iPhone Power Up: 10 Apps for New Smart Phone Owners

Emily's Phone

Emily’s Phone

Have you seen all the coverage of the new iPhone models? As much as we love technology around TechSmith, not all of us will preorder the 5C or 5S the second they’re available. While the new phones are slick, beautiful, and functional, many “old” phones are still performing wonderfully.

Emily Wiesner is a TechSmith sales intern. She doesn’t have an iPhone. She doesn’t even have a smart phone. Instead, Emily has a hand-me-down flip phone that has been in her family for years. And when held up against one of our colleague’s cracked iPhones, it doesn’t look too shabby.

Though her trusty phone has treated her well for years, Emily has decided to upgrade her phone when it comes time to renew her contract. Emily took a few minutes to share why:

Why do you have a cell phone?

My parents gave me my first cell phone when I was in high school. I had a pink razor with the most basic plan–no text messages–and I was always worried about going over the monthly minutes. Eventually, we upgraded to a family plan that included text messages. Going from only being able to make phone calls to also having text messages in addition to eventually “upgrading” to my sisters Pantech flip phone all at once seemed like a pretty exciting change. The newness of it kept me satisfied with my phone and monthly plan for quite awhile.

As a senior in college, I have grown pretty accustomed to having a cell phone. I still have the same pink Pantech flip phone and use it to send text messages and call up my parents for a quick chat on the way to class.

Why have you chosen NOT to upgrade to a smart phone in the past?

Until recently, I did not feel that I truly needed a smart phone enough to merit adding an extra $40-80 to my monthly bills. As a college student, I try to cut down on unnecessary spending. If I was able to make it through high school and the majority of college without one, how could it really be a necessity?

However, I recently had this question answered when I rushed out of the office one afternoon to run errands. Upon pulling out of the parking lot with my directions from Google maps, I realized I forgot to write down the phone number of the restaurant I was visiting. Not wanting to turn around, I figured I would manage just fine without it. But when I arrived at the would-be location of the restaurant, I realized what a mistake this was. As it turns out, the restaurant I was looking for had moved locations and I was sitting in the parking lot of the old location without GPS, a smartphone, or even the phone number of the restaurant to call for directions.

Due to my lack of a smartphone, I was left sifting through my contacts, hoping that one of my friends would be available to look up the information for me. After a few tries, I was able to get ahold of someone and, eventually – after 20 minutes – I found my way to the restaurant.

What about a smart phone would make you upgrade?

The convenience of having a talk to text option, as well as being able to look up anything on the go is why I would like to upgrade. But I also need a phone that fits into my budget. Furthermore, as I have been working more and am getting closer to graduating college, my desire to have a smart phone has grown.

Banging the Welcome Drum

TechSmithies are nothing if not welcoming. Emily asked for suggestions on which apps to download first to her new phone and opened the floodgates to fellow TechSmithies welcoming her to the Smart Phone Brigade. Below, you’ll find 10 of the apps she’s most excited to download.

1. Google Maps (iOS | Android): I probably use Google Maps at least once a day on my PC, so having the ability to use it from my phone would be a great time saver.

2. Wunderlist (iOS | Android): I am always wasting sticky notes writing down my to-do list for the day, so having an app for this would be a great way to stay organized and save paper.

3. Pandora (iOS | Android): the ability to listen to any music on the go without having to pay or take up downloading space is pretty hard to beat…

4. Dragon Dictate (iOS): I would love to let my phone do all the work by transcribing voice memos and tasks into something I could import into Wunderlist!

5. Facebook (iOS | Android): I am not ashamed to admit to my Facebook addiction. Despite the fact that having it on my phone might make me even more addicted, it would still be in my top five.

6. The Weather Channel (iOS | Android): speaking as someone who was recently caught in a thunderstorm without an umbrella, being able to look at the daily forecast without having to turn on my laptop would be pretty convenient.

7. Yelp (iOS | Android): As an avid traveler, I can only imagine how much easier my past road trips would have been if I could have just pulled up Yelp to look for restaurants on the go.

8. CNN (iOS | Android): As an International Relations major, I am always interested to hear what is going on across the globe. I can definitely see myself using the CNN app on a daily basis.

9. Myfitnesspal (iOS | Android): For many people, myself included, staying fit is an ongoing struggle. Having the ability to quickly set goals would be a great way stay on track.

10. Snapchat (iOS | Android): It’s getting harder and harder to avoid this one – everyone seems to have it!

Do you have other suggestions for Emily? Please let us know!

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About Will Verchereau

Will Verchereau is the Customer Content Coordinator for the Marketing Team at TechSmith.
  • If money were no object, he would still thrift the majority of his wardrobe.
  • His life goal is to own a peacock farm.
  • His guilty pleasure is a tub of ice cream directly following any form of exercise.