We thought it might be fun to share with you some TechSoup staff recommendations for apps beyond the usual suspects: Facebook, Google Maps, Twitter, YouTube, Gmail, Pandora, iTunes, and Google Play. This is the first of two installments on app recommendations from our TechSoup staff.

There are now literally hundreds of thousands of apps out there, but most of us use fewer than 10 smartphone apps on a daily basis at TechSoup even though most of us have dozens of apps on our smartphones.

Here are a few fun facts from Mobi Thinking about apps, which make smartphones and tablets… uh, smart.

  • 55% of American adults now have a smartphone
  • On average U.S. smartphone users have 41 apps downloaded to their devices
  • We spend 39 minutes using apps per day.
  • The most downloaded apps are games (33%)
  • The second most popular apps category are messaging apps
  • 90% of the apps that people use are free ones

Here’s the apps that TechSoup folks like:

Becky Wiegand, Interactive Events Producer

BeckyI have gobs of apps on my phone, but I doubt that I actually use more than 10 of them on a daily basis. Aside from the usual suspects mentioned above, here are some favorites that I use nearly daily for Android:

  • Apps Organizer for organizing my apps into categories
  • Documents To Go for Microsoft Office documents
  • Kid Mode - fun, educational games for kids eight and under. This app has stuff to distract my kids, without disabling some of the things I want to have still work.
  • MyFitnessPal is calorie counter app with a large food database. It also calculates calories burned by exercise.
  • PDF Viewer to look at PDF documents and also eBooks
  • ShopSavvy is a comparison shopping app that reads product barcodes so I can see if I’m getting the right price on things when I’m in a store. It also brings up other peoples' product reviews.
  • TuneInRadio is a free way to listen to music, sports and news from all over the earth. It carries over 70,000 radio stations and 2 million on-demand programs.



      BarbBarb Shaughnessy, Product Manager

      The work related apps that I use frequently on my tablet are:

      • Yammer - our work social media app where our staff shares information
      • Feedly that delivers the daily news to me from publications I like
      • LinkedIn that connects me with my professional network. It also has a newsfeed function
      • ReadyTalk for attending online meetings
      • WebEx online conferencing app
      • GoToMeeting is also an online conferencing app



        Rosette Nguyen, Communications Senior Manager and Tim Suttle, Director of IT Infrastructure

         Tim Suttle

        They both suggested Cozi - a planning app for grocery lists, their respective families' calendars, trip and camping packing lists, and household to-do lists.



        Julie Navejas

        Julie Navejas, Donor Program Coordinator 

        I use Pinterest, which is a “visual discovery tool” for finding interesting things to see and learn everyday. I also use Samsung Memo. It is a note taking app I use for organizing and managing information.






        Kevin Lo, Senior Program ManagerKevin Lo

        I use very few apps on a daily basis. Two networking related apps I use on Android are WifiExplorer, it’s a WiFi scanner. It’s nice to see which channels are not congested. I also like Ookla Speedtest which checks to see if I’m getting good connectivity.






        Glenn Hirsch, Manager of Internal Communications and Administration 

        Glenn Hirsch

        Just for fun, if you're an amateur astronomer (and who isn't?), I use the Sky & Telescope JupiterMoon app to locate Jupiter’s four largest moons and predict Great Red Spot crossings and moon transits and eclipses.



        Ross Braden

        Ross Braden – Senior Systems and Network Engineer

        I have a Nokia Windows 8 phone. I like Skymap. I use it with my kids for stargazing. It identifies all the constellations and celestial bodies. I also use the Lync app. It’s a communication and collaboration app. It lets you make audio and video calls, run online meetings, check my team’s presence status, and send instant messages.






        Karen Coppock

        Dr. Karen Coppock, VP of Strategy & Impact

        • What'sApp is a favorite for keeping in touch with my friends in Mexico,
        • I use Feedly for keeping up with news,
        • Yelp is for fun. It shows restaurant reviews,
        • I also access all of my online documents (including all OneNote notes) and pictures via the OneDrive app (formerly SkyDrive) - love it!







        This is just the first installment of app recommendations from our TechSoup staff. I hope you’ll be looking for the next one as well.

        Do you have some apps you can recommend? Please log in and tell us which ones you like.

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