They say there’s an app for almost everything and we're pretty convinced that’s true. Did you know there are over 700,000 apps now available? The challenge becomes narrowing down your choices and figuring out which ones to download. We decided to take on that challenge by compiling a list of some of the best mobile apps out there to make anything from entertainment to travel to medical responsibilities during your golden years less stressful and more fun.
We'll start with everyday apps that can help make common and sometimes frustrating tasks a little simpler.
Waze (iOS and Android). Instead of buying a separate and expensive navigation device for your car or depending on your memory to get you places quickly, just download Waze. It gives you step-by-step verbal directions to your destination, predicts the traffic patterns to get there, alerts you of any nearby police and notifies you of any road closures or accidents.
Park’n forget (iOS) and Parkit (Android). Ever forgot where you parked your car? It's so easy to do (especially in busy and crowded lots)! These apps direct you back to your parked car and will even remind you that your meter or parking payments are about to expire. How amazing is that?
Find my iPhone (iOS). Whether you misplace your iPhone or iPad devices inside your home or leave it at the store, the Find my iPhone app uses Wi-Fi to see its general location and sets off a pinging sound to help you find its exact whereabouts.
Wunderlust (iOS, Android). Sometimes remembering what exactly is on your to-do list is half the battle of getting anything done. This app is great for creating lists of tasks, getting reminded of them and sharing with friends or family to keep them on task as well.
Voice Dream Reader (iOS) and @Voice Aloud Reader (Android). These apps allow anybody the ability to essentially read with their ears. This is especially helpful to those experiencing vision loss. Whether it’s books, web articles, emails or PDFs, everything on the screen can be read aloud.
Silver Surf (iOS) and Large Launcher (Android). What good are all of the above apps if you’re constantly having to squint to find them or struggle to read the small text within them? These apps replace your user interface with much larger font and larger icons to make navigating your tablet so much easier.
Genetics play a pretty powerful role in predetermining what your overall health and longevity will be. Yet, even though you can’t choose or change your genetics there are certain preventative measures you can take in maintaining your health that can increase your quality of life and your ability to function independently longer.
With so much important health information to manage, it’s good to know which apps are available to help you. Here are four we think you should look into to help you and your family members stay on top of medical needs.
Blood Pressure Monitor (iOS) and Blood Pressure (Android). These apps help to track and record your weight, blood pressure and resting heart rate. You can email your history to your doctor, or print it and take it with you to your next appointment. It produces charts and graphs to help explain the highs and lows of your blood pressure, which is helpful in determining the times and situations they occur.
My Medical (iOS, Android). The more information you have available to you and your doctors about your medical history, the better the care you can receive. Instead of having only bits and pieces of your medical history scattered around as loose pieces of paper and files throughout different doctors’ offices, My Medical helps you organize everything in one secure, comprehensive digital location. And this app connects to your calendar, so you can set-up and remind yourself of past and upcoming appointments.
Pillboxie (iOS) and My Pillbox (Android). Remembering which medications and vitamins to take and when is difficult at any age, and it definitely doesn’t get easier as you get older. And skipping medications can lead to potential health complications. These apps allow you to input all of your medications and then schedule reminder alerts of which pills to take, when to take them and note what they look like.
Stress Check Pro (iOS, Android). One common cause of chronic illness is high levels of unchecked stress. One way to know if you’re stressed is by measuring and keeping track of your heart data, specifically your heart rate variability (HRV). This app keeps track of your HRV and measures your body’s reaction to a variety of stress producers so you can try to better manage your stress levels during certain situations.
An area that has greatly benefited from the invention of apps is travel, and it’s not just the ease of which to book your trips. You now have insane amounts of information flying about in cyber space allowing you to customize your travel plans like never before! The trick is knowing which apps do what.
Here are five travel apps you may not be familiar with. Their capabilities can assure that your next trip will be nothing short of fabulous.
ItsEasy Passport Renewal (iOS, Android). If you’re thinking of traveling abroad and need to obtain or renew a passport, there’s now an app that will handle it all for you! Skip the trip to the post office and do everything from your home on your device. The app will even turn your camera into a passport photo camera.
Google Trips - Travel Planner (iOS, Android). If you have a Gmail account, believe it or not, this app pulls information straight from it to find all of your upcoming travel confirmation emails and then creates a comprehensive trip portfolio. It then looks over your Google user history to see what your interests are to search places, activities, hotels and restaurants in cities within your portfolio so it can recommend options.
Journy (Android). If you don’t have a Gmail account, or the time or desire to do extensive research on your travel destinations, this is the app for you. Journy connects you with a person who becomes both your personal concierge and travel agent and creates itineraries and reservations for your upcoming trips.
PlanChat (iOS, Android). Traveling with a group of people? PlanChat connects you all to one itinerary where everyone can see what the group’s trip schedule is. It also has a poll function that allows users to ask the other travelers a question to see what the majority of the group wants to do.
Sidekix (iOS, Android). If you plan on visiting a major city, check to see if it’s one included within the Sidekix app. This app helps you navigate a walking path through city streets using a route that syncs up with your likes and interests. While it may not provide the shortest route, it will definitely be the one most interesting to you!
With the invention of apps comes a new way of keeping abreast of news and world events, as well as enjoying music, movies and so on. While the library is always a great central resource, a more convenient option is to find ways to access all of these things right from home. If you're interested in apps to help keep the most essential types of entertainment right at your fingertips, and allow you to continue to enjoy them, check out the recommendations below.
- NPR - Listen to hourly local and national news updates on your favorite NPR stations anytime, from anywhere. It also has radio podcasts and custom playlists of news stories.
- Yesterday USA - Sometimes you may just want to tune out the everyday chatter of today’s media and listen to old time radio shows. Now you can do it 24/7 from your devices.
- Goodreads - Remembering what books you’ve read or what book a friend recommended isn’t easy. Goodreads lets you search for and read reviews of any book, while keeping tabs on what you’ve read and what’s next on your list.
- Audible - Whether you’re commuting long hours in the car to see your grandkids or your vision just isn’t what it used to be, Audible provides hundreds of thousands of audio books so you can always enjoy a good read.
- Kindle - Never forget to bring or squint to see your reading material again! With the Kindle app, you always have your favorite books, magazines and newspapers, and can enjoy adjustable margins and font sizes for easier reading.
- Healthy Recipes - With age comes more dietary restrictions to combat high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain and more. This app provides detailed nutritional values of each recipe to help you stay on track with your dietary needs.
- Food Network in the Kitchen - Some learn best through visual explanation. Food Network provides step-by-step video instructions for recipes in addition to written ones.
- Free Oldies Radio - With an Internet connection, you can enjoy a live stream of your favorite oldies music anytime you want.
- Pandora and Spotify - Both of these apps let you create radio stations from any genre based on your favorite music and toggle back and forth between them all.
‘Just for Fun’ App
- Easy Facebook for Seniors - If you struggle with Facebook but want to keep in touch with friends and relatives that post on there, try Easy Facebook for Seniors. It has a dialed-down interface making it cleaner and much easier to use.
With so many apps out there we're sure there are a few you’ve used and loved. If you have any favorites that should be added to this list, we'd love to hear about it.