5 Great New Apps For Your Phone

The App Store can feel like an overgrown jungle sometimes; every day, it seems like there are a hundred new apps to filter through. While you want to check them out, it's hard to know what's worth your while (and your precious home screen space). Refinery29 is here to help. Each week, we're going to highlight the five best new apps, on any major mobile platform.

This week, we've got a wide variety of options. There's a new app for making your solo travels more social, and a way to sort through the thousands of photos on your phone so you can delete duplicates and lousy images. We've also got a fun game that will text your knowledge of your squad.

Click through for our picks — you could find your new favorite.
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Photo: Courtesy Livetext.
Yahoo Livetext
Texting is convenient, but video chatting is far more personal. Yahoo’s Livetext (free on iOS and Android) blends those two ideas: It’s a video-chatting app with no sound. Instead of talking, you communicate by typing out messages. It’s an interesting idea, although a little awkward in execution. After you sign up with your phone number, you can chat with friends, but if you’re both typing things out, you may end up with a good shot of that person’s nostrils. Still, it’s a great way to connect more closely with a friend or loved one, particularly in a situation where making a phone call or blasting audio would be inappropriate.
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Photo: Courtesy Gallery Doctor.
Gallery Doctor
We’ve seen — and covered — tons of apps that claim to free you of the thousand-image-deep mess of your Camera Roll. But, none of them actually fix the issue: The plethora of reject shots from all the moments you don’t care to save. Gallery Doctor (free on iOS and Android) scans your camera’s photo library for images that are duplicates, blurry, or have bad lighting; then, it gives you a chance to review and delete them. You can browse through and check the app’s handiwork first (it will tell you why the photo was selected, with a reason like “Bad Photos” or “Similar Photos”), or just batch-delete what it found. We recommend going through what it finds by hand, at least at first, just to make sure the app’s idea of “bad” isn’t just every photo at a dimly lit dive.
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Photo: Courtesy Ruby.
Ruby (free on iOS) isn’t just a period tracker: It’s a source for all things sex- and body-related. A big part of that is the app’s community, where you can chat with other users about topics that might be too awkward for brunch conversation. The app also offers a wealth of information about reproductive health and birth control. Designed specifically for those of us who would like to not get pregnant each month, it will eventually use the data you input to offer helpful notifications, such as a reminder to grab some painkillers at the drugstore a few days before cramps set in.
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Photo: Courtesy Know Your Crew.
Know Your Crew
You can bet T-Swift knows the ins and outs of her trusty squad — or does she? With an app like Know Your Crew (free on iOS), you can find out exactly how well you and your BFFs know one another. The game is a mix of a personality quiz, truth or dare, and Apples to Apples. Invite at least two friends to play, spin the question wheel, and then answer questions about one another or write your own. Then, you guess who said what and earn points for correct answers. It could be a great way to kill time on a group road trip, a way to reconnect with old college buds, or some slumber-party-style silliness for a bachelorette.
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Photo: Courtesy Tripr.
Just because you’re traveling solo doesn’t mean you need to be solo the whole time. Use Tripr (free on iOS and Android) to find friends, acquaintances, and brand new besties who are also traveling or are located where you’re headed. You can chat with other like-minded folks about the best places to visit, dine, and imbibe during your business trip cross-country, or find someone to grab a bite with in a pub while you backpack through Europe. The app is especially useful for big events like music festivals — you can see who else you know will also be attending.

