Maybe you’ve chosen to make 2014 the year you get serious about home security. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the terrific selection of home security gadgets and apps currently available; there’s something to fit every budget and every living situation, whether you own your home or you rent. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Ideally we would all like to live with the perfect roommate, but in reality this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes we wind up with roommates that don’t clean, don’t do the dishes, throw loud parties or are downright slobs. It can test some patience but here are a few apps that will help you keep your cool.
Venmo is a simple way to send money without dealing with cash. It’s OK if you and your roommates use different banks. With Venmo, you can send money regardless of your bank. All you need to do is download the free app and add your debit card information. Now when those utility bills come, you can send your roommate money with having to run to the ATM. You just type in their name, enter the amount and a little message and then send it off.
Let’s say your roommate owes you money, but you don’t want to ask for it. Venmo gives you the option to charge them. They’ll receive a notification reminding them that they owe you money.
When you’re bored and Facebook doesn’t entertain you anymore, you can check your Venmo newsfeed. When you pay someone, the message you post with it is published on a newsfeed that your friends can see. You can make them private, but they’re a pretty good laugh if you have friends that put funny messages.
Jeremy Moyers and Patrick Montenjano, founders of HomeSlice, must have loved talking to their roommates! They created an app that makes it possible to virtually never speak to your roommates.
Say you used the last of the paper towel, and it’s your roommate’s turn to buy some. Just go to your HomeSlice app and assign your roommate to buy it. Same goes for any bills or chores you have to divide up. It allows you and your roommates to avoid the confrontational conversations that come with divvying up responsibilities.
HomeSlice has a chore grid, a supply chart and a white board to help you communicate with your roommates. You can also post quick notes to the white board like, “I’m at the gym – I’ll clean the bathroom when I get home.” So go check out this app at the App Store to see all the cool features of HomeSlice.
So you go on Facebook on Monday and see that your friends went out this weekend, and you missed it.
This is the ultimate way to slyly stalk your friends’ lives. Instead of constantly asking what your friends are up to, simply check their calendars on your UpTo app and find out all the information you need. This may sound invasive, but don’t worry – you can make a calendar that’s private!
Your calendar is the most important, so it will be the first one you see on your app, but if you want to check out the calendars you follow, just tap the bottom layer and the other calendars will appear.
UpTo also has pre-made calendars that include upcoming concerts, professional sport events, bizarre holidays, album releases, world news and more. Once you download UpTo, you can sync it with any other calendar you may already have, including Google, Outlook and Facebook. UpTo is every calendar feature you’ll ever need, all bundled into one app!
You may have heard of Spotify before, but there’s a lot more to it than most people know. Spotify is known as a music program that is essentially Pandora, iTunes, 8tracks and SoundCloud all wrapped together. It’s the holy grail of music sources with free music, radio stations, recommendations and a feature that allows you to follow your friends’ playlists.
All these features are awesome, but the best part of Spotify is something that not too many people know about. Spotify offers the option to make collaborative playlists. You can make a playlist, then right-click it and select “collaborative.” Then, you copy the link and send it to the friends you want to collaborate with. So the next time you and your roommates are having a dinner party or a nice living room study session, you can all contribute to the playlist. No more fighting over who gets to play music. With Spotify, you can all deejay!
With roommates, there are always those absolutely crucial conversations about that cute lab partner you were paired with in class today and how much you can’t stand your landlord. For those quick messages, try using Voxer! It’s a free app for both iPhone and Android phones. It works as a walkie-talkie so you and your roommates can send quick voice memos to each other. The best part is that you never have to repeat yourself. Voxer allows you to play back any message you send or receive. Voxer is available on any device including your computer. You can make a group on Voxer so all the roommates can chat! It’s a great way to communicate quickly without texting.
So your roommate is “having a few friends over,” and you have to get up early tomorrow. Suddenly those “few friends” have a few drinks, and they sound like the circus in your living room. You don’t want to be the rude roommate who kicks everyone out, so what are you supposed to do? Try downloading SimplyNoise to avoid listening to their ruckus. AppCrawlr describes it as “The highest fidelity white, pink, and brown noise samples that have helped thousands of people from all age groups and professions block distractions, enhance privacy, aid sleep, soothe Tinnitus, and melt away stress.” It costs 99 cents and will keep you from being the annoying roommate who complains about noise.
Living with roommates isn’t always the easiest so check out these apps and let us know what you think. If you have any app suggestions- share them with us by leaving a comment below!