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. Jen Karner — Voxer Walkie Talkie Messenger
A friend recently got me using Voxer Walkie Talkie Messenger app. The big draw is certainly the voice messages. You can listen and respond to voice messages in real time, or wait until you're free to listen to them. There is also the ability to have group chats with voice or text, along with sending pictures. There are even a set of notifications for each message that pops up underneath it in the menu, you can see when the message has been recieved, seen, and when someone is replying. You can also play back previous voice messages which is awesome if you're like me, and the forgetful type.
One of the reasons I really like Voxer is the ability to have an actual conversation with someone even if you can't manage a full on phone call for whatever reason. It works over Wi-Fi, or data, so it can be handy in a pinch if you have internet but no signal or data. Considering the number of calls I've missed, or the frustration of playing phone tag trying to get in touch, Voxer has been fantastic. I use the free version, but you can also grab the premium editions which gives you tons of extra features.
2. Russell Holly — Huedini
Ever since we put smart lights in all the bedrooms, I've been looking for a nice way to set up calming end of the day things for the lights to do. It's not something the Philips Hue app does particularly well, but it's something Huedini handles amazingly well. You can set multiple bulbs to a series of color patterns with names like fire and ocean, and the colors in that palette will gently shift around in one of three brightness levels. Set the light levels to low and use the timer in the app to kill the lights in 20 minutes, and the lights go out just as you drift to sleep.
3. Jared DiPane — Untappd
I've never been super adventurous when it comes to trying new beers, I've had my favorites and that is what I stuck to. This year, my seasonal favorite isn't coming back as a standalone, and is only available in variety packs, which meant I had to branch out. With so many choices available, I wanted something to log in what I was trying, and to make things a little more fun.
Meet Untappd. Now I can add friends and other users, see what others are drinking and what they think of it, and try them myself. I've tried a number of new pumpkin beers, some of which were really good, others which I wouldn't touch again, and now I can remember which was which. It's free to get set up, so if you like indulging in an adult beverage every once and a while, be sure to give it a shot.
4. Phil Nickinson — Monster Dash
The latest in my list of time-wasting games that don't require any real brainpower on my part is Monster Dash. It looks and feels a lot like Jetpack Joyride — which it should, since it's another Halfback joint. The gist is you have to kill or high-five your way through the levels, with myriad weapons and themes and in-app purchases and what not. It's completely playable without spending a dime, and that's how I recommend you do it. And while, yes, it's definitely heavy on the IAPs, it's also nostalgic. Just have fun and don't think too much about it.
5. Andrew Martonik — Bank of America
Bank of America's app received a big update this week, adding native fingerprint login support for supported devices. That means rather than opening up my password manager app, copying a complex password (which we should all have for our banks) and pasting it into the BofA app, I can now just launch BofA, put my thumb on my Note 5's home button and I'm instantly logged into the app. (For what it's worth the iOS version picked up the same support, if you happen to have an iOS device with Touch ID.)
While it isn't going to make you switch banks or anything, it's something that has seriously boosted the viability of having a mobile banking app on my phone, and turned what used to be a ~15 second chore for logging in into a one-second action. The BofA app as a whole has also slimmed down to be easier to navigate, which doesn't hurt either.
If you have Bank of America and haven't used the app lately, give it a try now if you have a phone with a fingerprint sensor. It's a serious improvement.