Our weekly app picks
It's Appday Sunday and that means we're back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.
Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!
1. Russell Holly — My Fios by Verizon
Like all home ISPs, Verizon Fios is great right until it isn't. Calling tech support when I know something is wrong an it isn't on my end can be deeply frustrating, which is why I keep the My Fios app around. It's got all of the basic account stuff onboard, as well as a handful of Fios TV features and the security credentials to your Fios-provided Wifi router, but if something goes wrong the support functions are pretty handy. It's got a basic troubleshooting guide baked in that is often way faster than talking to a person, and is hands down my preferred way to access quick solutions or schedule a tech if it can't be resolved remotely.
It's not something I need to use often, but it's nice to be able to quickly get exactly what I want.
2. Phil Nickinson — Player FM
It's been more than a year since we last promoted Player FM, and it's time to give it another look. It's grown up quite a bit, incorporating all that Material Design goodness the kids can't stop talking about. Plus it's gained support for Android Auto. Plus you can use your Google account to sign in and keep your feeds synced across devices, which is a big plus. it's not a perfect podcatcher, but it's right up in there with the best. And with these updates it's worthy of a look, for your podcast-listening pleasure.
3. Justin Duino — Vrse - Virtual Reality
As Google Cardboard popularity continues to grow, it is becoming easier than ever to come across virtual reality apps on the Google Play Store. My latest find is a virtual reality application called Vrse. Vrse allows you to download and view 360-degree videos that are in their catalog. Some of these videos showcase nature while some allow you to look around the set of SNL.
If you do not have Google Cardboard, don't worry because Vrse allows you to switch between the Cardboard experience and just being able to view videos on your device with the full 360-degree experience. Additionally, if you want to view it on your Samsung GearVR, you can find a version of it in the Oculus Store.
4. Andrew Martonik — PayByPhone
This is one of those apps with a name that doesn't really tell you what it does. PayByPhone is a system to pay for street parking in dozens of cities around the U.S., Canada and a few other countries. It isn't the prettiest app, but this is all about the function — PayByPhone lets you pay for street parking from your phone. All you need is your car's license plate number and the number provided by the parking meters on the street you're parked on, and in a minute you can pay for parking with a credit card.
You can pay for an exact number of minutes or round hours, and you'll receive an alert when your parking is about to expire so you can get back to the car or pay for more parking right from the app. There's a modest service fee (handful of cents per transaction), but it's worth it if you're parking in the city a lot. Check and see if PayByPhone is offered where you live, and if it is, it's worth a download so you never have to worry about feeding a parking meter again.
5. Jerry Hildenbrand — FastTech Mobile
There are all sorts of cool electronic gizmos, fancy-looking knock-offs and stuff for your kitchen or bar that you never knew existed ready to ship to you from China. FastTech is one of the trusted shops who has all this stuff, and will actually ship you what you ordered without forcing you to buy in bulk. Using the official FastTech mobile app, I can browse the thousands and thousands of cool things and safely order (using SSL encrypted connections) right from my phone. I can also track the status of outstanding orders (yes, shipping can be s-l-o-w when you order direct from China), read product reviews and even participate in the buyer's forums.
I love the 21st century.