Read on for last week's best new apps.
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Photo: Courtesy StyleBee.
You can get food delivered to your doorstep on demand, Amazon products shipped magically fast… why not on demand beauty? StyleBee (free on iOS) lets you book hair, makeup, massage, and other services, and the style professional heads to your home, rather than you needing to make a run for the salon. Each appointment costs roughly $50, plus tip — certainly not bad for a 30 to 45 minute massage session. Right now, StyleBee is available in San Francisco and LA, but it’ll be heading to more markets this fall.
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Photo: Courtesy Zola.
Wedding in your future? Forget about limiting your bridal registry to Target or Williams Sonoma. Choose all the things, from all the brands you love, that you want gracing your happily wedded hearth using the Zola iPad app. Zola offers products from over 200 brands. When someone purchases an item from the registry, you’re notified right away and can have it shipped immediately, or later. You can also create funds that friends and family can contribute cash towards, like your honeymoon or a home downpayment. The app design is gorgeous, similar to Pinterest or other shopping apps, and makes the whole wedding registry process elegant and simple.
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Photo: Courtesy Microsoft.
If email were more chat-like, maybe it wouldn’t be such a burden to our office productivity levels. Microsoft’s new email app Send (free on iOS, coming soon to Android and Windows Phone) tries to do just that. Designed for use with Office 365 business and school email accounts, Send offers an instant messaging-like experience through email. It’s especially useful for scheduling, and rescheduling, meetings with coworkers, or shooting over an important last minute message. It’s good for the sort of thing you might normally do over text…except you may not have that coworker’s cell number.
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Photo: Courtesy Flyp.
It’s 2015. You don’t have a landline at home anymore, and your phone is with you all the time — home, the office, the bar. But, while it’s convenient to just have one phone to deal with, you may not necessary want phone number for every scenario. Flyp (iOS and Android) gives you access to multiple phone numbers on a single device. You can get one extra number for free, with unlimited texts and inbound calls, and can pay $3 a month for up to five premium numbers with unlimited texting and 500 outbound minutes a month. Why is this useful? It segregates your work, personal, and dating life, for example. Instead of surrendering your personal number to your latest Tinder Match, you can give them your Flyp number. And if they start sending paranoid text message bombs and unsolicited sexts, you can just stop using that number and not have to deal.
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Photo: Courtesy YouTube.
We hardly ever use the actual YouTube app, but with its latest redesign, that might just change. YouTube (free on iOS and Android) is now far better designed for mobile — including letting you watch vertical video in fullscreen. It was so annoying having those big black bars on either side of the screen before. The app also makes it easier to discover new videos you’d like based on what you’ve watched in the past (yes, send us all the kitten videos!) and neatly organizes your subscriptions and playlists. The app also makes it easier to upload and edit footage, letting you crop videos, add music, add filters, and more, right from the app.

