A phone is only as useful as the apps you have installed on it. Transforming your phone from a gadget you use for selfie-taking and occasional calls into an entertainment center or a means of organizing & storing your data is easy. If you know which apps to install, that is.. Some apps fundamentally change how you stay connected with people you care for, while others can help you lead a better, healthier life.
Here are ten apps you should look out for in 2021. A few of them are so essential that they come preinstalled on most phones. Others on the list are no less important, so check them all out and drastically improve the value you’re getting out of your phone.
Accessing your files from anywhere is a few taps away with the Dropbox app. It works by storing the files in the cloud and offering unrestricted access to them across multiple devices. You can set the app up to save photos and videos automatically as you make them, and they’ll be visible & ready to download almost instantly.
Dropbox has a file scanning feature that converts documents you snap with your phone to PDF files. It offers free and paid services, so you can store crucial files online if you don’t want to commit or keep as much as 3TB handy if you go for the Professional version.
YouTube is the world’s biggest and most diverse repository of movies. Anyone from billion-dollar studios to your kid brother can record and upload videos to it. It would take countless lifetimes to watch everything offered on YouTube, even at 2x speed. And with so much content, it’s easier than ever to start following channels you are genuinely interested in.
If your phone is good enough, YouTube lets you watch content in 4K. Channels can also stream content, allowing you to watch along with thousands of other viewers and interact with your favorite creators. You can become one yourself, amass a loyal following, and maybe even start to earn some money.
All those YouTube videos will take a large chunk out of your monthly data plan if you aren’t using Wi-Fi, so why not download and enjoy them later? You can do that and more with MP3Studio, a free YouTube downloader app that makes the process effortless.
All you need to do to download music from YouTube is type a song’s name into MP3Studio’s search bar and select the appropriate result. You can do this for podcasts, guides, or any other videos too. The audio quality is always top-notch, and there are no speed restrictions when downloading, which makes MP3Studio the fastest app out there for the task.
Downloading isn’t essential to use the app since you can preview and listen to a video’s sound in the MP3 format before storing it locally. Once you download some files, you can organize them into playlists and view a history of your activity.
Ever since exploding in popularity, TikTok has been on everyone’s radar. Unsurprising since its concept is simple and effective. The videos are limited in length, so their creators have to come up with creative and entertaining ways to cram as much value as possible into snippets of content.
There are numerous categories ranging from life hacks and comedy to cooking and dances. TikTok is especially popular with kids, so it’s great that it lets parents restrict the type of content their kids get subjected to. You can also limit screen time to a healthy amount for each day.
Spotify is to music what YouTube is to videos. It helps you discover and listen to millions of artists, songs, and podcasts free of charge. Better yet, you get to create playlists for different moods and share them with others. Spotify will also create a new personalized list for you each day. That way you get exposed to new artists in the genres you enjoy.
You’ll want to subscribe to Spotify Premium to get the most out of the app. Doing so unlocks song downloads to your device and lets you stream them in higher quality. It also stops annoying ads from interrupting your jams.
Automatic Call Recorder
Install Automatic Call Recorder, and you’ll always have access to meaningful business & family conversations. Its default setting records each call automatically, but you can set contacts to the ignore list or ignore everything and only keep conversations you need.
Calls are stored locally, so your phone’s memory is the only limit to their length. You can annotate calls, get info on each, and view detailed call history for any contact. Automatic Call Recorder syncs with Dropbox and Google Drive, making sharing & online access a cinch.
Is your internet connection sluggish and you don’t know why? Speedtest is the most reliable way of finding out. It measures download and upload speeds as well as associated pings. You get graphs of speed fluctuations during the test, and the app even offers troubleshooting tips on optimizing your connection.
Recently Speedtest has also begun offering a map that details various providers’ coverages in your area. It can successfully and accurately display 5G speeds and even offers a free VPN service for securely transferring your files.
Telegram will make you uninstall all other messaging apps without regrets. Why? Because it’s an open-source, free alternative with an impressive feature list. It instantly sends, receives, and syncs all your messages, whether you’re using your phone or computer. You can chat with millions of people individually or in groups and never lose the logs since everything is cloud-based.
You can send gifs, videos, and even large 2GB files to other Telegram users securely as they are heavily encrypted. Want someone to be able to see a line for a short while? You can enable self-destruct for it to disappear from the chat permanently. And those are just the headliners.
A healthy dose of sleep each day is crucial for your physical & mental wellbeing. Pzizz makes sure you get enough rest or focus better when it’s time to be productive. It does so with dreamscapes. These unique combinations of ambient sounds and soothing voiceovers are scientifically proven to gently lull you to sleep and wake you up, ready to tackle new challenges.
You can choose how long to sleep or nap, set the narrator’s voice, and turn on 3D mode for greater immersion. Pzizz keeps a log of your sessions and doesn’t require that you change sleeping patterns or other parts of your lifestyle to work.
The world is starting to open back up, so why not enjoy a safe stay at a new destination? Airbnb makes this a breeze by connecting guests looking for fresh experiences with hosts who have the space and local knowledge to provide them. You can book a stay in advance and stay up to date on all the info you need to make sure everything goes as planned.
Hosts can make their extra accommodations available, but they can also organize workshops and events online. These introduce people to new cultures or skills and allow you to spend quality time with family & friends even if you live half the world away.
The apps featured above only scratch the surface, but they offer a glimpse of what your phone could become. Start with them, keep exploring, and soon your phone will become a tailor-made assistant that brings genuine value to your life.