From productivity to entertainment, here is a rundown of my top 10 favorite apps for the Apple iPhone. I use each of these apps every single day and find that they help me be more productive, more efficient, and generally healthier in both mind and body.
While I typically don’t like apps which have in-app purchases, this one is worth a look. Runtastic is for those of us who don’t use a smart watch or like product to track our workouts. It includes a GPS which allows you to track your path when you run, and can help you to track pace, calories and distance, all from your hand-held device.
What’s really great about this app, though, is that although it is an app which requires actual real-people money, there is a way to use it that is absolutely free. You get a lot of the really great features of the app without paying a cent. And if you decide that you really love it, and want to use more of the awesome features, you can pitch in a few bucks and get started right away with plans to help you reach your fitness goals.
9. Drink Water Aquarium
This app is just downright cute. When you pull it up on your phone, you get an image of a fish tank where a few little fishies swim around and around. The point of the app is simple: to help you remember to drink water.
The app lets you set goals and reminders, alerting you when to drink water, and how much. As you input your water intake into the system, it fills up the tank, letting the fishies have more room to swim. How cute is that!
Although simple, this app really does help you drink water, and if you’re like me, attaching emotional value to your water intake (if I don’t fill up the tank, my fish will suffer!) helps raise the stakes so that I actually drink my water.
This app is a little more out there – but hear me out. Through Habitica, you create a little avatar that goes on adventures. You make your to-do list, and as you complete items, your avatar gains experience points, vanquishes monsters, and levels up! The best part is, you can set difficulty levels and play with a host of other features which help boost your XP and allow you to progress through your life as you would any role-playing game.
I use this app EVERY DAY. Currently, I have it set so that my list is perpetual and refreshes every morning, letting me get a good start on my daily tasks. It is one of the things which really does help me get out bed in the morning and get to work on the things which I find to be important.
This is the ultimate Bible app. With so many features (which, might I add, are absolutely FREE) YouVersion lets you customize your Bible reading experience, from the version of the text, to font, size and color of the screen. What really makes this app special is that is also gives you access to seemingly unlimited Bible Studies, as well as a community of others who want to grow in their faith.
Another awesome feature about this app is its Verse of the Day option, which wakes you up in the morning with a verse from the Bible which is usually thought provoking and encouraging. I seriously recommend checking this one out.
Need I say more? Netflix is, perhaps one of the most popular streaming services out there, but I’ve included it here all the same because my list would be incomplete without it.
The perks of places like Netflix are the same as those like Spotify, only, obviously, with television. Instead of paying massive $$$ for cable, you have access to what you want, when you want it, for a relatively cheap price. For a college student on a tight budget, this is a really awesome deal.
Not only that, but the app lets you stream from almost anywhere. Computers, tablets, phones, smart TVs – anywhere you can get internet or a cellphone signal, you can stream your favorite shows.
Beyond having an extremely wide range of music to listen, in addition to podcasts and even a few audiobooks, one of the things I love about Spotify is that it is a pay-by-the-month subscription service. Unlike iTunes, where you are required to purchase the songs you want to listen to, one subscription to Spotify gets you access to the entire collection – in which you will find samples, and sometimes complete collections, of almost every type of music.
iTunes does offer a similar service, but I haven’t used it so I can’t speak for or against it in terms of quality and service. What I do know is that several of my friends use it and enjoy it just as equally as I do Spotify.
Either way, there are some major advantages to using a streaming service rather than buying individual songs and albums. The first is that although paying for a streaming service seems to cost more money than buying an individual song, you actually end of paying less in long run. Why? Because you pay a monthly subscription fee, which gives you access to everything. That way, you can listen to an album once and, if it’s not your thing, never listen to it again. Unlike pay-by-the-song scenarios, this one prevents wasting music on a song that you will pay for, only to never listen to again.
This app finds its way nearer to the top of my list because of its usefulness. Libby is an online library which you have access to through your library card, in a lot of states.
On this app you can find e-books and audiobooks of all kinds, which you can read or listen to just about anywhere. Even better, there are no late fees of any kind, because when an item is due to be returned, it deletes itself. Even better? It’s completely free.
Need I even mention Starbucks?
For the longest time, though I didn’t have the Starbucks app, and that was such a waste! I was spending so much money there without getting any of the rewards one can get through a free Starbucks membership.
Yes, there are rewards. A lot of them. You can earn points which are redeemable in the form of free drinks and food items, and at certain times in the year they offer bonuses for particular items which you may find yourself buying anyway.
Except for the obvious spending more money at Starbucks, what’s not to love?
Like Habitica, this app is another habit-tracker. However, this one differs in that it is specifically designed to track reading habits.
The free version of this app lets you input the books you are reading and track how many pages you read each day, as well as time spent on each book, and, eventually, how many books you read each day/month/year. With a one time purchase of the full app, you have access to even more settings which allow you to set goals, as well as track e-books.
This app is a really great way to keep track of your reading, as well as to feel a sense of accomplishment when you read even things which you many find boring (let’s face it, textbooks aren’t always the most interesting) which is, in my opinion what matters most. It also allows you to track streaks, which, because of my competitive nature, really keep me reading. In 2018, Leio helped me to read 57 books!
1. Relax with Andrew Johnson
The reason why this app has made its way to #1 on my list is because this is the one app that really helps to keep me sane.
As a yogi, I meditate in order to get my head straight – but never as often, or as long, as I feel I need to. This app really helps with that.
It was actually recommended to me by my therapist, who helps me with anxiety. This app also has a lot of really cool features, and the free version has a track which you listen to, and in which the speaker guides you through a physical relaxation process to help you recenter your mind and body. The full version has more specific tracks for all types of relaxation, but while you are free to explore them on your own, I find that the free one does the trick just fine.
Even better? You can adjust the length of your relaxation session, as well as the background music (I have mine set to ocean waves, but you can choose from a host of others, as well as making it silent).
So that’s it!
There are my top 10 favorite apps so far – although I’m sure the list will change in time. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy exploring these apps!
What are some of your favorite apps? Is there one you think I should try? Feel free to comment down below!