Smartphone Tips

Essential Applications for Your Smartphone

Smart phone apps iconsSo you’ve recently jumped on the bandwagon and become a smartphone user after years of buying flip-phones or other more basic models. Undoubtedly, one of the reasons you decided to make the shift was the unparalleled levels of functionality offered by a smartphone, and many of the most coveted capabilities of these small but powerful computer devices are brought on board by the installation of applications.

Since the Apple and Android app markets both put over 1 million different programs at your fingertips, picking the ones you will need, want, or even use can be a daunting process. Luckily, selecting and downloading your apps can be one of the most fun parts of purchasing a new smartphone, and since many of the most essential applications are free, you can get your phone up and running quickly. Here are some of the more essential apps you might consider adding to your smartphone’s arsenal.

Social Media

Whether you’re one of those people who checks their Facebook every five minutes or someone who likes to spit witticisms over Twitter in rapid fashion, the apps for those and other social media entities (LinkedIn, SnapChat, Instagram, etc.) can make doing so over your phone seamless and fun.

Google Maps

The days of planning routes on your fold out maps or printing out directions from the Internet are over. With the Google Maps app, you can navigate your way through highways and streets like a local. Just download the app, pop in an address, and drive, walk, or bike to your destination by following the onscreen directions. Once you use this app once or twice, you’ll begin to wonder how you ever lived without it.


Many smartphones come with weather apps, but most of them can’t live up to the amount of information offered in forecasts from Yahoo Weather, the Weather Channel, or AccuWeather. Pick whichever app catches your eye and then input your location so that you always have up-to-the-minute weather information right in the palm of your hand.

Movies and TV

Need to look up movie showtimes at your local theater? Use the Flixster app. Want a full TV schedule for the evening? Download the TV Guide app, input your location and cable package, and get personalized listings. See an actor you think you recognize in a TV show or movie, but can’t quite place them? Pull out the IMDB app to solve the mystery. With these apps and more, you can maximize your enjoyment of entertainment.

Useful Tools

There are a ton of apps that can serve miscellaneous useful purposes, from checking gas prices in your area to find the lowest price (Gas Buddy) to finding your way through the dark (Flashlight).


Let’s be honest, the practical apps are cool, but what you’re most excited for are the games that your smartphone will let you play. Whether you decide to go for the popular games you’ve been seeing other people play and enjoy for years (Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Temple Run, Tiny Wings, etc.) or choose to blaze your own trail by digging through the annals of your app store for less familiar titles, there are plenty of fun-filled game titles to choose from.

With so many apps available, it will not be long before you wonder how you ever lived without a smartphone before!