iPhones and other smartphones alike are no longer used for the sole purpose of a cell phone; I don’t even keep the Phone app on my dock. They’re all about how many different tools one 5” by 2.5” device can replace. Every so often there’s an exceptional app that slides under the radar preventing it from receiving the praise it deserves from everyone, and so I have taken it upon myself to help you poor technology-challenged bastards fit in with the rest of society. I have created a list of 5 apps you should probably go download while you read the remainder of the article. Now I’ll be honest, you’re not going to fall off the face of the earth should you choose to continue your day without these but wouldn’t you rather be one of the cool kids?
1. Timehop — Social Networking, Free
Starting off the list simple, Timehop essentially lets you see what you’ve done on this particular day in history. Timehop will show you what you tweeted/Instagrammed/posted to Facebook/etc all for the sole purpose of reminding you how much of a fucking loser you were. Because what’s better than seeing those Facebook statuses you made in 9th grade? The app sports a blue, baby tyrannosaurus rex wearing nothing but boxers as the mascot who will also provide some trivial piece of pop culture information every day — Did you know that Avatar premiered in London 5 years ago today? The app is also helpful for reminding you that it’s your girlfriend’s birthday today provided you remembered somewhere on social media last year.
2. YikYak — Social Networking, Free
I have been absolutely obsessed with YikYak for the past two weeks. This app combines Twitter, Reddit and Tinder AND it’s anonymous. Basically when you create a “Yak” (spin-off of a tweet) it’s posted in the feed for anyone within 10 miles or so of you. Then, everyone who can see it has the opportunity to either upvote or downvote and comment. The more active you are the higher your “Yakarma” will be. One of my favorite things is that there are no accounts; you download the app and can immediately start Yaking. Also, the app is entirely based around Yaks; twitter bird ain’t got nothin’ on YikYak’s Yak. So that you can get an idea of what people post, some of my favorite Yaks include: “Fucked a girl for an hour and 45 seconds last night. Thanks daylight savings”, “Nothing says ‘I respect you’ like a 2am ‘what’s up’ text”, and “Alabama changed the drinking age to 32 in order to keep alcohol out of high school”.
3. Pako – Car Chase Simulator — Games, $0.99
Did I ever say the list was going to consist entirely of free apps? If you honestly won’t purchase an app that costs less than a McChicken you should probably reevaluate yourself. This game plays off of the difficulty that made Flappy Bird such an addictive success; each game lasts between 10~40 seconds based on how good you are and keeps you tapping play again all day. In each level you’re a stunt driver evading the police in a closed space. You have to avoid all other cars, trees, etc while driving in a large enough circle that you kill as much time as possible. Did I mention you have no brakes or control over the accelerator? Definitely worth the dollar.
4. Evernote — Productivity, Free (Unnecessary Premium Version Available)
God I hope my fellow students are already aware of this app. This note taking software seamlessly updates your notes between your iPhone, iPad, Macbook, and iMac so you can access them anywhere. It lets you search through all notes, organize notes within notebooks, share notebooks with friends allowing them to edit your notes as well, add pictures or graphics to notes and chat with other users. Honestly you underestimate the convenience of having all of that on your phone. I cringe when I see someone taking notes by hand in class; it’s time you let technology improve your life. Ever had your computer crash and you lose all notes and assignments? Imagine they were safely backed up and accessible on your iPhone. Should I be in sales? Yes, yes I should.
5. Philips Hue — Lifestyle, Free (App), $199.95 (Starter Kit with 3 bulbs)
Hey, no one ever said these were going to be cheap but one function will likely be enough to persuade you: the ability to turn your lights off from in bed. How many times have you gotten into bed and forgotten to turn your lights off, or gotten into bed to watch Netflix with the lights on dim and have to get out of bed to turn them off, OR passed out drunk with the lights on only to wake up at 5am surrounded by the brightness of 10-million suns? The app itself is free to download with purchase of three light bulbs for $200. So yes, they are slightly expensive but that cost pales in comparison to having the ability to change your lights to any color you want. The app lets you individually control up to 50 bulbs’ color and brightness throughout the same wifi connection. Other features include setting alarms for you lights to wake you up in the morning, having the lights flash to the beat of music and having a neat expensive toy to show guests.
Hopefully now your phone has a little less storage space and you have learned a few things about the potential of your pocket-pal. I personally have learned that I probably should have gone to business school and that I’m likely too attached to my phone for my own good.
[Header image via Shutterstock]