17 Apps So Amazing R29ers Swear By 'Em

Here at R29, we use our phones for, oh, just about everything. Whether it's recording an important interview or checking the weather, we're pretty much always caught with phone in hand. It's not just the device we need, but a solid collection of apps that manage our lives. Some of them are genius, some help us play up our social-media game, and others are just downright weird. Ahead, the apps that R29ers swear by.
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Mine is VSCO Grid! It's a photo app that makes some of the best filters out there, has a super-easy intuitive editing system, and a library of great shots taken with the app that's inspired me to be a better Instagrammer. — Connie Wang, senior global editor
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Studio Design
My new obsession is Studio Design. It's like an easier, more accessible Photoshop for the iPhone, and I'm having a blast creating artsy little graphics. I'm by no means a graphic designer, but it's a fun tool that lets you do something a little more meaningful than passing another level in Candy Crush Saga. — Holly E. Thomas, D.C. editor
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GroupMe: It's the 2013 version of AOL group chats — really, what's not to love here? — Jada Wong, editorial contributor
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Keep those apps, along with your money and credit cards, safe and sound in this sleek OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet case. With two layers of protection against bumps and drops, a self-adhering screen cover that guards against scratches, and a cool drawer to hold all the essentials, it's the perfect on-the-go case for the iPhone 5/5s and Samsung GALAXY S4. OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet, $44.95, available at Otterbox
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"My favorite app is Dictionary.com. It's so expansive! The best part of this app, aside from the Word of the Day feature, is merely the accessibility: anything, anytime, anywhere. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!" — Amanda Savinon, photo assistant
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Susan Miller's Astrology Zone
"I first downloaded Susan Miller's Astrology Zone Premiere last year at the suggestion of another Susan, our V.P. of editorial operations. And, being the faithful astrology reader and Miller fan I am, I read it every single day. Usually on the way to work in the morning, during the brief blip of cell-phone service when the train is above ground. I have to admit, Astrology Zone is the best astrology app I've ever downloaded — because, yes, there have been a few — and I really enjoy reading Miller's thorough explanations of how the planets are "clanging and banging' about. On that note, October, please be kind!" — Gina Marinelli, assistant editor
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Dark Sky
"Dark Sky! It's a down-to-the-minute weather app (within the hour) that draws on all the state meteorological data in your area to tell you exactly when it's going to rain. In NYC, it's indispensable. It will tell you, 'rain for 7 minutes, then no rain for 20 minutes, then heavy rain.' Gives you the perfect amount of time to get to the subway if you forgot your umbrella. " — Kelly Bourdet, health and wellness editor
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Twenty Two
"I've been really into an app called Twenty Two. It was created by Robert Schwartzman (lead singer of Rooney and Michael Moskovitz in the Princess Diaries) as a way for fans and musicians to communicate via voice recordings. Basically, you leave 22-second recordings (hence the name 22) and hope the artist answers. I love how accessible it makes musicians. For example, you can request a song and Robert (or whomever you request) just might play it. Feels like you're actually able to engage with a musician you admire in a real and personal way." — Jennifer Tzeses, freelance editor
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For those moments when you're not technically supposed to be taking a picture, but you absolutely have to visually document what's going on. For the uninitiated, the app makes it look like someone is calling you, so that when you hit the screen and put the phone up to your ear, it starts continually snapping photos or video as you "talk" to the person on the phone. Great for impromptu celeb sightings, weird people doing weird things on the subway, or when there's a really amazing purse/shoe/outfit in a store that won't let you take photos." — Megan McIntyre, senior beauty editor
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"I'm obsessed with the shopping app Poshmark. I'm always trying to purge my closet (only sometimes successfully) and this app helps me get a little cash back for the things I know I'm never going to actually wear." — Katie Hintz-Zambrano, senior editor, West Coast
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"Because sometimes, you need to correct the lighting on your picture before you throw an Instagram filter on it. Seriously, my photo skills are subpar, but this app lets me fix exposure and lighting after the fact, and straighten and crop smarter, too." — Neha Gandhi, executive editor, features
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"Do you remember when you'd get your disposable camera developed and the pictures would come back with a streak of fluorescent red over your pretty high-school graduate face? Well, those "mess-ups" are now the cool new features you can add to your digi pics with the million other effects on this app. This is truly the prettiest (and easiest) photo app I've downloaded yet. Warning: You'll spend hours Afterlight-ing every Instagram picture you've got." — Sharon Yi, assistant managing editor
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Weather Pup
"It is a weather app that shows you the weather, as well as a cute picture of a puppy. You can even upload pictures of your own dog! It's also very accurate." — Marin Moore, support engineer
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"I know it's a little boring, but I love the Chase app. I still get a little thrill that I can pay bills from my phone." — Susan Kaplow, vice president, editorial operations
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Working on the web, I tend to virtual window-shop constantly (tough gig, I know!). And I'm addicted to the Keep It button on my browser for keeping track of all the stuff I really want. Rather than creating a gazillion bookmarks, Keep It organizes the stuff you like and let's you follow other trendsetters to find out what they're coveting, too. Now, it's just launched an iPhone app so I can take my wish list straight into the store with me. Hunting down that Zara bag just got a lot easier." — Lisa Dionisio, production editor
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"I'm not going to spend time whining about it, because everybody knows already that it is ridiculously expensive to live in NYC. (Twelve dollars for batteries?! Seven dollars for a box of tea?! Okay, now I'm really done whining.) If you, like me, seem to be missing the budgeting gene, you need to get this genius app. You link it to all of your checking/savings accounts, as well as any credit cards, and it gives you a leg up on categorizing your spending into a budget that you tailor to your own needs. The best part? It alerts you when you have bills coming up, which is one of those practical reminders that makes a huge difference in a busy working girl's life — one less thing to stress about!" — Tara Rasmus, assistant beauty editor
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"Everyone needs to get Tab. It's marketed as "the simple way to split a bill among friends" and I would like to dub it the simplest, coolest, easiest, awesomest, useful-est...you get the idea. It's so handy. Sure, sometimes splitting everything evenly is totally cool. But if you only came for dessert, or you didn't have a glass of wine with your meal, or you just want to make sure everything's fair, this app is for you. Snap a picture of your receipt, assign each itemized dish or drink to someone at the table — you can split shared items by assigning them to more than one person — select what percent tip you'd like to add, and BOOM! each person at the table is told how much he or she owes. Down to the cent. It's a smooth and fast way to make sure everyone is contributing what they owe. No more, no less. And no math. Seriously guys, download it." - Samantha Yu, editorial assistant
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"With a monthly subscription to Audible, I get one new book a month. I listen while on the subway, working out, falling asleep at night, even while my eyes get a break from staring at a computer screen all day. Unlimited SciFi stories without a single extra pound of baggage? Sign me up! " — Zooey Purdy, Innovation Engineer

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