Most of us couldn’t live without our smartphones now – and it’s nothing to do with talking to, or even texting, other people. Nope, smartphones are way smarter than that and these days I rely on mine to do everything from entertain me to call and pay for a taxi, find somewhere special for dinner or book in for a cheeky manicure on my lunchbreak. These are the apps I can't live without. If you have a favourite that's not on the list, make sure you share it in the comments!
1. Hailo: Not to sound overly dramatic or anything, but this has completely changed my life. I mean, probably not for the better - I take way too many cabs when I should just be walking already - but the ease and convenience of booking and paying for a taxi through Hailo means this is probably the app I use most. Although I have attempted to hop out of one or two cabs with a breezy “That’s on the card!”, just to realise that, actually, it isn’t – and I don’t even have any cash. To the nearest banklink, Jeeves…
2. WhatSalon: I used this recently to book a blowdry at a salon I’d never even heard of, but really liked (Pzazz in Powerscourt, Dubliners!). The process was quick and easy and hassle-free: you can browse by salon name or treatment, check out reviews and photos, and book a hair or beauty appointment - even for a specific stylist or technician - directly from your phone. You just pay a 10% deposit when you book – and to make it even sweeter for you, they’ve given me a €5 credit code for readers; when you install the app, just click on "wallet" and enter the code "fluffyblog5" for €5 credit.
3. Instagram: I’m still such a fan. Even if you don’t fancy sharing your own photos, Instagram is a mine of inspiration – I drool over everything from makeup and food to personal style and home décor. Some of my favourite Irish instagrammers are @thebeautyinbox , my buddy @rosemarymaccabe and @nadia_dailyself - and follow me @fluffyblog (where I might just be planning a giveaway or two…)
4. Zomato: OMG I love this app: there’s something so addictive about the foodie leaderboard, I’m determined to stay in Dublin’s top 20 (ok, I’m determined to make the top 10.) I use it to review restaurants as well as source restaurant information, check out photos, menus and prices, read other users reviews and compile my restaurant wish-list, with the bookmark feature. You can check it out through my sidebar – and no, they haven’t paid me to say nice things (though they do treat their community to some awesome foodie events).
5. MyFitnessPal: I have a love-hate relationship with this app, depending on how much I’m in the zone. Sometimes I love using it to track my physical activity and record absolutely everything I eat and drink. At other times, that sounds like my idea of hell so the app sits there, idle, taunting me when I spot it on my phone – which is why I’ve installed and de-installed it several times. Right now I’m back on track and using it to log my daily food and exercise – the free calorie counter is my favourite feature.
6. Hotel Tonight: We downloaded this app before a recent trip to London and used it to find and book the most amazing hotel – with a pool! – at a cut-price rate. It makes fast, easy and stress-free stuff of last minute booking and there are serious bargains to be had.
7. Snapchat: Well, obvs! Go follow me (fluffyblog!) or learn from my mistakes!
So those are my most-used apps and why (and no, nobody paid me to get a place on the list; these are my actual favourites). Now tell me yours and I'll be sure to check 'em out!