Tag Archives: apps


Essential apps to download before you travel solo

The key apps to make your travel so much easier.

Ensure your electronics are easily protected

Before you travel solo it can be a good idea to get your belongings insured. However, in the rush of planning and packing for your trip, this is often put to the bottom of the list and easily forgotten. An app that allows you to quickly insure common electronic items is Trov, which offers protection for items such as laptops, mobile phones, and cameras, allowing users to turn insurance on and off with a simple swipe within the app. Available on iOS and Android. Available to download for free, with price dependent on cover

Get the lingo

Babbel is the perfect app to download if you want to pick up a bit of local lingo before you set off on your travels. Available in 14 languages, from Spanish to Indonesian, the app will get you talking no matter your level – beginner, moderate or advanced. Not only can you practice your language skills and work on your accent from the first lesson, but the content you learn can easily be applied to real life situations, helping you feel confident no matter where you are travelling to. Available on iOS and Android. Free to download, and price to use from $6.95 per month (based on a 12 months subscription)
See also: The 9 easiest languages for English speakers to learn

Remember your trip

LiveTrekker is the app every solo traveller needs to help document their travels in a digital travel diary. LiveTrekker maps you wherever you go, creating a map of the routes you take and the places you walk by. As you create the map, you can add audio, video and text, bringing your travels to life and allowing you to look back and share your travels with friends and family whenever you want. It is also great for active travellers, as it monitors your speed and altitude, as well as the route. Available on iOS and Android. Free to download and use.

Eat like a local

Foursquare is an app you need to download whenever you travel to a new city, whether travelling in a group or alone. The fantastic tips from the locals will make sure that you don’t get stuck in the typical tourist traps, instead exploring all the hidden secrets the city has to offer. The app shows you the best of the local food, drinks and attractions, meaning that you will experience the true spirit of each place you travel to. Available on iOS and Android. Free to download and use.

Say hello to your personal organiser

One of the most stressful things about travelling alone is keeping track of all the important documents. A great app to help organise essential information, and keep it all in one place, is Tripit. Tripit collects all the small pieces of information from your confirmation emails – flights, hotels, bookings, rentals, and everything else, and puts it together into your own, bespoke itinerary. All you need to do is forward the emails to the app, making it easy to manage the travel admin.  Available on iOS and Android. Free to download and use. A Pro version is available for $49.00 for an annual subscription.

Find an internet connection anywhere

While you may be trying to put away your smartphone and tablet and embark upon a digital detox while travelling, the chances are that at some point you may require Wi-Fi, whether it’s to look something up, or update your friends and family on where you are. In this situation, a good app to have to hand is Wifimapper. Wifimapper allows you to see all the available Wi-Fi spots in your immediate vicinity, and even gives you a description of the venue, ensuring that you can pick a location that you will be happy to visit. Available on iOS and Android. Free to download and use.


See also: Seven apps to learn seven new skills

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The 5 best apps to help concentration

There’s all sorts of barriers to productivity, none more so that the gadget in front of you. Apps, games, messages and more on our devices make it difficult to concentrate and really focus on work and get things done. But there are some great concentration apps which can help, rather than distract, so try some of these:


Freedom is an app which takes you good intentions and turns them into actions. It allows you to block websites and apps so you simply can’t access them, and therefore have no choice but to get on with your work. It works on desktop and mobile devices as well, so you can even stop yourself from picking up your phone every five minutes.


A loud office can be distracting – noise annoys. Or there’s conversations you can’t help joining in. SoundCurtain tackles this with this by playing ambient sounds, such as rainfall, wind and piano, to block out the external kerfuffle. Get some noise-cancelling earphones for the full benefit.


If you’ve got one of those cluttered desktops with document icons here, email alerts there and pings all around, then FocusWriter can hone in on what you need, leaving you with nothing but a simple writing area and nothing else. Useful for writing that report, or the novel you always said you had in you…


You may think you’re doing OK and being productive, but it’s unlikely to be true. RescueTime could help nudge you into good habits. It’s an analytics software that tracks all that you do on your laptop and shows you what’s productive (and what isn’t). It’ll nudge and nag you if you’re idling too long. A benign boss on your shoulder.
For more about Rescuetime, check this detailed review

Brain Focus Productivity Timer

This one accepts that your mind will drift. It’s a time management app allows you to set a length of time that you would like to work for, then take a break, reckoning that you should work for around 25 minutes, take a break and repeat. This way, they reckon, you’ll be more productive than trying to power through. Comes with graphs and stats and everything…


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Education Work

Seven apps to learn seven new skills

Skoove  is an entertaining and individualized way to learn the piano from your computer. Traditionally, learning the piano can seem daunting for novices: learning sheet music, as well as buying and housing a piano. Skoove works across leading web browsers and offers a set of intuitive and responsive courses in contemporary and classical music. Simply sign up, connect your keyboard to your laptop and get playing, while Skoove guides you through from beginner to Bach and Bon Jovi.
Available on browsers, subscriptions from $9.95

