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According to a study by Deloitte, Americans collectively check their smartphones upwards of 8 billion times per day. Yep, 8 billion. In other words, relying on your phone for more than just Snapchat is the new norm. Read on for seven ways your trusty device can help to improve your day, from updating your wardrobe to tackling customer service (so you don’t have to).
You know those times when you pop into, say, Club Monaco on a Saturday afternoon promising yourself that you’ll head straight to the sale rack? But, oh wait, there’s a gorgeous lace top in the window practically screaming your name. Enter Hafta Have. Just scan the barcode on the shirt to tag it and the app will alert you when it goes on sale. It currently works with a handful of your favorite retailers (Madewell, Ann Taylor, Loft, Anthropologie), but new brands are added often.
Remember that episode of Friends when Phoebe was on hold for 24 hours? Yeah, well, it’s funny because it’s true (people spend an average of 60 hours per year waiting on the other end of a phone). Thankfully, the app Service deals with this nitty-gritty communication for you. Just tell them your issue (need your airline tickets refunded or help fixing your printer?) and they’ll call the companies for you, replying only when they know exactly how to fix your situation--no robotic messaging required.
Things in life that shouldn’t take more than five minutes: Calling Mom, renewing your driver’s license or getting your coffee fix. Starbucks Rewards members know this (with a few taps they can pay for their drink, head straight to the counter and then be on their merry way). Not on the fast-java train? Download the app today and you’ll get Gold Status after just one purchase. That means you’ll be on your way to earning free food and drinks. And hey, who doesn’t love free things?
Reading articles is wonderful…when you actually have the time. Luckily, this app lets you save articles that pique your interest from major publications (think The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal) and then converts them into audio files that are played back directly through the app. Think of it as a podcast for catching up on the latest news--while still paying attention to the traffic signals on your commute.
For those of us who can’t seem to resist the ping of an Instagram notification, Flipd is here to help us practice restraint. Use the app to “flip off” and mute all notifications for a brief period of time (say, 30 minutes) or, if you’re a serious procrastinator, “flip off” completely and watch as all of your apps disappear. Cutting the cord has never been so easy.
It’s never fun to arrive at your destination only to realize you’ve packed completely wrong. Thankfully, Dark Sky gives you hyper-local weather reports that will save you from any unfortunate suitcase fails. Using GPS, the app can even create forecasts for your precise location or future locations and give you down-to-the-minute alerts before it starts raining. It also might be the world’s chicest weather app (sorry, Poncho--we still love you).
When it comes to recommendations, there’s nothing better than a local insider’s experience. Enter Off the Menu, which unveils a list of secret items at restaurants, bars and cafés in 16 cities across the U.S. and Canada. It covers everything from fast-food spots like In-N-Out Burger to fine-dining establishments like Spago--where you should order the tuna tartare in sesame miso cones that only insiders know about.
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