Published on May 26th, 2019 📆 | 4847 Views ⚑0
Best free software and apps that you must already be using
The internet comes with a great wealth of apps and software that are not only free but also good enough to actually help users out in getting the maximum amount of benefit out of their smartphone and/or computer and/or even both.
With the lot that is available right now, one could make the case that it is actually harder to get around the world of the internet without ever giving such apps and software a try.
We have written this guide to let you know more about all such apps that you must have in your digital arsenal no matter what platform you like.
The list of applications that we have put up will only have freshly curated apps and software so that we can highlight only current and top applications and/or tools for users who are not already making use of them (probably, not definitely).
In this guide, we will try to focus more on the apps that one would consider as hidden gems.
In other words, we will uncover them fully with this list.
Keep in mind that it is entirely possible that you might already have heard about these free programs and apps but it is not likely.
The reason why we say that is because we are looking to mention apps that a lot of people have not started to use yet (but should) we won’t mention household names such as iMovie and/or Gmail.
It doesn’t really matter what kind of a mobile or laptop user you are, we are confident that in this list of free software and apps you will find at least a couple of apps and programs that will prove very helpful for your online existence and even beyond if you really think about it.
Apart from that, perhaps we should also mention that each and every app on earth needs some kind of monetization method to keep its development schedule going.
That is why we have included those programs and apps that may have in-app purchases.
Of course, we have tried our level best to make sure we only pick those apps that offer a reasonable amount of functionality to users for free rather than the opposite.
So let’s get to it.
Free Mobile apps and software that you must get right now no matter who you are.
JustWatch (available for iOS and Android)
This is the free app that you need in your life to minimize the amount of time that you have to spend while searching for shows and movies to consume on platforms such as,
- HBO Now
- Amazon Prime Video
- Many more
JustWatch doesn’t just let you know everything about what and where shows and movies are going to stream.
This free app also alerts users to various kind of price drops that may come about on digital purchases and rentals.
Moreover, this app is also great for users who want to stay informed about all the new movie and show titles that may hit various major streaming platforms in the near future.
Libby (available for iOS and Android)
How many of you knew that it is now possible to access many thousands of audiobooks and ebooks right from one’s local library on the internet?
How many of you knew that you could do so without paying a single dollar?
Well, guess what?
You actually can.
The app that makes it all possible is Libby.
How does it do it?
Well, first this app guides users towards the current librarian picks.
This app also lists out the titles which are popular with various other readers of the app.
If that was not enough already then know that the Libby app also helps users to just browse around for their favorite books or items of interest.
Users have the option of sampling book titles and borrowing them with the help of a single tap.
This app also lets users read their favorite books right from inside the Libby app.
All of this makes Libby one of the top free apps that you should all be using by now.
Google Arts and Culture (available for iOS and Android)
This free app from Google (Google Arts & Culture) is probably one of the least known apps out there from Google.
However, that does not change the fact that this free app is one fine app.
Why do we say that?
We say that because it allows users to take in and read about some of the best museum and art exhibits all over the world.
You do not even have to leave your chair in order to take full advantage of this free application.
Apart from that, the Google Arts & Culture app also finds various different cultural events that may happen near you.
Additionally, it also identifies any and all exhibits or artworks that the user may have an interest in and also physically standing near to (or in front of).
We warn our readers beforehand hand that, for some, this app can prove itself as a serious time sink.
Of course, we mean that in a good way.
You know that the digital wellness game has truly taken off when you see the likes of Google and Apple themselves trying to get into it as well.
Both technology companies have started to encourage all people to take regular breaks from their smartphone devices.
However, our research shows that Forest is the best option.
It is far better than anything and everything that might come into iOS or Android as a built-in feature.
The reason why we like this application so much is because of the simplicity of its use.
Users basically have to grow trees in the real world and then move upwards from there to grow entire forests in the digital world as the app tries to wean them away from their smartphone addiction.
