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5 Useful Apps You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

By Tracey Dowdy

My love of lists is a running joke in my family. I make lists constantly, and if I happen to complete a task that wasn’t on my list, I promptly add it for the pure satisfaction of getting to cross it off. It’s a sickness really.

So for me, one of the best parts of rolling over into a new calendar year is all the “Best of” lists that come out. Everything from movies and books, to tech trends and vacation destinations, you name it, there’s a list for that.

In keeping with that theme, here’s a list really useful apps you’ve probably never heard of:

Key Ring Reward Cards

There are plenty of apps that let you store your retail rewards cards, but Key Ring stands out because it isn’t limited to shopping. Any barcoded membership card such as a library or gym card can be stored, plus it allows me to share cards with my family. The app connects with your phones’ GPS to find deals in your area, is connected to  nearly 1,000 loyalty programs, and coupons can be shared with friends via Facebook and Twitter.

Cost: Free
Platform: iOS, Android


Download the Trapster app to get mobile alerts about upcoming speed traps, hidden cameras, and other roadway hazards. You can also monitor your driving speed and get early warnings of red lights and other potential dangers.

Cost: Free
Platform: iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry


If you ever needed to make a call but were pleading with the god of cell phones for voicemail to pick up, you’ll appreciate SlyDial. It bypasses the phone’s answering system and dials directly into voicemail. Say goodbye to awkward conversations and hello to freedom. You’ll never have to talk to your mother-in-law again. You’re welcome!

Price: Free
Platform: iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry


Often you’ll come across an article or blog post you’d like to read but don’t have time for at that moment. Instapaper lets you save the piece in text form to be read at a later, more convenient time. It’s also great for times you have limited or no Wi-Fi.

Cost: $3.99
Platform: iOS, Android


My favorite app on this list! If you’re like me, and I hope you are because I’m pretty great, you choose your seat at the movies based on equal parts screen visibility, proximity to potential talkers, and ease of exit in case that vat of Diet Coke makes a trip to the bathroom a necessity. I can’t do much about the guy that keeps talking or the behemoth that chose to sit in front of you, but I can help with the bathroom breaks.

“Because movie theaters don’t have pause buttons”, RunPee lets you know when it’s a good time for a potty break during a movie. It also lets you know if there are scenes or surprises after the credits and provides a synopsis of the first few minutes of each movie in case you miscalculated how long those trailers would be.

Price: $0.99
Platform: iOS, Android, Windows

Comment by debby, posted 1/20/2014, 5:04 PM:

Great tips! Run Pee is my new fav!
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