Five must-have free apps for your smartphone

Picture the scene: You’re getting ready for a night out. You open up the shoe closet to pick a pair of shoes but, with over a million pairs to choose from, it’s not going to be easy. You wake up. It was a dream (if you’re a woman reading this, you probably wake up crying in despair. If you’re a man, it’s more likely relief.).

But it seems we have a real-life dilemma on a similar scale…

With well over a million apps available from the Apple and Android app portals alone, it’s pretty safe to say that smartphone apps are taking over the world and changing the way we live our lives. But which ones should you choose? We’ve randomly picked five of our team’s favourite free apps, to help you decide.

Shazam (iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry, Nokia)

We’ve all been there – you’re listening to the radio and a song comes on that you simply MUST have. The song ends and you brace yourself, waiting eagerly for the DJ’s voice (why *do* they all sound the same?!) to tell you what it’s called. Your heart races. You’re about to get the song title! IT WILL BE YOURS! Oh. No, wait. Some chap called Gavin is telling you about cracked windscreens. Facepalm.

Thankfully, those days are gone. Fire up Shazam on your smartphone, let it listen to the track and… well… SHAZAM! You’ve got the artist and title, as well as an array of other features. Some versions even have LyricPlay, where you can turn your phone on its side and see the lyrics of the song, on your screen, in time with the music. Clever stuff.

For more information on how you can get Shazam, head to their website HERE.

O2 Priority Sports (Android)

We couldn’t write a blog post about the best apps without mentioning one of our own – and what better one to choose than Priority Sports? It’s one of the latest additions to the O2 app stable, joining Priority Moments and My O2.

We’ve teamed up with Nike to bring Priority Sports members exclusive access to the best sport-related deals, products and experiences – from 25% off pitch hire at Powerleague 5-a-side centres, to the chance to train with some of the premier league’s biggest names.

To get the app, just text SPORTS to 2020 from your O2 Android phone.

IMDb (iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7)

If you’ve ever seen a film, watched TV, or discussed either of these activities with friends, you need IMDb. There are few certainties in life, but one of them will always be that you’ll forget who was in that film. Or you’ll find yourself in a pub quiz, suddenly desperate to know which films featured the character Newton Crosby Ph.D. Now, we’d never encourage cheating in the pub quiz, but IMDb is the perfect reference for all of your TV or film-related queries.

As well as all this, you can find out what’s showing at cinemas near you and watch the trailers to whet your movie appetite. Avid film buffs can even create an IMDb account and generate a watchlist of the movies that you need in your life.

Head to IMDB’s website HERE to get the app.

Teatime (iOS, Android)

Tea breaks at work are a minefield, aren’t they? First, you have to hide your face when someone asks whose turn it is for the drinks run. Then you forget how everyone likes their drinks. With the Teatime app, all of this is a thing of the past.

This simple yet genius app lets you create lists for work, friends, family, whatever you like. In each list, you can save a detailed description of how every member likes their drink. You can even add a photograph for that one person in the office who’s so fussy that you’re constantly scared to present their cuppa to them.

As if all that wasn’t handy enough already, you can now break that tea break tradition of rock paper scissors tournaments  – the app will automatically choose whose turn it is to get the drinks in.

Get the Teatime app from the Google play store HERE, or the Apple app store HERE.

Tube Map (iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry, Nokia)

For anyone living in or visiting London, Tube Map is an essential download. Not only does it feature a clear, comprehensive and up to date map of London’s baffling underground, it also has ‘the world’s  fastest’ route planner, which will tell you how long your journey will take.

You can quickly find your nearest station and, upon selecting a station from the map, you can access the current line statuses and departure times for that station. What’s more, Tube Map integrates with the Bus London and myTrains apps, to tell you about nearby bus stops and national rail departures (where applicable) from whichever station you choose. Notifications can be also set, so that you’re alerted to delays on relevant underground services – you can even set the on/off days and times for your notifications, so that you’re not woken on Sunday morning to be told about delays on the Bakerloo.

To top it all off, you can access your Oyster account from within the app to check your balance, avoiding that awkward moment when you smash your legs into the barrier before retreating to a pay station to top your Oyster card up.

Put quite simply, this is the app to have in London. After all, over 100,000 daily users can’t be wrong.

Get Tube Map HERE.

 

So – there you have it. Five random free apps, as recommended by the O2 Social Media Team. Each week, we’ll post a new app feature here on The Blue. We’d like you to have your say, so why not drop us a note in the comments below and tell us about your favourite app, or perhaps ask us to cover a specific genre of apps in an upcoming post?