App and Software

8 Apps You’ll Wonder How You Lived Without Until Now

These days, life relies on technology. While too much tech can have a negative impact (hello, screen time notifications!), we’d be lost without it. So, what are we supposed to do? Delete all of our apps and avoid technology altogether? Absolutely not.

The key to tech success is to make sure you’re using it to enhance productivity and make your life easier. Check out these eight apps to help streamline your day-to-day activities:

1. Chime

Chime is more than just a debit card. It’s a one-stop financial tech app that helps you keep your budget in check no matter where you are. Chime’s mobile features allow you to deposit checks and get paid up to two days early and control your budget. You can even pay friends.

In addition, its round-up saving feature lets you grow your savings automatically without any hidden fees. Chime offers spending, savings, and credit accounts that can all be managed in the app, making your financial life easier.

Cost: Free

2. AccuWeather

There’s no denying weather can be unpredictable. While the morning could start off with sunshine, it might end with rain or even snow. Having an app that provides a detailed weather forecast can be a game-changer.

The AccuWeather app doesn’t just show you the weather; it gives you an up-to-the-minute report. For example, instead of saying, “It’ll likely rain this afternoon,” AccuWeather will tell you, “Rain will begin in 7 minutes.” Impressive!

Cost: Free

3. Houzz

Houzz is a lifestyle app that’s perfect for those looking to decorate their new home or spruce up their home office. The app inspires users by showing several different styles, decor choices, and everything else you might need for your home. If you like what you see, all you have to do is click. Houzz provides buying options for the products they showcase so you can make them yours.

The app also comes with a “Find Professionals” feature. This allows you to find interior designers and craftsmen who can help you create your ideal space.

Cost: Free to download, but you pay for products and services

4. Apple Music/Spotify

Whether you’re obsessed with songs or podcasts, having a music subscription can keep you entertained for hours. With Apple Music and Spotify, you can create your own playlists or listen to curated playlists. Whether you’re obsessed with true crime or sports entertainment, you can hear all about them. Both services offer access to popular podcasts so you won’t miss out regardless of the service you choose.

That said, if you have an Android device, Spotify is your only option. If you have an iPhone, you get the opportunity to choose between either Apple Music or Spotify.

Cost of Apple Music: About $10/month

Cost of Spotify: About $10/month (free option includes ads and other limitations)

5. Duolingo

After a year of largely staying put, many Americans are itching to travel again. If your plans have you heading to foreign places, you’ll definitely want to check out Duolingo. The most downloaded language learning app in the world, Duolingo offers courses in 37 languages. Its gamification techniques make learning fun, as the app’s 300 million active users can attest.

In addition to lessons you can complete on a desktop, laptop, or mobile device, Duolingo offers podcasts in Spanish and French. While Duolingo might not make you fluent in another language, it will help you quickly master the basics. If you want to ace your visit to the boulangerie — or just give your brain some exercise — Duolingo is for you.

Cost: Free basic version. Duolingo Plus, which is ad-free, costs $6.99/month.

6. Alo Moves

While things are slowly getting back to normal, the effects of the pandemic are still prevalent. For instance, not every restaurant is seating at full capacity. You still might not feel 100% comfortable walking into a grocery store or a gym. Well, you don’t have to.

With health and fitness apps, you can exercise in the safety of your own home. Alo Moves is a popular app that grants users access to thousands of workout videos. From yoga to fitness classes, this app brings the studio to you with professional trainers leading every virtual class. Alo Moves offers short and long classes, so you can fit in a quick or long workout depending on your schedule.

Cost: About $20/month

7. Instacart

The Covid-19 pandemic rapidly accelerated the move to online grocery shopping in the last year. Whether you’re avoiding shopping to limit your exposure to others or you don’t have time, you can still get groceries.

The Instacart app lets you grocery shop 100% online. You can browse for different products or fill your cart with everything on your list. Plus, you can get the special deals on same-day delivery and use store coupons. Either way, Instacart takes the hassle out of grocery shopping.

You have two options with this app: delivery or pickup. If you want your groceries delivered to your door, you’ll have to pay a small delivery fee. If not, have your items bagged and just pick them up at the store at no added cost.

Cost: Free to download, but you pay for groceries and delivery fees

8. Your Bank’s Secure App

Even if you prefer banking in person, you should consider downloading your bank’s app. These apps show how much money is in your account, which makes it easier to keep track of your finances. Furthermore, you can transfer funds in between your accounts or virtually deposit a check. Some apps even let you pause your card in the event your wallet is stolen or you suspect fraud.

Before downloading your bank’s app, make sure you’re downloading the right one. In recent years, cybercriminals have only become better at tricking users with fraudulent apps. In fact, according to research, almost one in every 20 fraud attacks happens from an unauthorized mobile app. If you’re unsure whether an app is credible, visit your bank’s website to find the app they endorse. You can also call a representative to double-check.

Cost: Free

Whether you’re trying to become more financially independent or more toned, these apps can streamline your life in more ways than one.

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