These are the apps we love to recommend
Everyone seems to have that one app that they find immensely useful, and are puzzled as to why the rest of the world isnâ€™t using it. Maybe itâ€™s a weather app, a better way of finding music, or an app for making sure you have something to read or listen to on the train; itâ€™s something you find yourself going back to again and again, and think other people are missing out on.
I wanted to find out what those apps were, so I asked around The Verge for some recommendations. Hereâ€™s what I heard back.
Hopper is an app for finding low prices on flights and hotels. The app will predict prices a year in advance to help you figure out when to travel, and it can monitor dates and deals and send you push notifications when thereâ€™s something worth booking. My colleague Shannon Liao says itâ€™s must-have for frequent travelers, but that there are some drawbacks to watch out for, like difficult cancelations and the app directing you to unfamiliar airlines.
Hopper is free on iOS and Android.
If your phone storage is being filled up by gigabytes and gigabytes of photos and videos, Google Photos is your reprieve. The app backs up all your photos and videos to Googleâ€™s cloud (with minimal quality degradation, in most cases), then scans everything using face and object recognition so that you can search through your entire library by who or what is in each scene. My colleague Ashley Carman said she highly recommends it for iPhone users, so that you donâ€™t have to pay for iCloud storage; but she also pointed out that, like all Google products, Google Photos is only free because youâ€™re paying Google with your personal data â€” so you have to be comfortable with the tradeoff.
Google Photos is free on iOS and Android.
Your phoneâ€™s default camera app is more than likely designed to be simple and easy â€” something anyone can pick up and use. But your phone is way more powerful than that, and a lot of apps can be used to take your photography further, including Halide, which Iâ€™ve heard a lot of buzz about. My colleague Jon Porter says it has some helpful shooting tools, but also calls out its ability to capture photos in RAW, so you can retain more data and do more intensive edits.
Halide is available on iOS for $5.99.
Apparently thereâ€™s an easier way to keep track of who owes what among friends than just constantly Venmoing each other and sending updates in a group chat. My colleague Mariya Abdulkaf recommends using Splitwise, which lets you input costs as you spend them and then keeps track of how much each person in a group still owes in order to stay even. It sounds particularly useful for roommates.
Splitwise is free on iOS and Android.
Hereâ€™s my own recommendation, a weather app that does one thing better than any other weather app: tell you when itâ€™s going to rain. Dark Sky will estimate down to the minute when itâ€™s going to start and stop raining, and itâ€™ll show you a little chart of when the rainfall is going to pick up or slow down within the next hour. Itâ€™s immensely helpful for knowing if you should wait a few minutes before heading outside to avoid the worst of a storm, or if you should make a run for it because the rain isnâ€™t stopping any time soon. The app can also send alerts in the morning to bring an umbrella when it predicts rain, and notify you throughout the day if a storm is starting.
Dark Sky is $3.99 on iOS and $2.99 per year on Android.