Smartphones have permanently changed the way we live. These days, it’s hard to imagine getting through a day without using some kind of app, whether to find your way to the nearest bar or to figure out if you’ve had too much to drink once you’re there. Some apps are necessary, some are pointless and some are just plain cool. We stuck to “cool” and “necessary” for this list of our favorites.



Audible reads books to you from an audiobook library of more than 100,000 titles. It also gives you inside information and breaking news about your favorite authors and has a Foursquare-like badge system. Best of all, it’s available for both iPhones and Android phones.


Amazon Price Check

No one wants to pay more than they have to, especially when the economy is in the toilet. Cue Amazon Price Check. With a simple swipe of a bar code you can find out if the item you’re eyeing is cheaper on Amazon. A great app for keeping your spending to a minimum during the hectic and pricey holiday season. Amazon Price Check is available for iPhone and Android.


Word Lens

Word Lens is a traveler’s best friend. An augmented reality app, Word Lens translates environmental text from one language to another. While the app is free, you have to pay for language packs. So when you’re planning your next trip to Latvia, make sure to set aside a few bucks for the right language pack. This is some serious, next level technology here. Word Lens is currently an iPhone exclusive.


So you’ve got nothing left in your house but brown mustard, garbanzo beans and some frozen chicken. What the hell are you going to make for dinner? Epicurious will tell you. It also keeps track of your shopping list so that you don’t have to find the ten Post-It notes you jotted on throughout the week, helping make it the perfect app for the bachelor who wants to make the most of his food budget. Available for iPhone and Android.



The urban man is constantly faced with a dilemma: what’s the best way to get where I’m going? Hopstop helps you answer this question without guesswork by laying out all the transportation options and even better, how much time each should take. Available for iPhone and Android.



Whether you’re looking to save on data costs or just don’t feel like waiting for pictures to load, TextOnly is a handy little app no smartphone should be without. The concept is simple: TextOnly strips websites of everything but text. Nothing terribly revolutionary here, but when you’re trying to get the results of Sunday’s game on a single bar, you’ll be glad you have it. TextOnly is an Android exclusive.



Combining Foursquare with your favorite dating website, ntro allows you to meet people around you based on common interests. This takes all the guesswork out of what girl you should chat up at the bar. It also gives you a conversational entrée with just about any lady… provided she’s using the app, of course. It’s only for the iPhone right now, but that’s bound to change if it catches on.

AllSports GPS

Every guy who runs, swims, cycles or does any other kind of distance-based training needs this app. Its core function is to track the length of your excursion, but it also tracks your training over time, allowing you to keep a close eye on how much progress you are making toward your fitness goals.It’s available for iPhone and Android.



Broadcastr combines Foursquare with podcasting. You can do a verbal review of your favorite restaurant or engage in a Ron Paul-style rant against the Federal Reserve down at Occupy Wherever. You can also listen to other podcasts logged near you… or halfway across the world. Useful? Maybe. Cool idea? Definitely. Available for iPhone and Android.



Got friends all over the world? Want to keep in touch, but don’t want to pay international texting rates? Meet HeyWire. You can now send texts around the world using this app, for free. This might even have you dropping your text plan if you have no international friends. HeyWire gives you an international number dedicated to your texts and is available for iPhone and Android.


NFL Pro 2012

NFL Pro 2012 will give you something to do while waiting in line at the DMV or ignoring your boss at a company meeting. It’s a fun, detailed and easy-to-play NFL game. Groom your team for victory and level up as you score wins. This one is only for the iPhone.