In the second half of your 2014 guide to our favourite (mostly) free apps, we're looking at improving your personal life - whether it's your physical or mental health, we're making things easier for you with the swipe of your finger!
Health and Fitness
Cody – An iOS social platform and community. Cody provides trainers to answer questions or assist with workouts, support, workout videos, and encourages people to share their workout-focused content with their friends —images, workouts or tips, similar to Facebook or Instagram. Coaches share multimedia content such as videos on workouts and challenges, as well as tips and tricks. They can add to those videos as they go, providing feedback, offering pointers or striking up a conversation with their audience via Cody.
Nike Fitness App – an app for Android and iOS that acts as an anytime-you-need-it personal trainer. The app includes 100 full body workouts inspired by Nike's top athletes, but includes customized-to-you workouts and challenges as well.
CARROTfit – a brutally honest fitness and weight-tracking app (retails about $2.99 USD) that calls itself “Your Judgemental Fitness Overload” and includes a hilarious “7 Minutes in Hell” workout video. It’s like your most honest friend, or foe, but will hopefully make you laugh along the way.
Strava Cycling – A bicycle or running-specific app that maps your route, while measuring heart rate and calories burned, provides challenges, keeps tabs on your shoe or bike maintenance, and allows you to compare and compete against your previous best efforts, or others.
Hipmunk – An Android and iOS app that helps you plan your travel and book flights, hotels and tours. It watches prices for you, but also includes its “agony” index for number of stops, travel duration and alerts you to the day’s best deals.
Skyscanner – An app for your Android or iOS device, it compares hundreds of airlines and travel agents, and watches flight prices so you don’t have to. It allows you to plan in advance what days, times or airlines may be best to travel, and you can set up daily or weekly alerts.
Airbnb -provides unique accommodations across the world – traditional B&Bs, apartment rentals, room rentals and more. Airbnb covers a range of price points in tens of thousands of cities across almost 200 countries. Works on any Android or iOS device, you can post your rental, read reviews or book right on the app.
TripIt – This app puts all of your travel needs in one place – itinerary, flights, maps, bookings and even links travel emails to the app. This handy dandy app works on your Android, Apple, BlackBerry or Windows device.
Viber – This app allows you to make free calls, messages, send pictures, videos or voice notes to any Viber user in any country over wi-fi. It works on any Android, Apple, Windows, BlackBerry and Nokia device, as well as your desktop.
Gasbuddy – Trying to find the best gas price in your area? Out of town and almost out of gas? This handy app lets you map gas stations and prices, or allows you to post prices at stations near you. Works on your iOS, Android or BlackBerry.
Google Maps – an oldie but goodie! Google Maps puts other mobile maps (yeah, we’re looking at you Apple) to shame. Google Maps helps you find your location, get to another location, figure out distance and time from point A to B, and can be saved for offline use (handy for travelling outside of wi-fi areas). It also helps you find nearby restaurants and bars, shopping places and where to sleep.
Mint – Organize your finances with this app available on Android and Apple. Mint helps you set a budget, track your spending and instantly check your bank balances.
Songza – provides free music playlists based on mood, time of day, genre-favourites. From whimsical lists such as “Singing in the Shower” to Suitable for Work lists, Songza lets you choose what you want to hear without overthinking it and you can favourite a playlist so you can find it again. Use it on your desktop, Apple, Windows or Android device.
Sprout – This sharp app monitors pregnancy with cool fetal development images, tips and advice, keep track of doctor visits, checklists and track your weight, baby movements or contractions. This can be done on your favourite iOS device.
Converter Plus – Turns your Apple device into a converter for distance, currency wind speeds, volume, temperature and more.
Unit Converter Plus does the same for Android.
Yahoo! Weather - This well-reviewed app for both Android and Apple provides hourly, hourly, 5-day, and 10-day forecasts. Yahoo! Weather provides interactive maps for radar, satellite, heat, and snow. Superb Flickr photos match your location, time of day, and current conditions.
Sleepbot – This is a neat app that tracks your sleep through movement and sound levels, and wakes you during your lightest sleep, so you can feel better for the day ahead.
Lookout – This free app for Apple and Android protects your phone’s security. Keep email, documents, photos, credit card numbers secure. Lookout protects your device from Malware, scans apps and helps you find your lost or stolen phone. Here's hoping we've made your life a little easier with some of these great apps.