We need to talk about apps. The whole world dived headlong into them when they first became a ‘thing’, and then we got hopelessly addicted. There was an app for everything, from finding the perfect recipe to creating cute cartoon pictures of your pet cat, and it felt like apps were about to take over the entire world. And then, just as soon as the frenzy had started, it seemed to stop.
We don’t mean that apps aren’t around anymore; of course they are. The problem might actually be that people are just too used to them. Take a quick look at your smartphone right now. We bet we can guess what you’ve got in there. You probably have the Facebook app, and it’s Messenger companion. If you do, you’ll more than likely have the Twitter app, too. You’ve got WhatsApp for keeping in touch with your friends. You have Wikipedia so you can check facts on the fly, and Uber to get you wherever you need to go. Maybe you have a couple of fast food delivery apps for when you don’t actually want to go anywhere.
How did we do? If we were mostly right, that’s the entire problem. Everybody has the same apps these days. There’s no variety anymore. App developers are still making apps, we’ve just stopped going looking for them. With that in mind, here are some great apps that you need to have, but probably didn’t know existed.
Four or five years ago on Facebook, everybody went crazy for an app called BitStrips, which let you create cartoon versions of yourself, and insert them into stories and memes. It was fun and fresh, and for a while everyone seemed to have their BitStrip self as their profile picture. If you look back on your “Facebook Memories” posts, you’ll probably find them quite regularly; either your own, or ones that people have tagged you in. Now, they’re nowhere to be seen. The company that invented them doesn’t even exist anymore; they were bought by Snapchat in 2016 and just disappeared. So where did the cartoons go?
The answer? BitMoji! They haven’t gone away, they’ve just combined themselves with the current craze for emojis to keep themselves relevant. Your cartoon self is now far more customizable, with thousands of options for look and style. Best of all, they can be sent via iPhones in the same way normal emojis can, and copied and pasted into any other app that will allow it. Obviously, that includes Snapchat. If you’re used to using emojis to express a mood or emotion, now you can do it with one that has your own face!
If you have any experience of using Tinder for dating purposes, you’ll know exactly what we mean when we say it can be a little aggressive. There are a lot of people on there looking for hook ups and nothing more. That’s fine if that’s all you want, and there’s nothing wrong with Tinder pursuing that market. It does exactly what it looks like it should do. If you want meat, you go to the butchers. If you want to gamble, you go to sites like Vipspins.com. If you want to drink you go to a bar, and if you want a fun encounter, you go to Tinder. No harm done so long as everyone plays fair.
Hinge is a dating app that sets out to give you a more meaningful experience, and it works on a premise so simple we’re surprised that nobody else has made a success out of using it. Most people in lasting relationships meet their partner through mutual friends. Therefore your perfect match is probably already friends with somebody you know. Hinge looks at your social media connections, looks at the social media connections of your friends, and suggests matches based on that information. It’s a simple premise executed well, and has a sightly older user base than Tinder, with most people using the app being between 23 and 36, compared to 18-24 with Tinder. If you’re looking for a lasting love, it might be waiting for you on Hinge.
There are hundreds of exercise apps on the market, and most of them will do the basic job of helping you stay on top of your health and fitness. They measure your heart rate, track your weight loss or gain, count your calories and keep tabs on how many steps you take. In fact, the latter function is now so common that it’s a standard built-in feature of a number of many new smart phones.
Sweat Coin is a little different. It does all of the above things, but it also rewards you for the exercise that you do. You’re working hard, so why shouldn’t you have something to show for it? The more exercise you do, the more coins you’re rewarded with. And those coins can be traded in for specific rewards with participating companies. You could use them to purchase other exercise equipment like a FitBit, for example. You could use your coins to buy gift cards for someone else, or yourself. A number of electronics manufacturers have signed up to work with the app, and will accept Sweat Coin payments for their latest creations. Some critics say that the app is a little heavy on battery usage, and it currently only counts steps that are taken outside, so it’s not perfect. ‘Outside’ means ‘not in a gym’, so if you like to spend hours on the treadmill, that will do nothing for you in terms of earning fresh coin. The developers promise that better functionality is coming, though, and even if you’re only using the app to monitor your health it does a good job, so what’s to lose by giving it a go?
That’s just three apps that are out there right now which could improve your love life, see you profit from your health, and give your emoji conversations a more personal touch. There are hundreds more that can be used for a variety of purposes, and new offerings are still being released every day. So if you’re out of the habit, pay the app store a visit and see what the latest and greatest offerings hold for you. You could be in for a pleasant surprise!