The must-have apps of 2017 to keep you productive, entertained

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With more than a million apps in the app store and hundreds added every day, it can be hard to know which ones are worth your time and which ones are not.

41 Action News Anchor Christa Dubill put some you may have heard of to the test, and found out about some you might want to try.

 

HQ Trivia

This one seems fun. It's a live trivia game for real money. It happens at certain times. You download the app, enter your cell phone, approve notifications so you're alerted when the trivia game is to begin. TIME magazine said it's still early but that this might be the next big trend in interactive entertainment on our phones. We were excited to try this, but when we tried to play, the game didn't work because so many people were signed on to play.

The company tells us they are working through the kinks, "It's also worth noting that we're a startup company that is introducing something that has never been done before. Just like any startup, we're going to have some hiccups, and we appreciate everyone's patience as we continue to fix some of the issues that come along with 440k people playing live trivia, simultaneously."

We'll try again, for sure!

 

OverDrive

Also seeing a surge — apps for listening to things like podcasts, ebooks, and audiobooks. Use of the Kansas City Mid Continent Public Library's Overdrive app has skyrocketed. Check out audiobooks and ebooks right from your phone. It's free with a library card which you can also get online. Best part, no late fees. When time is up, the book disappears from your list.

 

Calm

Apple just came out with their favorite apps. One of them is Calm. It's a free meditation, relaxation app said to help with stress and anxiety. You can sign up for your top reasons for needing calm.

Notifications alert you to daily sessions or you can open when needed. It's free but some parts cost money. You have choices for your calming home screen of the app, like a mountain scene or a fireplace. There's a breathe bubble to help reduce anxiety. The app has daily sessions for things like anxiety, stress, focus, sleep, relationships, resilience, insight, inner peace, and more.

 

OfferUp

Buying and selling between regular people is big. Like eBay is for the world, OfferUp is for local neighborhoods and cities. The app OfferUp is a local sales platform, similar to Craigslist. But with this one you upload pictures straight from your phone into the app. Then anyone interested can contact you through the app.

 

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC

With so many people taking so many pictures, photo editing has come a long way on apps. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC is one of TIME's top apps. It's free, for the most part. There are parts of the app that do charge. It has as all kinds of impressive ways to edit photos. And helps you make adjustments beyond your phone's normal capabilities.

 

Google Photos

Now, for photo storage. A lot of people are starting to use Google Photos. Organize and store your pictures in one easy place that makes it easy to share the albums with others. It'll automatically sort by date and location, even face recognition. It's stored online so it's available from anywhere (as opposed to the folder on your desktop on a home computer). You'll get 15 gigabytes of storage for free. $2 a month will buy you 100 GB's of storage, $10 a month will buy you 1 TB, which could store hundreds of thousands of photos.

 

Shopping apps for deals and steals

Most stores are coming out with their own apps. Target just started letting you add your Target Red card to their app, which allows you to pay with your phone at registers. The Cartwheel deals are now part of the same app. This woman has saved $700 just using Cartwheel. The app has a lot on it so people have told us you have to explore it to familiarize yourself with everything it does.

 

Restaurant apps have seen a surge this year.

Order from your phone and skip lines for pick up.

Chipotle, Panera, Chick-fil-A, even McDonalds got in on the mobile ease. It takes a minute to set up but saves you time in the long run.

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