Five Apps That You May Not Have Heard Of…but Should Have

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There are thousands of apps available for both Android and Apple devices, but most of us have only a few that we use regularly (Facebook, Amazon, Instagram, etc.).

When looking at new apps, you’re likely to encounter some with numerous glitches — or worse.

Apps that Disappoint

Ads! Yep, ads in apps. What good is a Flashlight app that won’t turn off the light until you watch an ad?

“Free!”  An app that promises it’s free but they really mean “free trial.” Once you sign up and put in your credit card information, you’re stuck with monthly charges unless you can figure out how to cancel. And cancelling is never easy. (And where is the FTC on this?)

Apps you should know about

It shouldn’t be a chore to find apps that don’t disappoint, and don’t ambush you with ads or lock you into an autopay that’s impossible to cancel.

Here are a few helpful apps that you may not have heard of that are either free or have charges that are transparent.

Free Stuff alerts

There are lots of free stuff sites, which is the problem. There are too many sites to choose from and you may not grab the freebie in time. This site aggregates all the others and tells you when free stuff is posted in your area. Receive a notification each time your neighbor posts free stuff on Nextdoor, Letgo, OfferUp, and TrashNothing! Be the first to claim that freebie for you!

Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts is a podcast app for Apple phones. It offers suggestions to help you discover new podcasts and episodes and notifies you when there are new episodes of your favorites. Add your favorite podcasts to Pocket Casts and easily download or stream them when they are being broadcast. This top iPhone podcasts app has easy-to-use episode filters, backup features, and much more. One reviewer on Google says, “It is easy to import files from other apps with podcasts, It is visually appealing The play next feature is great, you just need to swipe. It is easier to group and favorite and download only your favorite shows!”


Are you worried about not accomplishing your tasks for today? Do you want to get rid of sticky notes, calendar reminders, and appointment cards? Todoist allows you to create any list, from shopping lists, to-do lists, groceries, and wish lists. You can schedule all your daily tasks, in a day, week, or month format. Whenever the activity comes close, the app will remind you. There’s an app for Android and Apple. Here is a review of how to use it.


The Lumosity app is designed by skilled neurologists to help you get smarter. Think: memory, processing speed, and problem-solving. Lumosity targets these cognitive skills and more. Work out with a fresh set of games each day to keep you challenged. Detailed progress tracking helps maintain your brain training habit. Lumosity knows that all brains are different, and the program adapts to your unique strengths and weaknesses. Here is more information.


Get paid for shopping at all your favorite stores. Sound too good to be true? Here’s the deal: Stores pay Rakuten a commission for sending you their way. They share that with you as Cash Back. The more you buy the more you make. You add the app to Chrome as an extension and then use to shop. Here are some tips on how to use it.

Senior Planet Guidance on Apps

Want to know more about Apps that might work for you in other areas?  Senior Planet has upcoming online programming on Translation Tools (Dec. 12), on Mindfulness Apps (Dec. 14), and Mobile Health Apps (Dec. 21).  Check your emails for these and other helpful classes and get your App on!

Erica Manfred’s articles and humorous essays have appeared in print and online publications including the Washington Post, Atlantic, Salon, Village Voice, and the New York Times.   A self proclaimed Geezer Geek, now in her seventies, she specializes in writing about aging.  She’s the author of four books, including her memoir,  I’m Old So Why Aren’t I Wise; Snarky Senior in the Sunshine State.   You can subscribe to her newsletter at or visit her website at

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