? Yes!

Nena’s Pick

App: Heads Up!

This is SUCH a fun game. Basically charades with digital card decks. You choose a deck and place the phone on your forehead, so the players can try to act out/describe the card for you to guess. The decks have timers and also records the payers as they run around trying to tell you what the card means. Perfect for so many situations with a group.

Where did you hear about this app? Friends!

What got you interested in the app? Once I played a few rounds, I was totally hooked.

What do you think of the app so far? Every time I’ve played it’s been hilarious. Especially with the holidays deck this time of year, it turns into a lot of bad singing and acting out building a snowman. Definitely need a few friends to make it work, but even just a group of three is fun.

Would you recommend this app to others? Of course!

Jordan’s Pick

App: Frozen Free Fall

This game is basically Disney’s Frozen version of Candy Crush.

Where did you hear about this app? The App Store

What got you interested in the app? I’m obsessed with Frozen. I’m obsessed with Candy Crush. Boom.

What do you think of the app so far? I love it. It’s ridiculously addicting. It gets updated all the time with new levels, which I think is definitely worth the $0.00 I paid for it. 🙂

Would you recommend this app to others? Yes!

This Week in Apps!

This Week in Apps!

Shelby’s Pick

App: Rdio

Rdio is like Pandora and Spotify had a baby. You can create playlists of all your favorite songs or add full albums to your "collection". On top of that you have the option to listen to different stations which is great for parties or working out.

Where did you hear about this app? A friend told me about it

What got you interested in the app? I love music!

What do you think of the app so far? I love it! It's easy to use and super intuitive. They keep updating it with new features that constantly improve my experience. I also love the layout of their website/app. One of my favorite parts about buying CDs back in the good ol' days was the album artwork, so I think it's cool how that's a huge part of their site's design.

Would you recommend this app to others? Yes!

Camille’s Pick

App: SnapChat

Snapchat is a super fun mobile app that allows you to take a picture or a video, add a caption and send to friends for a brief period of time - then it disappears!  

Where did you hear about this app? WOM - Friends

What got you interested in the app? At first I wanted no part in this app because I thought it would be distracting. It kind of is, but it's a lot of fun.

What do you think of the app so far? It's a very straight forward app. Easy to use and a lot of fun.

Would you recommend this app to others? Absolutely

Jo’s Pick

App: BlogLovin’

A Twitter-like news feed of blogs that you can choose to follow. You don't have to have a blog to have a list of favorite blogs.

Where did you hear about this app? Word of Mouth

What got you interested in the app? I love blogging and reading other blogs, so it's nice to have it all in front of me to catch up on new posts.

What do you think of the app so far? Super easy to use, simple, yet effective design.

Would you recommend this app to others? Definitely!

Erin’s Pick

App: Hyperlapse

Think of a mashup between Instagram and Vine. On overdrive.

Where did you hear about this app? Word of mouth

What got you interested in the app? I downloaded it because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about!

What do you think of the app so far? Easy to use. Makes taking videos more fun. (Disclaimer: I've only taken one video so my opinion might change if/when I use it more regularly!)

Would you recommend this app to others? Not sure yet.