Live Appy, i.e. digitally happy and/or apps-enabled

Michael Photo August 3, 2019

The phone is something we cannot live without. And here are some of the apps that are indispensable, or at least you should try…

metroSmartRide: map of gas prices

The map of gas prices that comes right out of the metroSmartRide app, powered by Metro by T-Mobile. In my neighborhood there’s an almost $1/gallon difference between the best deals and the worst, as of July 2019
  • Instead of googling each single time for the best gas prices around where I am/drive to, this built-in feature in the car-tracking app, powered in my case by Metro by T-Mobile, is a must-have. I used to crave for an app that does just this.
  • Of course, the app’s main feature is to track your vehicle 24/7, with a device plugged in under the steering wheel. I got it because we don’t have a parking garage and parking our car almost daily around the neighborhood can get on our nerves just to keep track of the latest location. (Yeah, we could text each other back and forth.) This is the best $10/month I’d ever want to pay!
  • Ask your own phone carrier for its own version.

Meitu: the automatic photo beautifier

The before-and-after collage of my 14-month-old son’s magic treatment by the Meitu app, in literally a few seconds. On the left, he got a booboo over his eyebrow, see the clean version on the right.
  • Ladies and girls, you may hug this app to sleep every day.
  • Photoshop out any breakouts, moles, and eyesores that are more than remotely annoying, in just a couple of clicks.

Adobe Scan: scan and recognize text

An iPhone screenshot of Adobe Scan taking a picture of a NYC subway overhead poster ad, with an auto-generated box indicating the intended framing
  • Trying to take a photo of a photo (like a poster on a building)? This app makes it properly proportioned, unwarping the twists and messing of proper rectangular shapes.
  • In most cases, if the fonts in the picture are not cursory or too wildly artsy, you will get a decent text recognition after taking that photo.

Enlight Pixaloop ($): jazz up pictures with animation and cool effects

  • Adding smoke to an object under extreme heat or pressure (like this tennis ball above hit by Marin Cilic)
  • Making clouds in the sky crawl like in those fancy time-lapse videos
  • Adding movement to things like escalator or floating hair
  • A whole bunch of elements and effects to spicy up your mundane pictures: fireworks, flames, birds, butterflies, …
  • [I am just testing this app for a month (for $4)]