With more than 800,000 apps available through both Apple and Google’s online stores, finding the best apps isn’t easy. Sure, “Angry Birds,” Facebook and Instagram are perennial favorites, but what about apps that actually simplify your daily life rather than just turning your phone into a hipster camera? From managing personal finances to not oversleeping, these are five of our favorite apps:
Named by CNN Money as one of the “Six Best Banking & Budget Apps” for 2012, the Mint.com finance app makes it easy to track, budget and manage your money from anywhere. View all of your accounts, including savings, credit cards and investments from one place. There’s no need to enter individual transactions; Mint.com does this automatically for you. Create customized budgets and monitor your spending.
Forgot to schedule a recording of tonight’s big game? On the go but want to catch up with “Modern Family”? According to Direct2TV.com, with the DirecTV app, you can schedule your DVR and watch shows from anywhere. The app turns your smartphone into an on-the-go entertainment player and remote. Watch TV on your phone (or tablet with the tablet version) set your DVR and connect with friends on Facebook to share your favorite shows.
Goodbye sticky notes, hello Evernote! Whenever inspiration strikes, this handy app makes it easy to capture and record ideas. The Evernote app syncs with a free, web-based service for creating to-do lists, recording audio notes and remembering ideas. Every note you create is fully searchable, so you’ll never lose the phone number to that amazing little bistro in Paris or the back of that napkin with your next great business idea.
With Sleep Cycle, oversleeping becomes a thing of the past. The app is like an intelligent alarm clock that tracks your sleep and wakes you in the most comforting phase, which makes waking up in the morning easy and natural; it feels like waking without an alarm clock. Most bio-alarm clocks come with a hefty price — upwards of $200. This one can be yours for just a few dollars.
This simple, straightforward to-do app makes it easy to remember daily tasks with just a few swipes and taps. Type a task, hold and drag to rearrange your to-do list, pinch apart to separate or insert tasks, and swipe to “check-off” an item from your list. With the Clear app, you can track lists for your grocery shopping, home projects, and office presentations all from one place. Clear stores your lists and tasks in iCloud, so they’re available anywhere, anytime. Yes, Clear really is that easy to use.
Image by David Horowitz pursuant to the terms of his Creative Commons license.