Acast  is a podcasting platform that can help you improve your skills as you are busy doing other things. Whether you want to find out more about world cuisine, travel spots that you visited, the invisible forces that govern the universe (the Invisabilia podcast is perfect for this), this app will help you. Choose an area you’re passionate about, select the podcast and prepare to learn new things every day.
Available on iOS and Android, free

Babbel  If your aim is to learn a new language, then this is the app for you. Covering 8,500 hours of content in 14 languages, from Spanish to Indonesian, using Babbel will enable you to communicate in a foreign language from the start. Additionally, Babbel will use your native language and your knowledge of its grammar to help you learn more efficiently and at a higher speed. Lastly, all of the audio content is recorded by native speakers, allowing you to work on and perfect your accent from the start.
Available on iOS and Android, subscription available from $6.95

Health IQ is a great app, if you want to learn more about the world of nutrition. Instead of tracking your exercises, steps or calories, the app will provide you with nutrient information, facts about the food you consume and even test you as you progress.
Available on iOS and Android, free

Trivia Crack With this app, you will never get bored waiting for the bus or in line for a coffee. Trivia Crack allows you to learn pieces of random trivia, as well as challenge and compete against your friends to see which of you has a wider knowledge of random facts. You answer questions from six categories: art, science, entertainment, popular culture, math and geography, and the first one to answer all of the questions wins.
Available on iOS and Android, $0.99

Blinkist is great if you want to know more about your chosen field, but just don’t have the time to read the books about it. The app will provide you with 15-minute audios, condensing the main ideas of a book into a manageable and easily digestible snippet of information, letting you grasp the main points without having to read the full text. Whether you are interested in finance, history, psychology or marketing, this app will provide you with the basics in just 15 minutes of listening, the app gives you tips such as getting help from låne penger the best financing company.
Available on iOS and Android, $4.17/month

Daily Art  Whether you are an art fan already or simply want to know a bit more about the world’s greatest paintings, this app is a perfect way to add to your knowledge of art history. Each day, the app provides you with a new masterpiece and tells you all about its creation and the artist behind it.
Available on iOS and Android, free

Miriam Plieninger is Director of Didactics and part of the Management Team at Babbel, the language-learning app that empowers users to speak from the beginning. In language learning nothing is more rewarding than a real conversation — and 73% of surveyed customers feel that they’d be able to hold one within five hours of using the app.

This post was contributed as part of American Education Week is an annual event that not only celebrates teachers and their contributions to our lives, but also encourages us, whether we are children or adults

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4 Ways to Reverse Image Search on Your Phone

A couple of years back, Google introduced Reverse Image Search, allowing users to search for information with an image rather than words. This was great news for anyone who has ever wanted to know details of a particular picture or item that they’ve found online (or taken a photo of!), but the feature has been limited to desktop use. The feature to reverse image search was only available on the desktop edition of Google Image Search. While Google’s own search app offers an image search, we’ve found it to be slow and inefficient – simply not the best tool for the job.
Since so many folks use mobile devices to access the internet, desktop-only access was a bummer to many. Luckily, a number of developers thought so too, and now there is a selection of apps and web services available that allow you to reverse image search from your mobile device. Reverse image search is a great way for students to discover more information about the images they have, and you can create a variety of classroom tasks centered around searching for information with images. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite tools below. If you have a favorite tool that we haven’t included, let us know! Share with the Daily Genius community by leaving a comment below, dropping us a line on Twitter, or heading over to the Daily Genius Facebook Page and leaving us a note there.

4 Ways to Reverse Image Search on Your Phone

From your mobile browser: Tech guru Amit Agarwal has put his skills to work making a wrapper for Google’s tool that works on mobile browsers. First, ensure that you’ve saved the photo you want to search with to the Galley on Android or to Photos on your iOS device. Simply point your browser here, click the ‘Select Image’ button, and upload the photo you want to search with. Click ‘Search’, and voilà. The developer, Agarwal, says that the tool doesn’t share any information with other apps, so you don’t need to worry about student privacy.
Google Goggles
Goggles is a free Android App from Google that not only allows users to reverse image search, but can also search text in multiple languages and functions as a QR code reader. As a free app, it offers a lot of bang for your (non!) buck in the classroom.
Veracity is a free iOS app that allows users to upload photos from the Camera Roll or Dropbox and search to find the original source of the photo online, as well as information about the image. The app offers a simple and easy to use interface, and offers a clipboard where you can save images to search.
Blippar is already a popular app for classrooms, and while it may not be the focus of the tool, it offers the ability to search for information based on an image. We’ve talked about this awesome augmented-reality app before, and a simple reverse image search is really an overly simplified version of what it can do. Blippar can trigger videos by scanning the photo, and students can be challenged with associated quizzes, animations, and follow-up reading.

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How a robot, app, and the cloud are bringing video learning into classrooms

Using video in the classroom to impact learning is a popular trend used by many educators across all grade levels and subjects. From flipped classroom practitioners to Khan Academy enthusiasts, countless teachers around the world agree that video learning is a pedagogical tool with a lot of potential. Swivl, a promising and robust video creation platform, promises to disrupt traditional video instruction and change the way educators record, manage, and share instructional videos with their students.

