Apparently, There’s an App for That!

Good morning from Reno!

A recent phenomenon has been sweeping the country, and that is based on the availability of all kinds of awesome technology. The traditional desktop computer is on its way out (at least in the traditional sense), and is being steadily replaced by smarter-than-you-phones, tablets, TVs powered by the Internet, ebooks, cars with Jedi powers, etc.

Along with this trend, I’ve noticed that the functionality of phones out of the box seems to be decreasing at an alarming rate, with manufacturers relying on consumers to download the apps that they need/want/desire instead of including some of the more popular ones right off the bat.

Here’s a brief list of the apps that I personally love and use all of the time. They make a great addition to any smartphone and will make life that much easier. Also, for all of you Droid fans out there, check out this page for the best productivity apps. Without further ado, my favorite apps!

  1. Dropbox – I’ve raved about Dropbox several times, and still think it is one of the most fantastic apps/programs ever created. This will change the way you manage your files, and now I can’t live without it!
  2. Handcent – this neat little app lets you customize the heck out of your standard texting app. Colors, sound alerts, wallpaper, you name it. For the price of free, you really can’t go wrong. Also, for an additional fee, you can pay for Handcent to backup all of your texts to their service. Well worth it if you text like I do…
  3. Advanced Task Killer – Not sure if I can vouch for dramatic performance increases, but it does help to kill those additional pesky apps that drain your battery.
  4. Shazam – For all you music lovers out there who can’t seem to correlate the lyrics of the song you’re listening to to the title. This nifty program will “listen” to any song and tell you, with ridiculously high accuracy, which song you are listening to. You can even purchase the song through a link within the app. For free, you are limited to 5 “listens” a month, but it is a very affordable and app worthy of your money.
  5. Pandora – Pandora was one of the pioneering internet radio programs, and is still plowing ahead with immense popularity. You can’t beat the price (free), and they do a great job of providing music for you to listen to based on your specific criteria (AC/DC radio anyone?!).
  6. – Because there will come a point when you will get into an argument over how to spell antidisestablishmentarianism and you will need to one-up your friends (been there, done that). Keep this app handy for the Word of the Day as well (great for grad students preparing for the GMAT)! What the eff is clinquant anyway?!
  7. Angry Birds –The king of all time wasters, this phenomenal game has you launching little birdies at an impenetrable fortress of evil pigs. Waste them all to get your eggs back!
  8. Jewels – A fun and simple pattern based game that can get you addicted with the time trial and quick modes.
  9. Sudoku – The cornerstone of any educated person’s app box, this game improves your thinking and mental capacity abilities while trying to complete the patterns of numbers to complete the set. Note: harder difficulties are not for the faint of heart.
  10. Mute Widget – Although not necessarily a “mainstream” or “badass” app, I have found this to be the one most useful tools. With the Droid X, there is no easy way to mute all noises (i.e. I want to play a game without the obnoxious beeping) without powering off my screen and doing the stupid swipe motion. The simple click of the app icon will mute or silence your phone, and clicking again will return the audio to normal. Definitely a must have.

What apps do you have to have to survive?!?

So, hope your week comes to a nice end. Be sure to thank the men and women in the armed forces, police, firemen, and other sectors who sacrifice so much so that we can enjoy our freedom. It is Memorial Day, after all, and don’t lose sight of that while you’re out at the Aces with me this weekend watching the River Cats lose!

Picture credit.


  1. Well, Russell thanks to you I may turn in my flip phone for an iPhone! JK, planning to do it anyway. And am about to earn an iPad, so will check into some of your recommended apps. :) I was thinking you’re pretty smart until I saw the “Angry Birds” one…Cami LOVES that crazy game…UGH!

    And thanks for the shout out to those who serve. Connor will be at the Veteran’s Cemetary placing flags on graves. <3

  2. I feel like you should have turned in your flip phone LONG AGO!! As far as Angry Birds, you can’t be angry at a game that is so bloody addicting :-) Love it. Let me know what apps you decide to get for your iPhone and iPad. I love using Netflix on my iPad!!

  3. My phone is Motorola Devour and is weak on some features, so I use use “Contact lookup” to do wild card searches on my contacts for keywords, street names, employers, etc. Gas Buddy is a great way to find competitive costs for gasoline in your opcale (using phone’s GPS). GStringsFree is a way to tune your guitar( maybe any instrument ?). It uses the phone as a receiver. It’s on-screen meter provides visual feedback as to when the selected and played notes are in perfect tonal synchronization. For games, I love MouseTrap (lots of alternative versions available imitating the old TrafficJam game); WheeltoRiches (a perfect Wheel of Fortune imitation) and most any Sudoku game to waste precious time but exercise the brain cells in the meantime).

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