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Photo: Courtesy Zipdrug.
If you hate dragging yourself to the pharmacy to pick up your birth control pills (or any other prescription), you’re not alone. And now, as the saying goes, there’s an app for that. Zipdrug (free on iOS) is an on-demand prescription drug delivery service. Right now, it’s only available in New York City and operates between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., charging $10 on top of your prescription cost. The app handles your order and picks up from your pharmacy of choice. It sometimes offers discounts, and it handles all the payment details. While Zipdrug caters to our personal laziness, it could also be extraordinarily useful for people with mobility issues, for whom getting to the pharmacy is a regular challenge. Note that the app cannot deliver some controlled substances, such as narcotics and ADHD and seizure meds.
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Photo: Courtesy Misfit.
Misfit Flash Link
There are pros and cons to every activity tracker. Does it look good? Is it accurate? Do I really want to know how few calories I burn each day? With a new app, Misfit is making its $30, disc-shaped Flash activity monitor more useful than your average step counter. With Link (free on iOS), you can use the device as a remote shutter for your iPhone’s camera, to discreetly advance slides when you’re making a presentation, or to control music remotely. The app also integrates with IFTTT, so more functionality could come in the near future (we imagine it could be used to control connected items in your home, such as a Nest thermostat or Hue lightbulb — or maybe even to automatically post photos to Instagram or Tumblr). If you’re not interested in activity tracking, but like the idea of a connected button like this, you can grab the Flash Link hardware for $20.
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Photo: Courtesy HER.
Most dating apps out there are designed by men. And while they aim at getting female users on board, they’re also invested in matching up men to those female users. This isn’t helpful for women who are interested in other women. HER (free on iOS) is a social network and dating app that caters specifically to lesbian, queer, and bisexual women — and it’s built by lesbians, so they actually know what you’re looking for. HER offers features like verified accounts (so you know the person you’re chatting with is legit), a timeline for sharing comments and photos, and a community with shareable links and articles on lesbian news and culture.
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Photo: Courtesy Brickshots.
Here’s an interesting app for creating and learning how to build an eye-catching piece of art for your home: Brickshots. With Brickshots (free on iOS), you upload a photo and choose a color scheme, and it shows you how to build that portrait…using LEGOs. (We don’t know about you, but we love LEGOs, and maybe there’s still a box or two at our parents’ house). The result is a colorful, Pop Art-style graphic that would make Andy Warhol proud. Some people are using the app to make fun portraits of their pets, but the effect could be equally appealing if you used a picture of a celebrity or even a photo of the Eiffel Tower or Golden Gate Bridge.
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Photo: Courtesy Blue Apron.
Blue Apron
If you find it difficult to plan for delicious, home-cooked meals — you know, finding a worthwhile recipe and remembering to grab all the ingredients at the grocery store — Blue Apron is your solution. And it now has its own iOS app, to make things even easier. Blue Apron serves up 10 recipes each week (based on what’s in season) that are all designed to be made in 35 minutes or less. You choose what recipes you want to prepare, and the service delivers all the pre-portioned ingredients to your doorstep, in a refrigerated box (handy if you’re at work when the delivery arrives). With the app, you can customize orders and favorite recipes — and use it for step-by-step directions. Blue Apron delivers nationwide.

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Photo: Courtesy ChefsFeed.
The problem with apps like Yelp is that the opinions of restaurant reviewers can be…questionable. Maybe they gave a one-star rating to a spot because they had to wait five minutes to be seated, or maybe they thought the cannoli was disgusting because they’d never had a cannoli before. ChefsFeed (free on iOS and Android) puts the idea of restaurant recommendations back into the hands of experts: The chefs making and creating dishes at the nation’s best eateries. Peer-recommended chefs post and suggest their favorite dishes from other restaurants (not their own), so you find cool gems you may never have heard of — and know what, exactly, is best on their menu. I discovered a delicious burger spot in my ‘hood using the app.
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Photo: Courtesy SayWhat.
You’re sitting on the subway, and the tweens talking next to you sound like they’re speaking another language. Is that really English? If you’re feeling a little out of touch with modern lingo, download SayWhat (free on iOS and Android). It’s like Vine meets Urban Dictionary, giving you examples of what certain turns of phrase mean with 10-second video explanations uploaded by its community. You can search for a specific term or browse recently uploaded ones and vote on your favorites. It also supports Spanish and Mandarin phrases, so you’re hip to the local lingo when you travel, too.
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Photo: Courtesy FaceOff.
Maybe you’re supposed to submit a photo to accompany your biography for a research paper, or you’re just looking to update your Twitter avatar. Whatever the case, you need to find your best-looking selfie. But which one? FaceOff (free on iOS) can help with that. It’s like Hot Or Not (does anyone else remember that site?), but only comparing your photos against your own photos. Other app users vote and tell you which of your selfies is the better image. It’s a great way to crowdsource opinions on your photos, especially if you think your friend or significant other is being a little overly kind in his or her judgment of your selfie options.
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Photo: Courtesy Skyler.
Shopaholics, this is the weather app for you. Instead of just illustrating the weather with pictures of clouds or GIFs of raindrops, Skyler (free on iOS) shows an image of what you could wear that day. Naturally, it also gives you the ability to buy these pieces if you feel so inspired. Right now the app is a little limited: It only shows you looks based on whether you select “Male” or “Female.” However, the minimalist, almost magazine-like interface — and the daily styles it provides — are both visually stunning. This may be the perfect weather app for R29 readers.
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Photo: Courtesy Disney.
Star Wars
ComicCon kicks off this week, and a new Star Wars film is set to launch this winter. If you want to stay on top of the news (and get access to loads of other Star Wars-related stuff), download the official Star Wars app (free on iOS and Android). The app does it all: It will notify you of major announcements like new trailers, let you take a selfie as various Star Wars characters, and it give you outer-space-themed weather forecasts. You can customize the app with “light side,” “dark side,” or “droid” themes and share GIFs of favorite moments. It’s also got a history section, where you can brush up on facts and trivia about the series. This app is really the ultimate guide for any Star Wars fan.

