Apps to recommend to friends

Not too long ago, I came across a photo app that would quickly scan your phone for duplicate images (why I can’t stop taking seven photos of the same thing, I do not know), and then prompt you to quickly choose which one to keep. It seemed like a genius tool for decluttering and cleaning up albums. But I could not for the life of me recall the name. So the other day, in an IG Story, I sent out a query. A few people suggested Flic, which seems handy: it’s like a Tinder—swipe left, swipe right—only for photo albums. But then someone had it: Gemini Photos.

Yes, this was the one! Screenshots of maps you never deleted, blurry selfies, and all of that random clutter—it will find it all and let you remove it in a satisfying single tap.

It got me to wondering, what apps do you think are hidden gems? I know we all love Waze for directions or our podcast app, but which are the ones that you bring up in conversations with your friends? As in, “Have you heard of it? It’s so brilliant! Such a lifehack!”

I’ll go first…

Splitwise. Before a recent trip with some girlfriends, we all downloaded this one: You can just keep a running tally of who paid for what and the app manages the balance.

If I paid for dinner, I could divvy it up specifically or just say “split five ways” and it adds it into the trip tally. One of us paid for the rental car, and rather than constantly venmo-ing back and forth, the rest of us just picked up the next couple of checks and at the end of the weekend we had almost organically squared everything away. Or it was just a one-time, IOU. It’s so great for traveling if you’re doing any bill splitting.

I also have some friends who just use it all the time. They never really settle up, but just add things to the tab and keep it more or less even.

I asked Aron which apps he uses that fit the bill and he mentioned:

iNaturalist. A “Citizen Scientist”-app where you can submit observations and get crowdsourced identifications at the same time as contributing to biodiversity records.

An interesting example recently? Hudson found what looked a little like a slug covered in pebbles by a creek in Tahoe. They used iNaturalist to learn that it was a Caddisfly larvae—the aquatic nymph of the insect crafts its cocoon from silk and then strengthens the protective covering with gravel, sand, twigs, plants, and other debris gathered from their freshwater home.

(Side note: A deeper dive and he found this fascinating art project wherein the French artist Hubert Duprat introduces beads, pearls, turquoise, and 18-karat gold pieces into their environment instead and lets them construct tiny gilded sculptures. Take a look.)

Strong also came up—a workout app which tracks things like how much you lifted last time. Can’t personally vouch for it, but it sounds good in theory.

For what it’s worth, I was expecting him to say TripIt, but these were much more interesting.

Which are your favorite apps? Which would you recommend to a friend?

P.S. Getting organized and getting out from under the burden of clutter.


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