There is a wealth of free software and apps available to help you get the most from your computer or smartphone (or both) – so hard to get around to trying most. This is where this list comes in. It is freshly cured to highlight the best tools and programs you probably don't already use.
We will focus on uncovering the hidden gems with this list, the apps and the programs that you are less likely to have heard of already. So you won't find the likes of Gmail or iMovie included. But you use your phone and your laptop, the list below should throw up at least some apps that might be useful to you.
(As the development of all apps has to make some money, we've included apps with in-app purchases, but in apps where that's the case, we've made sure you can still access a lot of functionality free.)
(first and foremost) Mobile
JustWatch (Android, iOS)
Minimize the time you spend searching for something to watch Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, HBO now, YouTube, and so on, with JustWatch: In addition to telling you where movies and shows are streaming, It notifies you of price drops on digital rentals and purchases, and keeps you informed of new titles that also hit the big platforms.
Libby (Android, iOS)
Did you know that you can access thousands of books and audio books from your local library, free? Well, you can, and Libby makes it possible: The app guides you to libraries' choices and what's popular with other readers or lets you just browse yourself.
Google Arts & Culture (Android, iOS)
Google Arts & Culture is one of Google's lesser known apps, but a nice app anyway. It allows you to take in some of the best art and museum exhibitions in the world without leaving your chair, as well as finding cultural events near you and identifying any artwork or exhibitions you may be physically standing in front of. This app can be a serious time sinking but in a good way.
Forest (Android, iOS)
Even Apple and Google themselves enter the digital wellness game and Encourage us to take a break from our phones, but we prefer Forest to everything that comes into Android or iOS. What we like most is its simplicity: you are going to grow digital trees and then a digital forest that you learn to deviate from smartphone addiction.
Spendee (Android, iOS)
Many finance and budgeting programs are available for phones now, but few get as much as Spendee does: From the simple, intuitive, clean layout, how to help you dig into your spending patterns and budget goals, it's a quality package to keep you updated on what you use and manage Your money better.
Otter Voice Notes (Android, iOS)
There is some serious magic happening under the hood to Otter Voice Notes, an app that can listen to your conversations and then transcribe them in real-time perfect if you spend a lot of time on meetings or doing interviews where it needs to be archived. It is unlikely to be accurate and you get 600 minutes of recording time free of charge each month.
CamScanner (Android, iOS)
Turn your phone into a lean, transparent document scanning machine with CamScanner on none way the only side scanner in the app stores, but definitely one of the best in terms of features and quality. Automatic cropping and optimization, easy sharing in other applications, the ability to export to PDF, password protection, annotation support … there's a lot here.
Hour Blocks (iOS)
If you find yourself struggling to Get your plan in control, give Hour Blocks a try. The idea is simple but brilliant: You divide your day into hours blocks (hence the name), which should simplify both your calendar and your to-do list, and help you get more done at the time you have.
Snapseed (Android, iOS))
Snapsed is one you are more likely to have heard about, but we expect that there are still large pieces of Android and iOS userbase that are not aware of such a competent, feature-rich photo editing app for phones. You can use the app to fix blisters, rotate and crop images, add text and filter effects, and much more as well.
Unsplash continues to impress as a resource for free images (do what you want with the pictures). Many of them are perfect backdrop for your phone or laptop, from sweeping mountain ranges to intimate library horns to cute-looking animals, so much to explore here. Unsplash has not released an Android app, but you can also get it online.
Giphy Capture (macOS, web)
Need to make a gif? GIPHY Capture can help. In fact, the process makes ridiculously easy, and anything that runs on your MacOS desktop can be taken and converted. The Web tool is less advanced, but you can still turn a local video file or video clip into a classic GIF animation, with lots of customization controls included along the way.
Canva (Android, iOS, web)
Canva is available in mobile app, but it is online where it really It lets you essentially design something – a logo, a flyer, a poster – in a way that doesn't need technical knowledge or expertise, and yet avoids a stupid template-driven approach.