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The best apps to download on your new smartphone


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I just got a new phone. Of course, your first inclination is to head to the App Store or Google Play Store to download your favorite apps to your shiny new device. While the Engadget team tries to keep our phones relatively unburdened, there are some apps that we can’t live without because they make our work and our daily lives easier. Below you’ll find dozens of the best we think you should try.

1 password

1 password

If you only take one tip away from this article, you should download a password manager. He doesn’t have to be the one we recommend here. However, we like 1Password for a few reasons. Not only will it let you create strong passwords for all your online accounts, but it will also let you have built-in support for two-factor authentication. This means that you don’t need to download a separate app like Authy to make your logins as secure as possible. If you have access to a Fastmail account, you can also use 1Password to generate spam emails for your logins, giving you another way to protect your privacy. It’s also just a well-designed app that is a pleasure to use.

fire fox

fire fox

fire fox

If it’s been a few years since you last used Firefox, now is the time to revisit it. Partially over the past year, Mozilla has overhauled the Android version of its browser to bring many of the best desktop features to mobile. This release saw Mozilla add more robust support for third-party add-ons. It has also brought enhanced tracking protection, which prevents trackers from misusing your browsing data. Separately, with Apple allowing you to change your default browser since the release of iOS 14, there’s never been a better time for iPhone users to free themselves from Safari.

emptiness

emptiness

emptiness

You signed up for Headspace at the start of the pandemic. Since then, it has become one of the few apps I use every day. Yes, Headspace is a meditation and mindfulness app, but it’s also so much more than that. You’ll also find that it has a mix of music designed to help you focus and workouts to relax you at the end of a long day. Across the board, everything it offers is excellent, and you’ll find yourself turning to it for more than just peace of mind.

Huber

Hopper app

Huber

If you are planning to travel somewhere soon, install Hopper on your phone. While it has grown over the years to include a variety of features, in essence, Hopper is one of the best ways to save money on plane tickets. Once you tell the app where and when you want to travel, it will tell you whether you should book your flight now or wait. In the latter case, it will notify you when it estimates that you will get the best deal. The beauty of Hopper is that it will save you from constantly checking websites like Google Flights and Kayak.

Libyan

Libyan

Libyan

If you want more reading in 2022, forget about buying books through Amazon and download Libby instead. If you’re not familiar with the app, it allows you to borrow e-books, digital magazines, and graphic novels from your local library. All you need is a library card, which most systems across the United States offer for free. Sometimes you have to wait to borrow books that you want to read the most, but you will find that Libby will expand your reading list significantly.

table is open

table is open

table is open

With restaurants reopening in cities across the United States and the rest of the world, there’s a good chance you’re planning on eating out sometime soon — and so will almost everyone else. This means that you will likely need to make a reservation to dine at some of the most popular places in your city. In North America, you’ll find the closest to one platform used by nearly every restaurant is Open Table. For this reason alone, it is a must download if you eat a lot. It’s also a useful tool for discovering new places to visit as you can filter by cuisine and region.

Crossing

Transit . app

Crossing

There is nothing worse than waiting for a bus on a cold winter’s day or watching three buses after another. Avoid both situations by using one of the best public transit planning apps on Android and iOS. Transit excels where other apps fail in this category thanks to its clean and easy-to-use interface that highlights all the options close to you. It also has one of the best algorithms for predicting departure times, so you’ll know exactly when you need to get out of your house or apartment to catch the next bus, train or tram.

Red pepper

paprika recipe app

Red pepper

Paprika is the best $5 you can spend to make feeding yourself easier. In essence, it allows you to download recipes from your favorite websites and make them available on all your devices. You can also use it to measure the size of the meal you are about to cook and to convert between metric and imperial measurements. Add to that a meal planner, shopping lists, and a tool to track ingredients in your pantry, and you have a must-have app for home cooks.

pocket cast

Pocket Casts app

pocket cast

With podcasts becoming more and more popular with each passing year, there’s a good chance you already have a few favorite shows to listen to every week. As much as Spotify would like to convince you that it has the best podcast app, that distinction goes to Pocket Casts. We love it because it consistently delivers a great experience across every platform it supports. And if you use a mix of platforms from Apple, Google, and Microsoft, you don’t have to worry about syncing either. It’s also a good idea to use a program that doesn’t feel stuck between two worlds the way Spotify does. Pocket Casts does not try to be more than an app for listening to podcasts. That’s not something you can say about Spotify, and it’s often a source of frustration for those who turn to it for music.

pocket

pocket app

pocket

Another way to read more in 2022 is to download Pocket. It’s among the most popular Read Later apps, allowing you to save articles you find online. Much like Pocket Casts, what makes this app compelling is that it offers an excellent experience that isn’t dependent on the device, making it a great option for those who aren’t part of a single ecosystem. Whether you use Chrome, Safari, or Edge, you can install a browser extension to save the articles you find. You can then read it later without being distracted on your phone or tablet. Just don’t forget to make a splash in your Pocket reading list every once in a while.

telegram / signal

Telegram app

cable

We understand that asking your friends and family to install another messaging app on their phones can sometimes seem like a pointless task, but that effort was never worth it. In Telegram and Signal, you will find two of the most secure chatting apps on the market. We especially like Telegram here at Engadget because of how complete it is from a feature point of view. For example, it includes an editing feature that comes in handy when you make a misspelling, and a secret chat tool when you want to hide messages. If you switch to Telegram or Signal, you will also free yourself from the Meta ecosystem. This may not sound like much, but when Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp collapsed earlier this year, many people were left without a way to connect with their friends and loved ones.

Subway

Tunnelbear for Android

Subway

After a password manager, a VPN is one of the best tools that you can use to protect your online privacy. Again, there are many options, but we love TunnelBear for its simplicity and quirky theme. A VPN isn’t as necessary as a password manager, but you’ll want to have it if you frequently find yourself traveling or using public WiFi in places like coffee shops and libraries. Using a VPN in these contexts will ensure that your connection is protected with encryption so that any information you send remains secure and private.

Snapseed

Snapseed

Snapseed

Most modern phones come with great cameras. However, even with the latest iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, or Google Pixel, nearly every photo can benefit from editing before it’s shared. The options you have for photo editing apps are nearly endless, but if you want something that works well, look no further than Snapseed. It’s an old favorite that offers a comprehensive set of editing options but never gets stuck in too many sliders and numbers. Best of all, it makes it easy to save edits to your camera roll and upload them to apps like Instagram.



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