As much as I'd hate to admit it, I am pretty obsessed with my smartphone. Whether I'm listening to music during my commute, playing games while waiting for an appointment or checking social media, I regularly depend on my iPhone for entertainment. Besides the common apps like Facebook, 2048 and Candy Crush that everyone has, I've also found a plethora of fantastic apps that I believe should be much more well-known. Here's a list of some of my favorite apps that I highly recommend downloading:
This app is probably my top music app, even above Pandora and Spotify. Songza is a free app that creates playlists based on mood, time of day or activity. If it's raining, Songza will recommend "Rainy Day" playlists. If it's early morning, Songza will recommend "Waking Up Happy" playlists. If it's Friday night, Songza will recommend "Pregaming with Friends" playlists. And the list goes on. This app is not only perfect for casual listeners who just want something to put on while working, but it's also great for people who are hosting a party and need a playlist to put on. With a selection that is much more expansive than any of its competitors, an impeccable music taste and hardly any advertisements, Songza is easily the best music app on the market. Personally, my favorite playlists are "60 Seconds to Disarm This Bomb" and "Anthematic Indie Dance Pop." Be sure to check them out!
Winner of the 2013 Apple Design award, BADLAND is a puzzle side-scroller game with stunning graphics. Set in a futuristic and atmospheric forest, users must guide their character through a challenging obstacle course. The forest backdrop is bright and colorful, while the player's journey takes place in the dark foreground, creating a neat contrast and eerie feel. Your character, an adorable furry monster that looks like a mix between a hairball and a bird, must avoid certain death by lasers, large rocks and spikes to make it to the end of the level. You even gain special abilities throughout the game, such as anti-gravity, cloning and slowing time to help you move through the forest. The game tests your puzzle-solving abilities, as well as your quick reflexes and sharp intuition. It also has dozens of extra challenges and missions, which ensure that you will never grow tired of the game. BADLAND is also updated constantly with new levels and challenges to keep you busy. The only drawback of BADLAND is the price: $3.99. But as someone who has spent hours on the game, I can definitely say that the price is worth the payoff.
Though this app is mostly designed for teenagers and college students, GroupMe is still an excellent social app for older adults to keep in touch and make plans. GroupMe is a free app in which you and your friends create a private group chat. The app allows you to easily create new groups and add new members so that as your friend circle expands, so does your GroupMe. I constantly use GroupMe to plan hangouts with friends and I often find I use it as often as Facebook or Twitter. The app offer several key features such as the ability to "like" messages in the chat as well as the ability to embed pictures and videos into the group chat that set it apart from similar social media apps. My one complaint is that the app is a real battery drain, so it can often completely zap my battery if my friends are messaging too often.
4. Little Things Forever
This adorable puzzle gaming app is great for a long car ride or a lazy Sunday afternoon. The game is pretty simple: find the hidden objects in a large clutter of similarly colored and shaped objects. While there are many similar "hidden items" apps, what sets Little Things Forever apart is its fun and quirky design. The clutter of objects is usually in the delightful shape of a dinosaur or owl, and the bright color palette used makes the atmosphere of the game bubbly and child-like. However don't be fooled by its adorable demeanor: finding the objects to complete the level is actually quite difficult. Little Things Forever is also a tad pricey, but at $2.99, it's not nearly as expensive as other games on the App Store.
This free email app is practical and productive, and is a far superior version of the Mail app pre-installed on the iPhone. You can easily categorize emails with a single swipe of a finger, placing the selected emails in the trash or archives. In addition, this app provides a snooze option with which users can postpone less significant emails, without placing them in the trash. The simple design and intuitive user-interface also make the app a lot better to look at and easier to use than other email apps. So far, Mailbox can only be used through Gmail, but the app is being expanded and other email services will be available soon. Personally, I haven't used the Mail app in months and would probably delete it if given the option in favor of the much cleaner and efficient Mailbox app. This app is highly recommended for anybody with a cluttered email inbox or anybody who receives lots of emails.
This free news app is perfect for anybody who wants to read more articles on their iPhone. Flipboard enables users to select topics and articles from local, national or international publications to save in their own "magazine." Topics can range from politics to design to gaming, and users can even create magazines of their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feeds. It's a lot easier and more fun to "flip" through these feeds instead of scrolling through them like usual. I typically get a lot of my news from this app simply because it's so easy to use. Flipboard is an essential productivity app on any user's iPhone.
Hopefully you all enjoy my app recommendations. Comment below if you have any other apps you think I left off this list!