Everybody knows about the power of smartphones. They adeptly perform work functions, from attending meetings to running spreadsheets. They let you call for a ride or find rare parking spaces if you drive to the city. Even banking and investing are just a few swipes away. Still, statistics show that the Apple App Store and Google Play Store offer well over two million apps each, which doesn’t even consider the ones offered over the Internet. Every store seems to offer ways that your phone can speed up checkout and more.
Whether you’re at home or out and about, the right selection of apps on your smartphone can make every day of your life better — if you know about them. Here are five apps that can help contribute to your best experience at work and play.
1 Use Your Car Windshield to Navigate
How often do you get behind the wheel without a clear picture of how to get to a new place? Every time drivers look away from the road, they increase the risk of an accident, and looking at directions is every bit as dangerous as texting while driving. Whether you find yourself in unfamiliar territory, or you want to change your route due to road construction, here’s an app that can simultaneously keep your eyes on the road and navigation information.
The GPS-based Head-Up Display app removes the need to look at your phone while driving. Place your phone on the dashboard, and start the app to project the information that you need on your windshield for easy viewing. The display contrast is adjustable so that you can get clear readings in virtually any weather and lighting condition.
2 Identify Yourself Legally During the Customs Process
Going through Customs at the airport or cruise port can mean standing in long lines, filling out forms, and going through interviews. With the Mobile Passport app, U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors have a Customs and Border Protection (CBP)-approved way to speed up the identification process at airports and cruise ports. Download the app and set it up. Then, upon arrival, use the app to get a special four-hour CBP passcode that gives you access to a faster line. You still need to carry your physical passport, but the overall Customs process will be quicker and less stressful.
3 Maintain Control Over Your Business Travel
Whether you take occasional business trips or work keeps you on the road constantly, it can be difficult to stay organized and remain aware of the inevitable travel plan changes. The TripIt app maintains an up-to-date itinerary by consolidating travel information in one place. Use it to receive travel-related emails, check flight delays, obtain directions to the airport, and more. It can also issue reminders that make sure that you’re in the right place at the right time.
4 Send and Receive Faxes Without a Dedicated Machine
Speaking of business travel, do you really want to spend maybe a dollar per page at a copy shop when you have to send essential fax while you’re on the road? As long as your smartphone can connect to the Internet, online fax services put the full functionality in your pocket. If you only have to send or receive a fax on a one-time basis, many services offer free trials that can help you get the job done.
5 Take Control Over Your Streaming Options
Now that you have apps that help you take control over the time you spend on the road or in the air, it makes sense to use an app to make the best use of your well-deserved downtime. With new streaming providers being introduced at lightning speeds, it is now cumbersome and confusing to find out which provider is offering a particular viewing experience. The JustWatch app helps consolidate your choices by putting the common provider options all in one place.
6 Design Every Room in Your Home
It can be hard to enjoy your at-home time when your surroundings have become outdated or inefficient. With the augmented reality-based Amikasa app, you can try out room designs without doing any shopping. This app offers real products to choose from, so you can easily purchase the components that you used in your design once you decide to make it a reality.
Smart Phones Make Your Entire Life Better
Now that you’ve learned about six apps that improve a typical day don’t stop there. How many times in a day do you mentally complain about how you do things? Maybe a common task is painfully repetitive. Maybe it just takes too long. Whatever the issue, there might be an app that can make it better.
It takes little time to search the Internet for a solution, and that solution is likely to be an app. As long as you do the research necessary to ensure that an app will not steal your identity or otherwise damage your phone, download it and give it a try. Don’t worry; no matter how great your life becomes, you can still find something to complain about … until you decide to learn how to develop your own app. Ka ching!