May 7, 2013

Smart Apps for Smartphones

Our smartphones are really only as smart as the apps we have on them. And in today's tech driven society, there are apps out there for pretty much anything one can imagine. From the bare basics like Facebook, Google Maps and Yelp to savvier applications like WhatsApp, Instagram and QR readers, we now have the ability to customize our mobile devices to include only what we really need and use. Today we'd like to point out some of the coolest, must-have apps out in the market.

photo via

The act of mailing cards has been modernized by the popularity of email and ecards, and now gift giving is about to go virtual too. The gifting platform Jifiti allows users to scan product barcodes and instantly send friends and family members a voucher for those items, wherever they may be. Once received, the voucher can be brought into the local retailer and redeemed for the gift. Currently participating stores include Barnes & Noble, Sephora, Toys "R" Us, Gap, Crate & Barrel, Coach, and the list goes on! The cool thing about this app is that it's super convenient yet still personal, it's the gift that counts right? 

photo via

One of our biggest pet peeves is calling in to a customer service line and being put on hold forever and we mean forever. It's nearly impossible to get an actual human representative on the phone these days. Luckily, the free app LucyPhone acts as a middleman by calling you immediately back once a live agent gets on the line. No more wasting minutes or your time!

video via Skitch

If you don't already use Evernote, now you definitely will! A new component to the app, Skitch, adds the feature of PDF annotation to the mix. Users can now mark up and draw shapes, arrows and even sketches to give feedback and share comments. 

photo via Magnetique

Recently launched in collaboration with the May issue of InStyle, Magnetique is the hottest thing to reach magazine readers' fingertips in a very long time. With the snap of a photo, the online and offline worlds combine as users instantly capture local retailers and websites that carry the products featured in the magazine's editorial pages. What better way to stay in style?

photo via Jwalk

Forget Instagram, it's all about video social networking apps like Vine and Keek right now. Both have fairly simple userfaces and are compatible with Facebook and Twitter. While Keek gives you as much as 30 seconds of recording, Vine only allows you to create clips of up to 6 seconds, but with the capability to edit by frame. Whether you're feeling creative, nostalgic or just want to have some fun, these apps take social networking one step further by sharing your life in action.

photo via Word Lens

Ever look at a menu and feel like you're in another country? Well with Word Lens, you can translate everything from menu items to road signs by simply hovering your phone over unfamiliar text. So far the app works in German, Spanish, Italian, French and of course English.

photo via VentureBeat

Sometimes its really hard to find music that fits your mood but fear no more! Songza is a music streaming app that unlike Pandora or Spotify, curates playlists based on what you are doing right now. Depending on the day of the week, time of day and your current activity, it suggests a few options of different sounds and music styles. You can even shake your phone while in the app and enter exactly what you are doing to be matched up with various selections. 

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