Image credit: William Hook/Flickr
The Lifehacker staff sifts through a ton of apps on a regular basis, but a few have stuck with us over the years. Some apps are simply nice to have, while others have become essential in our daily lives. From dealing with irate dragons to counting our mindfulness minutes, each app on this list has a special place in our hearts (and our homescreens). Best of all, they’re all free.
Need a podcast app that isn’t from Apple? Try Overcast, which features smart playlists, voice boosting, and podcast recommendations from the people you follow on Twitter.
Venmo (iOS, Android)
Venmo is the de facto way millennials send beer money to each other, and comes in handy when you need to split the dinner bill without trying to get the waiter to swipe six debit cards.
Clash Royale (iOS, Android)
Got a few minutes to kill? Why not kill some knights and dragons in Clash Royale, a competitive strategy game pitting your army against another player’s troops. Matches can last anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes — an eternity when your army’s being decimated by a platoon of angry skeletons.
Pocket (iOS, Android, Web)
If your morning commute doesn’t allow for much seated time, you can still get some morning reading done. Pocket works on iOS and Android devices, as well as your favourite web browser. It saves articles you find on the web for later consumption, even if you’re offline.
Nuzzel (iOS, Android)
If you’re mostly visiting Twitter for the latest news, try Nuzzel. It pulls the stories from all around the web that have been shared by your friends and followers. It’s a great way to stay up to date without sifting through tweets about dril.
Libby (iOS, Android, Windows)
Libby is like Amazon’s Kindle app, but specifically geared toward library books. It has a beautiful interface and connects to your public library’s e-book catalogue.
If you just need a meditation app without the (literal) bells and whistles, get Omo. It’s a simple meditation app that offers simple time presets, and automatically syncs to Apple’s HealthKit to record your mindfulness minutes.
MyFitnessPal (iOS, Android)
Paying attention to the food you eat is hard to do if you’re always forgetting what you had for breakfast. MyFitnessPal lets you catalogue meals, exercises, and other health-related factors to help you get an understanding of what you’re putting into your body (and why your scale seems to be overreacting after Thanksgiving dinner).
Signal (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux)
You might think your text messages are secure, but you can’t be too careful. Download Signal, an encrypted VoIP and messaging app that protects your communications and lets you scrub your talks and texts from the record, for good.
This story has been updated since its original publication.