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The Mass Media

Six iPhone Apps We Can’t Live Without

Its+not+surprising+The+History+Channel+named+smartphones+as+the+invention+that+has+most+revolutionized+our+lives
It’s not surprising The History Channel named smartphones as the invention that has most revolutionized our lives

If you’re anything like me, your precious iPhone is always attached to your hands. Whether I’m using the calculator app in my statistics course or playing Unblock Me fifteen minutes later, my iPhone is a constant in my life. Here are some of the best apps I’ve found to make everyday life much easier:

-Where’s My MBTA Bus?

Using public transit can be a tricky thing here in Boston, especially if you’re not from the area. With winter on its way, waiting outside for the next bus can be torture. Questions like, “When does the last bus leave the station?” “Is there a station around here?” and “When will the next bus pass by?” can be answered with this one app. Where’s My MBTA Bus? has an easy-to-use interface and large numbers for you to read and interpret. Step one is to choose whether you are going inbound or outbound. The next step is to choose which bus line you’re interested in taking. After that, the phone will pick up on where you are, register it into the app and show you the name of your bus stop. Tap the highlighted stop, and it will show you the number of minutes left for the next bus will arrive. Later times are also shown, just in case you miss the first one. An app like this is vital for commuters who take the bus every day to and from campus.

-NYTimes

Not everyone has enough free time to watch the news or read the paper. Between class time, homework, a part-time job and a social life, staying updated on current events is a distant thought. The New York Times app sends breaking news automatically to your phone and keeps you informed with little-to-no effort. Unfortunately, access is limited if interested in viewing other articles, and notifications only include top breaking news.

-Shazam

An app that expands your knowledge of music is always a good one to have. Hearing new music you like at the bar or mall, but having no idea who made it can be frustrating. With Shazam, all you have to do is tap the screen once the app is up and running, and hold the phone to a speaker which is playing music. There you’ll have it – title of the song, album name and artist. Shazam also gives you the option of buying the song you’ve just discovered via iTunes, finding out concert information, lyrics of the song and YouTube videos correlating to the song.

-MyFitnessPal

As a student, keeping track of what we eat can be a daunting task. Free food becomes a staple component in our diet, and calorie intake is thrown to the wind. MyFitnessPal makes it easy to keep track of what we eat and how much we exercise. Adding food to your diary is as simple as typing in what you ate into the 2,210,000-item database. Signing up also includes a support network, personalization to your weight goals and flexibility to access your food diary instantly anywhere there’s internet. This app is highly recommended for anyone who is working on their fitness.

-Instagram

For the photography enthusiasts, there is Instagram. This app gives everyday, plain and boring pictures taken with iPhones and Androids an extra kick. Your creativity can really shine through with this app. There are different filters to apply to the picture of your choice, and the social media aspect of it is also a bonus. Hashtags are a common sight with this app, allowing you to search for different images pertaining to the hashtag. Signing up and creating an account includes a username, password, display picture, and a short bio. Friends can be found easily by connecting Facebook or Twitter with your account.

-Yelp

Dining out can be such a nuisance. Which restaurant has “happy hour” specials? Where can we find takeout? Are there Thai places that deliver to campus? These questions and more arise while deciding on where to dine. Yelp has everything you’ll need when it comes to eating at restaurants. The “Nearby” option shows what restaurants, bars, drugstores and gas stations are within a certain mile radius of where you are. Reviews are given to each restaurant by Yelp users using a five star system with the option of writing about their experience. As a twenty-something-year-old in the city, Yelp is a go-to app when stomachs start growling.