Apps That I Use

I only keep three pages of apps on my phone.

If I want to add something, I delete something.  This is useful, because there are quite a few of them that have been used at one point or another and then never opened again.  A good characteristics of a useful app is that it connects to an existing service that I already use and makes it easier to work with.  I’m extremely selective about what I decide to use, so much so that it has to be justified in several ways in order to stay.  Here’s a list of my favorite ones (non-Apple), and why:


This app, owned by Google, is able to route my long commute with high accuracy.  If a certain part of my commute is backed up, it will let me know.  It is something that I rely upon to get around in the busy Metro Denver area.

Downsides: The constant ads, my ability to outperform it by ten minutes or so on average, background app refresh issues.


This app is essentially a mobile-site for Facebook, nothing more.  It drains less of my 4G by stopping their dumb auto-running videos and hundreds of libraries.

Downsides: To get to messenger without downloading the app, you have to switch to Desktop webpage mode.


Paprika holds all of my recipes in one place.  It is sharable, and they scrape many cooking websites to add to your own database.

Downsides: The desktop version of this app costs an additional fee, which I haven’t gone for yet.

Beam for Reddit

Easily one of the better readers for Reddit.  You can set YouTube links to automatically open in the YouTube app, which means r/videos + Chromecast is amazing.

Downsides: There’s no proper push notifications unless you set up background app refresh.  The app used to be slow and wonky viewing longer posts, but that has been fixed.


This is way better than Rosetta Stone for learning languages and 100% free.  It gamifies the process, and has gotten so much better over the past few years.

Downsides: Past progress has been wiped for me out due to changes in the platform


This is the best music identifying app, mainly because it has the ability for you to follow along on most songs.  This is awesome when hanging out with your friends because if they have no clue, you seem like you have the best memory ever.

Downsides: The app is slow in loading (could be my old iPhone), and has crashed when identifying music.  Widget is available, but no Siri integration.  They also dropped desktop Spotify integration, which would have been killer through their mobile app.  Now you have to attempt to load your Spotify songs in their app to do anything with lyrics.

Dark Sky

The most accurate weather app, from a very successful Kickstarter campaign.  There are many out there, of course, but their predictive algorithm is still going strong after all of these years.

Downsides: It hasn’t properly notified me of incoming storms as well as it could have.  Requires constant location pushing to work.


Something that I always thought smartphones would be good at from the very beginning would be the ability to connect existing databases of information in the world around you.  Inquire tells you notable places no matter where you are, and their Wikipedia articles.

Downsides: If you stay in a few places, it is kind of pointless to use.

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