Every man needs his Mr. Miyagi, his Yoda, his Morpheus – someone to guide him through life, provide inspiration, and teach essential life lessons. In 2016, that almighty source of knowledge and encouragement is the smartphone app.
Your phone is your most useful sidekick. It keeps you connected to social media at all times. It helps you order cars and food. It keeps you entertained with music and games. It lets you save notes, pay friends, read news, navigate with maps, translate foreign languages, check email, surf the Web, make video calls, and that’s just scratching the surface.
The app market is flooded with millions of entries, and new ones debut all the time. How is a magnificent bastard supposed to keep track?
We’ve compiled a list of 10 apps every man should have on his mobile device, along with a useful companion app for each entry. You won’t find Facebook or Spotify or Venmo here – we’re omitting the apps you already know and love to feature the most useful applications that might have slipped under your radar.
A gentleman should know how to manage his money. Acorns helps users build wealth via ‘micro investing.’ Simply connect the cards and accounts you use to make purchases, and every time you buy something, Acorns automatically rounds the purchase up to the nearest dollar and invests the spare change. You can also set up recurring investments and boost your account with one-time investments. Every dollar invested is automatically diversified across 7,000 stocks and bonds to help improve your return while reducing risk.
Pair It With: Mint, an excellent all-purpose personal finance app that offers both up-close and big-picture insight into your money in real time.
What started as the world’s first whiskey recommendation app has expanded into rum, brandy, gin, tequila, and mezcal. Distiller offers personalised spirits recommendations based on your preferences. Users can read original reviews and expert tasting notes, save suggestions to a wishlist, and rate bottles to improve the app’s recommendations. Distiller’s Tasting Table, a panel of liquor experts, ensures that all the recommendations and ratings within the app are top notch.
SAS Survival Guide
For over twenty years, John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman’s SAS Survival Guide has been the definitive guide to surviving any situation, anywhere in the world. The companion app contains the full text of the book along with survival tip videos, photo galleries, a sun compass, survival checklists, a Morse Code signalling device, a comprehensive first aid guide, and more. Wiseman puts everything you need to know about life’s most challenging circumstances in your pocket.
Pair It With: iHandy Carpenter, a digital carpenter’s toolkit in the palm of your hand, because you never know when you’ll need a level.
Too much content, too little time. Pocket lets you store articles, videos, and webpages to be viewed later at your leisure. You can save directly from your browser or from apps like Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse, and Zite. Anything saved to Pocket is automatically accessible on your phone, tablet, and computer, and can be opened even if you don’t have an Internet connection.
Pair It With: Flipboard, an award-winning social magazine that helps you read, collect, and share content you care about.
Wunderlist is a simple to-do list and task manager app that helps you get stuff done. Use it to organise and share all your personal and professional lists, set due dates and reminders, and assign to-dos. Lists can be shared so you can work collaboratively with friends, family, and colleagues. Wunderlist is free and works seamlessly across all devices to keep your life in sync.
Pair It With: Workflow, an app that creates shortcuts for real life by stitching together tasks involving multiple steps or programs to automate things you do on your device.
How To Cook Everything
The name says it all. Based on a best-selling cookbook, How To Cook Everything by New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, the app boasts 2,000 recipes, 400 how-to illustrations, and a host of features that appeal to cooks on the go. It’s a must for the man who doesn’t know his way around the kitchen but wants to, and even more experienced chefs will appreciate the app’s extensive suite of guides, timers, shopping lists, and meal-planning ideas.
Pair It With: Weber’s On The Grill, a comprehensive guide to grilling that turns any man into a grill master.
All workout apps are not created equal, so how is a fitness junkie (or gym-rat-in-training) supposed to choose from the seemingly infinite number available? We’ll make it easy. For comprehensive, all-around training, Sworkit is top-of-the-line. Select the part of your body you want to work by choosing from over 20 pre-built workouts, or create your own personalised workout. The exercises cover strength, stretching, cardio, Pilates, and yoga, and can all be completed without any equipment.
Waking up easy is all about timing. Sleep Cycle is an intelligent alarm clock that uses your phone’s accelerometer to track your sleep patterns while you snooze. The alarm goes off when the app identifies the lightest sleep state – the optimal one in which to wake in order to feel adequately rested. You can also view detailed sleep statistics and sleep graphs for every night, and keep ‘sleep notes’ to see how factors like drinking coffee, eating too much, or having a stressful day affect your sleep quality.
Pair It With: Headspace, an accessible approach to meditation and mindfulness that trains your mind for a healthier, happier, calmer, and more enjoyable life.
Gilt provides insider access to top brands for men, women, kids, and home as well as local experiences, amazing getaways, and gourmet finds at up to 70% off retail. The app lets you take the Gilt experience on the go, so you’ll never miss out on an incredible sale. You can also use it to browse style guides and stay on top of what’s trending.
Pair It With: Slice, the ultimate companion for an online shopper, a free app that puts all your receipts in one place and notifies you of price drops, package delivery, and more.
Keep track of your dreams with an online bucket list you can access anywhere in the world. BucketListly lets you snap a photo, tag location, and share your achievements with your friends on social media in an instant. When you run into obstacles, start a discussion to get advice, tips, and tricks from the community. You can also collaborate with one another to achieve bigger life goals, or simply use the app as an endless source of bucket list inspiration from other users. It’s a powerful, elegant, and easy tool for managing your goals and sharing your life stories.
Pair It With: Habitify, a free tracker that motivates you to lead a more productive life and helps you build helpful habits and routines.