Four apps worth a tap

Cecilia Lang, Contributing Writer

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Apps can be entertaining, but they can also be tools. When used well, your phone can transform from being a distraction to something that simplifies and organizes your life. If you are looking for a new app or two to refresh the way you use your phone, here are a few great ones to try. Also, if you do not already use them, be sure to check out Quizlet, Venmo and Laudate.

Clear
This streamlined, colorful, list maker keeps all your to-dos in one place. Side-to-side, pinching and fan gestures are all it takes create your list, add notes to it and check them off. You can personalize your lists with themes, or stick with the already visually appealing original. Whenever you finish a list, an inspiring quote appears.

Bonus: Checking things off a list can release endorphins, making you happier.
Downside: You’ll have to shell out a little dough for Clear, as it costs $4.99.

Duolingo
Duolingo is a language learning app that feels more like a game. With thirteen languages to choose from and varying skill levels, it can help you start to learn a new language or keep up with one you know. The lessons start out with a few basic words, using images and repetition to help you learn their meaning. As you work your way up, sound is incorporated, along with more complex sentences.

Bonus:  Every time you get an answer right, it makes an affirming dinging sound!
Downside: For your progress to be saved, you have to get through an entire lesson, which can be a little time-consuming, and if you do not finish, you will have to start over the next time.

GrubHub
If you ever need a reason to stay in, its GrubHub, the app that knows all the food delivery and pickup options wherever you are. You pick a restaurant, order food and keep track of that order in one convenient app.  There are menus and reviews from countless area restaurants in many price ranges. You can pay with cash, credit or PayPal.

Bonus: Options close to our campus include Yummy Thai, Terra Mediterranean Grill, Wing Stop, Bombay Chopstix, Pepe’s Pizza and Sonny Bryan’s BBQ.
Downside: Most of the listed restaurants have a $15 delivery minimum.

RetailMeNot
With savings from Home Depot to Nordstrom to various airlines, RetailMeNot is a great resource for anyone on a budget. Browse through any of the 50,000 stores, search for your favorites or look through the “Daily Deals.” A “Nearby” feature lets you see what stores near you use the app’s coupons, letting you plan ahead.

Bonus: This app also helps you keep track of deals at your favorite stores, notifying you with new deals and letting you know when your coupons are about to expire.
Downside: RetailMeNot is not the most intuitive app, and it takes a while to figure out all its workings and fully utilize its benefits.

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