by Eli Langer (@EliFromBrooklyn)
When it comes to mobile phones these days, it’s not all fun and games. While many smartphone users stock their homescreens with Angry Birds and Instagram, it’s worth noting that the App Store is also equipped with tools that can make you considerably more effective, on-the-go or from home. Here are five applications you should’ve downloaded yesterday:
“Much kudos to the companies providing businesses with on-hold music and messages” is something I would’ve said in 2006. These days, waiting on hold is so six years ago. Fast Customer allows you to skip the on-hold process by one-clicking the company you’d like to connect with. The app has hundreds of companies in their database, so you just find the one you want to call, tap on it, and that’s it. A few minutes later your phone will ring and a customer service representative will be on the other end, ready to help you solve your problem.
Sometimes smartphones aren’t all that smart, especially when it comes to zipped files. There’s something wrong with having to rush to your desktop to open up an email just because it has a zipped folder attached to it. Wouldn’t it be swell if you can unzip files while on-the-go? Meet WinZip. This neat, little app will give you the ability to decompress and view zipped files. The best part? It does it well and it does it fast.
Every billing company in the world begs you to go paperless. Some will offer you entry into a contest if you activate paperless billing, while others give you cash back. The reason is obvious: Paper costs money. Of course, no company will say this. You’ll usually be given the “Save the trees!” excuse or maybe even the “Paper causes clutter!” angle. Personally, I like receiving paper since I have a harder time forgetting that a bill has to be paid. The problem with receiving envelopes and bills is that if you want to save your bill – it, surprise, causes clutter. That’s where doxo comes in. Think of it as your free digitial filing cabinet. Snap a pic of the bill, add the appropriate information, upload the content, and then file it away. You’ll be able to access your “paperless” bills from any device. If you’re feeling chipper after all that, go plant a tree.
Which gas station in your area has the cheapest gas? How can you avoid the I-just-filled-up-on-gas-here-and-saw-gas-for-cheaper-down-the-block feeling? With gas prices on the rise, you need a buddy. (Yes, I went there.) GasBuddy users all over the country are constantly updating stations’ gas prices so the information is always up-to-date. If you do not like saving money, this app is not for you.
5) Number Guru
Ever get a phone call from an unknown number, miss it, and you’re left scratching your head as to who was on the other side? We’ve all been there. With Number Guru, you’ll have the answer you’re looking for. Simply insert a phone number, hit “Go” and it will spit back the owner of the once-unknown phone number. It works for landline digits, as well as many mobile numbers. It’s not rocket science, but it comes in handy.
So, there you have it: five useful apps you should’ve downloaded yesterday. If you have others that you’d like me to include in the next edition of “Five Useful Apps”, please message me on Twitter at @EliFromBrooklyn. Until next time…