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Ting Staff Picks: Isabel’s top five

staffpicksToday’s apps are perfect for the data conscious.

I (Isabel) consistently use less than 400 MB of mobile data each month. To make this happen, I stay on Wi-Fi a lot, but I’m also careful about my app usage.

Read on to learn about five essential apps that help me out on the daily.

 


mapmywalk1Map My Walk

I mostly hate exercising, but if I’ve managed to tear myself away from Netflix long enough to put on some running shoes, then I’ll probably just go for a brisk walk to the wine store. To help me keep track of my walks, my app of choice is Map My Walk. With distance, pace, and even calories burned recorded at the end of every walk, the app has been a perfect cheerleader for me. Workouts are logged by week and I have the app send me an email with my weekly stats to keep the encouragement going. In the Routes section of the app, I can view where I’ve gone or check out routes of other users near me if I want a change of scenery. I always listen to music when I walk and I love that the app lets me access my iTunes playlists right from its interface.

One of my other favorite features in the app is the Voice Feedback which announces when I’ve reached a set distance. This means I don’t have to keep an eye on the app to know when it’s time to turn around and head home. It also runs beautifully in the background.

I use the app for the most basic functions—tracking and recording my walks—but it’s actually quite robust. You can track other types of workouts (the app simply turns off GPS if you’re going to do some weight training), log your food, take part in public challenges, or connect it to your other devices and gear. If you have friends using the app, you can compare notes and keep tabs on/encourage each other.

The last part of this app that I will be using the minute I get around to buying new running shoes is the Gear Tracker. This feature lets you know when it’s time to replace those running shoes so that you don’t end up injuring yourself with a pair of worn out shoes.

Map My Walk is available for Android and iOS.

Shazam

shazamI often find myself sitting in a restaurant or watching an ad and thinking “that song is great” but not knowing what it is. Shazam “listens” to the song for me and feeds my need for instant gratification with title, artist and a link to purchase it if I so please.

I found this app especially useful when I was living overseas and couldn’t even Google the lyrics of a song. There’s not much to say about Shazam and that’s because it does one thing and it does it well. Shazam is basically magic.

Shazam is available for Android and iOS.

Moovit

moovit_mainDespite the number of transit users in this city, finding a good transit app has been a real challenge for me. I’ve tried a few that were only meant for my local transit system and found them to be buggy or simply entirely unreliable when it was most important to actually get information—for instance at 2am on a January night.

So that’s the first thing I love about Moovit—it’s reliable. I can add specific bus or streetcar lines to my Favorites for easy access from the main screen. Moovit has a built in trip planner and lets me save and favorite well-traveled trips (also accessible from the main screen) without locking me into a social network I didn’t want to join (I’m looking at you Google Maps).

The app also lets me know about service alerts—of which there are many in my fair city. This is another app I like for doing what it does well and not much more. Moovit supports 400 cities worldwide so chances are it covers your local transit system as well.

Moovit is available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

wordpress

WordPress

Sometimes I blog, and when I do, I use WordPress.com. The WordPress app allows me to check stats or even start a new blog post if I get a flash of inspiration while on the run.

The single feature that makes this app a must-have for me though, is the ability to moderate and respond to comments on the go. I like to ensure that the tens of people reading my blog feel I’m paying attention to them in real time.

WordPress is available for Android and iOS.

iPeriod

This app will save your relationships, period. From logging symptoms to the alerts that let me know PMS is imminent, it just makes keeping track of it all so much easier. It only takes two cycles for the app to start making predictions including a list of my next 12 cycles. Of course, the more actual cycles that are logged, the more accurate the predictions get. The app also includes fertility information and helpful reminders to do monthly breast examinations.

iPeriod is available for iOS.


What are your essential apps? Let us know in the comments!

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