Many people say that mobile phones have ruined life as we know it, but that’s just an opinion. It’s all about perspective. Like any other piece of technology, mobile apps can be bad for you, but utilized and used well, they can change your life for the better.
Both the Google Play Store and the App Store have thousands of apps ready to install at the touch of a button. They all claim to be the best at something. But which ones do you really need? There are a lot of lists online from Techradar, Stuff, Digital Trends and Business Insider, but we’ve put together the best from all of them, along with a few choice finds of our own.
Productivity and organization
We here at Runrun.it are big believers in organization — that IS what we are all about to begin with — we’ve begun our best free apps (and paid ones) list with the ones that are best in organization and productivity.
1. Fiverr (free)
Fiverr is one of the best free apps we listed because of its sheer usefulness. Especially for smaller business and operations, you might not always have the right people to execute your initiatives. Here is where Fiverr comes along, putting you in touch with its wide network of freelancers who can see your project become a reality.
2. UpWork (free)
Another great productivity application is UpWork, which will potentially broaden your talent pool significantly. Not only that, it’s interface is a great way for both contractors and content creators to communicate so projects are completed on time and to both parties’ satisfaction.
3. Microwork (free)
Microwork is one of those apps that help you stay productive, even when on the go. It provides a vast number of tasks, which reward the customer upon completion. There is no task or job too small, and all you need is a flexible attitude. The pay might be as high as you wanted, but it’s not too low either.
4. Evernote (free)
Another of those notetaking apps? Fear not — Evernote differentiates itself by being both a written and audio journal at the same time. You can lock specific messages too, for added security. If you’re part of a team, you can also share to share your notes with them.
5. Adobe Acrobat Reader (free)
A lot of documentation these days is in PDF format — the app enables you to access it and read it. It’s free, and it’s from Adobe, so you know it’s a solid program. The PDF formal also ensures that the document is un-editable
>> Recommended reading: Productivity: How to achieve your goals earlier than you’ve planned
Relaxing and unwinding
Like they say, all work and no play make Johnny a dull boy. Along with working and productivity apps, here are a few that will help you relax and unwind.
6. Relax & Rest Guided Meditations (Android only)
The app offers three guided meditations — so that you’ll slowly start to see the meditations strip away your stress and anxiety. Especially when you’re in pickle, this app will help you see things through.
7. Worry Watch (iOS only)
Especially if you find yourself anxious all the time, the app helps you identify the source of your worry. Knowing is half the battle, they say, so you’ll be able to log a noteworthy course of action to help make yourself become a better person.
8. Mindbody (free)
What makes this app unique is that it acknowledges that people need to go out and see other people. Unlike other apps that help you directly, Mindbody compiles a list of possible PHYSICAL wellness activities near you that you can join.
9. Sleep Cycle
Getting enough good night’s rest is essential for both a sound mind and sound body. This is why Sleep Cycle takes a good look at your sleep cycles to see what’s going on and where you can improve.
The mobile phone age is all about photography on the go, videography on the go. Everyone is an amateur photographer or filmmaker these days. Whether you’re capturing a memorable family moment or trying to be the next Ansel Adams, there’s something for you.
10. VSCO (free)
VSCO is one of those underrated photography apps that while isn’t as popular as Instagram or Snapchat, does provide a lot more than just a social network. For one, it semi-regularly releases filter sets (some free, some paid), each with their own distinct flair. The feed is much more photography-oriented and less the curated selfie / personal blog variety, which differentiates it from Instagram. It frankly is one of the best free apps on this list.
11. Over (free, iOS only)
Over lets you basically put text over pictures to help you make you get your message across better. It may sound simple, but the plethora of options and features, along with the beautiful typography, make it worth picking up.
12. Camera Zoom FX – Free (free)
Want to add pro camera settings and features to your phone camera? Look no further. Among other things, Camera Zoom FX allows you to change the settings on your mobile phone camera like ISO, shutter speed and aperture. The basic free version is good enough for most people, but if you want to kick things up a notch, there is also a paid version which is packed with even more features.
13. MX Player
Call it the Swiss knife of media players. Given the plethora of video formats out there, MX Player plays almost, if not all of them. You also get access (if available) to a video’s embedded extra features like subtitles or dubbed versions. The player is also very intuitive, letting you rewatch any video you play on it from where you left off.
14. Prisma (free)
Prisma lets you convert photos into art. Think Instagram filters, but instead of color filters, the app gives you art style filters. The outcome is very accurate, and the variety of art styles make this a worthy addition to your go-to photography apps to give your images a little bit of variety and oomph.
