This is part two of TechSoup staff recommendations for mobile apps beyond the usual suspects: Facebook, Google Maps, Twitter, YouTube, Gmail, Pandora, iTunes, and Google Play. Find part one here.

With literally hundreds of thousands of apps out there to choose from, most of us here use fewer than 10 smartphone apps on a daily basis. Here are the apps that TechSoup folks like.

Wes Holing, Web Content Developer

I'm an Android guy and a photographer. Here are some of my favorites:

  • ES File Explorer - for browsing files on your device.
  • Camera ZOOM FX - photo enhancement app.
  • Evernote - note taking app that stores them in the cloud.
  • Lookout - a security app that can shutdown and locate a lost or stolen phone remotely.
  • PdaNet+ - shares the Internet on my phone with a PC, Mac or tablet. I can tether the phone via USB cable, Bluetooth, or WiFi. It requires that the app is on both devices I’m connecting. The free version interrupts your usage and requires you to turn it back on from time to time.
  • Photoshop Express - for photo editing on my phone. It is a free app and available on all the major phone and tablet platforms.
  • Skype - for instant messaging and also video calls.

Frank Babbitt, Director of Integrated Operations

  • Dashlane – is a free password manager on all platforms. It does many things. You can automatically import your passwords from any browser into your secure password vault. Make a new password from within your browser. Get automatic alerts when websites get breached. It also has an auto-login so you don’t have to type in any password. Just log in to Dashlane and it gets you in to everywhere else.
  •  Todoist – is a tasklist on all platforms. This free app integrates well with email and shares tasks with others. See more about it in Ginny Mies’ Five Task Manager Apps to Make Your Work Day Easier. She talks about other ones like GeeTeeDeeRemember the Milk, and Wunderlist. 
  • Cable Provider App – (like Comcast) – I use it to schedule DVR recordings at home from my phone when I find out about interesting shows.

Chris Wagner, Senior Director of Global Marketing

I’m all about transportation.

  • Muni Alerts – our local bus and train app for routes, schedules, and arrival predictions down to the second.
  • Uber – is an alternative taxi or ridesharing service. The app lets me request a ride and also pay for it with my phone.
  • Yelp – for restaurant and other reviews
  • Dictionary.com app – to always have the right word at hand. The app also has a voice-activated search.

Elijah van der Giessen, NetSquared Community Manager

  • Authy – for security. It is a ‘two-factor’ security app for authentication on things like banking sites that require two types of identification like an account number and a pin. It reduces the risk of online identity theft.
  • Duolingo – is a free language-learning app and website that is also a crowdsourced web translation service.Reeder – is an RSS reader or news aggregator that compiles information from several online sources into a single place. I pair it with a read-it-later service like Instapaper or Pocket. I like to have all my reading in this stripped down, ad-free, offline friendly format.

Patrick Duggan, Digital Marketing Manager

  • Google Drive – for storing everything online.
  • Forecast – is a beautiful weather app.
  • Good Reads – this is a social media for books app. It is for iOS or Android and is the world's largest online community for readers and book lovers to share recommendations.

Carlos Bergfeld, Product Content Manager


  • Circa – is the news aggregation app I use. Their team of journalists pull together a politics and technology news feed that condenses the essential information of the day and makes easy to look at on the small screen. It also allows you to follow particular stories of interest by getting updates.

Trigby Perea, Senior Director of Tech Ops Engineering

Fair warning. Trigby uses lots of apps.

  • ToodleDo – is a cross platform web-synched to-do list.
  • LastPass – is an awesome password manager with extensions for all browsers. It generates a different random password for every website and it remembers all of them (encrypted of course).
  • Mail+ – is an app that let's me get my work Outlook email on my phone in a fully featured way.
  • IFTTT – IFTTT is an acronym for ‘If This Then That’. It provides a way to automate simple tasks, such as sending a text when I leave the office or to receive a text before work when it's going to rain.
  • Fitocracy – is a daily exercise tracking app that connects you with a community of ‘fitocrats and also has fun interactive and game-like elements.Paprika – is the very best recipe tracker and shopping list tracker (but only on iOS platforms).
  •  Waze – is a free driving and navigation app that aggregates road conditions from other drivers who are close by. It alerts you to police speed traps, accidents, road hazards, and traffic jams in real-time.
  • FieldTrip – is a Google created app that identified points of interest while you walk/drive around. You can select channels, such as historic pictures or great new restaurants.  
  • CanIStream.It – Lets me look up any movie or TV show and find all the locations where it's available online. Includes Netflix, Hulu, Xfinity, Amazon and lots of others. 

Ron Marshall – Manager of Technical Operations

Ron uses around 10 apps daily including ones for email and banking.

  • BART Runner – is our local commuter train app. It lets you specify stops and it tells you your train schedule.
  • Todoist tasklist on all platforms. (Our Frank Babbitt likes it too).
  • Shazam – is an astonishing song and TV identifier. It can ‘listen’ to a song or TV show and tell you the name of it and information about it.
  • Meditation Helper – this is a customizable meditation timer.
  • Easy screenshot – captures whatever is on your phone’s screen so you can share it.
  • PagerDuty – is an alert service that our IT help desk department uses. Here’s how it works. A TechSoup employee calls our tech support line, and if nobody picks it up, the app calls a succession of people until someone fields the trouble ticket.
  • Overdrive media console – is an audio and ebook downloader and reader app which is especially useful for ebooks you get from the library.

Bill Tompkins – Product Implementation Manager

  • Duolingo – this is a free language-learning app and website that is also a crowdsourced web translation service. I’m learning French from it. (Eli van der Giessen also uses it)
  • Downcast is for downloading and listening to podcasts on your phone without the need to sync with iTunes.
  • Splash ID – is a password manager that auto logs in to password protected sites like banking.

Amir Shirani – Digital Marketing Specialist

  • Telegram – is a whatsapp type texting app for communicating with people in different countries.
  • Skitch – is an Evernote app for commenting and adding pictoral annotations to documents.
  • Economist Magazine – is that app I use to keep current on financial and world political news.
  • Tinder – is a new generation dating service that matches people who are most likely to be compatible based on geographical location, number of mutual friends, and common interests.
  • Sidecar – is an alternative taxi or ridesharing service (like Uber). The app lets you request a ride and also pay for it with your phone.

Will Tribke – Online Marketing Manager

  • Untapped – is a social networking app for beer drinkers that allows its users to find out about the microbrews they’re enjoying (or not enjoying), and sharing their views with other beer lovers.
  • Strava – is a biking maps app that tracks all your runs and rides, sets personal records, and encourages you in beating your friends' times.
  • Map My Hike – is an app that provides hiking maps. It includes a GPS for hiking, a pedometer, lists of hiking trails and maps, and a count of the hiking miles you’ve logged.

Do you have some favorite apps you’d like to add? Log in to tell us.