It seems like hundreds of new smartphone apps pop up every day, but which ones should you bother trying? Here, TIME offers a look at five apps for iPhone, iPad and Android that stand out and are worth a shot.
Although Inbox is currently invitation only, Google’s client may finally be able to eliminate the pitfalls of most email apps. The nefarious search function of Apple’s default iOS client, for example, often yields the wrong results, or none at all; Inbox’s search algorithm is supposed to help circumnavigate the endless message trawling with which we’re all too familiar. But Inbox’s most understated function is also perhaps its most glorious: an email snooze alarm that reminds you to revisit an email you chose to put off.
Although record stores and mix tapes have long been a thing of the past, with the discontinuation of Apple’s iPod Classic and the popularity of Spotify, so perhaps is the easily-shared digital playlist. DROP recommends songs like Pandora, but also allows friends to tweet song recommendations and add them to your playlist. A Facebook wall for song recommendations, DROP can introduce you to new music and play the part of a dive bar jukebox at house parties.
DROP is available free in the App Store.
There are terabytes of YouTube videos dedicated to explaining how the stock market works to people who never took an econ class in college. But when Stock Investing for Dummies fails, Openfolio creates a network of investors to show its users how people are investing. It crowdsources information and helps keep potential investors from buying high and selling low. For the clueless, it’s like ten episodes of Mad Money; for the ruthless, it’s a way of gauging when to sell short.
Openfolio is available free in the App Store.
Slideshare has been a popular TED-like website for years, hosting informative videos and presentations on various topics for its 60 million monthly viewers. The app allows you to access the entire Slideshare database on your phone. And although some of the content can feel a little too unedited, what separates Slideshare from the dark side of YouTube is the series of professional channels you can follow, including the White House and NASA.
Slideshare is available free in the App Store.
For people who are used to using the desktop version of Photoshop, Pixelmator is a photo editor much friendlier to your mobile device than many of Adobe’s iPad offerings. The app (which can open and edit Photoshop files) carries a series of professional-level tools, links up with iCloud, and allows users to share their images to Facebook, Flickr, or Twitter. Pixelmator allows for an easy transition between desktop Adobe programs and mobile editing (and also happens to be a lot of fun to toy around with for hours).
Pixelmator is available for $4.99 for iPad in the App Store.