Commuters, Stay Sane During Your Next Ride With These 6 MUST HAVE Apps
The average human spends 52 minutes a day commuting, but most of us know that already high number can easily feel twice as long when you have nothing with which to occupy the time. Thankfully, there is no shortage of great time-killing apps available, but the best ones are those that will help you do something productive with your commute time, like brushing up on your French or memorizing every country in Europe. Some even come with offline capability, so you'll never find yourself stranded without entertainment as you're waiting underground for a subway transfer.
Here are the best apps for commuters looking to learn, read, listen, and play their way through their daily public transit odyssey.
Duolingo is the language learner's best friend. The app is a fun and fast way to study a new language or brush up on an old one through immersive game-like lessons, and its curriculum is surprisingly thorough. Currently, Duolingo supports 19 different languages and allows the user to set goals from five minutes of practice per day to 20. Continued practice allows you to unlock further lessons and getting to the next level becomes addictive. It is easily one of the most effective language-learning tools available, and the best part — it's totally free!
There's a good reason Spotify is considered the leader in streaming: its mobile apps are awesome. With a huge library of music, high-quality audio, and an endless database of personalized recommendations and new songs to discover, there's barely any need to clutter up your phone storage with MP3s anymore. The app itself is free, but a Premium subscription ($10/month) will allow you to listen without ads and download music for offline listening — a real lifesaver when you're stuck in a tunnel without service for 15 minutes.
SideChef (free) is arguably the most entertaining way to find something to cook for dinner on your way home. The cooking app has a database of over 2,500 curated recipes to browse through, complete with beautiful photography and clear step-by-step instructions. The app allows you to search and discover based on dietary or cuisine preferences and to save all your favorite recipes in collections in your digital "cookbook." The feature that really sets SideChef apart, though, is the professional instructional videos that accompany each recipe, so you can learn new culinary skills on the train and then implement them in your kitchen once you get home. Cooking never felt so accessible!
Reading the news while commuting is pretty much a time-honored tradition, although today most of that reading takes place on a mobile device. Pocket (free) streamlines that experience, allowing you to sift through the enormity of articles and videos on the internet and save only the content you're actually interested in consuming. Pocket will download content saved from any one of your connected devices (at quite a rapid speed, I might add) and allow you to pull it up to read later, even without any internet connection. It also allows you to save links within articles straight to your reading list and will download them as soon as you have service, so you'll never be stuck staring at a blank Safari page again.
Overcast (free) is the standard bearer for podcast apps. Its smooth interface and massive catalog of episodes make it incredibly user-friendly, and it has tons of recommendations to get you started if you've never really listened to podcasts before. This is an essential download for commuters as the app is basically geared towards us — new episodes of your favorite shows will automatically download to your phone and will disappear once you've listened to them, so you'll always have some entertainment ready and waiting for you once you step on the subway.
Available for iOS
Trivia isn't just a fun bar event; it also makes for great commute entertainment. Sporcle has been an internet destination for years thanks to its thousands of unique quizzes, and now they have an app ($3) that will let you guess your way through 20 minutes of travel time and maybe even learn some useful knowledge in the process. With thousands of trivia games available to download on every imaginable subject (including sports, movies, television, music, geography, and more), you won't exhaust the app's capabilities any time soon, and you can play both on and offline. New games are added every day!