With cell phone companies competing for our business, smartphones are becoming a more affordable option for many people.
We recently took advantage of a great upgrade offer and got an iphone. That opens so many new ways to save money, get work done more efficiently and simply have some fun.
Here are a few free apps I’ve discovered you may enjoy:
Dragon Dictation: If you find yourself with thoughts buzzing and no paper or computer to write them down, this free app is very helpful. You just push the record button and speak into your phone. It does not include any punctuation or capitalization and will possibly misunderstand some of your words, but this is still a great way to convert your speech to text.
After you record your words, you can email it to yourself. I frequently use this app to record thoughts for articles or blog posts so I don’t forget them.
Keyring: This app allows you to scan your loyalty cards instead of keeping them all on your key ring. You then just scan your phone when you are in the check-out lane.
Shopkick: If you love to be out shopping, you should check this out. You download the app and then get ‘kicks’ or points for walki
ng into certain stores. Sometimes you are given particular products that you can scan and then get more kicks. These kicks can be converted into gift cards for CVS, Best Buy or more stores.
Read more about Shopkick here: http:// hobbiesonabudget.com/2012/10/29/shopkick-shop-scan-earn/
Genius Scan: You can use your camera to take a picture of a document, receipt or note. It will then save the image as a pdf document you can email to yourself.
This could potentially really help with organization of receipts and scraps of paper that most people find themselves buried under. https:// itunes.apple.com/us/app/genius-scan-pdf-scanner/id377672876?mt=8
Snipsnap: A friend of mine recently told me about snipsnap. You take a picture of your coupons and they are saved on your phone. Then you don’t have to remember to take it to the store.
I haven’t tried this one yet but I’m intrigued by the possibilities. https:// itunes.apple.com/us/app/snipsnap-coupon-app/id516439697?mt=8
Store Brand Apps: Stores such as Walmart offer apps that allow you to do price checks from your phone while you are in the store. Other stores may offer that feature as well.
Augmented Reality: AR apps use the camera on your phone to place items from the app into your reality so it looks like they are actually in your world.
Peyton and Friends: Based on Gary Chapman’s popular “5 Love Languages Study,” this app can work in conjunction with the kid book “A Pet for Peyton” or stand alone.
There are free games that allow you search for pets or squash bugs on the pizza. If you have the book, you can point the phone toward it and see the characters come to life in 3D.
Avengers Super Heroes AR: If you are a fan of superheroes and The Avengers, this is a fun app. You can choose your favorite Avenger and fight off enemy forces in your own home. The camera becomes the screen so you feel like you are Iron Man fighting the enemy.
There is a quiz that helps you determine which Avenger you are most like. https://itunes. apple.com/us/app/super-hero-augmented-reality/id515297786?mt=8
Disney Cinderella Royal Ball: If your little princess wants to go to the royal ball like Cinderella, she can check out this free app. She can choose her outfit and accessories, then take her picture wearing the costume using the camera on the phone. https://itunes. apple.com/us/app/ disney-princess-royal-ball/id562090727?mt=8&ls=1
There are so many new and evolving apps every week that allow you to use the technology of the smartphone and enhance your daily life. What is your favorite app? I might not know about it and I’d love to hear!
Sharon Williams blogs about life, hobbies and saving money at Hobbies on a Budget (www.hobbiesonabudget.com).