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Help! Apps for Life's Little Emergencies

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By Deborah Mackay

We all have them. Those moments in life when it feels like a real emergency -- even if in most cases it really isn't. Luckily, some kind developer folks have got your back ... among other vital body parts. Now there are apps for everything, from where to pee when time is running short, to how to get around the most awkward social situations. Check out these handy apps.  Before it's too late!

Help, I'm about to regret what I may be about to do!


Do you ever get the feeling you're about to do something pretty stupid? And then do it anyway? If yes, or if you just need a bit of reassurance from time to time, Tokn may be the app for you. Tokn uses a buddy system to alert your friends if you could be in need of help. Users create 'tokens' to describe what they are about to do, where they are, and set an allocated finishing time. The token is then sent to a pre-confirmed 'buddy' who will be notified if you don't check back in by the time you set. It's then up to your buddy to find out what kinda mess you've got yourself into -- or for you to put up some token resistance.  So pick someone reliable!

Tokn started out as an app for the surfing community. Knowing that surfing can be a pretty perilous pastime, the developers created the app as a way for boarders to check in with their mates before hitting the waves. Realizing that it's not just surfers who tend to put themselves in tricky situations, the Tokn guys started marketing it to the wider venturesome community.

Tokn is free and available on iPhone.

Help, I need to pee!

Where to wee

Ladies and gents (especially the ladies), with this handy app you never need to worry about getting caught with your pants up. Where to Wee does exactly what it says on the app. About to burst? Where To Wee will show you the public toilets nearest to you. You can also see user reviews: Fellow skip-to-my-loo'ers rate restrooms on cleanliness, soap and paper levels and smell. Lovely!

Although this app isn't exactly ground breaking on the innovation front -- 'where's the nearest...?' apps are pretty common -- it has a clean UI, is easy to use and let's face it, pretty handy.

Where to Wee is free and available on iPhone and Android.

Help, I'm all dressed up with nowhere to go!


It's Saturday, you've worked hard all week, and now you want to have some fun. But what to do? Yplan is here to save the day... and night. This app is the spontaneous socialite's best friend. First launched in London, Yplan has now made its way across the pond to help New Yorkers make the most of their nightlife. Yplan offers users curated lists of events happening that same day, with availability information, pricing, and a 'book now' option. Simply login with Facebook or create an account, select your location (currently limited to London or New York, but the team have plans for 'world domination'), and Yplan pulls together a real-time list of what's on near you. Users can also personalise their lists through the 'what are you into?' option. Select what you're into from a list of nine different categories and let Yplan fill your social calendar with events tailored to you.


Yplan has already made a big splash in the UK. The app has tallied up 300,000 users and secured a partnership with Apple, enabling Yplan to distribute tickets for the technology giant's iTunes Festival. All within nine months of launching the London service.

Yplan is free on iPhone and will be launching on Android in the next few months.


Help, I want to achieve my life goals!


When it comes to achieving our goals it's all too easy to say 'one day' or 'some day'. But what happens if that day never comes? Everest is the app that wants to help us live our dreams, one step at a time. The app is a to-do list, journal, and inspiration board rolled into one. Users start by setting their dream or goal and then create steps that will help them reach it. Steps are scheduled into a calendar with reminders that help users to keep up the pace, while the 'moments' feature encourages dream-chasers to record their journey with photos, notes, and inspirational messages.

If your own goals aren't enough to keep you busy, users can also opt to accept one of the pre-set challenges. This is where the business model comes in. Challenges are set by commercial partners with the idea that to complete the selected challenge, you're going to need their help. For example, Airbnb set the challenge to 'spend the night in a castle'. The steps for this challenge include 'fantasize about the castles available to rent (on Airbnb it's easy -- it's a search filter!)' and 'find something affordable, choose a date, book and make arrangements to get there'.

Everest is free on iPhone.

Help, we need to split the bill!


Ah, the bill splitting fiasco. Many a lovely meal has turned sour by confusion and frustration over who pays what. (Let's face it:  "just do the math" gets harder as the night goes on.)  Get rid of all the agro with Plates by Splitwise. It's a simple concept: Tell the app how many people are at your table, what the bill total is, and who had what. Plates calculates how much each person owes. It's all stuff that with a bit of math you could do yourself, but who has time for that? Does someone always head off to the loo just before the bill arrives? Well, there's also an app for that.

British bank Barclays recently launched a TV ad campaign based on the pitfalls of being the 'skint' mate to promote their Pingit app -- Europe's first peer-to-peer money sending service that uses cell numbers. Pingit cuts out the need to exchange bank details and goes straight for the money. Once users sign up for a Pingit account they can easily and quickly make payments to friends using just their cell numbers. Pretty useful for that one friend who somehow always forgets their wallet.

Whether it's the global economic issues making us more frugal, or just pure stinginess, it seems more and more of us are turning to apps to keep hold of our cash -- and get it back.

Plates is free and available on iPhone.

Barclays Pingit is also free and available on iPhone and Android.

Help, I need to dump my beau!

BreakUp Text

"We need to talk." "It's not you, it's me." No one likes to hear those words; even fewer people like saying them. Thankfully there's even an app for that. BreakUp Text to the rescue. Answer a few questions: are you breaking up with a guy or a girl? Was it serious or casual? Why are you breaking up? (multiple choice) The app then composes a text to send to your soon-to-be ex. Hit send and you're good to go... unless he texts back. You're on your own from there.  Who said breaking up is hard to do!?

Now, if you're the break up to make up type... read on!

BreakUp Text is available for 99 cents on iPhone.

Help, I've made a terrible mistake!


Uh-oh. Turns out going it alone isn't all it is cracked up to be.  And now you want your former beau back. Luckily, you can use MakeUp Text to, you guessed it, get back with your ex -- the one you just dumped using BreakUp Text. By now you know the drill: answer some questions, MakeUp Text creates a heartfelt message, you hit send and, fingers crossed, all is happily ever after... that, or your ex does some creative texting of their own.  Suggestion:  don't have BreakUp and MakeUp on your phone at the same time -- it may get a little messy.

MakeUp Text is available for 99 cents on iPhone.

App Happy?

The app developing community are getting pretty creative and there really does seem to be an app for everything these days. As soon as a new one comes out promising to make life that bit easier, we're ready to snap it up. The question is: Are we becoming a little too reliant on our mobile devices? Hmmm... let me check, I'm sure there's an app for that!

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