10 Free Smartphone Apps that Everyone Needs
You use your phone for all sorts of things, from checking the forecast and traffic jams in the morning to streaming your favorite TV shows at night. But finding apps like the best budget app or the best weather app might require you to do some browsing in the App Store. Use these 10 free apps (and 2 premium ones worth splurging on!) to help every day go a little smoother.
1. The Weather Channel.
Never get caught in a downpour.
Sure, an app can tell you the temperature in the morning when you’re getting dressed for work, but the best weather app can give you an idea what the weather will be like well ahead of time. Take The Weather Channel app, for example. It’s the world’s most-downloaded weather app. Essentials — current outside temperature, “feels like” temperature, precipitation, weather alerts and hourly forecast — are front and center with no scrolling required. The app’s real champ is its radar: you can view storm patterns based on your exact location.
2. Google Calendar.
Plan your entire day.
A calendar app that connects with your email is ideal. For many people, that’s Google Calendar, which works seamlessly with Gmail. You can create multiple color-coded calendars, add detailed notes to events and track goals. Google Calendar also automatically populates dates from your email inbox and syncs across all devices.
Check the headlines.
News aggregator sites are great for quickly delivering updates on whatever you’re interested in. Try Flipboard, which allows you to choose your favorite publications and topics (no more bookmarking or surfing).
4. Verizon Up.
Snag a coffee discount.*
The Verizon Up program in the My Verizon app lets you claim a different reward each month, like free coffee, gift cards or tech discounts. You also have access to Local Offers, which include coupons for restaurants and attractions in your area.*
Own your to-do list.
The first rule of productivity apps: you won’t complete tasks if you spend all your time organizing your tasks. Todoist eliminates the hassle with a simple one-screen interface. It has 3 lists — Inbox, Today and Next 7 Days — and automatically organizes the tasks based on the due date. You can also create projects with subtasks and set a daily completion goal.
6. Nike Training Club.
Beat the midday slump.
Not everyone has an hour or more to work out; sometimes being active means stealing little bits of time here and there. Nike Training Club, also called NTC, offers a robust workout library for every fitness level. Its professionally-designed workouts last 45 minutes or less — great for a lunchtime session. Each workout has videos of individual moves to help with form, too.
Fill your downtime.
Apps like Libby come in handy on your subway commute, in the school pickup line or during the few minutes you wait for a to-go order. It’s a library of electronic reading resources — audiobooks, ebooks and digital magazines — available through your local library. All you have to do is sign up with your library card. The children’s audiobook selection can be great for car trips, too.
Stay ahead of your budget.
Many financial apps pick up on habits and offer personalized tips for saving more. Mint lets you set budgets for different categories and then syncs that info with your credit and debit cards to automatically categorize expenses. The best budget apps are perfect for tracking bills, monitoring your credit score, setting savings goals and more.
For all your notes, lists and thoughts.
Notes apps are perfect for lists and random thoughts (like when you’re out of butter or a friend recommends a book) that come into your head at inconvenient moments. Evernote, for example, lets you create a simple plain-text note and format it with charts and bullets or choose from a template gallery. You can draw a sketch, scan handwritten notes or record a voice memo, and everything is searchable.
10. Smiling Mind.
Unwind and meditate.
Finding the best meditation app to boost your health shouldn’t be stressful. Get your daily downtime with the Smiling Mind app, which has exercises for ages 3 and up. They’re grouped into programs such as “Digital Detox” and “Sleep” so you can focus on strengthening a specific area. The meditations are short; to start, try 5 minutes before bed.
And 2 apps worth a subscription:
If you have Verizon's Play More Unlimited or Get More Unlimited plan, the best music app for you is Apple Music. Why? Apple Music is included in your Unlimited plan. Start Unlimited and Do More Unlimited users receive Apple Music free for the first 6 months; the cost is then $9.99 per month for each line. With this subscription, you have access to 60 million songs without commercial interruptions, on- or offline.
Perfect for family time.
A one-year subscription to one of the most popular apps of all time — Disney+ — is included on all Verizon Unlimited plans. The app includes an unmatched collection of movies and TV shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. After your first year, the subscription is just $6.99 per month.
Start downloading today.
With the right collection of apps, your smartphone can help you finish the day feeling healthier, happier and more productive. Find these recommendations in the App Store or Google Play. And for more apps to enhance everything you can do with your smart devices, check out the Verizon portfolio.
*Verizon Up Rewards refresh with a new selection of rewards of every month and are subject to change at any time. Bonus Rewards and Super Tickets change often.