My Favorite Apps, Part 2

Five more apps that help me savor life – appropriate because two are related to food, two entertain me, and one I find indispensable – and all are free.

iPhone screen with apps

Let’s start with food: Open Table is one of my favorite apps. You use it to make restaurant reservations & you then get 100 points when you keep your reservation. It’s fast, convenient, and totally free – and there is a reward for using it! When you accumulate 2000 points, you get a $20 Open Table check you can use as cash at any Open Table restaurant. I use it for local reservations, but one of my favorite uses is to find good restaurants when I am traveling. These are good quality restaurants, and I have never been disappointed. You don’t even need a smart phone to use it; you can make reservations directly from your computer.

Starbucks has an app I love (and I don’t drink coffee). I do, however, like their pastries. The app works like a gift card on steroids. You add money to a virtual card, then scan your smart phone screen at the register to pay. You can even add the number and pin of an actual card (something I do when I am given a gift card), and it will add to your balance. And the app also offers you a free music download every week. Very cool.

Google: this is an app I use daily. It’s a smartphone version of the search engine. You can either type your search query or speak it. Not sure if I would use it as much if I had Siri, but I find it tremendously useful. The other good feature is that it does not use Safari to do the search; since the Safari app only saves eight web pages, you won’t lose any doing your searching using google.

Shazam: What can I say? It is just FUN to hear a song, hold up your phone to the music, and get almost instant information on song title, artist, and even a link to buy that version. And the music library is incredibly diverse – it works on classical music as well as more recent releases.

Which brings us to the last app on the mind map I showed in Part I: Wait Wait, which is technically a podcast, not an app. It’s an irreverent, and very funny, radio quiz show, with comedians as panelists. I often miss the broadcast, but that’s not a problem, because I subscribe to the podcast, and it downloads the show weekly into iTunes for me. When my mom was ill, it was such a stress-reliever to listen to something that made me laugh when I made the drive up to see her.

I have many more apps on my phone, but these are some of my favorites. What are your favorite apps? Share in the comment box below.

Part I of My Favorite Apps, if you missed that post.

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