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The 5 best free apps to start using in 2016

Technology

The 5 best free apps to start using in 2016

There are a lot of terrific web tools and mobile apps available right now. You know that. But how do you sort out which ones are actually worth downloading or even looking at? The Daily Genius editors have cobbled together a relatively refined list of the 5 best free apps that we plan to start using in the new year.

The apps are for iOS, Android, OSX, Windows, Linux, web browsers like Chrome and Firefox, and more. So be sure to check out each one and see if it might be something that saves you time, money, or a headache. Check out f.lux for avoiding an eye strain-related headache, by the way. It’s a personal favorite used on all computers in the house.

f.lux

Do you suffer from digital eye strain? I mean your eyes hurt from looking at screens, not that your eyes are robotic. Even if you are a cyborg, you probably want to check out f.lux which is a simple desktop app that makes your computer’s screen hurt your eyes a lot less.

flux-twoscreens

Via Business Insider

It adjusts based on the time of day in your location. It knows when the sun has risen and when it’s about to go down. You can also enable movie-watching mode and other fun options. It’s free and worth seeing if it saves your eyeballs a bit of strain.

Spectacle

The new Apple OS (aka El Capitan) lets you do what Windows let you do ages ago. Quickly make your windows split up and fit in all available space on your screen. Only problem is, not everyone likes the way OSX does this (I don’t, personally. It’s not very intuitive) and I know a lot of people wish it was a bit more powerful on other operating systems.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 11.59.57 AM

Check out Spectacle which lets you use keyboard shortcuts to quickly move all your windows up, down, left, right, and to fill up your precious screen with ease.

Slack

Slack has one of the unicorn-sized valuations right now and you may be wondering why. Seriously, it’s just a chat room, right? Well, you’re not wrong. The big difference between Slack and other similar services is the ease of use and the integration with third-party apps.

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You can order an Uber while chatting in Slack, have private messages, and easily share documents, videos, images, and as much text as you like. Great for classrooms looking to have a never-ending private area to discuss homework, projects, etc.

WordPress Desktop App

I’m writing this post from the all-new WordPress desktop app. It lets you easily add and edit posts for your WordPress-powered website without having to even log into your site. You do it all from the offline-capable magical app that lives on your desktop.

wordpressdesktop

Only thing you need is to enable Jetpack on your site and the rest is gravy. It feels a lot like using Medium to write, which is great. However, it’s not as robust as your website publishing experience since it doesn’t feature all the various plugins you may use. For example, I’ll have to log into the site to add in shortcodes or some SEO keywords, etc. Stuff like that. Worth trying and it’s free!

Pushbullet

Ever come across an interesting article (say, on Daily Genius?) and wanted to quickly view the link on your desktop or on your smartphone? You can use Safari or iMessage with Apple’s ecosysystem of apps or Chrome on Android but what about things like WhatsApp messages? How do you sync all your various apps and products across all your devices? It’s tough, actually.

pushbulletfront

That’s why I’ve been tinkering around with Pushbullet lately and it’s saved me quite a few instances of emailing myself a link or image to view later. I know there are a ton of ways to share links but the Pushbullet setup lets you view notifications from an array of services as well. That’s why it’s worth checking out in the new year.

Jeff is an education and technology lover who has worked in far too many industries to count. Okay, like maybe 5 or 6. Jeff can indeed count that high but it’s not recommended. Jeff also likes to write bios in the third-person.

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