The best utility apps are designed to make your hectic life a little bit easier, and maybe even more enjoyable.
From apps that makes budgeting beautiful to ones that let you know the exact minute it’s going to rain, there’s something for every lifestyle.
We’ve collected the best of the best in this unique mix, and we tossed in a few lesser-known surprises to prove what modern apps can do.
Dark Sky tells you exactly when it’s about to rain (or snow).
Dark Sky does one thing very well: It tells you exactly when inclement weather, like rain or snow, is going to happen. The app is beautifully designed and features a precipitation timeline that lets you know minute-by-minute predictions for when you can expect rain.
Price: $3.99 (iOS)
Level Money helps you budget your spending in an easy and elegant way.
Level Money links to your bank account to help you know how much you can spend today, meaning you never have to manually input your purchases. It takes into account your income, monthly spending habits, and how much you’re trying to save. If you spend more than you should on a given day, the app will adjust and tell you to spend less the following day.
FlyCleaners lets you choose when to have your laundry picked up and dropped off.
FlyCleaners is great for when you’re just too busy to find time to do your laundry. The app lets you choose when to have you laundry picked up, and your first time they provide free bags. Your laundry is then whisked away, and you can set a time on the app to have it dropped off when it’s finished.
Sky Guide is a beautiful astronomy app that works like magic.
You don’t have to know anything about astronomy to use Sky Guide. You just aim your phone or tablet at the sky and Sky Guide will highlight the constellations, stars, and planets high above you, displaying details about each. If you want to try locating things on your own, you can use the app’s built-in compass to guide you.
Price: $1.99 (iOS)
Venmo makes it easy to instantly pay people quickly and securely.
Venmo lets you pay your friends using your smartphone. It’s a great tool to have if you need to split a check or you just owe someone money. The app connects to your bank account, and the Venmo’s secure 256-bit encryption and Verisign certification means you don’t have to worry about your money getting lost in transaction.
1Password and LastPass will make sure you never have to remember a password again.
1Password and LastPass are two competing services that remember all your passwords for you across all your computing devices. With a special browser extension, you just have to remember one “master password” and the apps will do the rest, helping you fill in your login and password details. It’s a hassle-free way to keep all your passwords safe and secure.
Price: $7.99 (iOS), Free (Android), $49.99 (Mac and Windows)
Timeful learns your behaviors in order to help you change your habits.
Timeful is an intelligent calendar app mixed with a to-do list. The app’s algorithm learns how you get stuff done and smartly suggests ways to build new habits and get things taken care of, all on your own terms.
Price: Free (iOS)
Yahoo Weather is the best-looking weather app out there.
Yahoo Weather is an award-winning weather app that is elegant, informative, and plenty useful. The app is packed with gestures, and displays photos that match your location, time of day, and current weather conditions.
Square lets you accept credit-card payments anywhere.
Square is the best way to accept credit-card payments on the go through your smartphone or tablet, using a small square reader that plugs into your device’s headphone port. It’s a great option for small businesses that don’t want to work directly with credit-card companies, and the service charges you 2.75% to process transactions for Visa, American Express, MasterCard and Discover. The best part is that you can sign up free and Square will send you one of its credit-card readers at no charge.
Hyperlapse from Instagram transforms your shaky footage into a stunning time-lapse.
Until recently, to create smooth time-lapse videos, you needed expensive tripods and stabilization gear. Luckily, Hyperlapse from Instagram uses its image-stabilization techniques to smooth out shaky footage, and the results are impressive. It’s great for capturing sports moments, car rides, weather, crowds, and journeys on foot.
Price: Free (iOS)
Skype is an easy and free way to video message.
Skype is still the best way to video-message people, and voice calls and video calls to other Skype users are free. And since Skype works on multiple platforms, it’s an easy way to IM or video conference without having to worry about what device everyone is using.
Google Chrome is the best mobile browser.
Google Chrome for mobile is great because it’s lightning fast, easy to use, and syncs with your Chrome web browser on your laptop or home computer. It also lets you keep open an infinite number of tabs, and it can reduce your data usage by up to 50%.
Humin acts like your digital butler.
Humin is an app that remembers all the tiny details about how and where you met someone, so you can focus on the moment instead of remembering. All you need is someone’s number, and Humin will do the rest. You’ll then be able to search through your contact using familiar phrases like “met last week” or “lives in Brooklyn.”
Price: Free (iOS)
This story originally appeared on Business Insider. Copyright 2014
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