Whether you could murder or marry it, your smartphone is a part of your life. Some people are purely functional with the apps they have on their phone, whilst others have their screen packed with all kinds.
There are apps you can expect to find on everyone’s phone, such as:
- Messaging apps like WhatsApp
- Social media like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter
- Mobile banking for whoever your accounts are with
- Functional things like calendars and calculators
- Ride-hailing, taxi, and bus and train apps
These are the purely task-based things we’ve all come to expect from our smartphones. You can make things more fun and do stuff you never knew would change your life.
Everything on this list is available on the Google Play Store, and most have an Apple version, too. Our picks of fun and interesting apps are all free, and most have upgrades that’ll give you extra features on top of the basics.
Let’s look at nine quirky, fun, useful, and cool apps for your phone.
1. Google Sky Map
When did you last look up at the vastness of space? If you’ve ever spotted a bright star or a constellation you’ve forgotten the name of, you need Sky Map. You can set your location based on your address or give the app access to your GPS, then point your screen at the bit of the sky you’re curious about.
Avid stargazers and happy amateurs alike can get great use out of this app. You can even find the right direction to look when you know a meteor shower or comet is kicking around up there.
Download on Play Store.
2. Crowd City
You’re never too old to play games on your phone – promise. With so many strategy, battle, or gem collection games out there, Crowd City is a refreshing change. You start on a map with a group of people and direct them around whilst trying to sweep up other crowds of people to join you.
There’s a bit of skill and thought needed, but the learning curve is minimal. With no leader boards and games capped at two minutes apiece, it’s a fantastic way to pass the time without getting too involved.
One of the most annoying things in life has to be hearing a song and not being able to remember who sung it. You know the band, you can see them in your mind’s eye, you had their album on vinyl and cassette when you were 17, but the name escapes you. Reach for Shazam on your phone, let it listen to the song for a few seconds, and up pops the artist and title.
You can opt to buy the song from Apple Music or open it in your YouTube music app. What’s really handy is it stores a list of your Shazams so you can come back to a song whenever you need.
If you like listening to music on your phone, you’ve probably already got YouTube Music and Spotify. To delve deeper into new music and listen to tunes from a massive cross-section of genres, Bandcamp is what you need. You can browse by genre and location, and when you find something you like, you choose to support the artist financially.
Major artists don’t tend to use Bandcamp; you’re going to find indie talents like Californian harpist Mary Lattimore who you’d never discover anywhere else.
Writing an email or watching a documentary – sometimes the world throws words at us that we don’t understand. It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve spent at the University of Life; no one’s ever going to know all the words, so Dictionary.com’s app is the next best option.
You get a Word of the Day to stretch your vocabulary, and there’s a thesaurus mode for when that synonym just won’t arrive appear land.
6. Among Us!
You might have heard about Among Us; it’s taking the world by storm. It’s a social game that you can play with strangers or friends online. You’re a crew of six to ten people on a spaceship with some being imposters. Complete tasks and try to figure out who the imposter trying to kill everyone is.
It can take a little time, but it’s a fun way to pass some time. Get your friends and family involved, and you can play with voice communication, too.
Fancy a walk? Go on a stroll with a purpose and return to your days of secondary school orienteering. Geocaching is a global treasure hunt where people leave packages around your area for you to find. You record each one on your app and can even set out a cache yourself.
It’s great to make an afternoon bimble into more of an adventure and bringing kids and grandkids along will only add to the fun.
Everyone has a weather app on their phone; we are British after all! WhatTheForecast adds a little fun and humour into your daily check on the day’s outlook with funny and quirky commentary. You can choose the level of profanity in your updates, which helps if there are kids with access to your apps.
Along with your spiced-up weather forecasts, you can also check your local Air Quality Index, Moon Phases, and other useful measures.
Have you seen the videos doing the rounds on social media where your nephew becomes Hagrid? Reface is responsible for putting anyone’s face on to iconic movie images. You can become Pamela Anderson in her Baywatch days or turn your better half into Mr Bean – then you can discuss whether it’s an improvement.
When you pay for the premium version you can go high-tech and make your own GIFs with your face included too. You’ll have endless hours of fun with the family.