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 completely free to download!
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You probably use machine-learning systems every day without even knowing it. The technology gives us spam filters, our Facebook News Feeds, digital assistants, search engines, Netflix picks, Amazon recommendations, fraud detection systems, chatbots and more. And it's only going to become more pervasive. For forward-looking parents, it's time to get your kids on it.
iOS: Some people become karaoke gods the minute they pick up a microphone, leaving us mere mortals to wonder how they managed to summon Freddie Mercury from an astral plane. Others... need a little practice. While there isn't one app that will make you the next Australian Idol overnight, Tone (iOS, free) is a great app for practising basic note recognition and tricky intervals.
Did you know that beryllium is transparent to X-rays? Or yttrium is found in moon rocks and bullet-proof glass? Or that curium was named after Pierre and Marie Curie? Or that because tantalum is used in cell phones, the demand for it has become so immense that wars have erupted in central Africa?
I did, because I've been clicking through this interactive chart on the TED-Ed platform, which features a free lesson about every single element on the periodic table. Go ahead. Ask me anything about hassium.
You're at work, or on the other side of the world, or both, and you need something from your computer at home - in years gone by, you would need an IT degree and an expensive software package to connect up to your home computer remotely, but now a number of apps will do the job, simply and free. Here are three of our favourites, and when you might want to use them.
I'm a pretty big fan of dipping sauces, and believe they have many uses beyond dipping. Sweet chilli sauce and the like are obviously fantastic on their intended dippers, but next time you order takeaway, ask for a couple extras and set them aside for later use in sandwich spreads, dressings and marinades.
Your local library has all kinds of perks, but one I continually forget about is its collection of digital audiobooks. Considering how much audiobooks usually cost, this is a great little benefit.
Depending on where you go to university, there's a good chance you shell out good money every semester for student health services. Those services and on-campus clinics include more than just quick visits with a nurse or doctor. You usually get loads of other benefits you'll want to take advantage of.