Apps & Games

5 Must-Have Smartphone Apps

Ben Ingber introduces smartphone users to five sleek and user-friendly apps that are under the radar

In today’s day and age of smartphones and tablets, it is all about the apps. There are apps for everything. From photo sharing, to shopping and even parking meters. Consumers today no longer want to log onto a mobile website, they want to download a company’s app.

We all have the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram apps on our phone, whether they are iPhone or Android. However, there is an entire world of untapped apps that will make your everyday life better.

Here are five must-have apps for your smartphone:

1. Whoosh!

Here in Syracuse, NY, we have to pay for parking downtown. There are meters lining the streets and signs reminding you that you can only park for two hours. There are few things worse than having to interrupt a meeting or event to run out and put change in the meter. This is where Whoosh! comes in. Whoosh! is an app available on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Whoosh! allows drivers to pay their parking meter, but more importantly, it allows them to extend their meter without ever leaving wherever it is they are.

2. Salt City Eats

According to their description on their Facebook page, “Salt City Eats is a guide to everything sweet, savory, spicy, hoppy, cheese-filled and more in Central New York. If you’re looking for a new favorite, locally owned spot, this is your go-to app.” This app targets those looking to put a local spin on what to have for dinner. The app includes menus and directions to the restaurants, along with an easy-to-navigate interface.

3. Venmo

Venmo is a great app that allows you to quickly and securely send and receive money with your friends. This is an amazing tool should you have roommates you split bills with. You can hold the money in your Venmo account or you are able to transfer it out to any bank overnight. Pay friends for dinner, drinks, rent and more. Easily collect money from people who owe you. Checkout with one touch in many of your favorite apps.

4. Google Photos

Google Photos is the home for all your photos and videos, searchable and organized by the places and things that matter. This app allows users to automatically backup their photos as soon as it is taken. Like most other apps, this app features numerous tools for editing and organizing photos. The best part? Unlimited storage for all of your photos. The only downside is they are not high resolution photos.

5. Office Lens

This essential productivity app allows you to scan documents by taking a photo. Office Lens trims, enhances and makes pictures of whiteboards and documents readable. Office Lens can convert images to editable Word and PowerPoint files as well. It is innately like keeping a scanner in your pocket at all times. This is a must-have application for anyone in business who travels and needs to keep receipts for  expense reports. Instead of keeping track of physical receipts, just simply scan them right into your phone.

Ben Ingber is a local techie who runs the website He is passionate about tech and how it will enhance a persons everyday life. He can be reached on Twitter @urbangeekcny.

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