Our lives are becoming more and more dependent on technology and app developers are keeping us entralled with their new releases. New equipment and software are constantly being rolled out to make our lives easier and soon, it seems, there will literally be an app for everything! Even though we are not quite there yet, let’s have a look at the coolest apps we can be thankful for.
SnapScan allows users to link their credit cards to the app so that you can pay for goods and bills by simply scanning a QR code. This takes out the exasperating mission of carrying a crisp R100 note only for it to be replaced by thousands of besmirched brown coins, and then struggling to stash it all into your purse ASAP while the cashier calls for the next customer. It also helps you not having to scratch around for change when you’re shopping at markets that wouldn’t normally accept card payments or when paying for parking. The app has even been adopted by the City of Cape Town to allow motorists to pay for parking. Just shows even the City finds collecting coins annoying, so go forth and SnapScan!
Transport for Cape Town
This app combines all timetables, stations and stops for scheduled public transport services within the city. Users can also plan their trips accordingly should they want to use different modes of transport. This is useful as you can personalise your journey by working out alternative routes and times. The app is then able to estimate the cost of your journey, allowing you to plan ahead, which is great for student budgets. It includes special features such as interactive maps, service disruptions, delays, accidents and road closures too.
Referencing can be a tedious job but with EasyBib, you can format your list of references to make sure you don’t lose that 5% from your essay mark. All you have to do is type in the name of the book and the app will generate a few options for you to choose from, thus creating a correct citation. It has 7 000 different citation styles, a lot more than the number of excuses I can come up with for not referencing properly, including the most common ones such as MLA and APA. With the app, users can also simply take a picture of the book’s barcode and then let it generate the citation for you, which also makes assignments more interesting seeing as we are a generation obsessed with taking photos.
A cool app that helps you earn money by spending money, as if we didn’t need any more motivation for shopping! The digital couponing app makes use of an eWallet system where you can earn cash back for booking and purchasing items on offer. Once you’ve created your account, you can go through the list of items available on offer, book the ones you want and then snap your till slip to claim your cash back. You can then spend the money you have earned which can be automatically sent to your bank account. Yus!
Mr. D Food
Mr. D now has an app where you can place orders for food by browsing restaurant menus, selecting your choice and then paying for it, all within the app. You can even add in a tip for your deliveryman. Once your order has been placed, the app will give you updates on its progress, as well as how long it will take for it to get to you. This is a perfect solution because now you don’t have to phone in and speak to people, bleh, and risk them getting the order wrong because your anxiety doesn’t allow you to speak clearly enough or because they don’t take Zuma’s advice to “listen properly”. You can also keep track of your order as you *patiently* await its arrival by the window, tongue out, drooling.
An innovative way to keep track of the stock in your fridges and cupboards. The app manages shopping lists while synchronising them with all the smart phones and tablets in your home. This way, you can share your lists with other members of the household, or digs, so they’re all up to date on when the toilet paper is about to run out, and no one gets stuck in an unfortunate situation. Communal living, am I right? Another plus is that you can also save ingredient lists for your recipes, saving time when you have to think about whether you have the items to make dish.
Stop, Breathe and Think.
Student life, and life in general, can get pretty stressful. What with the tut hand ins, keeping up with lectures and getting through test week, we all need a bit of a breather. This app provides guided meditation with exercises and activities to ease stress and anxiety. Simply check in with how you’re feeling and then follow the different meditation techniques or activities, which range from yoga and acupuncture to breathing exercises. Each of these are suited to your mood so you can use them at any point in your day!
Try not to let your wallet get the best of you. Prism is a secure way of getting your income and bills in one place so that you can efficiently manage your money. All you have to do is download the app and choose all of your billers. The app will then sync your account balances and bills so that you can see what needs to be paid and when. The app also allows you to pay your bills directly which makes the task more efficient and painless, because who wants to spend hours toiling over how much of their hard earned money needs to go to Eskom?
Period Tracker: PMS and Ovulation Calendar.
Whether you’re trying to conceive or trying to avoid it, this app is super useful as it has a period calendar tracker that predicts your period, ovulation and fertility window. Like a personal assistant for your cycle, the app records anything from cycles, symptoms, moods, cervical mucus, intercourse, weight, temperature or pills you need to take. The app also syncs with Apple's HealthKit if you have an iPhone and want it to take your sleep schedule and general health into account, too. It has multiple languages to choose from and includes forums for questions and discussion.
Bonus: dating apps.
An array of dating apps are out there which offer us opportunities to find love without even trying. Tinder, Grindr, OK Cupid and Bumble all basically help users “meet” new and intriguing people by browsing their profiles or bios and then letting them know you’re interested by either swiping or liking them. Each app has their own way of permitting you to talk to your matches, encouraging you to meet up with them in real life. Dating apps have their pros and cons but in a world where everything is digital, I guess a love story based on algorithms doesn’t seem so far fetched anymore.