Skyscanner is an absolute gem for anyone with an itch for travel. I came across this app when I was stranded at the Miami International Airport last year. Long story short: I drove to Orlando for Spring Break with a few friends, but ended up having a few medical concerns that required me flying back home rather than enduring the 17 hour drive back. Well, my flight from Orlando to Minneapolis was overbooked, so they booted me off and told me to wait for the next flight out- Which wasn’t until the next morning. I ended up receiving an American Airlines free flight voucher to catch a connecting flight to Miami, but was booted off yet ANOTHER overbooked flight in Miami anyway. Frustrated and losing hope in American Airlines, I opted to purchase a new ticket with a different airline. Thus, discovering Skyscanner. Skyscanner is both a website and a phone app with the focus set on finding and booking the cheapest flights possible. It scours the Internet’s legitimate travel sites (Priceline, Orbitz, Delta, United, etc.) and displays all flights in order of cheapest to most expensive for whichever date you are searching for. This is a real money saver. I ended up booking a $120 Delta flight home without any mishaps. For a same day booking from Miami to Minneapolis, that is a steal. Best part? If you’re a Delta Member like I am, you still receive the MQM’s and MQD’s you usually only receive if you book directly through Delta. If you aren’t a seasoned traveler or someone loyal to a specific airline, Skyscanner is the perfect option. All in all, if you seldom travel by air, this is still worth the download. Personally, I generally fly with Delta because they are without question the best US airline in terms of quality and service- Even if the fares tend to be a bit pricier. Skyscanner is still a go-to app for me, though, because quite often it will show cheaper Delta flights than the actual Delta database will. Go figure.
DoorDash is a lifesaver for anyone going through Winter in Minnesota. As a millennial, I think I speak for all of us when saying that Netflix, food delivery, and staying cozy in bed is the perfect night in- And we all seem to have those nights from time to time. Whether you’re sick, exhausted, or just downright lazy, this app is for you. The concept is simple. Imagine an Uber service, but instead of transporting passengers from one point to another, it transfers food. Obviously, there are already take-out places and pizza chains that offer delivery, but DoorDash takes it further than that. Think of your favorite cafes, coffee shops, bakeries, drug stores, markets, and restaurants, and I guarantee none of them have a delivery option. With DoorDash, that changes. DoorDash hires “Dashers” that work similarly to Uber Drivers. They work when they want and where they want. You simply open the app, choose where you’d like to order your food from, place the order, opt to tip the driver, then wait for your food to arrive. You can also track your order within the app to see when your food is being prepared, picked up, and delivered. It’s genuinely well developed. All of the “Dashers” have to go through training and assessing much like Uber Drivers before being hired, and after each order, you are able to rate the service on a five-star scale. Basically, don’t worry about the legitimacy of the service because the hiring process is actually extremely thorough. I have used this service multiple times over the past couple of months and have never once had a poor experience. Honestly, the food arrived quickly too- I’d say under 30 minutes each time. It’s definitely a lazy/sick/tired girl’s dream come true. Download it!
3. MPR Radio.
If I could only have one app downloaded on my phone, this would be it. Music is of huge importance and significance to me, and I have been a religious Minnesota Public Radio listener since I was about 16 years old. If you’re from Minnesota, I highly recommend MPR to you. If you’re not, never fear- This app is here to enrich your life. Friends, bloggers, and strangers on the Internet often will ask me where I find the music I listen to. MPR is my answer. The Current is MPR’s music radio channel and I’m legitimately in love with it. They play music from local artists as well as classics, indie, and alternative music from all over the world. To be straightforward, they play genuinely great music and not the auto-tuned/EDM/pop stuff that seems to be so popular in our day. Minnesotans, turn your radio dials to 89.3 The Current and give it a whirl. It’s certainly not what you’ll hear on your standard Top 40 stations, but it’s music for your soul and I’m certain it’s worth the listen. Anyone not in proximity to the Twin Cities, download this app and stream the station. It has been my connection to Minnesota when I travel, and it’s fantastic. I recommend this app (and MPR in general) through and through. Go get it.
Most international travelers and people distanced from loved ones have already heard of this one, but it’s become an absolute necessity for me in the past two years. Viber is a free text and calling app that uses Internet access to communicate with other users of the app. Basically, it’s long distance communication without the crazy expensive fees and charges. It allows you to text, call, and send media within the app to other Viber users using your actual phone number. My boyfriend, Marcus, and I have used this app religiously over the course of our relationship due to him being from Australia and me the United States. We first relied on it tremendously because when we initially started dating, I had a Samsung phone and he had an iPhone. iPhones allow free iMessaging and FaceTiming with other Apple products, so eventually I gave up my love for Samsung phones and opted for an iPhone, but we still use Viber often. It’s a reliable and useful tool for travelers, distanced loved ones, and anyone who doesn’t have unlimited calling/texting with their phone plans, and I definitely would give it a download if you haven’t already.
PhotoDirector is the one and only app I have been using for editing my Instagram photos lately. I’ve had quite a few people message me asking me what filters or apps I use to edit my photos, and I can honestly say just this single app is fantastic. I don’t use filters on my photos and sometimes don’t even edit them at all, but I do like to add a little brightness and warmth to most of my Instagram photos and this app does it best. The design and function of the app is simple and easy to use. There are a ton of tools and features that I’ve never tried out, but I wouldn’t doubt this app’s ability to do some pretty neat things to photos. There are even more advanced features such as RGB curves and HSL tools for those who take their editing seriously. I’ve never used them myself as I am not a photographer or editing pro, but I’ve toyed with the app quite a bit and have never experienced a poor feature. If you’re searching for a well-developed and easy to use photo editing app, go with this one. It’s added quite a bit of pep to my Instagram feed, and I haven’t a single complaint about it.
The music I listen to, the photos I take, the food I eat, and the trips I take are all greatly influenced by technology. Phone apps play a large role in most people’s every day life, but some apps more than others. Over the past year or so of officially being an iPhone user, I have managed to find some absolute gems in the app store. Being the amazing, selfless, and giving person that I am, I thought it would be a good idea to share them with you. I hope you found this helpful!