20 Best Productivity Apps

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  • November 30, 2016
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Augmented reality apps build upon the world around us by displaying information overlays and digital content tied to physical objects and locations. In addition to TV companion apps, selected channels and networks are even releasing apps that allow you to stream content right after release. On the Tom’s Guide Battery Test, the average smartphone lasts for 8 hours and 27 minutes of web surfing over Wi-Fi, and while that’s nothing to sneeze at it’s still often not enough. Check out our favorite mobile messaging apps. Check out 10 of the best brain training apps on Android and iOS devices. If users cook their own meals or eat out, you can also manually enter a meal’s nutritional information. Spendbook features an elegant and easy-to-use expense tracking and budgeting app.

Cal (Android, iOS) is the brainchild of the team, delivering a calendar app that is both functional and gorgeous. The app also provides live streaming for a variety of events, such as NCAA Basketball and the PGA Tour, as well as access to on-demand video of game highlights, expert analysis and original video programs. Bookari features a customizable and feature-packed reader, with a variety of features such as reader themes, a night mode, text search, annotation and a pinnable navigation panel for easy jumping between chapters, bookmarks, and pages. The widgets provide all sorts of information, from hourly forecasts out to 10 days, to humidity, temperature, wind speed, UV index and more. ReadMe!’s speed reading mode combines the RSVP method with a method that automatically highlights the “optical recognition point” in red for easier word identification. Of course, Foursquare and Swarm are no longer the only game in the block when it comes to location sharing. Users slowly rotate the phone to take the shot, and after some quick processing, the VR photo can be viewed through your Cardboard viewer.

Users can annotate numbers and calculations and print or export the canvas to PDF. Once you’ve linked a Telegram account to your phone number, you can use the app to send fast, encrypted chat messaging over the cloud, with client-server encryption for standard chats. Chainfire’s Liveboot app does something that is really cool and potentially useful to technically oriented users. UEFA’s EURO 2016 championship features some of the best national teams in Europe battling it out for the prestigious title, and the official app (Android, iOS) makes for a great one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the teams, players, match schedules and standings. When you enter the app, all of your unsorted photos are presented to you in a queue. Users can easily bring together checklists, notes, and annotated photographs into a notebook system for easy organizing. Jeopardy!

Viewers searching for the next indie darling should feel free to search Vimeo’s vast library or catch a live stream from Twitch. More than just a Google Map clone, Earthviewer allows users to explore the Earth’s geological past, present and future. A learning feature adapts to your common actions, learning to snooze conversations with friends until the evening, or automatically muting certain conversations. Ink Cards ships to Europe, US, and the UK within 2 to 8 days, and to anywhere else in the world in 2 to 3 weeks. Not only does Rithmio Edge track your reps, but it also figures out the kind of exercise you’re doing and critiques your form based on the movements it tracks (with an option for manual rep tracking). Scheduled backups can now also be uploaded automatically to Google Drive or GMail, making it an unobtrusive and fairly hands-off solution. Users can sign up for a premium service that includes access to TouchPal Cloud for cross-device syncing of your personal dictionary and predictive typing settings, as well as cloud-enhanced typing suggestions and an extended emoji gallery.

A good option is HERE Maps (Android, iOS), which provides detailed, turn by turn navigation instructions for more than 1200 towns and cities in more than 100 countries worldwide, which can be downloaded for easy offline use. (Android, iOS) makes a living out of promotional coupons, and their app allows you to bring the savings straight to your smartphone. The only thing missing is the ability to take bribes from potential host nations and sporting equipment companies. Transdrone and its bigger brother Transdroid allows users to take control of their torrent client software remotely, whether installed on a PC or mobile device. Trello is a highly customizable digital bulletin board that you can use to set up anything from to do lists, tasks, notes and more. Loaded with powerful organization, formatting and sharing options, Evernote is still king even with the rise of competitors such as Catch Notes and Google Keep. Rather than coordinating over multiple messy email threads, Asana users can create projects, assign tasks to individuals, set deadlines, comments, requests and more.

You can go snap happy with Auto mode or tweak your settings with manual or programmed camera controls. You can use Asana and create projects and tasks with teams of up to 15 people for free, with premium tiers increasing this cap and unlocking more organizational tools. reciting the “jarring damage” and “edge effect”. And on iPad, you get a range of modes, each of which has a distinct approach to matching and smashing gems. New tools include a Clientside mode for quickly getting feedback from clients while keeping your internal group content separate, a notification scheduling system so you don’t get notifications after work hours or during the weekend. The menus are easy to navigate and the background of the main menu is a soothing sail boat at sunset. You never need waste time fiddling with your logins and passwords ever again with the LastPass mobile app.

