The must have apps for 2016

Our list of apps that will change your life in 2016. Photo / iStock
Our list of apps that will change your life in 2016. Photo / iStock

Get Organised

Sick of having to reset your password every time you log in to your bank, Facebook, Trade Me or PayPal? 1password means you only need to remember one password (clue's in the name) which in turn gives you secure access to all your other passwords. Just make sure no one knows your one password.

The app for list-writers, Evernote stores all your lists and helps you keep track of everything else you need: shopping receipts, that article you want to read, your boarding pass and more. You can take snapshots of webpages using a browser extension and, yes, it syncs between all your devices.

Think of this as an online library where you can store all your documents, videos, photos and pretty much anything you need. Anything you add to Dropbox will automatically show up on all your computers and phones so you can access your stuff from anywhere.

Sunrise calendar
A calendar that connects to all of your devices, social media accounts and vital things such as weather and Google Maps. All your bookings are together in one place, with info on how to get there and if you need a raincoat. You can also make plans direct from your text messages.

This one is a scheduler for your day based on 30 minutes work and 30 minutes break. Your tasks are carefully ordered and colour-coded and you'll get regular reminders. You'll be surprised at how much this handy app helps keep you constantly motivated - and, don't worry, you can schedule tasks for as long or short as you need for the vast majority of us who may need to work more than 30/30.


You Need A Budget (YNAB)
As well as budgeting software to monitor bank accounts, credit cards, savings and more, YNAB offers access to financial literacy classes, tutorials, a community of users, budgeting tools and tricks, and more. The app guides you through setting financial goals and sticking to them, helps you reconcile accounts when your numbers feel off and walks you through the budgeting process in a simple, understandable way. Learn to stop living pay to pay and find ways to save money.

XE Currency
Convert every world currency, access live exchange rates, view historical charts and calculate prices. It even stores the latest exchange rates so if there's no internet access where you are you can still get the latest rates. More than 25 million downloads suggest it's a must-have.

Read it

In the app world this is almost geriatric having been founded in 2007. You can discover blogs on topics you're interested in, organise them then sit back and read.

Another relative oldie, this brings together all the news media you want from around the world and presents it in one magazine.

NZ Herald
The single best source for news, sport, business and entertainment in New Zealand.


Photo / iStock
Photo / iStock

A giant music streaming database which, well, if you don't know this one there's probably no point going on.

Pretty much the same as above except for radio stations around the world. Pick what you like and it'll find lots of similar stuff.

Listens to music playing and tells you the song and the artist. Settle all arguments and make sure you buy the right song.

Why bother listening to other people's music when you can make your own? Djay - which is good for beginners and seasoned professionals - transforms your phone into turntables so you can make your own mix.

Brain Teaser

A simple quiz game with gazillions of topics as niche as you could ever imagine. Play against people all around the world.

Created by neuroscientists, the premise is a few short games each day will exercise cognitive abilities and you'll see benefits in everyday life.

Get Fit

Photo / iStock
Photo / iStock

Tracks your diet, exercise and sleep patterns with incredible precision but the winning important feature is a built-in personal assistant, which chats to you like a friend. Text your "friend" for advice and tips or just wait for your new mate to text you a congrats after a run. Sounds creepy but very effective as it's easy to set up a plan but this app won't let you forget it.

Hugely popular with cyclists but also usable for any exercise, Strava records your
activity and uploads to a leaderboard for anyone who has ever made the same trip. Even a trip to the shops can become competition. Follow and get followed by others and watch the "kudos" messages and banter flood in.

A pedometer app that counts the steps you walk in a day to help nudge you towards 10,000, which fitness gurus say you should do. There are lots of variations. This has the prettiest colours.

This arrived in Auckland in the middle of last year. For $70 a month you can access unlimited classes at more than 170 gyms across the city without being locked into long-term membership. You can go to the same place up to five times in the month and it includes yoga, boxing, zumba and even squash and kayaking. The folk behind it say it's Netflix for exercise.

You may have mapped your run using an app but this one provides music playlists that change tempo to match your pace.

Get Healthy

My fitness pal
A simple calorie counter to help keep an eye on what you eat. It boasts a database of more than two million foods and measures your intake based on your personal statistics and goal weight. You can also log exercise.

It's a fair bet you've read an article this year on how bad sitting all day is for you. And there's almost certainly someone in your office who has a standing desk. With this app, you set a reminder interval from five minutes to hours then a handy alarm will remind you to stand up. As a bonus, it's likely to get on your colleagues' nerves.

Pillow app
Are you getting enough quality sleep? Pillow monitors your night and tracks light sleep, deep sleep and REM, as well as all the tossing and turning you did. It can also sync with other apps to check your sleep against, for example, the number of steps you walked that day and your caffeine intake. A metric graph tells you how long and how well you slept. And it plays nice music to help you doze off.
Want the look without the effort? This New Zealand app allows you to enter the beauty treatment you need, when and where - and salons will bid for your business. Touted as Uber for the beauty industry, it is looking to expand overseas.

If you're too lazy, download Facetune, which will photoshop pictures of your face so you look amazing.

Get Around

Photo / Jason Dorday
Photo / Jason Dorday

This clever little app gives you real time traffic and road information designed to save you time. Also helps avoid crashes, warns you about police roadside stops, alerts you to the best fuel deals on your route and offers GPS-style navigation.

AT Metro Track My Bus
A commuter's dream, this Auckland Transport app uses the transponders on buses to track their every move. You'll never miss a bus again - and Auckland Transport is planning to add train and ferry services this year.


Photo / iStock
Photo / iStock

The quintessential travel planning service will help you sort a trip to pretty much anywhere in the world and is also full of tips and tricks from experts. If there's one app you must have it's this.

Once you've sorted where you're going, use TripIt as a complete, hassle-free way to combine all your travel confirmations, itineraries, tickets, hotel bookings, rental car reservations in one simple view. No more digging around for a confirmation email to get your reservation number or wondering what flight number you're on before you check in. It will even let you know if there's a better seat on your flight so you can switch to it.

Use this to find discounted and last-minute deals at hotels throughout Asia-Pacific. Fantastic for New Zealand if you're on an impromptu road trip. If you're travelling further afield, try HotelTonight, which caters for the Americas and Europe.

Bonjour! More than 70 million people have downloaded this app, which makes learning a new language simple. Okay, a new language may not be "simple", but the app is easy to use.

Fun Stuff

Put a picture of your face and others you know on the bodies of some dancing elves.

Plants versus Zombies
Throw a range of plants around a house to stop zombies eating the brains of those inside. It is as weird as it sounds but totally addictive.

A word game that is like a cross between Boggle and Scrabble. Play against strangers or Facebook friends.


Connects you with restaurants in your area and shows you all the places you can get takeaways or deliveries from. Also has good special offers.

Tiny Scanner
Turns your mobile device into a portable scanner so everything - documents, images, receipts, etc - becomes a pdf you can email.

Sick of your photos being a bit wonky? This will straighten it up even if you take pictures at an angle.

Sky Guide
Point your phone at the sky and it identifies stars and planets. For an extra fee you can see satellites as well.

Find my iPhone
Absolutely vital if you're prone to misplacing things. This app uses your iPad to track your phone. Now, where's that iPad ... ? (Works the other way round as well.)

Set up alerts and reminders and you'll get a text telling your future self to do something. Not overly fancy but a good organiser - and, as a bonus, it is ideal for adding affirmations to lift your mood. "Don't forget to call your mum. You are wonderful."

- Herald on Sunday

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 26 Oct 2016 06:39:21 Processing Time: 573ms