Apple launched the App Store on July 10, 2008, with 500 apps availalble for download. Which is probably the same number of apps currently on your iPhone that you haven't used more than once (heyo!).
Apple touts that their apps “ignited a cultural, social and economic phenomenon that changed how people work, play, meet, travel and so much more.” But they also created a lot of clutter: there are now two million apps and counting.
With that in mind, here are InsideHook’s 10 favorite overlooked apps. No Spotify, Uber, Tinder, Fortnite or social-media timesucks here — these are tools for productivity, health and preserving the most valuable resource of all: your time.
Manages your terrible weekday meetings with ruthless efficiency. Think of it as an always-adjusting timer which punishes those who stray from the agenda: if people go over their allotted time, the app proportionally reduces the duration of every other item. (For 20 more great productivity apps, go here.)
Free public wifi is like a cotton swab: you know you're not supposed to use it lightly, but every day there you are hitting "connect" (and jamming that Q-Tip in your ear). Encrypt.me uses VPN technology to thwart hacking and ISP spying by automatically securing your connection, whether you're on Instagram at a coffee shop or checking Slack on the subway.
Rather than waking you up at a specific time, Sleep Cycle claims to read and analyze your sleep patterns via motion sensors, and then uses that information to wake you up at the ideal time (i.e., when you are in a light sleep state) within a given 30-minute window. And it does so gently, with a peaceful, gradually ascending melody. I often question whether its effects are pure placebo, but if it works, does it really matter?
A price comparison app for all your car/taxi hailing services. It’ll ask you where you’re going and then compare rates across Uber, Lyft and other rideshare companies, including rates for individual car types (e.g., UberX vs UberBlack).
A new type of investment app that allows you to invest in companies that align with your morals while still working with the online brokers you already use. (For more apps that can help you get rich ethically, go here.)
Choose where you want to go, and get notified of the best/cheapest times to go — our preferred itinerary. Also good for suggesting trips and a great Chrome extension that suggests cheap trips with every tab you open. (For more spontaneous travel apps, go here.)
Turn your best iPhone pics into a coffee table-worthy journal, pretty much automatically. Scrapbooking, this is not.
An immersive “mindset coach” built into an app, Primed helps you develop habits that improve productivity (better sleep, more efficient workouts, stronger negotiation skills, etc.). Think of it as a lifetime of self-improvement ... for 10 minutes of your time and about 50 cents per day.
If your luggage is lost or your flight gets delayed/canceled, the app determines whether you're in line for hundreds of dollars in reimbursement fees (which you are legally entitled to) and then sues the airline on your behalf.