Last year, TCC offered a technology class called “Must Have Apps” as a bit of a follow-up to our Smartphones & Tablets class. Since the Smartphones & Tablets class did not go through very many actual apps, we thought it would be nice to show people a few apps that we think they might like.
There are thousands of mobile apps available, but it was harder than you’d think to come up with a list of ten or so apps that a variety of people might find interesting. We found apps to be a bit like restaurants — the really unique ones only fit a niche of people and the ones that fit a wider variety of people aren’t the most unique or “exciting.” So we do have a few apps to show you. Whether you “must have” these apps might depend on your hobbies and/or situation.
Bird Identification app that is great for bird watchers. Listen to bird calls or look at silhouette pictures to help identify them; browse through birds by name and get pictures and info about every bird species. Log and track birds you’ve seen with notes and map.
Excellent resource for looking up medical advice for a wide variety of conditions, ailments, and medications. Allows you to track your medical history as you enter it for improved communication with your doctors.
Neat app that shows you the stars, constellations, and planets in the sky in real-time. Point your phone or tablet in different directions and you can see what’s in the sky at that time.
See houses for sale and rent in your area or any area. Easier to use than realtor websites – which may or may not include others’ listings. Great info including historical prices of a house, prices of houses not even for sale, etc. Fun for looking for houses or apartments or seeing pictures of houses from your past with “recently sold”
Allows you to scan the barcode of any food and view its “grade.” It gives you everything from calories to controversial ingredients to educate you on that food so you can make better choices. There are many apps that offer similar information, such as MyFitnessPal, that you might consider as well.
Neat app for exploring your world — you can zoom in on big cities in 3D and control the direction, angle, and zoom of your view. See also Google Maps which is a great app for driving directions, finding stores/restaurants/landmarks in an area and even seeing the street-level view from most streets in the US.
YouTube is such a fun and helpful video site, you are really missing out if you aren’t using it. And with video, it works much better as an app than a website on a phone or tablet. Learn how to make pallet planters, watch past and present funny Super Bowl commercials, see how to do things on your phone. When you login with your gmail account, you can follow your favorite Youtubers, leave comments on videos and even upload your own videos. YouTube is included with Android devices but Apple and Microsoft devices will need to download YouTube from their app stores.
General Categories that might be fun to explore
Card games, board games, old games, new games, tv show games, trivia games, mental test games, strategy games….. most any game that has a real version has an app version. Plus there are a lot of games made as apps only that are fun (and addictive) like Angry Birds and Candy Crush. Playing games on your mobile device can be a nice way to unwind and relax.
Oddly enough, you can find a number of apps that act as “instruments” like piano apps, guitar apps, drum apps, and more, plus music tutorials, teaching tools, sheet music, karaoke, and more! You can even download “tuner” apps for your real instruments to keep them in tune!
There are dozens of apps to help you track your steps, calories, heart rate, exercise routine, food intake, and more! There are fitness coach apps to lead you through exercises and even attachments to help track glucose and other chemical levels. Try Pacer to keep track of your steps without the need for a fitness band like FitBit. Pacer uses your phone’s GPS to track steps (rather than “bouncing” motion a step creates). It integrates with other fitness apps and has “walking groups” to give you some social interaction and motivation.