The best summer apps are those that help you get the most out of fun summer activities, save you time, or improve the overall experience. Whether you’re at the beach, relaxing at home on the patio, or on the road, apps are there to help with nearly any need.
Here are eight apps that can transform a good 2017 summer into a great summer:
1. Find Your Waze
The Waze app gives users dynamic real-time updates on how to drive from A to B, leveraging data from other users.
This often means taking smaller “back roads”, which can help turn a summer drive into a chance to discover a new hidden restaurant or attraction. It’s ideally suited for multi-stop road trips, because it routes drivers around upcoming accidents and other traffic issues.
If the Waze app saves you from sitting in the car an extra hour every weekend, then that’s potentially 12 hours of summer gone forever that could be otherwise spent at the pool.
For weekday driving, Waze recently launched a carpool app that is changing how people commute by organizing shared rides where users only pay to chip-in for gas. There is no fee involved.
2. Capture the “Magic Hour”
In photography, the “Magic Hour” is the time when the light is just right. It happens right after sunrise or right before sunset and means softer light that is ideal for taking shots of the beach, selfies, or urban landscapes.
To capture such a “magic hour” shot, your timing needs to be impeccable. Thankfully, an app called PhotoPills gives photographers precise data on the ideal time to snap a shot to capture the magic.
It also provides a guide on taking shots of the Milky Way, so photographers in darkly-lit rural areas can capture detailed shots of the cosmos. It acts as your camera’s personal assistant, to help you find the exact moment that will look best on social media.
3. Find the Undiscovered Artists
Discovering the best musical artists is easier this summer with the newly launched SongCast app.
It gives music enthusiasts access to artists that are moving beyond labels and heading directly to the biggest streaming services.
It helps artists to get paid for their work, and lets summer beachgoers and road trippers enjoy an eclectic mix of new talent with 27 different music genres that can fit any summer occasion. With SongCast, listeners can be one of the first people to hear the next “summer anthem” before the crowds and help independent artists to gain some exposure.
4. Avoid (or plan) a “bun in the oven”
Summertime trips often revolve around social interactions. Whether it’s a bachelorette party or one of a half-dozen weddings, these events can lead to some frisky romance. Dot, a birth control and period tracking app, gives users reliable information on their daily risk or chance of conception. For couples that are hoping to enjoy some summer lovin’, the app is ideal for identifying the window of time that is most likely to result in a “bundle of joy” in nine months.
5. Skip the lines in NYC
Taking a summer trip to the Big Apple? It’s an amazing town with great concerts, attractions, and food, but you won’t be doing all of those fun things alone.
Millions of people descend on the city every summer, which means long lines for some of the most popular events.
An Australia-based company named Placer now offers the Placer application, which allows you to pay someone to hold your space in line.
You simply negotiate a price for the “Placer” who is sitting in line, and can then go back to your day. Go eat breakfast while your spot in line for the Empire State Building is still moving towards the front. Look for the app in additional cities during the coming months.
6. Get to the Grill
Summer means BBQs and tasty grilled meats. Cooking the food properly requires some talent, especially in regards to how long different cuts of meat should be left on the grill. GrillTime is a flipping and cooking reminder app that gives precise directions on how to prepare summer’s most popular eats.
The times, temperatures, and instructions are all calculated together to achieve the desired doneness. Grillers can plug in multiple items at once, so they can manage wave after wave of demanding partygoers without risking any burnt ‘dogs or ribs.
Another popular grilling app is Grill-It!, which features a range of tasty recipes as well as guidelines on cooking times.
7. Get personalized instruction on the go.
Summer vacations mean getting to relax, but you also don’t want to want to completely “let yourself go.”
Fit in some personalized instruction from your hotel room with the InhomeSports app, which enables live, two-way video fitness or sports instruction with a professional trainer. Heading to Myrtle Beach or Scottsdale for a golf trip?
Use InhomeSports to brush up on your game before you tee it up. The app also features a fitness concierge that pairs students with the instructors that match for their skill level and ability. You can book a session that fits completely around your schedule – and train from any location!
8. Enjoy some Libations (responsibly)
The Minibar app gives people the ability to order alcohol for home delivery. It’s perfect for the summer gathering that’s attracted a bigger crowd and the hosts ran out of hooch.
You can order a full lineup of beer, wine, and spirits while you straighten up the house or prepare food for guests.
Summer is all about maximizing the time and the fun, and apps like Minibar that outsource menial tasks help you focus on good times.
Renting a summer house and don’t want to run to the liquor store? Hop on Minibar and complete a few swipes, and you’ll have your cocktails ready in an hour or less.