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Photo: Courtesy Apple.
Apple Music
You probably already use a streaming music service like Spotify, Rdio, or Pandora, but if you’re up to try something new, Apple Music is a bit different. Apple Music has just about everything you could ever want in a music app: the ability to listen to your own music and build your own playlists; timely, themed playlists curated by music experts; and a 24-hour radio station. You can get Apple Music by updating your iOS device to iOS 8.4 — it’ll be automatically installed with the update. Once it’s downloaded, you select what genres of music you’re interested in, along with some of your favorite artists. Then, it starts personalizing the experience for you. For many folks who’ve used it thus far, Apple Music nailed their musical tastes within the first few hours of listening (which is something Pandora hasn’t managed to do for us in how many years now?). It’s free for the first three months and $10 per month after that — it'll be available on Android this fall.
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Photo: Courtesy Readdle.
Scanner Pro 6
Thanks to their built-in cameras, smartphones can replace a lot of old gadgets that used to clutter up your home office, like a scanner (remember those?). Readdle's Scanner Pro 6 ($3) turns your iPhone or iPad into a portable scanner for scanning receipts, whiteboards, sticky notes, or any kind of paper document. You can then save images to your phone or to cloud services like Evernote, Google Drive, or OneDrive. Features like edge detection, shadow removing algorithms, and perspective correction ensure that even if your snap is a little off-kilter, the resulting image is super-readable. For digitizing the paper mess in your life, keeping track of expenses, or documenting important files, Scanner Pro 6 is hugely useful.
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Photo: Courtesy Birchbox.
Birchbox, the service that sends you a box of sample-sized beauty and grooming items each month, is now on Android. In the app, you can check out Birchbox's different products, read articles, check out how-to videos, and buy full-size versions of the sample items you love. The app also does shipping tracking, so you can know exactly when you're next Birchbox is going to arrive. If you love Birchbox — or if you're curious to try new products to shake up your beauty routine — this app is a must-have.
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Photo: Courtesy of Mobile Simplified.
Multi View
True iPad multitasking is arriving in iOS 9, but that won't land till the fall. Until then, you can't get real multitasking, but you can at least view multiple browser windows at the same time using Multi View ($1 on iPad). Multi View splits up your iPad screen into three browser pages you can individually navigate. So, if you're planning a vacation, you can pull up flight searching in one tab, car rentals in another, and a hotel finder in a third. Or, if you're watching a movie on TV, you could simultaneously read about the director and have Twitter and Facebook's mobile sites open in this app. There are multiple viewing modes to choose from (two pages of equal size, two pages where one takes up two-third of the screen, etc.), and you can even copy and paste text and images between windows. Neat!
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Photo: Courtesy Beet.
Imagine Snapchat Stories, but documenting your entire life. That's what Beet (free on iOS) hopes to be: An app that lets you chronicle your life through a montage of video moments. The app aims not to be a well-groomed storytelling mechanism though — you're supposed to use it to capture candid moments, to remember and share what life is really like, rather than its picture-perfect social media version. You can create stories yourself or with friends and family. It sounds like it could be a great way to document a big life event, like a marriage or a birth, or a way to capture your year so you can look back on it in the future.