The LastPass Premium app (Android, iOS, WP8) is a password vault, strong password generator and browser all rolled into a single mobile app. Users can sync their password vaults, and then have the LastPass browser automatically fill in forms and login details when surfing the Web and accessing sites, either through the in-app browser, Safari or Chrome. Users can also generate new passwords, as well as add or update their list of Form Fills. Plenty of apps let you listen to such heavy hitters as Lady Gaga and Drake, but SoundCloud (Android, iOS) provides access to a special community built by lesser-known artists. Evernote (Android, iOS) is one of the premier cross-platform note-taking services, allowing users to take and upload notes, pictures, audio and video snippets and organize them into cloud notebooks that can be synced across different devices. Loaded with powerful organization, formatting and sharing options, Evernote is still king even with competitors such as OneNote and Google Keep. The free version lets users upload 60MB worth of content monthly, with paid accounts allowing more options.

Why spend hours hopping between different websites tracking down what’s new when you can have the latest stories and articles fed straight to your phone? Feedly (Android, iOS) is one of our favorite mobile and desktop news reading tools. The mobile app manages to merge the best of multiple interfaces, with a text-only list view for quick browsing through your news feed, and flashier magazine and card-style layouts for a more visual approach. Go get it. Articles can be saved in the app (or through Pocket) for offline viewing and shared through a variety of other apps. Have you ever wasted too much time reading interesting articles or links when you should be doing something else? Then put it in your Pocket (Android, iOS).

Pocket, the rebranded version of the venerable Read It Later service, is a great offline reading tool that allows you to select and save articles, pictures and videos for later viewing. New and interesting weather apps are constantly popping up, and with such stiff and varied competition, it can be hard to get noticed. A cloud-synching note taking app and uploading app, OneNote also shines with its collaboration features, such as the ability to have multiple users working on the same note or document. OneDrive integration is yet another selling point, especially for those who use Windows 10. One of the best and most popular services that gave birth to the cloud storage boom, Dropbox (Android, iOS) is the go-to solution for many people’s cloud storage and sharing needs. At its core, Dropbox is an online storage locker for your files, documents, photos and other data that you can access anywhere (as well as download for offline access). You can also use Dropbox as a way to share files for collaboration, as well as upload new material.

Custom keyboards can add a lot of useful features doing a lot of email, messaging, and document editing on their phones and tablets. SwiftKey (Android, iOS) is among the best third-party options, with silky-smooth responsiveness, swipe typing and a creepily accurate predictive typing system that quickly learns your typing and vocabulary quirks. Highly configurable settings allow you to set the keyboard just how you like it (with provision for variant keyboard layouts), and SwiftKey Cloud allows you to sync your personal typing habits and dictionary quirks between iOS and Android. (Android, iOS) is an excellent and feature-packed app for creating to-do lists, reminders, events and other notes for getting things done. features easy task input, which can be typed in or dictated, complete with a touch interface for easily dragging and dropping tasks into various categories or for marking tasks as accomplished. Reminder notifications bring time sensitive items or events to your attention, and syncing and sharing features let you share tasks and lists with friends, family or colleagues. Fantastical is a great iOS calendar that has a neat look while also delivering power features when it comes to creating and manageing events.

A clean presentation of events in daily, weekly and monthly calendar views is backed up by really easy reminder and event management. Users can create events through a traditional menu based interface, or simply type in or speak a quick audio note that the app automatically parses into an event (which users can further tweak). The Day Ticker is especially great, allowing users to view and manage their events and reminders. Smartphones can be great productivity tools, but also sources of an incredible number of online distractions. Enter Freedom, an iOS app that uses a limited VPN system to block websites, email and online app content for a specified amount of time, allowing you to focus on a task at hand. Users can access pre-defined blocklists, create custom blocklists or even block all online content. Freedom sessions can be scheduled in advance and on recurring schedules.

In addition to the iOS app, Freedom includes a Windows and Mac version, with an Android app in the works. Productivity, clearly, doesn’t begin and end with apps. You need all sorts of tools to knock things off that to-do list of yours. For instance, what happens when you need a printed copy of your work? Check out our best all-in-one printers. Is your laptop living up to your expectations? We’ve also narrowed the field to bring you just the best business notebooks around.

And I’ll bet our tips for making the most out of Microsoft Word has some hidden gems that even a pro wouldn’t know.

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