Social apps review: Get on top of your life
Life, eh? No matter how much we plan, organize and delegate, even the simplest things can become a headache. You’ve forgotten your sister’s birthday, again. You’ve run out of milk, again. You’ve forgotten your coffee store loyalty card (again) and now that free frappuccino has never seemed so out of reach. But, as usual, there’s an app for that…
Brand-spanking-new on the market, Apple’s new mobile wallet application, Passbook, is designed for anyone who would rather clear out their grandmother’s attic than sort out the contents of their wallet: the app keeps all the paper and plastic together in one place – your phone. Passes, tickets, reservations and gift cards can be stored in the app in lieu of paper, and thanks to geolocation functionality the app recognizes when you’re in a particular store and presents an offer coupon (if applicable) or a loyalty card – so no more rooting through purses for errant, dog-eared vouchers.
Platform and developer: iOS6 (by Apple)
Final word: It’s Apple, so they’ve thought of everything. There are even a host of stores signed up for Passbook compatibility from the get-go (Starbucks, W Hotels and Ticketmaster to name a few). The exceptionally-disorganized will need to remember to tap their tickets into the app, though. It’s good, but it’s not psychic.
No milk? Or maybe too much milk after you and your partner both went out and bought gallons of the stuff? Our Groceries puts a helpful spin on standard shopping list apps by syncing lists between users over one access point. Make a list, tick off items, and your other half can see instantly what you’ve purchased, and what needs to be bought. Also helpful for house sharers who find themselves buying more than their fair share of communal items and need to give their roomies a ‘gentle’ nudge.
Platform and developer: Android, iOS, Blackberry (by HeadCode)
Final word: Very useful for households that struggle to find the time to liaise and certainly an unlikely saviour of breakfasts. Be careful not to hit the ‘erase all’ button accidentally, mind – the app’s developers would do well to add a ‘confirm deletion’ safety option, as many reviewers lament.
Thanks to Facebook’s insistence on having you write on the walls of all and sundry come their birthdays, it’s pretty difficult to miss someone’s big day. But then we’re not in front of Facebook all the time, and friends can slip through the net (especially those coy about revealing their birthdays online). Birthdays Free is probably the simplest birthday reminder app going, but it’s also one of the most effective. Import birthdays from Facebook in one touch, add your own and specify your own reminder timeframes (every day for two weeks in advance if you’re particularly forgetful, for example). Users can also post a birthday message directly to a friend’s wall from the app.
Platform and developer: Android (by Muzurisana UG)
Final word: There are zillions of birthday reminder apps on the market, and while Birthday Free doesn’t offer anything in the way of mind-blowing features, it’s simple and easy to use, and that’s all you need. Just don’t keep snoozing the notifications until it’s too late.