5 Great New Apps For Your Phone

Photographed by Jessica Nash.
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 an awesome variety of apps to satisfy your every mobile need. If email is the bane of your existence, Geronimo could solve your messaging woes. Other apps give you a retro way to filter your videos like a camcorder, or help you find and price your next big vacation.

Click through for our picks — you could find your new favorite.
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Photo: Courtesy Companion.
Walking alone in the wee hours of the night can be nerve-wracking and unsettling, whether it’s on your own block or trekking across town. Companion (free on iOS and Android) offers you a safety net. With it, you feel less alone, and should something like a mugging happen to you, you’ve got the authorities on dial. It works like this: Enter your destination address and select a few friends or family members to be your “companions.” Whether or not they have the app installed, they get sent a map of your progress. If you don’t make it to your destination, if your phone falls to the ground, if your headphones get yanked out, or if you start running, the app will check on you — and if you don’t reply in 15 seconds, it notifies your companions that something’s amiss. You can also dial 911 in about two taps in the app — slightly quicker than if you dialed the number yourself.
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Photo: Courtesy Geronimo.
Email is a perpetual pain in the ass, but it doesn’t have to be so bad. Geronimo (free on iOS) reimagines the way your inbox is organized and how you navigate it, making email management almost fun. Instead of a long, chronological list, emails are organized by day in a swipeable timeline. You can then virtually “toss” emails into one of the four corners of your screen, which either sends them to the trash, to the archive, to a folder, or to a to-do list. The app offers a lot of customization options, including how emails get organized, what gets filtered out, and how you differentiate read and unread messages. This may be our new favorite email app.
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Photo: Courtesy VHS Camcorder.
VHS Camcorder
We love filtering our photos for a vaguely nostalgic feel, but VHS Camcorder ($4 on iOS) takes that idea to a whole new level. This app filters your videos so it looks like they were shot on an ‘80s or ‘90s handheld camcorder — rather than an 8-megapixel smartphone camera. (Discerning app reviewers say it most closely mimics camcorders from the late ‘90s.) Use it to capture retro theme parties, throwback videos, or re-creations of childhood moments for your parents to “aww” at; the holidays are coming up sooner than you think. It’s not free, but it’s still cheaper than a frappuccino.
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Photo: Courtesy Hitlist.
One of the best things about being an adult: Being able to take a vacation whenever you want (well, as long as you already met that big project deadline). If you are thinking of venturing on a vacay after the summer heat has died down, check out Hitlist (free on iOS). You tell the app where you’re thinking of going: a breezy tropical beach or a trip to Europe on a budget. Then, it starts scanning fares to find you the best deals — and the best time to purchase those deals based on historic pricing patterns. It’s like a modern-day travel agent, offering you an easy way to browse different vacation possibilities, along with their associated costs. If your friends also start using the app, you can see where they’ve been before, or plan a trip together.
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Photo: Courtesy Picpal.
Why send selfies back and forth with your besties when you could see everyone’s gorgeous face at once? Picpal (free on iOS and Android) creates real-time photo collages with you and up to three friends. Whether you’re in the same room or across the country, the app lets you take a selfie at the exact same moment, and then frames the images all together. You lose the ability to take a hundred shots before sharing your mug, but you gain Snapchat-like spontaneity — and a really cute resulting image you can save and share.

