The beauty of the internet is that every once in a while, someone asks a totally innocuous question and people chip in with answers that can potentially change the reader’s life. This time, someone on Reddit asked about apps that are so good that it’s hard to believe they’re free. The responses highlighted lots of great apps that you should definitely check out.
Recipe apps and sites often have a bit of a problem in getting to the point. You’ll often see a long blog post that tells the story behind recipe before getting to the point. If you wish you had a resource that got the recipes for you (without the narrative), then you can try a few of Reddit’s recommendations. Copy Me That received the most endorsements and many users praised its generous free tier. (There’s a premium subscription with additional features, for those who want to support the developers.) Other recommendations included Recipe Keeper, which was praised for its nice design and ability to scan recipes from printed books, and MiNoms, which has all the basics and an affordable in-app purchase to unlock premium features.
If you like observing birds in your neighborhood, Merlin Bird ID is a must-have. It allows you to quickly identify birds and learn more about them. The app lets you view photos of the birds, hear their calls, and understand their migratory patterns. Many people on Reddit mentioned picking up birding as a hobby as they grew older, and that they found this app to be indispensable.
Your local library is a treasure trove of books that you can access for free—and now, your library also lets you borrow ebooks and audiobooks. For immediate gratification, download the free Libby app, enter your library card details, and gain access to vast archives. The collection varies based on the books that are available with your library, so not everyone will have the same experience. As long as you have a valid library card, you can use Libby to borrow books without visiting the library at all.
If you’re in public places that are so loud that you can’t hear the TV or if the TV is muted, you can use Tunity to stream the audio to your phone. As long as you’re trying to stream audio from live TV, this app will do its job. It cannot stream audio from YouTube or other streaming services.
Whenever you’re out and about and you hear a song that you really like, you can use a music recognition service to help you identify the song. People on Reddit highly recommend Shazam, but you can also just ask Siri or Google Assistant to identify songs for you. These services are built in to your smartphone and are free to use.
With the glut of streaming services and constantly changing content rights, it can be hard to figure out which service has the movie or show you really want to watch. To get around this problem, you should download JustWatch. It lets you type the name of the movie or show, and will let you know where you can watch it. If you don’t want to download the app, its website does the job just as well.
When you are trying to learn something new, such as a language, poems, or even studying for exams, you should consider trying out flash cards to speed up the process. Anki allows you to use flash cards for improved learning and a lot of Redditors swear by it. You can use the web version and the Android app for free, but the iPhone app costs a steep $US25. We’ve also covered a browser extension called Wisdolia that integrates with Anki, in case you want to learn from YouTube videos or any website on the internet.
This one may be an obvious pick, but it is so good that it’s worth mentioning. Wikipedia is the world’s largest encyclopedia and it’s totally free. If you’re interested in improving your knowledge about history, current affairs, sports, and a host of other topics, Wikipedia is a great starting point. It may not always be reliable, so double-check your facts.
Many Redditors mentioned StumbleUpon, a now-defunct browser extension that used to allow you to discover random websites on the internet. If you miss this extension too, you can try an app called Web Roulette!, which recreates a similar experience with a beautiful design. It’s a free download on your iPhone and totally worth checking out. You could also take a look at the Kagi search engine, which has tools to surface smaller sites too.