Apps Making Life Better, Easier and Smarter

October 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

For a while now the only tech I’ve been equipped with is my work laptop and my iPhone 5. Mostly due to portability, I find myself relying on my iPhone for everything outside of work. The screen size can get to me sometimes, but it’s amazing how much you end up appreciating the small things (for an American this is apparently a $650 phone). Throughout these months I’ve explored and found some apps that really help me out. I wanted to share them with friends and whomever.

mzl.vvestybuiOS only

Everest is an app for goals. Think of all those to-do list apps, like Apple’s Reminders; but what about the things you would like to accomplish that are more complex, that carry out in the future and require many steps? What about those things that are closer to a dream than a tangible goal? Everest is the app for those goals, and for making those dreams transform into goals. Currently on my list is reading a certain book; it may seem silly, but it’s too easy for me to be distracted by TV or Facebook, so I set the goal and track my progress chapter by chapter. While this app has been around for a while, it has recently seen a design overhaul that will increase its usefulness.

  • Goal setting with sub-steps and progress tracking
  • Social interaction with friends for suggestions and encouraging words
  • An interface that makes all of this cool and engaging


iOS; Android

Circa is the news app for millennials, or perhaps those who don’t like to read long articles on small screens. All your typical national news stories will be on this app, but in a sort of bullet point format. Concision is everything; read the headline, if interested, tap for a 3 sentence summary, continue swipes for pertinent details. Subscribe to that story if you want updates–true updates, not ‘George Zimmerman got a traffic ticket updates’.


iOS; Android; in browser

Venmo may be the final blow that knocks out those annoying, archaic things we once used called checks. This is a one size fits all app that makes paying friends easy; it works with any bank, between any bank. Once you add your bank account and routing number, you can send payments to a phone number or email. You can even send a ‘charge’ to a friend, reminding them they owe you.

  • Safe; data is encrypted at industry standard
  • Transfers are overnight for US Banks
  • Due to a relationship with Wells Fargo, the funds are FDIC insured


iOS; in browser


iOS only

Lumosity; Interlocked

There is nothing quite as mind numbing as Temple Run, or, dare I say it, Angry Birds. How can you feel better about hours spent gaming on your phone? Play games that (purportedly) make you smarter. Lumosity has those almost annoyingly cheerful commercials, but the app does have several fun games that will have you calculating and puzzling under a time crunch. Interlocked is a beautiful game that features the most complex 3D puzzles one can conjure up, but the interface is intuitive, making the puzzles quite entertaining to tackle.


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