After enjoying a full season of Silicon Valley, I can confidently say that nothing in the tech world ceases to amaze me. . . or so I thought. Last week, an app called “Yo” raised over $1 million in investment funding. The app’s function? Sending the word “Yo” to the friends of your choice. Yes, you read that correctly and no, I’m not kidding. Since it’s one million dollar raise, the app has moved its headquarters to San Francisco and is now looking to hire employees. Even though this is great news for Yo’s developer, it’s left many of us asking questions like, What!? and How does this app contribute to anyone’s life? While the app’s usefulness is certainly debatable, it’s no reason to lose faith in humanity. Rest assured, there are amazing apps that lend a helping hand to some serious (and not-so-serious) life complications. I think we can all agree that they deserve some recognition, too. So without any further adieu, here are the 8 most useful apps you need to download right now.
1. WhereWithWho [Free | iOS]
What it is: A genius polling app that helps you and your friends decide on where to go.
Why you should use it: Group texts are a friggin’ nightmare and that is the absolute truth. Aside from ceaseless messages (I once woke up to 26), reaching a consensus via text can be like pulling teeth. WhereWithWho solves all of the above with no fuss. Simply put a group of your friends together, add up to five locations to vote on, and boom – majority rules. It’s by far the easiest and quickest way to poll your friends on where to go out. Try it out this weekend! Not to worry if your friends don’t have the app— they can vote via text message.
2. Chef’s Feed [Free | iOS]
What it is: A chef-powered restaurant guide!
Why you should use it: I love Yelp as much as the next person, but there’s always that sliver of doubt that makes me wonder whether the review was written in good faith. Maybe that person had a bad day. . . or maybe his/her taste buds are the total opposite of mine. So rather than combing through hundreds of reviews searching for a semblance of “truth,” take recommendations from expert chefs. Based on your location, Chef’s Feed gives you quality recommendations on restaurants and their popular food items.
3. Fitbay [Free | iOS]
What it is: A customized shopping guide made especially for your body type.
Why you should use it: At times, online shopping can be a little too good to be true. It only took me one experience to realize that a beautiful blouse can turn out looking like an ill-fitted moo moo. Thankfully, Fitbay takes the guesswork out of
online every kind of shopping. Just answer a few questions about your height, weight and body type, and voila—viable clothing options made especially for you. The more you use the app, the better it gets to know you. It’s totally free and well worth the 30 seconds it takes to set up.
4. Delectable [Free | iOS]
What it is: A point-and-shoot guide to all things wine.
Why you should use it: I can’t tell you how many times I have aimlessly wandered the aisles of liquor stores looking for a “good wine,” only to buy a pricey bottle that tasted like motor oil. No matter your level of wine wizardry, Delectable lets you learn about and collect your favorite wines. Just take a picture of the bottle’s label and you’ll receive ratings, recommendations and all sorts of useful information to help you become the wine connoisseur you were born to be.
5. Venmo [Free | iOS]
What it is: It’s like a pocket-sized PayPal that lets you transfer money to friends, instantly.
Why you should use it: Sometimes paying someone back isn’t as simple as tossing over a five dollar bill. Lucky for us, Venmo does make it that easy. Welcome to the world of instant and paperless payback: No checks, no cash, no I.O.U.s – just money being transferred from one account to another. Hallelujah.
6. Audibly [Free | iOS, Android]
What it is: A music app that allows you to sync audio to other nearby devices.
Why you should use it: Have you ever been irritated by the lousy sound quality coming out of your laptop speakers? Audibly is an easy (and free…and wireless) solution. With Audibly, you can blast your favorite songs from multiple iOS devices, creating a “surround sound” effect. This sounds like a study group/office party/dance party dream come true. I just hope you can all agree on some good music.
7. Dash [Free (without device) | Android]
What it is: It’s a know-it-all (and I mean all) hardware/software product for your car.
Why you should use it: I’m just going to yell off all the reasons: Driving diagnostics! Repair estimates made especially for your car! Knowing why your “Check Engine” light is on! Do I need to say more? Dash also gives you feedback on all of your trips so you can learn how to be a smarter, more economical driver. If ever you’re in a crash (knock on wood), your friends and family will be notified via text. P.S. Dash just underwent a series of upgrades so it’s new, improved and ready to help you move.
8. TTYL Messenger [Forthcoming | iOS and Android]
What it is: An automated messaging service that has an infinitely better memory than you do.
Why you should use it: Sure, TTYL Messenger allows you to schedule all your texts in advance, but it’s not all about Happy Birthdays. It also lets you schedule an automated text based on your location. How many times have you heard “Text me when you get home” only to forget and leave your friend/parent/s.o. fretting over your safety? Just set up a message to send when you arrive at your location, and TTYL Messenger will send it for you automatically. Genius! Be sure to stay updated on their progress here.
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