Read on for the rest of this month's best new apps!
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Photo: Courtesy Whim.
Alright, so you’ve been matched up with your potential Prince/ss Charming in your dating app du jour, but now the two of you have to play a digital game of volleyball to figure out when and where you actually want to meet up. Whim (free on iOS) takes the hassle out of the actual meeting-up part: It sets up dates for you. Just tell the app when you’re free over the next week, and when you and a match both say “yes” to one another, the app suggests a potential date, time, and location that works for the two of you. From there, you can message the other person to confirm (and get to know each other a bit more). While anyone can download the app, the location recommendations are only available for Bay Area dwellers for now — support for LA and NYC are on the way, though.
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Photo: Tunnel Vision.
Tunnel Vision
Everyone uses Instagram’s filters, and even photo collages are commonplace on the photo-sharing network now. If you want new, wow-worthy effects for your images, try Tunnel Vision (free on Android). It uses layering and patterns to give a trippy zoom effect to your photos, which often end up hiding, revealing, or highlighting a particular aspect of the photo. Or, it just makes you feel like you’re zooming through time. Either way, it’s not your average photo filter. Right now, you can only import photos from your photo gallery to the app (you can’t take photos with the app itself), but that’s not too big of an annoyance.
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Photo: Courtesy GIPHY.
GIPHY already makes it easy to search for and share the perfect GIF for every occasion, but what if what you really want is to star in that GIF yourself? GIPHY CAM (free on iOS) lets you record your own GIFs, super easily. Just choose a filter, effect, or animation to enhance your video; then, press the shutter button and record. You can do a five-shot, burst-mode GIF if you tap the app’s on-screen shutter button, or hold down and record a video that loops. From there, you can share to social networks like Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook Messenger, or just keep it on your Camera Roll for later. Maybe your GIF will become a new meme; at the very least, it’ll certainly spice up your company’s Slack channel.
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Photo: Courtesy Emojiface.
Alright, so now you can make yourself into a GIF, but what about our favorite non-moving icons, emojis? Well, you can do that too. Emojiface (free on iOS) turns your stunning visage into an emoji — a huge range of emojis, in fact. Just snap a selfie, and the app uses it for different emoji faces and attitudes, such as your face as a bookworm, singing musical notes, or crying a waterfall of tears. It’s so much more expressive than just using those stock face emojis (although, at least now those come in different skin tones). You get around 100 emojis for free, and roughly 100 more are available via in-app purchases.
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Photo: Courtesy Knock Knock.
Knock Knock
When you meet someone new, skip the awkward dance of sharing your number, connecting on Facebook, and following one another on Twitter. Knock Knock (free on iOS) handles the intricacies for you, so you can share just the information you want, quickly. To connect with someone nearby, knock twice on your phone (really — like, with your hand). When your new friend does the same, you can exchange contact info: your phone number, email, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, etc. The app also shows whether you and your new contact have any mutual friends, and it lets you chat with friends and other Knock Knock users. This app is a lot like the old iPhone staple Bump, which Google acquired and shut down in early 2014.

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Photo: Courtesy MSTY.
The idea of musical messages isn’t new — you’ve heard of singing telegrams, right? MSTY (free on iOS and Android) takes that note into the 21st century. It’s a fun chatting app that lets you send a picture or video overlaid with a text message and put to a 30-second clip of music. Creating a message is easy: You just pick a song, customize the background, and type out your message (in whatever order you choose); then, send it to one or more friends. Thanks to partnerships with a handful of major music labels, MSTY has a curated library of thousands of songs — a mix of Top 40 radio hits, popular tracks from the past few years, and all-time favorites. You can choose a song for your message by browsing MSTY’s built-in playlists (such as its “Global Hot 30” or “Summer Grooves”) or by the mood you want to convey — whether it’s a celebration or an apology. Does your friend owe you for dinner last night? Send her Rihanna’s hit with some emoji dollar-and-cash signs and a question mark — way better than a boring-old Venmo notification.
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Photo: Courtesy Pocket Gems.
Demi Lovato: Path To Fame
This app is an obvious must for Lovatics, and a cute game even if you’re not. Demi Lovato: Path to Fame (free on iOS and Android) is an interactive story where you make sometimes-difficult choices that lead you on a path to stardom: an onstage spot alongside Lovato herself. You get to customize your own avatar (and those of your in-app friends), learn trivia and anecdotes from Demi’s life, and listen to her music while you play through the app’s multiple choice-questions and animated scenarios. If you liked Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, the general premise and game-play is pretty similar.
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Photo: Courtesy Robinhood.
And when you’re done pretending you’re the pal of a Hollywood starlet, you can get your adult on with Robinhood (free on iOS and Android). Robinhood lets you buy and sell stocks for free — no $10-per-trade fee like other stock-trading services require. You can build a “watch list” of the stocks you’re interested in following, view market information in real time, and make trades. Your personal and financial information is encrypted, and the app requires a PIN log-in before you can start trading (so you shouldn’t have to worry about your baby nephew accidentally dumping all your GOOG stock).
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Photo: Courtesy Bar Roulette.
Bar Roulette
You’re tired of hitting the same old haunts each weekend, but not sure what bar is worth your hard-earned cash. If you don’t mind leaving your fate up to chance, you can try Bar Roulette, which uses Uber and Yelp to take you and your friends to a random, highly rated bar. (FYI: This app is a little bit different — it’s a web app, rather than a mobile one, so to access it on your phone, you just head to the Bar Roulette website.) Once you sign into the app with Uber, you select a distance radius you’re willing to travel within, and the app secretly selects a bar and calls an Uber to take you there. Once you arrive at your destination, the app reveals the name of your bar, so there’s no confusion as to which spot on the block you should be heading to. (Don’t worry; the app also double-checks whether the bar is open or not first.) You can bookmark the web app in your browser or add the link to your homescreen — just tap the “share” button and then tap “add to homescreen.”