15. Stop Motion Studio (free)
As the name implies, the app lets you create stop motion animation using individual pictures. The features also extend to creating GIFs. The free version is a little light, which is perfect for beginners and casual users, while the Pro version is for folks who are looking for more features and functions.
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Social media is still making the world go round, so it makes sense that developers still continue to put out apps that seek to become the next Facebook or Twitter.
16. Plume (free)
Twitter’s native app is good in itself, but Plume takes things to another level. It’s one of the few apps that lets you cross post your Tweet into Facebook at the same time. It also has several views, including a night mode that’s not hard on the eyes or on your battery. Take note thought: the iOS version also runs a bit different than its Android counterpart though.
17. Pinterest (free)
Pinterest is largely a collection of a mishmash of pictures uploaded by users. Think a very large free-for-all bulletin board. What sets the app apart is how people can use these collections to set up things like their own DIY event, costume ideas, decorations, recipes and more. Think of it as your go-to source for inspiration.
18. LinkedIn (free)
LinkedIn is a perfect way to increase professional connections and fast-forward your career. From job opportunities, career advice and anecdotes by successful professionals, LinkedIn has it.
19. Reddit (free)
Your gateway into a cornucopia of topics, ranging from the practical to the weird. Reddit is practically the reimagining of the internet forum-type platforms back in the day. Useful information abounds, but be careful because there’s a lot of bad stuff out there too. It’s a double-edged sword, but if you’re looking to use it the right way, it can be a very useful resource.
Basically, things that make your life easier. Or a little bit smarter or cleverer. Think things that help you organize and customize (just like Runrun.it!).
20. Nova Launcher (free, Android only)
Dissatisfied with the look of your user interface? Then Nova Launcher is the app for you. It lets you customize the phone’s user interface, allowing you to install custom icons and move them around better. Customization means that you also get to decide where and how to arrange your apps, making your mobile use more efficient. Too bad it’s Android only.
21. Textra SMS (free, Android only)
A perfect replacement for your default messaging app. Textra has more information on your message available, like what time it was sent; a night mode and some customization also makes it easier on the eyes. All in all a very efficient way to go about managing your SMS and MMS messages.
22. Timely Alarm Clock (free, Android only)
Probably the best clock and best looking clock app out there. The app lets you set alarms easily (and even add challenges so you don’t just end up pressing snooze) and also has timer and stopwatch features. It’s simple, elegant and efficient — once you try it, you’ll probably use it for the rest of your life.
23. Google Keep (free)
Probably the most straightforward notekeeping app out there, making it one of the best free apps on this list. Think digital Post-Its. The simple concept (which also includes an option to create checklists) make it the perfect tool for reminders, lists, and whatnot.
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Buying and selling
If you need something and are looking to save, then used and pre-loved items are your best bet. On the other hand, you can be the person that’s looking to make a little bit extra. These apps make the once complicated buying and selling game much easier.
24. OfferUp (free)
A simple way to buy and sell your stuff online. A rating system allows you to review a buyer or seller’s characteristics, such as punctuality, the accuracy of his/her description of the item, response time, and more. The UI is also pretty easy to learn and navigate. The wide adoption of this app also means there will be more items for sale to choose from.
25. LetGo (free)
Similar to OfferUp in many ways, but its classification style is different. It groups items into their respective categories, making it easier to find what you’re looking for. Also widely used, so you’ll have lots of options as well.
26. StockX (free)
If you’re into sneakers and hard-to-find streetwear, you’re likely to find them here. The items are sold at a resale value, of course, since the items you’ll see on the app are very limited and usually sell out within minutes of release. The app also includes the current resale market valuation and price changes of the item. StockX also has its own in-house authentication team, so you can be sure that you’ll always be purchasing the real thing.
27. Memrise (free)
It won’t turn you into a linguist, but stick to it enough and you’ll be sure to learn whatever language you want enough for basic communication. The lessons are straightforward and are easy to navigate though. If you want more language learning, there’s a Pro version that naturally offers more.
28. Duolingo (free)
If Memrise is not your thing, then you might consider switching to Duolingo. It’s similar, but it takes a different approach. Also a solid language-learning app. What you prefer to use will depend on what you think helps you learn more.
29. Brainscape (free)
The app makes use of the typical flashcard style learning, but with more complicated concepts. It’s a great way to increase your general knowledge. You can also rate how much you think you’ve learned and the app will quiz you to see if you’re on the right track.
30. Last but not least
Speaking of organization and management, be sure to check out Runrun.it for ways to help you organize tasks, workflow, documents, business intelligence and whatnot. Mobile apps are indeed useful tools, but Runrun.it does things on a larger scale. What mobile applications can do for individuals, Runrun.it can do — and then some — for companies, corporations and brands (available to iOS and Android). Sign up for a free trial here.