If you’ve just unwrapped a new smartphone or are looking to give your current device a makeover, consider starting with an app audit. Begin by decluttering – remove any apps you don’t use regularly to free up space and streamline your digital life. This includes pre-installed apps that may end up hidden in a folder.
Once you’ve purged unnecessary apps, think about what new ones you might need or want to try. Assess your lifestyle and preferences: Do you rely on public transit and need real-time train schedules or directions? Are you a remote worker who frequents coffee shops and could benefit from a VPN for added digital protection? To help you get started, here’s a curated list of some of the best smartphone apps that we recommend trying on your device.
If there’s one piece of advice to take away from this article, it’s this: download a password manager. If you’re new to the concept, Bitwarden is a solid choice. While it may not dazzle you with flashy designs, Bitwarden stands out as one of our preferred password managers, thanks to its fair business model. The best part? All of its core features are free of charge. You can use Bitwarden across as many devices as you need without spending a penny, a feature for which competitors might charge $3 per month or more. If you choose to support Bitwarden, the $10 per year Premium plan offers excellent value, providing access to advanced two-factor authentication and other enhanced features.
If it’s been a while since you last used Firefox, now is an opportune time to give it another try. In a significant update last year, Mozilla revamped the Android version of its browser, incorporating many of its best desktop features into the mobile experience. This release included enhanced support for third-party add-ons and introduced the Enhanced Tracking Protection feature, which prevents trackers from exploiting your browsing data.
Moreover, for iPhone users, the landscape has changed with Apple allowing the option to change the default browser since the release of iOS 14. This presents an excellent opportunity for iPhone users to break free from Safari and explore alternatives, with Firefox being a compelling choice.
Subscribing to Headspace at the onset of the pandemic has evidently made a lasting impact on your daily routine. While renowned as a meditation and mindfulness app, Headspace transcends these boundaries to offer a multifaceted experience. Beyond meditation, the app incorporates a diverse range of features, including music playlists crafted to enhance focus and workouts tailored for unwinding after a taxing day. The app’s overall offerings are consistently excellent, making it a versatile tool that extends beyond providing just peace of mind. Headspace has become an integral part of your daily repertoire, offering a holistic approach to well-being.
Notion stands out as one of the most robust productivity tools available, and if your aim for 2023 is to streamline and organize both your personal and professional life, I highly recommend giving it a try. What makes Notion exceptionally powerful is its interface, appearing deceptively simple yet offering a wealth of flexibility. From creating to-do lists and jotting down notes to managing personal projects, Notion proves versatile in its applications.
While it may seem a bit overwhelming initially, my suggestion is to explore tutorials on platforms like YouTube. Watching how others have leveraged Notion’s features to organize their lives can provide valuable insights and help you make the most of this powerful productivity tool.
If you’re aiming to read more in 2023, consider bypassing the traditional route of buying books through Amazon and opt for Libby instead. This app revolutionizes your reading experience by allowing you to borrow ebooks, digital magazines, and graphic novels from your local library. All it requires is a library card, a service often offered for free by most systems across the United States. While there might be occasional waiting periods for popular titles, using Libby can significantly broaden your reading options and contribute to an expanded and diverse reading list.
If you want to spare yourself the agony of waiting for a bus in the chilly winter weather or witnessing multiple buses pass by consecutively, consider using one of the top public transit planning apps available for both Android and iOS: Transit. This app outshines others in its category due to its clean and user-friendly interface, highlighting all available transit options in your vicinity. Additionally, Transit boasts one of the more accurate algorithms for predicting departure times, providing you with precise information on when to step out of your house or apartment to catch the next bus, train, or streetcar.
Investing $5 in Paprika can significantly simplify your meal preparation process. Primarily, it enables you to download recipes from your preferred websites and make them easily accessible across all your devices. Paprika goes beyond this by offering features such as the ability to scale the size of the meal you’re preparing and convert between metric and imperial measurements. Moreover, it includes a meal planner, shopping lists, and a tool for tracking the ingredients in your pantry. In essence, Paprika proves to be an indispensable app for home cooks, offering a comprehensive set of tools to enhance and streamline your culinary experience.
With podcasts gaining increasing popularity each year, chances are you already have a few favorite shows that you listen to regularly. Despite Spotify’s efforts to position itself as the premier podcast app, the distinction of being the best goes to Pocket Casts. This app stands out for consistently delivering an excellent user experience across all the platforms it supports. Additionally, if you use a combination of platforms from Apple, Google, and Microsoft, Pocket Casts eliminates the worry of syncing.
One of the app’s strengths lies in its singular focus on being a top-notch podcast app, avoiding the identity crisis faced by platforms like Spotify. Pocket Casts doesn’t attempt to be more than what it is – a dedicated app for listening to podcasts. This simplicity and clarity of purpose contribute to a seamless and satisfying podcast listening experience, setting it apart from more multifaceted competitors like Spotify.
For those looking to read more in 2023, consider downloading Pocket. As one of the most popular read-it-later apps, Pocket allows you to save articles you come across online. Similar to Pocket Casts, what makes this app stand out is its consistently excellent and device-agnostic experience, making it an ideal choice for users who haven’t fully committed to one specific ecosystem.
Regardless of whether you use Chrome, Safari, or Edge, you can install a browser extension to easily save articles for later. This allows you to read them without distractions on your phone or tablet at your convenience. Just remember to occasionally make a dent in your Pocket reading list to fully enjoy the benefits of this handy app.
While convincing friends and family to adopt yet another messaging app may seem like a challenging endeavor, the effort is more worthwhile than ever. Signal stands out as one of the most secure chat apps available, making it a compelling choice. The app includes all the features you’d expect from a messaging platform, such as support for stickers and Snapchat-like Stories. However, what sets Signal apart from rivals like WhatsApp and Telegram is its commitment to privacy.
Signal operates as a nonprofit and prioritizes user privacy over revenue generated through data collection. This means you won’t encounter any ads within the app, and the company does not sell your data to third-party marketers. Choosing Signal as your messaging app not only provides a secure communication platform but also aligns with a commitment to preserving your privacy.
If you’re new to VPNs and want to give one a try, Windscribe is the top pick for the best free VPN in our guide. There’s no catch here – Windscribe is completely free to use, provided you sign up with a valid email address. Free users enjoy 10GB of data per month, unlimited device connections, and access to servers in over 10 countries. Windscribe performed well in our geoblock, streaming, and gaming tests, and it’s user-friendly.
If you find Windscribe suits your needs, you have the option to subscribe for additional features. A full Pro subscription costs around $6 per month when billed annually, offering access to more servers in additional countries, unlimited data, and an ad blocker. Alternatively, you can customize your plan, starting at $1 per month, by selecting only the features you need.
Despite the excellent cameras on most recent phones, almost every photo can benefit from a bit of editing before sharing. While there are numerous photo editing apps available, one standout option is Snapseed. A long-time favorite, Snapseed provides a comprehensive suite of editing options without overwhelming users with too many sliders and dials. One of its strengths lies in its simplicity and effectiveness.
Snapseed makes it easy to save your edits to your camera roll and seamlessly upload them to popular apps like Instagram. Whether you’re looking to enhance colors, apply filters, or make precise adjustments, Snapseed remains a reliable choice for users seeking a powerful yet user-friendly photo editing experience.