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Photo: Courtesy Dreamify.
Have you seen those trippy, warped images circling Facebook and the web lately? Those twisted graphics are what happens when a photo is run through Google's AI-based Deep Dream engine. Using Dreamify (free on Android) you can quickly take your own snapshots on a trip through the Deep Dream machine. The algorithm looks at an image, identifies portions that it recognizes (in this example, the cat's face might be the first thing identified) and then does it again. And again. Eventually, the resulting image is barely recognizable — and laughably bizarre.
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Photo: Courtesy Begroupd.
Group chats with your squad are often fraught with issues — particularly if you're all trying to come to a mutual decision. Begroupd (free on iOS) lets you ask your friends a question and then efficiently glean a solution through ratings, polls, RSVPs, or yes-or-no responses. You can use it to crowdsource shopping decisions, choose a location for this week's dinner date, or see what your crew thinks of that new Italian eatery down the block. Khloe Kardashian backs the app, so if you want to live like a Kardashian, well, now you're one step closer.
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Photo: Courtesy Numerous.
Remember back when data was something you only had to deal with in math class? Now, it seems there are all sorts of numbers you need to keep track of: your personal budget, your business expenses, your step count, the days until your next period. Numerous (free on Android) lets you check all those different, important numbers in your life — all in one place. It can pull data from a ton of different sources, such as Google Analytics, Google Calendar, Fitbit, Strava, Weather Underground, and Salesforce. Whether you're counting down until your vacation to Belize or want to keep tabs on page views for your personal blog, Numerous plugs it all in one easy-to-read app.
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Photo: Courtesy Triller.
You don't need big-budget camera equipment — or even any singing talent — to make your own music video. You can become your own Rebecca Black (remember her?) using Triller (free on iOS). Triller lets you pick a song, either from your library or from its collection of tunes, and then shoot a music video for it. The app lets you record and compare multiple takes for a shot, lets you add filters, and auto-edits so your work is kept to a minimum. It could certainly be a fun way to kill a rainy afternoon.
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Photo: Courtesy AnchorFree.
Privacy is an ever-increasing concern when it comes to social media. Sure, your drunk post about last night's jammin' karaoke session is funny now, but what if a future employer sees your weeknight habits as a no-go in two months? Kaboom (free on Android) fixes that potential problem by destroying your social media posts. You can share on email, Facebook, Twitter, SMS, or WhatsApp, and Kaboom will delete whatever you posted after a pre-set amount of time — an hour, a day, or a certain number of views. While this doesn't prevent someone from taking a screenshot of your antics, at least the history books won't have a record of your every online moment.
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Photo: Courtesy Snap+Style.
Snap+Style (free on iOS) puts a personal stylist at your fingertips — which is great news when you've got an important meeting and need some last-minute style suggestions from a pro. You can upload photos to the app, either of clothing you own or items from the app's catalog, and then let a personal stylist take a stab at concocting a look for you. If you've got questions or something's a little off, you can chat with the stylist, too. The app also shows off the latest trends and how-tos, so you stay on top of what's in.

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