We are well aware of the fact that there are probably hundreds of budgeting and finance apps which are available for all sorts of smartphone devices now.
However, we feel that very few of such apps do as many things properly as Spendee does.
The layout is not only clean but also very intuitive and simple.
Because of that, it allows users to really dig into their patterns of spending money and budgeting goals.
Our research shows that the app is a high-quality and all-around package for people who want to stay at the top of their game when it comes to managing and spending their money better.
After reading not much about Otter Voice Notes we feel that there is a serious amount of magic happening under the hood of this free app, Otter Voice Notes.
What does this free app do?
Well, this best free app has the ability to listen to the user’s conversations and then transcribe the conversations.
And it does that in real time.
This free app is perfect for people who spend a lot of time attending meetings and giving interviews about which they might want to keep a record or something.
Our research shows that the app is uncannily accurate.
Moreover, each user gets to have a total of 600 minutes (around 10 hours) of free recording time every month.
This is the free app that you need in your life if you want to convert your phone from just a regular smartphone phone to a lean, mean and effective document scanning fast-working machine.
CamScanner helps you do that better than any other page scanner app available in any given app store.
We say that because we feel CamScanner is the best free app for page scanning in terms of the features that it offers and the quality of those features.
The app makes it easy for people to share stuff with other apps and has automatic cropping features.
It also comes with good optimization features.
Apart from that, the app comes with the ability to actually export their scanned items to PDF.
If that was not enough already then this free app also offers features such as annotation and passcode protection.
In other words, there is a ton of things that this free app can do for the user who trusts it and uses it.
Hour Blocks (available on the iOS platform)
This is the free app that we recommend to people who find themselves always struggling to keep to their schedule or rather keep their schedule under their control.
All of such folks should at least given Hour Blocks a good try before thinking about doing something else.
We feel that the idea behind Hour Blocks, though simple, is brilliant.
Essentially, users have to split their day up into various different hour blocks.
That where the app gets its name from.
This, according to this app, should help users simplify not only their calendar but also their to-do list which keeps on growing every single day.
Apps such as Hour Blocks help users to get a lot more done in the same amount of time that they have available each day.
Hour Blocks can also sync different events right across from the user’s calendar in iOS.
Snapseed is the one free app that we think a good number of our readers may have already heard of.
However, we still feel that there is a large chunk of both iOS and Android user base that is still not aware of the Snapseed app.
This app is feature-rich and competent.
Perhaps the best photo editing app available on either app stores.
This app allows users to make use of its different features to fix blemishes in their pictures.
There are also options for cropping and rotating pictures.
Users can also filter effects and add text.
Apart from that, they can do a ton of other stuff.
Unsplash (available on the iOS platform)
This free app is one of the few apps that has continued to impress everyone who has used it as a complete resource for downloading free images.
The best part about this free app is that users are free to do whatever they want with the images that they download via this app.
A vast majority of the images that are available on this app can act as perfect backdrops for anyone’s laptop and phone.
Some images provide users with sweeping mountain range views while others provide perfect shots of intimate corners of libraries.
There are also pictures of animals that look cute.
In other words, there is a ton of stuff to explore and use here.
Of course, the only problem is that Unsplash still has not managed to release an official Android app yet.
However, users have the option of making use of its app from the web.
To do that, click here.
Best free apps for desktop that all you folks must be using by now
Giphy Capture (available on the macOS platform and the web)
If you need to quickly make a GIF then you need the help of GIPHY Capture.
Our research shows that this is the free app that you need on your desktop machine to make the process of creating and sharing GIFS pretty much ridiculously easy.
The great thing about this free app is that it can capture and convert pretty much everything that may be running on the user’s macOS machine.
As for the web tool, we feel that it is slightly less advanced than the macOS version.
However, you should not face any problems in turning any of your online video clips or locally stored video file into a classic and working GIF animation.
There are a good number of customization options and controls that both macOS and web users can benefit from.
Canva, just like Giphy Capture, works well enough when used as a mobile app.
