Everything and its mother has an app these days. Shopping? Friend-making? Meditation? Period-tracking? I feel like I'm downloading a new one every day, only to use it once before letting it disappear into the black hole that is my endless grid of iPhone apps.
Suffice to say, there's a lot out there, and we want to help you cut through the clutter. From photo-editing apps to dating apps, here are our favorites in every category. Because, for whatever it is you want/need/dreamt about last night, I can guarantee, there's an app for it.
The pitch: Your new shopping assistant
E-commerce platform Shopify just launched a new app called Shop that seriously simplifies online shopping. It includes tons of popular brands — everything from Kylie Skin and Drunk Elephant to Allbirds and Outdoor Voices — and lets you track all your packages in one place, pay 70% faster than you otherwise would, and search for sustainable and local brands. It also doubles as a shopping assistant with its customized feed and recommendations based on your preferences. Basically, it's a one-stop shop for all the cult brands you already love.
The pitch: "Let's get to-gather."
This is a great app for women looking to grow their communities. The way it works: Users can volunteer to become Quilt Hosts, who then host intimate gatherings in their homes that focus on different themes — everything from chats about goal-setting and self-care to good ole dance parties. In the app, just browse the gatherings being held near you and simply sign-up for whatever floats your boat. The app is free, but events cost $15 — or you can elect to become a member, which gets you unlimited chats and gatherings and costs $37 for a monthly membership or $297 per year.
The pitch: "Incredible last-minute hotel deals."
Next time you have a hotel to book, you might not want to book so far in advance. HotelTonight is an app that operates out of over 1,300 cities and offers last-minute deals on unsold rooms at all kinds of hotels. The way it works: the closer you get to check-in, the lower the deals. So if you can manage to wait to book your stay, it'll definitely be worth it.
Sift – News Therapy
The pitch: "Reduce your news anxiety."
Reading the news can be really, really stressful — but this app provides a thoughtful and unbiased lens at topics like gun control, immigration, healthcare, climate change, and media literacy to help users better understand the how and the why of timely issues, while also mitigating the stress of the daily news cycle. After the free week-long trial, it costs $19.99 every six months.
The pitch: "An astrologer in your pocket."
For $19.99 a month, you get a monthly 15-minute personalized live reading with an astrologer based on your natal chart, as well as your daily horoscope, daily astrology news, and a birthday treat. The live reading I had was super comprehensive, catered to the life themes I wanted to talk about, and easy to understand. Honestly, super ideal for those of us who want an astrology reading without getting up off of the couch.
The pitch: "Buy, scan, and rate wine."
With the in-app camera feature, all you have to do is scan a wine label or restaurant wine list to get detailed info about a wine (the app has a library of 9.2 million wines) as well as purchasing options and customer reviews. You can also purchase wines directly through the app, review them, and keep track of what you've tried. Basically, it's the perfect app for sommeliers-in-training and wine newbies alike.
The pitch: "A daily pep talk in your pocket."
This self-care app offers daily texts with compassionate words and research-backed advice, as well as motivational talks and mediations. Plus, it has a really pretty interface that makes the user experience soothing in itself. With daily check-ins, week-long self-care challenges, and built-in daily rituals, it's kind of like a hug in app form.
The pitch: "Measurement tools for life, on your smart phone."
As a person who hates trying things on in a dressing room, I almost exclusively do my shopping online. Despite the convenience, though, there's a major drawback — most things don't fit how they appear to onsite. Enter: MySizeID, which uses sensors to take your measurements and then syncs the data directly to a retailer’s sizing chart so you never have to guess what size you are.
The pitch: "Read without limits."
For just $8.99 a month, Scribd gives you access to all of the audiobooks, books, magazines, documents that your heart could desire. And it's unlimited. Definitely the best deal of its kind out there.
The pitch: "Tinder for (girl) friends."
Making adult friends is hard AF, but this app makes it a lot easier. You make a profile, join all the on-app communities you identify with (i.e. cat owners or DIY enthusiasts), swipe and say "Hey!" to the women you're interested in meeting, and then make IRL plans to hang with one or more of your matches using the app's plan-making feature. It takes the awkward out of the whole post-college "how the heck do I meet new people" thing.
App in the Air
The pitch: "Never too early, never too late."
The holy grail for all things air travel. Need to know where to get coffee at the airport or where you can get in a quick phone charge before your flight boards? App in the Air has you covered for all of that, plus keeps track of your itinerary, boarding passes, frequent flier programs, TSA wait times, the weather at your destination, and a ton more. Also, not to be forgotten: There's a social component. For each flight a user has in their app, they can see other app-using travelers on their same flight. The app gives users conversation starters prompts users with friendly conversation starters…mile high club, anyone?
The pitch: "Your period and sex life, uninhibited."
Of all of the period-tracking apps I've used, this one is my favorite. It lets you fill out of a comprehensive sex and period log (with v cute graphics) and then helps you get in tune with your cycle by highlighting your symptom trends and forecasting your moods.
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