Despite smartphones revolutionizing the concept of convenience, we are always looking for ways to set a new level of efficiency in our lives. Luckily, developers have noticed this and continue to create apps that are exceptionally useful.
While everyone has different needs and priorities, there are a few apps that make everyone’s lives better. Unfortunately, people who are not power users often miss out on these products. As such, we’re highlighting 10 apps that add an extra element of convenience to your life.
Truecaller is an amazingly convenient app — it identifies unknown callers and numbers that are known for spam. If the company has information on a number, it will reflect this on an incoming call. Of course, in order to do this, there is a privacy trade-off. All caller ID apps require access to your contacts, which is why they are able to identify these numbers. For some, this is a deal-breaker. But many people still opt to use apps like these.
As your phone begins ringing, the app will display the name of the user if they are in Truecaller’s records. It cannot identify every number, but it does a great job of letting you know if a number has been reported for spam.
Spam callers will be highlighted in red, with the number of users who have reported them. It’s a great way to avoid those insurance cold calls.
Truecaller removes the some of the uncertainty from unknown callers, but like other caller ID apps, this does come at the cost of privacy.
Download: Truecaller (Free)
2. Google Assistant
Artificial intelligence (AI) assistants are increasingly popping up on our devices. Siri has been the long-term AI for Apple, Windows has Cortana, and Android has a few competing heavyweights.
However, one of the most widely available Android assistants with advanced functionality is Google Assistant.
Google Assistant integrates the functionality of Google Now and adds a level of heightened intelligence. The AI can interact with other apps on your phone and can even use image recognition to find pictures on your phone through commands like, “Show me my photos of my cat”.
The assistant’s full capabilities are seen on the latest Android 7.0 phones, but users on older versions of Android can still access it through Allo. It is also set to be rolled out to all Android 6.0 devices in the coming months.
Like Google Now, Google Assistant responds to the prompt, “Ok, Google.” You’ll just need to make sure that your Google Play Services software is up-to-date so that you get the assistant as soon as it’s available in your region and on your handset.
Ride-sharing and taxi apps like Uber, Lyft, and Taxify have revolutionized the way we travel — but they’re not the most cost-effective means of transport. This is why an app like Moovit is great for everyone who relies on public transport in their city. It’s also handy for those who live in areas that Uber drivers don’t frequent.
Moovit identifies all the public transport routes and stations around you, along with schedules, times, and live service alerts. It can even plan a route for you.
The app is useful for those who want to see the public transport options in the area, but is also hugely convenient for those who use public transport often. You no longer have to wait until you get to a station to find out if there’s a long delay.
Download: Moovit (Free)
4. Google Keep
Google Keep is the internet giant’s answer to apps like Evernote and other memo/productivity apps, but it is completely free with no functionality hidden behind a paywall.
The app allows you to create notes, voice memos, reminders, and annotated images — and aggregate them within the app, which syncs across devices.
The major benefit of Google Keep over other similar productivity apps is its integration with other Google services. You can use the “Ok, Google” command to create to-do lists and notes. You can even dictate notes to the app, and it will use voice recognition to transcribe them for you.
Users can also save screenshots, draw on images, and even save webpages and links to go over later.
Download: Google Keep (Free)
5. Remote Mouse
Remote Mouse is a simple yet awesomely convenient app that allows you to use your phone as a remote control for computers on your network.
The app acts both as a mouse and a keyboard by pairing with companion software on your PC via your Wi-Fi connection. The only downside is that certain features need to be bought — but these are mostly for the more advanced components of the app, like creating a media player remote.
It might sound overly simple, but it’s a great tool for people who stream from their PC to the television. It also adds efficiency and convenience in any situation where you’re mirroring your PC’s screen, such as during presentations.
Download: Remote Mouse (Free with in-app purchases)
Much like Remote Mouse, AirDroid pairs with your PC through companion software or a browser window. But its function is the inverse of Remote Mouse’s. With AirDroid, you control your Android device using your PC. This goes far beyond acting as a remote, though. With the app, you can browse your phone’s files, contacts, and apps. You can even use the camera, mirror screens, and play music.
One of the best features is the messaging functionality, which allows you to respond to texts from your computer. AirDroid is essentially like Whatsapp Web, but with many more uses. You can even stream music from your phone to your PC.
Download: AirDroid (Free)
7. Food Delivery Apps
Food delivery apps in general are some of the most convenient tools to have on your smartphone. There is no single food delivery app to recommend, as they vary according to your area. However, some of the international heavyweights on the market are UberEATS and foodpanda.
Installing two or three food delivery apps helps give you more variety and value-for-money. Depending on partnerships, these apps will vary in terms of available restaurants. Make sure to pick out the best ones that deliver to your area and see just how much more convenient ordering take-away food becomes.
8. Blue Light Filter – Night Mode
Blue light from electronic device screens has been criticized as the bane of restful sleep, causing insomnia and delayed sleep for thousands of people. While more phones are being released with their own blue light filter modes, older models often lack this.
Blue Light Filter is therefore a great option for those who need to use their devices at night, but don’t want the side effects of blue light. The app allows you to adjust just how much warmth to add to the tone of your screen, as well as brightness adjustments.
In the morning, you can simply go to the app’s settings and stop the app from running in the background.
The app is completely free, but has a few ads. However the app’s usefulness definitely makes seeing an ad or two worth it, as there is no required watch time.
Download: Blue Light Filter (Free)
9. Mobile Payment Apps
Mobile payment apps, like food delivery apps, also depend on where you live and what your nearby retailers use. However, these apps make life so much easier. A quick scan of a QR code or NFC chip, and your payment goes through — without the need for card facilities or cash.
Payment apps include the likes of Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Android Pay, and even Samsung Pay. However, there are many payment apps that aren’t limited to a specific brand or operating system. PayPal offers its own mobile payment app, while there are also the likes of Paytm, Zapper, and other companies in the market.
You will just need to take a look at what apps are available in your region and choose one that is trusted by consumers.
10. Google Photos
Google Photos is one of the best cloud storage and backup apps for photo and video files on Android devices. Not only does the app provide you with free storage and automatic backups, but it has a variety of smart features that add to the appeal.
Image recognition in the app allows you to search through photos with keywords. For example, searching for “mountain” in Google Photos will show you all your landscape pictures with mountains. One of the more recent updates allows you to search for specific people by name, so long as you have identified their face in one of your pictures before.
It also comes with features from other photo apps, such as photo editing and trimming videos. Meanwhile, its built-in assistant adds albums for you and suggests edits and filters.
Download: Google Photos (Free)
Which Apps Make Your Life Easier?
While there are thousands of apps out there to meet our specific needs, these 10 apps are some of the best aimed at making life more convenient. Not only will they extend the functionality of your phone by incorporating artificial intelligence and other smart features, but they also save you time and, in some cases, give you peace of mind.
After all, there are reasons behind why many major companies like Samsung are trying to create their own versions of these apps. But luckily for the ones listed above, you don’t need to have the latest device on the market.
Do you have any apps that makes your daily life easier? Let us know in the comments below.