The best apps to save time you probably don’t have
Ironic isn’t it? The more we become attached to our smartphones, the less we actually call people. Dialing up for dinner reservations is so yesterday, so we use the OpenTable app. Chatting with a cab company? How droll. There’s Über for that.
Knowing that beach time and summer sun are almost behind us, we’ve rounded up five insanely easy-to-use smartphone apps that make your life easier and more convenient. The bonus—they’re all free. That definitely makes them worth talking about.
1. FT Pay
First Trade Union Bank’s mobile payment app, FT Pay, lets you leave your wallet at home. Giving you the power to pay at thousands of locations, this LevelUp-powered app means no cash, no problem. Just download the app, link your First Trade debit card or any debit or credit card, and you can pay with your phone wherever you see the LevelUp logo. This means savings on things like your morning cup of coffee, your lunch salad, or after-work drinks at locations throughout Boston. The more you buy, the more discount rewards you can earn toward future purchases. Yes, that could even translate into a free burger at Boston Burger Company or noodles at the Bon Me food truck.
A Boston-based app brings new meaning to the term “drunk dialing.” Oenophiles get on their smartphones to conveniently fill their wine cellar with new vintages whenever and wherever they discover them. Whether you’re at a restaurant or a friend’s house, just scan the label and the app provides you with pricing and ratings, as well as a note field where you can share comments or stories. If you decide the wine is a must-have, put the bottle into your cart and buy it. And no more worries about prohibited direct shipping because of pesky Bay State laws. Drync works through a partnership that allows bottles to ship directly to you.
Just when you thought summer utility construction road work was over, the pre-winter pothole projects begin. Instead of hitting stand-still traffic, make it smooth driving by turning to your fellow drivers for their opinion (and knowledge) on which way to go. Waze is one of the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation apps. You and other drivers share real-time traffic and road info as it’s happening. No more waiting for the often-delayed radio traffic report. Type in where you’re going, and the app gets you there with help from your fellow commuters.
While happily ensconced at the beach house with the family for the last weekend before back to school time, you realize you have an important document that needs to be signed and emailed to a client. Since your vacation hideaway is sans scanner, what’s an important businessperson to do? Touted as a “scanner in your pocket,” this no-nonsense business app quickly scans documents on the go and exports them as JPEG or multi-page PDF files. Just take a photo and this app turns your shot into a professional looking document that’s ready to be emailed or texted. Now go ahead and get back to relaxing.
While enjoying the final pool party before summer’s end, you run into the VP of so-and-so. Ever the business-savvy professional, you want to exchange contact info but your swimsuit isn’t exactly the place to hold business cards. Enter CamCard. Touted by the New York Times as “bringing order to the chaos of a business card collection,” this app allows you to scan business cards and save them with notes. Now you can be more organized with less paper mess. You can also quickly exchange e-cards with contacts on the spot, so there goes another thing off your to-do list without a second thought.
With these fab five at your literal fingertips, you can keep your mind on more important things as the summer winds down, like which beach you are going to hit today.