10. Songkick Concerts (iPhone; also available online at www.songkick.com)
Problem: You’re not sure if your favorite artists are performing in your area – or even touring.
Solution: Songkick tells you about popular artists currently on tour, upcoming concerts in your area, and alters you when favorite artists’ come to your area.
9. RedLaser (iPhone and Android)
Problem: You find the perfect shirt (or book or stereo or chair – anything with a barcode) but aren’t sure if the same item would be cheaper online or at another store.
Solution: Use RedLaser to scan the item’s barcode and – you guessed it – check online prices, find in nearby stores, and find out about any potential food allergens. RedLaser accepts regular UPC barcodes and the newer, square QR codes.
8. Tie: Netflix (iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows Phone, Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, most televisions and computers, www.netflix.com, and others) and Redbox (iPhone/iPod/iPad, Android, and online at www.redbox.com)
Problem: You want to watch a movie – but, being a college student, probably lack either (a) movies to watch or (b) a device to watch said movies on. Plus, the local Redbox is sometimes like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get.
Solution: Provided that you or someone you know has a Netflix subscription ($7.99/month), Netflix allows free unlimited streaming of movies. Redbox, on the other hand, informs you about local Redbox locations and which movies are available where.
7. Instagram (iPhone/iPod)
Problem: Facebook photos are boring.
Solution: Instagram provides a diverse selection of photo filters that tend to produce beautiful and unexpected results. The app doubles as a Twitter-esque social network that lets users share photos, comment and “heart” each other’s posts, and “follow” other users. Photos can also be synced with your Twitter and Facebook accounts.
6. Tie: Yelp (iPhone/iPod/iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Palm Pre, and online at m.yelp.com and www.yelp.com) and Google Places (iPhone/iPod/iPad, Android, and online at www.places.google.com)
Problem: You’re planning a date (or you’re just bored) but can’t think of something new or exciting to do.
Solution: Select your location, select preferred entertainment (food? shopping? music?) and – bam! Both apps provide the convenience of maps, directions, and user reviews.
5. Tie: iBooks (iPhone and iPad) and Kindle/Nook/Kobo/etc.
Problem: You like reading but don’t like lugging around over-priced books.
Solution: Use iBooks and Kindle (and Nook, and Kobo…) to read ebooks (epub and pdf files) on your iPhone, iPad, or computer. Most ebook apps sync your location across all devices and make your entire ebook library accessible via cloud computing. You can also highlight, add notes, view the most popular annotations (on Kindle), “search,” and download your notes.
4. Dragon Dictation (free for iPhone/iPad; $149.99+ for computer software)
Problem: You need to type a text message while driving (it happens).
Solution: Open up Dragon Dictation and start talking – the app will type the text for you. Moreover, the app “learns” your voice, making its speech recognition more accurate with each use.
3. TuneIn Radio (iPhone/iPod/iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Palm, Samsung Bada, Windows Phone, Google TV, Yahoo TV, Roku, WDTV, and online at www.tunein.com)
Problem: $1.29 per song is just too expensive (and/or nostalgia for a favorite radio station).
Solution: TuneIn Radio uses the internet to connect to local, national, and international radio stations, as well as police and ambulance radios. Stations can be selected by location, genre, or language.
2. Wunderlist (iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows, Mac, e-mail)
Problem: To-do lists are prone to being forgotten and/or lost.
Solution: Use Wunderlist to sync multiple to-do lists (with the option of adding due dates and notes to each item) between your computer and phone. You can also access your to-do lists from a unique web address, and add additional items via e-mail.
1. Evernote and Dropbox (Both: Windows, Mac, Linux, and almost all mobile devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android Phones/Tablets, Windows Phone, and Palm Pre)
Problem: You’re sick of carrying around a USB drive and/or e-mailing yourself notes, pictures, files, and documents.
Solution: Use Dropbox and Evernote to sync any and all of your files – with your other devices, with your friends, with your family… the possibilities are endless.