14 Better Alternatives To Your Phone's Lousy Default Apps
Let me upgrade you.
Say good-bye to this.
Sleep Cycle ($1, iOS and Android)
The app uses your phone's accelerometer to detect movement while you sleep. Sleep Cycle can then determine when you're in a deep or light sleep state. It'll ring in the "lightest" part of your sleep phase, so you feel awake and refreshed in the morning.
Not a morning person? Need something more intense? Try Spin Me ($2, iOS and Android), an app that will continue to ring until you get up and spin your phone around twice.
Type something up and with one tap, the app lets you send an email to yourself. It's quick, efficient, and especially useful if you spend all of your time on email anyway.
Wunderlist (free, iOS and Android)
This app is a must if you cohabitate. Wunderlist is available as a mobile app, desktop app, and extension. Lists are synced across all of your devices, and if you share a list with say, a significant other, your collaborative list updates in real time too.
If you want something simpler, try the very beautiful and gesture-friendly Clear ($5, iOS).
Waze (free, iOS and Android)
For driving, opt for Google-owned Waze, which uses data from other drivers to make sure you avoid heavy traffic areas. User-reported police alerts help drivers slow down in speed trap areas.
Google Maps, duh! (free, iOS and Android) — The best biking and public transit directions around.
Bike Maps by Maplets ($1, iOS) — If you're a cycling urban warrior, this app has high-resolution elevation maps for most metropolitan areas. Color-coded streets help bikers avoid those steep hills! Maps can also be downloaded and navigated offline.
Overcast (free but $4 for premium, iOS)
Fuel your Serial addiction with this clutter-free podcast manager. The free version gives listeners everything they need — playlists, podcast search, seek controls — but the premium version unlocks a treasure trove of interesting features like a sleep timer and Smart Speed, which dynamically shortens silences in talk shows.
VSCO Cam (free, iOS and Android)
Even professional photographers love this app because photos come out looking art gallery-ready every time. Carefully crafted filters that can be adjusted with precision and VSCO's robust editing tools will score you those double taps.
Cord (free, iOS and Android coming soon)
OK, JK. Nothing can replace your phone app. But Cord's Snapchat-style press-and-record app just for audio might be the best new thing. Faster than a phone call or a text for sure.
Humin (free, iOS and Android)
Humin is a more intelligent address book. Search contacts by when you met them, by where they work, who they're friends with, or where you met them. It also merges duplicates and can ask contacts to update their info on your behalf.