Cool Tech for Your Commission Check: Daily Apps You’ll Use All The Time

Cullen MacDonald
May 22, 2015

This week, we’re going to talk about tech that doesn't get much love in the Cool Tech series: mobile applications. Which is weird, because I’m one of the programmers here at Handshake. Apps are great, but the landscape is now so saturated with them that––beyond the obvious choices like Google Maps or Instagram––it can be confusing to pick out the daily apps that will be most useful to you. I thought I’d highlight a few "daily apps" that I have on my phone and use almost every single day. These apps will help you know how to get dressed in the morning, jot down your daily to-do list, cook your evening meal, and even take some time during your busy day to maybe learn a new skill.

4 Daily Apps

1. Dark Sky

Price: $3.99 This iOS app is by far the best I’ve found at predicting the weather in real time for your exact location. It has a really slick, modern design, and even alerts you when it’s about to rain or snow. Its up-to-the minute weather reports are great, allowing you to see the wind speed, humidity, and atmospheric pressure right where you’re standing. If that’s not terribly useful for you, you might like the fact that the app also provides an incredibly accurate and detailed 24-hour weather forecast––all displayed in a clean, user-friendly interface. To get access to the same data on an Android device, check out the Arcus app, which uses the same API as Dark Sky.

2. Evernote

Price: $0.00-$49.99/year Evernote is an incredibly useful, popular app, and if you don’t have it already, you should go download it right now. At the most basic level, Evernote is a note-taking app, but it allows you to do much more than that. Whether you use it for your personal information, your work, or both, Evernote can help you organize all your information on one platform and access it from any of your devices. Of course, you can do things as simple as write your grocery list on your computer, and then access it from your phone when you’re in the store. But you can also capture high quality scans of handwritten notes, snap and store photos, clip articles from the web to read later, organize your notes by project or category, and share them to collaborate with others. Evernote is available as a web application, as well as on iOS and Android.

3. Paprika

Price: $4.99 Paprika is a recipe app that allows you to save recipes from anywhere on the internet, and it’s a great way to store ideas for future meals and draft grocery lists. The ingredients you need for a recipe can be added to a grocery list that is then automatically categorized by grocery aisle to make shopping easier. If using Paprika while you’re cooking, you can open multiple recipes at the same time to easily switch between them. If a recipe is open on your device, your screen won’t autolock (which is annoying when you’re kneading dough or doing some other kitchen task and don’t have a free hand to turn your iPad back on). You can also scale ingredients according to your desired serving size. If, for instance, the recipe yields 12 servings but you want to cook for two, you don’t have to do the mental math in your head to make a smaller batch. The app syncs your data across all of your devices, and it’s available on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android.

4. Duolingo

Price: Free Duolingo is a language learning app that allows you to learn a second language with just 5-20 minutes of practice each day. At the moment, the app offers Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Swedish, Danish, and Turkish for English speakers. Soon, it will also offer Ukrainian, Esperanto, Norwegian, Hungarian, Russian, Romanian, Polish, Vietnamese, Hebrew, and Klingon for dedicated Star Trek fans. The lessons are great, and you can start speaking basic sentences on day 1. The app makes it really easy to go through each lesson. According to the Guardian, the app was actually designed by “examining how thousands of users react to learning one skill, for example verbs, before another, such as adjectives, and finding the most beneficial.” If you’re traveling to a country that speaks one of the languages Duolingo offers, or just always wanted to learn italian, it’s a great way to spend 10 minutes each day. The app also provides daily reminders to keep you on track. Do you have other apps that you love to use every day? Share it and tell us why in the comments below.