If you don’t have these apps, you are missing out

These apps make life so much more convenient. Have you got them on your smartphone?

You can’t live without these apps

We asked around the YourLifeChoices office to find out which smartphone apps were used the most frequently.

By a significant margin, weather apps were the most popular. This might be due to our office’s location in Melbourne, meaning that if you don’t check the forecast frequently you will be caught out in unpredictable weather. My favourite feature of weather apps is the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM) rain radar. Did you know BOM has a free app? That way you can watch the storms roll in from anywhere on your iOS (iPhone and iPad) or Android device. Other popular weather apps include Pocket Weather (iOS $2.99 | Android $1.99) and Weatherzone (iOS | Android).

After all, keeping in touch with people is what phones are made for, isn’t it…? Facebook Messenger (iOS | Android) and WhatsApp Messenger (iOS | Android) are the most popular communication app choices. While both are free, you may find that more of your friends and family are on Facebook, but WhatsApp is a much better app, especially for keeping in touch with travellers.

Music streaming
Music takes the third place, with Apple Music (iOS | Android) and Spotify (iOS | Android) being the most popular options. Apple Music boasts a slightly larger library (although both have over 30 million songs), while Spotify’s app is more streamlined. Which do you prefer?

Social media
While some of us probably wish we spent a bit less time on social media, it is a go-to app on our devices. Facebook (iOS | Android) was the most popular, followed by Instagram (iOS | Android) and Twitter (iOS | Android) – each one appeals to a different type of person. Which one(s) do you use?

How do our smartphone app essentials compare to yours? Why not post the apps you use the most in the comments below?



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    25th Jan 2018
    What's a smartphone?

    What's an app?

    Oops gotta go now and make a call on a "real" phone, then I'll put on a Beatles LP. Bye.
    25th Jan 2018
    Got sick of being ripped off by Telstra using up all my pre-paid account charge through unrequested data downloads (mainly updates to Telstra apps which never even worked on the Android version in my phone, but kept trying to re-install themselves).
    So I got a dumb phone (it's even got buttons) that does phone calls, texts, and not much else. A $70 re-charge now lasts for about 9 months instead of 9 days.
    And the stupid "smart" phone has been relegated to an MP3 Player. The only time it is used as a phone is when I insert the TravelSim for use overseas.
    Nan Norma
    25th Jan 2018
    I suggest you look at amaysim.
    25th Jan 2018
    I have a smart phone but I've set it up so it only updates at home over my wireless internet system.
    25th Jan 2018
    NN, Amaysim uses the Optus network, which has no coverage around here except in the centre of the towns (country SA). Totally useless for me. Only the Telstra network fills the gaps between the towns.

    Tib, been there done that. But Telstra bombarded me with texts containing links to essential security updates or similar, which in the background re-enabled data and attempted to install themselves over and over until my account was emptied. They are worse than viruses.

    And as far as "missing out" if I don't have the above apps goes:

    WEATHER - I use AccuWeather before planning for the day. It is on all my PC's.

    COMMUNICATION - I make phone calls (such a novel idea) or use text messages. After all, we are talking about phones aren't we?

    MUSIC STREAMING - Why? I much prefer listening to my own music collection than to someone else's favourite songs. I have collection of over 13,000 songs from 109 different artists which I have collected over a lifetime. These have been converted to MP3 files and are contained on a 64GB uSD Card which I can use on any PC or device of my choosing.

    SOCIAL MEDIA - Never, never, never, never, never. What a stupid concept. I value a bit of privacy. And, maybe it's just me, but I find it extremely ANTI-SOCIAL about people constantly spruiking about what THEY are doing/eating/feeling/thinking etc.
    25th Jan 2018
    Hawkeye I have a prepaid, I only ever connect by wireless at home and so far I haven't had any problems except once when I turned on data and Telstra sucked my account dry but they don't get me anymore. That was some time back.
    25th Jan 2018
    Tib, like I said above, been there done that.
    I hate to admit it, but I fell for their trickery 3 times in about 18 months. Without thinking I allowed them to con me into turning on data for essential updates (that can't be downloaded by wifi) and they sucked my account dry each time, ripping me off for about $200 total
    25th Jan 2018
    Missing out on what exactly?

    I can look out the window for the weather, I can actually talk to people in person or by phone and I can turn on the 'wireless' or play the 'gramophone' for music. Am I missing something?
    25th Jan 2018
    Apps I can't do without.... Really ha ha. When I was a kid we had one phone , it had its own table, it rang maybe once or twice a week. I have a smart phone , I use it once or twice a week. I buy $100 of calls a year and I usually have $50 left. I have a life , I do things I don't talk all day on the phone, and the apps probably wouldn't improve my life at all.
    25th Jan 2018
    Banking apps are my most heavily used - get notifications of deposits (and withdrawals if needed) and transferring from savings to transaction account before going to an ATM.
    Wikipedia is (for me) a necessity and Shazam is good - when you hear a song and cannot identify it, it listens and tells you the title and artist.
    ABC Listen is good for listening to the radio when not near a "wireless" (but you need access to wireless).
    If you're in Victoria, PTV lets you plan public transport trips in advance.
    And Speedtest to find out just how awful the internet service is, and why all these apps are so slow.

    25th Jan 2018
    I don't need ANY "apps". I use my phone just to ring people or have them ring me. I do all my computing on the computer. I can live very happily without any "apps" whatsoever. And i hate that stupid word...
    25th Jan 2018
    Apps aren’t a necessity but I love to move with the times and use my smart phone everyday for something. A smartphone and associated apps make travelling so easy. TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Google maps, Qantas, Virgin Australia and other travel apps mean I don’t have to arrive in a new town in a foreign country late at night and then have to wander the streets knocking on doors to find a room for the night. Now I sit on the beach relaxing and can book a room for that evening or the next, pay online or when I arrive, know what the room will look like, what’s included, where it is and get there quickly without having to walk the streets trying to be understood in a foreign language which I can’t speak. I first travelled in my early 20s when no one in foreign counties spoke English and not so many travelled. It was fun being away from home with no one knowing where you were or had been, except 6 weeks later when your postcard finally arrived. But I’m not 20 any more and I now prefer the safety of my travel apps which make it easier to contact home from anywhere in the world without first saving a pocket full of coins, and I can be safely ensconced in my room playing the ABC radio on my iPhone knowing what is happening at home and nearby.

    I enjoy keeping up with the times by accepting that the earth isn’t flat; accepting that a smart mobile phone used correctly is better than sharing the one old black phone on the hall table with 7 other family members; and having the most important app of all that could one day save my life or that of someone else and not worrying that I never use it. Get the “Emergency +” app and put it on your home screen. Hopefully you’ll never need it but it will be your best friend in an emergency. It’s the app we all need to have but will hopefully never need to use.
    fish head
    25th Jan 2018
    Good. I've missed out . . again
    29th Jan 2018
    Good on you 'Hawkeye', Ten Out Of Ten! Couldn't agree more. Particularly your views on social media. Used to think I'm the only one...feel so much better now! Love technology when it makes life a bit easier, but should never, ever let it take over the pleasures of living. We are creating a virtual reality world that we cannot control... how much technology we really need?

    Tags: tech, apps, iphone, ipad, android,

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