There certainly is no shortage of apps available today—in fact these days it’s hard to find something that you can’t say, “there’s an app for that.” But many mobile apps are similar to the apps you order at restaurants—they hold you over while you wait to do something better. They just don’t quite fully satisfy you. But the following apps actually offer something that can make these areas of your life a little fuller and more satisfying.
Work: Presentations on the Go
Google has made Slides (free) available on iOS devices—joining the previously launched Google Docs and Google Sheets apps, Slides allows users to create new presentations or edit any presentation that was created on the web or another device. It is also possible to share the presentation with others and work on the same presentation at the same time. Since you can open Microsoft PowerPoint files, this also makes for a cheap alternative to the mobile version of PowerPoint, which requires a subscription to create and edit presentations.
Contacts: Search The Way You Think
An alphabetical list is not always the ideal way to search through contacts, especially if you can’t quite remember a person’s name. Humin (free on iOS devices) changes the way your phone organizes contacts, so you can search things like: “Met last week,” “Works at Pfizer” or “Friends with Ashley.” The app also instantly displays all the people you have in common when you add a new contact. And it will even send reminders about who will be in your next meeting and if someone you know is coming to town.
Networking: Bringing Back Face-to-Face
Unlike some other professional networking platforms, Weave (free on iOS and Android) helps people to meet rather than just connect. After joining the network you will be able to see nearby professionals who could be worth knowing. If you are interested in hearing what they have to say—and the feeling is mutual—then you can arrange a face-to-face meeting. Soon after that you will be sipping coffee and chatting with a founder, engineer, designer, investor, advisor, marketer, mentor or your next boss.
Finances: Get More Out of Your Data Plan
Speaking of filling up on apps, all of the many things you like to do on your phone can quickly accumulate data. And on a limited data plan, that could mean a higher bill. Opera Max can not only reveal which apps hog data, but it can also compress video, photos and images on almost every app on your phone by up to 50%. In other words, your 1 GB data plan can now last almost twice as long. A free beta version is available on Android devices.
Travel: International Flying Made Easy
The United Airlines app (free on iOS and Android devices) recently made a few upgrades. The check-in process for international flights is now a little easier: Just scan your passport—which is sent to credentials management service, Jumio, for verification—and get your boarding pass. Users can also now access the popular ride reservation app, Uber, from the United app in order to arrange for transportation after your flight. Meanwhile, Delta enhanced its Fly Delta iPad app by adding free in-flight entertainment for passengers traveling internationally or with an Economy Comfort or First Class ticket.