Posted on March 1, 2017 at 6:00 am
In July of 2015, I wrote a blog about my interest in astronomy and one of my most favorite apps, Star Walk 2 (iOS, Android, Windows). Even now, I still get comments about Star Walk 2, leading to conversations about other favorite apps. So I’m talking about other entertaining apps I’m loving today.
As of January 2017, there are 2.2 million apps in the Apple App Store. I use lots of business and communication related apps, such as Gmail, Twitter, Trello, a grocery-list app, my credit union’s app, and the like. The following are just a few of my more recent, fun discoveries.
Like most smart phone users, I use the camera on my phone a lot. I take photos of anything I find interesting—different scenes, unique perspectives, etc. The pictures don’t always turn out well, and many get trashed instantly. There are times, however, when a shot turns out spectacular. In the past, I’d share these on Facebook and Instagram, resulting in ‘likes’ and nice comments. Then I read about Foap, an app where you can upload your photos and sell them.
Rather than using pricey stock photos, advertisers—even some big brands—will buy your photos from Foap, and Foap splits the profit with you. The chance to make a few extra dollars from the photos I take intrigued me enough to sign up. Once there, I found a list of missions that photographers can take on to possibly earn big bucks. I’m very new to Foap and haven’t sold anything yet, but I’m having fun with the app and enjoy seeing the beautiful photos that other ‘Foapers’ share.
We’ve all had those mornings where we’ve woken up from a bizarre dream and wondered, “What was that all about?” Dreameo is a fun app that lets you search for what happened and the things that were in your dream. You can read about the interpretation and even track dreams on a calendar to see if you can make sense out of any of it.
While I really haven’t achieved any insight from my dreams, the interpretations are interesting, and sometimes reassuring. Recently, I had a dream that was filled with spiders (big ones, too!). I am terror-stricken by spiders and was pretty rattled upon waking, but when I looked up the meaning in Dreameo, I read that spiders can be omens of good luck. Given my fear of them, the idea that spiders may be a good omen did make me feel better.
This is the year I resolved to meditate more, for both my mental and physical wellness. For a couple years, I had used Simply Being, but recently saw Headspace highly recommended and decided it give it a try.
After just a few uses, I could see why the app receives high ratings. Andy, the voice of Headspace, takes you through 10 days of 10-minute meditations to get you started. Once past the initial timeline, several sessions are unlocked for further exploring. There is also a section for kids, allowing you to choose the appropriate age range and session length. I’ve only used the free version of Headspace, but there is a paid version as well.
I like options, and there are times when I don’t want to spend 10 minutes with Andy on Headspace (sorry, Andy!). Some days I just want to take a couple minutes to bust up daily stress. Breathe2Relax is my go-to in these cases. Created by the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, Breathe2Relax takes me through diaphragmatic breathing without having to be concerned about my wandering mind. It’s perfect for a quick break during the day, and backed by science. The app will track your results, so you can see a measurable difference in breathing and stress levels.
Finally, this last one is purely for fun. Last fall, I downloaded Moon, which simply shows the state of the moon. You can look up dates to see what stage the moon will be in, or has been in. and it’s sharable on social media. While there are lots of apps that provide this information, including Star Walk 2, Moon occasionally sends delightful messages through notifications, ranging from funny to extremely insightful—for example: “Your perception is what changes, I remain the same.” There are no ads, just the imagined thoughts from the rock orbiting our planet.
With this list, I haven’t even scratched the surface, only writing about 0.0000022% of the apps available. And these are just a few of my faves. So let me know: What fun apps are you loving today?