But that is not the only way you can make use of this app since it is also available on the web.
Our research shows that the web app is the best way to make use of Canva.
Fundamentally, this free app allows users to design pretty much anything and everything.
Do you need a logo? Go to Canva.
If you need a flyer or a poster then go to Canva.
We like Canva because it offers its services in a way that the user does not need to have any kind of technical expertise or know-how to make things.
At the same time, Canva makes sure that it does not take the approach of template-driven design which is frankly, dumb.
Users are free to produce cool-looking designs in a matter of minutes.
At the end of their session, they should feel like they are really the creator of their designs.
Our research shows that Krita can convincingly count itself as one of the most powerful and robust open-source software programs.
A groups of really passionate developers along with users themselves back Krita so that it is able to do what it is able to do.
Really, Krita does show us all that the world needs way more of such open source and collaborative applications.
So what is Krita?
Well, Krita is a digital painting application.
It allows users to create any type of graphical artwork right on their computer screen.
Now, we are aware that many users would simply not know where to start when it comes to designing anything.
For such users, Krita has a list of tutorial and help sections on its official website.
So go check it out.
You should not need too much proof to know that Pixlr X is the one photo editing app that has put a great many desktop applications to shame.
Pixlr X is an online tool that is absolutely free to use for any user.
Using the tool, users can,
- Resize images
- Straighten images
- Crop images
- Change the brightness of their images
- Change the color of their images
- Change contrast settings
- Clone certain parts of a given image
- Apply many instant image filters
- Add text
- Add borders
- Add shapes
- Touch up on all those blemishes
And do a ton of other stuff.
Our research shows that Pixlr X really is a pretty comprehensive image editor.
One of the most frustrating experiences that a user can have on his/her machine is when he/she tries to open up a file and it does not open.
While there is no way to make sure that does not happen to you ever again, you can definitely take steps to minimize your chances of ever having that experience.
And you should start by installing this free program called The Unarchiver.
It is available on the Mac platform.
Our research shows that this free program has the ability to deal with pretty much any and all archive format that the user can throw at it.
It can handle anything from ISO to ZIP files.
Most of all, it does all of that without ever bothering you.
If you want to make sure your computer is not able to lock you out of your files ever again then make sure you have The Unarchiver on your machine.
While we are on the subject of free archive managers, another one that we like for desktop operating systems is 7-Zip.
It is the most competent archive manager for the Windows.
If we took the time out and listed all the archive formats that 7-Zip can handle then it would take a very long time.
All you need to know is that the list is not only comprehensive but also long.
Users are free to make use of 7-Zip to pack up various different files in known formats such as TAR and ZIP.
Moreover, users can also extract those file if they want to work from the other end.
7-Zip comes with the ability to integrate pretty tightly with Windows File Explorer if that is something you want.
Everyone’s not-so-favorite Windows Movie Maker had a sad demise.
Since it went away (probably forever) Windows users never got the alternative that they deserved.
For all its faults, Windows Movie Maker was user-friendly, free and simple video editing program that helped users finish up on their home projects.
However, now there is an option for such users.
That option is Shotcut.
And open source program that tries to answer that call by bringing in a ton of useful and effective video editing features.
It also offers users a traditional timeline view.
Last time we checked, the Shotcut application supported a good number of video formats.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Shotcut from a compatibility point of view is that it has a macOS version.
We have little doubt that the best utilities or programs are those which are able to patch up all the gaps that Apple or Microsoft regularly leave for one reason or another.
That is the precise reason why Amphetamine is one this list.
The application itself is incredibly useful and simple.
It is the ultimate tool to have on your MacBook machine.
So what does it do?
Well, it basically keeps the user’s MacBook alive when the user shuts the lid.
All that the user has to do is to make sure the machine has a connection to the mains power.
So why would anyone want to use such an app?
Well, this is the app that you will need if you are trying to output video to your external monitor.
Zohair is currently a content crafter at Digitalmunition and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.