Five Apps to Make Your Life Easier - Quicken Loans Zing BlogThe first iPhone debuted less than eight years ago.

Fast forward to today, and it’s hard to imagine a world without apps. They help us connect with friends and family, organize our appointments and keep us entertained and informed. These little programs for our smartphones and mobile devices are becoming a fixture in our increasingly digital lives. As technology progresses, apps are helping shape the way we interact with the world around us.

With millions of apps available in both the Apple App Store and on Google Play, it can be difficult cutting through the clutter and finding apps that are truly useful.

A year ago, we made a few recommendations for apps that we think make life easier. Since a year in the technology world is almost an eternity, here’s a look at some of the apps we’re particularly excited about in 2014.

LastPass/1Password

It won’t be too long until Internet passwords are replaced with alternatives that are much more secure. But in the meantime, creating, remembering and managing your bevvy of passwords can be a daunting task, especially if you’re creating unique and secure passwords for each and every website like you’re supposed to.

Password managers like LastPass and 1Password remove the hassle by storing all of your passwords in one location for easy access. Apps for iOS and Android interface with websites you browse from your phone and can automatically populate your username and password for sites you’ve added to your bank of passwords.

Stop wasting time entering passwords on your tiny keyboards and use LastPass or 1Password.

Wunderlist

There is nothing really new or novel about apps that create lists of tasks. In fact, iOS and Android have their own versions. But Wunderlist differentiates itself with functionality, simplicity and synchronization.

Creating reminders and tasks lists with Wunderlist is a snap, and those lists automatically synchronize to the cloud, which means they’re available on your device and on the web. While the basics of list creation are simple, there is also a surprising amount of detail and customization you can do to dig deeper. Add subtasks, set due dates and share your tasks with others on the platform.

Wunderlist is a simple, feature-packed organization app that could change the way you organize your time.

Wunderlist: iOS and Android

MyFitnessPal/Lose It

Technology is revolutionizing how we monitor our health, and phones are quickly becoming the hubs for all of that activity. If you’re serious about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you need to be using an app like MyFitnessPal or Lose It.

Both apps serve as high-tech calorie counters and health trackers that allow users to keep tabs on the food and drink they’re consuming. Each app will tailor a customized weight loss or weight maintenance plan based on your goals and stats and help you keep track of your progress throughout the journey. Both apps make it easy to enter nutritional information through databases that include tens of thousands of food items, including those from popular restaurants. There’s even a barcode scanner that you can use to send packaged food info right to your phone.

Maintaining a healthy weight can be hard enough for most of us. But MyFitnessPal and Lose It make it easier to make better choices and stay informed about what’s going into your body.

MyFitnessPal: iOS and Android

Lose It: iOS and Android

Acorns

Investing can be difficult. With so many different investment types available, it’s easy to get intimidated if you’re not a financial whiz. But everyone needs to save for future expenses like retirement and education, so what are you supposed to do? Download Acorns.

Acorns is the smartphone app that not only demystifies investing with simple portfolios, it actually makes investing money easy and automatic. Every time you make a purchase with a linked checking, savings or credit card account, Acorns rounds up the amount to the nearest dollar and invests the difference into a diversified portfolio. You can select a portfolio that’s right for your risk tolerance and goals, or just let Acorns do it for you.

Acorns helps you save money for the long term without even thinking about it. Whether you’re a serious investor or just a smartphone user looking to get in on the market, check out Acorns.

Acorns: iOS and Android (coming soon)

Uber/Lyft

Getting from place to place in a big city can be tough. In the digital age, standing at the street corner yelling and gesticulating at passing yellow cars will soon be a thing of the past.

Uber and Lyft work like taxis for the 21st century. Users can request rides to and from local destinations using their smartphones. Everything from fare quotes to payment is handled within the app. You just tell it where you are and where you want to go, and the app routes a local driver to your location. After your ride, the fare is charged to a linked form of payment like a credit card or PayPal account. No worrying about broken credit card readers or arguing about sketchy routes.

Uber and Lyft make it easy to travel from point A to point B in any major U.S. city. Download one or both the next time you find yourself in uncharted territory with a place to go.

Uber: iOS and Android

Lyft: iOS and Android

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