10 Must Have Smartphone Apps

by: Jess Roberts

A List That Doesn’t Include Angry Birds

I love my open source smartphone OS

An Android Fan

There are standard applications that should be downloaded within twenty-four hours of opening your smartphone box: Facebook, Pandora, IMDB, Google Mobile App, foursquare, ESPN ScoreCenter, The Weather Channel, Groupon, Netflix, and at least one Twitter App. Here is a list (in no particular order) of apps that I would not want to live without, and nine of them are FREE.

1. ScanLife: This app is in reference to my article about QR Codes. ScanLife enables you to scan the odd looking, square, 2D codes you see popping up in coupon inserts, on Taco Bell cups, on retail merchandising signage, and around Lakeland on business cards and event posters.

2. What’s On TV?: If you do not have a cable box or miss your old TV Guide, you will love this app. Once you have selected your location and cable provider, scroll through channels, look ahead at future times and dates, and even search for the program you are looking to view. The Movies menu displays theater locations and show times, as well as descriptions for movies opening this week and in the next few months.

3 Alien Blue Pro ($1.99): This is the unofficial Reddit app for smartphones. Alien Blue Pro allows you to submit posts, exclude posts based on keywords, and view Reddit images from your phone. You will never go back to iReddit, and it is worth the one hundred and ninety-nine penny price tag.

4. Boxcar: I am rarely sitting at my computer during the day, so Boxcar keeps me in the media loop via push notifications. This one app allows me to see mentions, direct messages, and preferred lists from my Twitter accounts, notifications and mail from Facebook, foursquare and Gowalla alerts, Reddit notifications, and messages from Google Buzz and Google Voice. The app also allows RSS feeds, as well as Wowtrack and Growl notifications. Instead of checking four or five different accounts when you have five minutes to spare, open Boxcar and read through All Messages.

5. Dropbox: This is a great file sharing service that works for people who use any combination of Windows, Apple, Android or Linux systems. After you download Dropbox onto your computer, or app onto your smartphone, determine what files you would like to always have access to and copy them into your Dropbox folder. If there is a photo on your computer that needs to be sent via text message, just copy the photo into your Dropbox folder, open your Dropbox app on your smartphone, open the file and select Save Photo, open your photo gallery and send the picture. USB drives and cables become unnecessary.

Dropbox also has a Public folder that enables you to assign URLs to your files. Rather than emailing a 2MB photo or 7MB PDF, send the file URL to your email recipient and they will gain direct access to your file for as long as you make it available.

6. GeoQpons: I love discounts and I carry a small coupon organizer with me at all times, but this app helps me out when I forget to bring the coupons I receive in the mail. You can find discounts by brand name or location, and quite a few Lakeland companies are listed. Gators Dockside, Palace Italian Restaurant, and Regal Lakeland pop up when I scan via location, while Ann Taylor, Old Navy, Sports Authority, and Quiznos are just a few of the many discounts listed in the Brand menu. A penny saved is a penny earned.

7. Lose It!: Feeling frumpy? That is how it started for me. I used Lose It! to see exactly where my calories were coming from, and boy did I! It is difficult to choke down a twelve piece chicken nugget value meal when it is going to cost me 830 calories, and that is before the eight packs of mayonnaise I will need for my French fries. “I would like a grilled chicken salad please. Nope, no dressing. “

8. Cool Wallpapers HD: This app contains 1967 high definition images that fit your smartphone’s screen. Cool Wallpapers HD organizes its images into thirty-five categories and the app has a Search feature. I love its shelf backgrounds; my iPhone folders look as though they are lined up on shelves of bright green grass.

9. RunKeeper : This app is not just about running, it is about moving. RunKeeper is perfect for long bike rides around town or walks around Circle B Bar Reserve. Just take your smartphone with you, open the app and put it in your pocket. When you are finished, you will have the total time, miles and calories burned while you are out exploring Lakeland.

10. Publix Weekly Ads and Store Locator: This is pretty self explanatory for most Lakeland residents. Yes, you can read through the Publix Weekly Ad before you get to the store. Maybe this should have been number one on my list.


Creative Commons License image credit: Quinn Dombrowski

20.06.11