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13 Must-Have Apps That Are Surprisingly Free… and Helpful Permalink Free-Apps

In today’s digital age, smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. With millions of apps available in app stores, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to download to make life easier, more productive, and more entertaining. One user of a popular forum asked the question, “What app is so useful you can’t believe it’s free?” 

1. Shazam

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Shazam is a mobile app that can identify music, movies, TV shows, and commercials by using your device’s microphone to listen to the audio. Someone wrote, “Shazam is what convinced my boomer father to get a smartphone. He had always had a cell phone from way back when they first came out but insisted smartphones were pointless. We were having breakfast in a hotel and some song from his youth started playing and he was wracking his brain trying to remember what it was called. I pulled out my iPhone and Shazam told us the artist and song title in a few seconds. He upgraded to a smartphone the next day.”

2. Copy Me That

Copy Me That.
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Copy Me That is a recipe manager app that allows you to save and organize recipes from various sources such as websites, blogs, and social media platforms. With the app, you can easily copy and paste recipes into your account and edit them to your liking. You can also use the meal planner feature to schedule meals for the week, create shopping lists based on the ingredients required for the recipes you saved, and share recipes with others. One emphasized that the app, “Cut the long-winded blog post about the leaves changing color and how the author’s nana had a one-eyed cat named Buster….”

3. Justwatch

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JustWatch is a mobile app that helps you find where to stream movies and TV shows online. With the app, you can search for a specific title and see which streaming services are currently offering it, such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video. You can also browse popular titles by genre, see what’s new, and get recommendations based on your viewing history. JustWatch supports over 85 streaming services in the United States, including both paid and free options.

4. Google Translate

Google Translate.
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Google Translate is a free online language translation service provided by Google. It allows users to translate text, speech, images, and even websites from one language to another. The service supports over 100 languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, French, and German. One user added, “You can open Google Lens, photograph a label/menu, etc. and it will translate it for you.”

5. YouTube

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Multiple respondents agreed that YouTube was an amazing free app. One reported that “It’s amazing how much I’ve learned from YouTube. I’m a 37-year-old woman, who up until about 5 years I would have hired someone to do the work and thrown out the broken to buy new. I’m so thankful for YouTube. I’ve saved thousands of dollars over the past few years. I’ve saved over a couple thousand just this year.”

6. Whatsapp

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WhatsApp lets you send messages, make voice and video calls, and share media with contacts around the world. One wrote, “I’ve got grandkids on a different continent, being able to video chat weekly is amazing. Just sit and watch them do nothing, but grandma’s there and they can tell me about their TV show or show me the puzzle they finished. Sometimes it’s not what you talk about it’s that you’re simply there, and free video calls let me be there for more than just the milestone moments.”

7. Myfitnesspal

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MyFitnessPal is a mobile app that helps you track your daily calorie intake and exercise routines. With the app, you can set your fitness goals, log your meals and snacks, track your progress over time, and check out fitness tips. MyFitnessPal has a large database of foods and drinks, which makes it easy to log your meals and get accurate calorie counts. You can also connect the app to other fitness apps and devices, such as Fitbit and Apple Health, to get a more comprehensive view of your health and fitness data. One user commented, “Myfitnesspal’s free version has helped me tremendously.”

8. Waze

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Wave is a a community-based navigation app that provides real-time traffic updates, road hazards, and police alerts. One user reported, “It’s [Waze] a GPS App where people can report speed radars, traffic jams, and accidents that other drivers are then warned about. It also displays how fast you’re going and whether that’s over the speed limit. I prefer it over Google Maps for navigation.”

9. Duolingo

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Duolingo is a language learning app that offers fun and interactive lessons in over 30 languages. Though it won’t teach to fluency from scratch and you will need other outside references to supplement it, it teaches an impressive amount of grammar and vocabulary and provides a lot of practice for something that doesn’t charge any money (unless you want the super subscription, but it’s not necessary). 

One user said, “I have taken high school Spanish and college Spanish and I use Duolingo now to help me keep up to date on what I learned. It’s really helped me brush up on and improve my Spanish knowledge. It’s not perfect but is very good for something that’s free.”

11. Adobe Scan

Adobe Scan.
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Adobe Scan is a mobile scanning app that allows you to capture and save documents, receipts, business cards, and other paper documents as digital files. With the app, you can use your smartphone camera to scan the document, and the app will automatically crop and adjust the image to make it look like a professional scan. You can also edit the scanned document, such as adjusting the brightness and contrast, and save it as a PDF file.

12. Canva

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Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create a wide range of visual content, including social media graphics, presentations, posters, flyers, and more. With Canva, you can choose from a variety of templates, images, and fonts to create your designs, or you can start from scratch and customize your own. Canva also offers a range of tools and features, such as photo editing, color palettes, and collaboration options, to make designing easy and efficient. 

13. Spotify

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Spotify offers a free version of its music streaming service. The free app gives you access to millions of songs, playlists, and podcasts on demand. Create playlists and discover new music through personalized recommendations.

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