It’s hard to believe that the famous iPhone 3g commerical (i.e. “there’s an app for that”) is actually ten years old now. Back then there were about 500 apps available in app store — now there are over 2 million. Whoah. So how on earth are we supposed to find the good ones?
Well, there are app reviews on Wired, Fast Company, and the New York Times. And of course user ratings can be viewed directly in the app store itself. But what I’ve found is that the best recommendations on apps come the old fashioned way — through direct word of mouth from the people who are using them. (I’ll never forget the Uber driver in San Fransisco who tipped me off on Waze back in 2014. Thank you, kind sir.) Here at Team CS, we’re constantly experimenting with new apps and sharing our favorites with each other. Below are seven we believe actually make life easier, and each one has been tried and tested by someone on our team. Scroll down to discover our favorite apps for scanning things, working out, translating currency, even vacuuming the house… yep. There’s an app for that.
photo by steven simko
Chanel turned us on to Scannable a few years ago, and now everyone in our office is hooked. It’s a super easy-to-use app for scanning documents on your phone. You can scan multi-page documents, and you can choose to save each document as either a pdf or an image file. From that point you can easily email the document or save it to your phone. It also connects with Evernote, which makes Camille very happy…
Camille currently relies completely on Evernote to manage all of her to do lists (and believe me, she has a lot going on.) The best thing about the platform is that it automatically syncs across all your devices, so your lists and notes are always up to date.
image by cup of jo
This is one of my favorite travel tools, and I’m constantly using it on my frequent trips to Mexico. XeCurrency gives you up-to-date currency exchange calculations for 65 currencies in over 170 different countries. It’s especially helpful when shopping or even when you’re changing cash at an airport or kiosk. You can keep an eye on the real exchange rate and see how much they’re charging you for the exchange service.
If you have an Apple TV, and you haven’t downloaded the remote app yet… your life is about to change. Once you’ve downloaded this app to your phone, you can now use your phone keyboard to search for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” on Netflix (just think about how long it would take to type that in using your apple tv remote.)
image by alo moves
So this one comes with a catch — which is that it really works best if you own an actual Fitbit — but you can also set it to use your phone to count your steps and movement. I am currently loving this app, and I even splurged on the compatible Aria 2 scale to go with my Fitbit watch. The app helps me track my heart rate, sleep goals, water intake, nutritional info, just about anything and everything related to fitness. If you want to know more about yourself and your body, download this app now.
Speaking of fitness, Alo Moves is my app of choice when it comes to working out from the road. The app streams literally thousands of fitness classes from top instructors in yoga, pilates, barre, stretching and more. You can browse classes by difficulty level and also duration, which is super handy when you’re pressed for time. When I’m at home I use screen share to stream the videos on my apple tv from my phone, and enjoy taking a class from the big screen. When I’m on the road I use either my laptop or phone to watch the classes.
Several members of Team CS use the Flo app to track their periods and monitor fertility. And since over half of our team is currently pregnant right now… I’d say it works. Even if pregnancy isn’t your goal, Flo can be useful for tracking your period in general and troubleshooting PMS symptoms.
There are a lot of translation apps out there, but this is the one that works for me. I like how I can either type in a word or use the microphone to speak a word that I’d like translated. In turn, I can see the translated word spelled out and also hear it pronounced. This app really saved me during my last trip to Mexico, and helped me keep conversations going in Spanish!