Applications play an essential part in our daily lives. We spend more time scrolling Instagram and Twitter than we often spend with our loved ones, so I often recommend friends and family to turn on do not disturb and use the digital well-being features built into operating systems such as Android, iOS, and macOS.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Anton, also shared a unique story, highlighting our addiction to our mobile phones, and I would strongly encourage you to give it a read, and think about taking a break every once in a while. Your life will completely change, and you’ll feel refreshed and more motivated to work on improving yourself, focus on hobbies that you enjoy, or spend more time with loved ones. That being said, this story is about the apps that I can’t live without, and I’ve got 10 that I would struggle not using on a daily and weekly basis. The list shows the apps in alphabetical order.
I started using Amazon and Amazon Prime about four to five years ago, and ever since then, it’s been my go-to shopping platform to purchase most the goods, such as smart lights, accessories, gifts, books, and many other products. When I want something, I always check on Amazon first, and unless I need it right at the moment, I’ll usually end up ordering from Amazon.
I also use eBay and other services to do my shopping, but let’s be honest, most people return to Amazon because of the customer service and quick delivery times. When a package was lost or stolen, the company was easily reachable and solved my issue in minutes. I’ve heard horror stories, and Amazon isn’t perfect; I’ve come to enjoy their services, including Amazon Prime Video.
Authenticator (by Google)
Many applications started implementing 2FA (Two-factor authentication) a few years ago, and the Authenticator app keeps my codes safe and secure. It also lets users transfer codes without needing to scan each service’s QR code once again, making it effortless and a must-have to sign in and access accounts. If you don’t already use 2FA on your devices, but instead rely on SMS and calls to confirm your identity, you should switch right away!
I’m one of those who typically have 60-80 tabs open at any given time. Having synchronization between smartphones and the desktop is a must-have. It can sync passwords, history, and auto-fill forms, which can be a lifesaver. It consumes more power and memory than other browsers, but it’s convenient, and the last few updates made it more stable.
While this might surprise many American readers, Facebook Messenger is still one of the most used apps by a lot of Europeans and those living in the UK. My friends and family use Facebook Messenger to stay in touch, and it’s an all-in-one tool to talk to friends who live thousands of miles away. Messenger’s video/call part is one of the worst if you ask me, as it often drops the connection, even when I have full bars, but it received several updates that make it somewhat acceptable. I still heavily rely on Discord and Telegram to have a proper video chat, though.
I don’t believe Gmail needs an explanation. I use it to receive information and communicate with companies. It also plays an essential tool for work to communicate and share information in a timely manner. I’ve attempted to use Outlook in the past, but Gmail has a far superior spam filter system that prevents phishing and spam from getting through.
I’ve used several note-taking apps in the past. Microsoft OneNote was one of my favorite apps, but it often bugged out and became sluggish, to the point where I had to restart the app multiple times just to browse through my notes. Google Keep lacks a ton of features, but I only store small notes, ideas, and drafts that I can quickly take when in a rush, and it’s perfect for that.
Google Maps is an essential tool for commuting, finding car parks, looking up restaurants, and discovering new places. The app has received major changes over the years, and it’s one of the must-have apps that I couldn’t live without since the bus timetables, reviews, and the live traffic system are essential tools to save time and commute safely. My other go-to maps app used to be Nokia HERE maps, and I often download it as a backup when visiting another country, since I prefer to have a backup solution for navigating around.
Shazam is one of those tools that might not be considered an app I can’t live without, but it certainly changed my life ever since I discovered and started using it. I know I could just ask Google to identify the currently playing song, which may be more efficient and provide better results, but Shazam is the service I’ve gotten used to over the years, and it’s my preferred app for saving songs I hear on the radio, and while out and about.
Many of my friends use and heavily rely on Facebook to catch up on the news, gather information, and share funny cat videos. Given how Meta (the parent company of Facebook) handles certain content, I don’t think I have to explain why the platform is one of the worst places to catch up on the news. Twitter isn’t better by any means, but I found it more reliable, and it’s the best platform for keeping up with those I choose to follow. It’s also my preferred platform for sharing opinions, short Twitter reviews, and so on. It’s the platform on which I spend most of my time on.
As a small content creator, I heavily rely on YouTube to entertain, learn, and access information from reputable sources and influencers. YouTube tutorials helped me take apart my old Dell gaming laptop, helped family members repair cars, and helped me reset the car key after changing the battery. YouTube is a great place, full of talented individuals and helpful information.
Why so many Google apps?
I usually claim that I’m not locked into a single ecosystem, which allows me to effortlessly switch between using iOS and Android devices with minimal effect on my daily routine. I often change platforms to test out new features, and I like trying out new and different smartphones. I must admit that using so many Google apps is the opposite of being locked into an ecosystem. However, I have a simple reason for giving Google my confidential information: Google is available everywhere and on everything. Google is available on the web on all platforms, even on HUAWEI devices. First-party applications will always offer a smoother performance compared to the web versions, but it’s good to know that Google is, for the most part, accessible and fully usable by using the web version of their applications.
I use Mac to carry out 99% of my daily tasks, and I often use Windows on weekends when I want to get away from everyone and play a few games. Using Apple’s Notes app isn’t an option, since it’s not available on Windows and Android; therefore, I had to find an app available on all platforms, no matter what device I was using. Relying on so many Google services is far from ideal, but it’s one of the best service packages that I can find that works seamlessly together on all platforms I use and care about. Google is one of the best out there to streamline switching across multiple platforms.
I’ve played around with the idea of using a HUAWEI device, even before the company was sanctioned, but I never got around to doing it. Today, I am still open to giving HUAWEI a try; despite not being a fan of their user interface, I’m always open to trying new things, but it’s time to admit that I don’t think I could last a week using the web versions of my favorite apps that I quite heavily rely on. I know there are many other alternatives, and while other third-party apps would likely get the job done, not having access to YouTube, Google Keep, and Gmail is enough of a deal-breaker to steer away from the platform for the foreseeable future.
What are your top 10 applications that you can’t live without?