What is Swivl?

Swivl can be defined as a complete video learning solution. It consists of three elements that work seamlessly with each other: a hardware device called the Swivl Robot, an app for mobile devices named Swivl Capture, and a dedicated cloud hosting service called Swivl Cloud.



How it Works

The Swivl Robot is adjustable and can accommodate any mobile device, a phone or a tablet. All that a teacher has to do is place a mobile device on the Swivl Robot and use the marker, a sensor with a high quality microphone for audio capture that comes with Swivl. As the teacher moves around the room, Swivl will follow the movement of the marker, while the microphone captures audio. The marker is also equipped with two buttons that can be used to control the flow of slides, as well as to provide the teacher with capturing options.

See Also: The top 15 YouTube history channels for your classroom

The Swivl Capture app controls the Swivl Robot and enables teachers to manage their videos and slide presentations. Teachers can even use the app during recordings to control the timing of slides they have previously created and uploaded to the Swivl Cloud. The app will also automatically upload videos to the Swivl Cloud.

The Swivl Cloud is the place where a teacher can edit and trim a video, add slides that can be incorporated in the project, and finally produce and share the final product with their students. The Swivl Cloud works well with popular MLS’s, which makes sharing easy, and even allows students to enter comments, which stimulates discussion and encourages collective learning.


Pedagogical Implications Of Video Learning

Contrary to conventional video software and hardware solutions that require the teacher or speaker to be tethered to a specific area in front of the camera, Swivl provides the user with the ability to move around. In fact, Swivl encourages teachers to utilize movement and allows them to use slides, maps, and pictures that can be found anywhere in a classroom to improve their lessons, or just use proximity to improve the lesson’s effectiveness and increase student engagement.

Furthermore, Swivl is a tool with a huge potential for educators who are interested in the flipped classroom model, the blended learning model, or for teachers who simply want to record their lessons for absent students. Swivl’s user friendly interface and ability to capture, upload, and share the videos within one platform is something that many teachers interested in using video instruction in the classroom will find useful.

In addition, Swivl is an ideal match for teachers who are interested in the MakerSpaces movement in education. Swivl fits perfectly in dynamic learning environments that modify the teaching space on a daily basis, since it can be placed literally anywhere in the classroom and still do a fabulous job.

Finally, there is a lot to be said about Swivl’s enormous potential to be used as a Professional Development platform. The combination of the easy to use hardware with the unlimited cloud storage on the Swivl Cloud makes it ideal for educators or educational institutions who are interested in creating a bank of asynchronous PD sessions. The Swivl platform can be even used by organizers of education technology events to provide access to select sessions and content of the events to members of the educational community not able to attend.

Some Final Thoughts

Swivl is a platform that can empower educators to impact pedagogy in a dynamic way. Swivl’s 3-part instructional video creation model appears to be a complete solution that can be an attractive choice for many teachers, beginners or experienced video learning practitioners.

With so many teachers embracing video instruction it’s only natural that tools like Swivl will earn a place in many of our classrooms. It is exciting to see how educators will take advantage of the untapped potential of Swivl.

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The periodic table of education technology

We had a crazy idea over the weekend here at Daily Genius. What if we organized all the top education technology tools into a simple graphic? Then we took it a step further by identifying some of the best ways to organize data into a single visual. What better way to do that than by taking a page from the Periodic Table of the Elements? So we set out to identify the top edtech tools and conferences and then figured out which categories they all fit into.

What you see below is the result of quite a bit of effort from the editors of Daily Genius as well as the community. We cover edtech on a daily basis (hence the name of the site 🙂 but wanted to do something special for the end of the year. Hope you enjoy and explore it on an ongoing basis. Just do a web search for any of the names in the table and you’ll discover that tool. There’s a decent chance you will find a new tool, conference, app, or web tool that you might want to use in the coming year.

Want to get weekly edtech tips and deals? Check this out.

We worked hard to make sure these are all our favorite conferences and products. None of them are sponsored. This is the most genuine list we could ever make. It’s featuring the products and events that are widely accepted across the education industry and is by no means exhaustive. We know there are hundreds of options but endeavored to make the most useful visual possible.

We’ll be updating this a couple times a year to ensure it’s as relevant as possible. Be sure to check back to see what’s new!

Download The Periodic Table Of Education Technology

Click here to download the PDF version of the periodic table of education technology.

The amazing Kathy Schrock made a clickable PDF version of the graphic! Check that out here.

Want to enlarge the image below? Simply click on it!

NOTE: Updated December 30, 2015 as edX was featured twice. Replaced with a fan-favorite, Udemy!

periodic table of edtech daily genius

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5 Android apps that will help you study and learn

Technology is often seen as a distraction, rather than an enabler of study. The ‘just one more YouTube video’ approach to dedicated procastination…
But, there is technology which can use its powers for good, as well as evil, and these, free, apps can help you give discipline to your learning or work and make you more productive.
There have always been plenty of these around in the Apple marketplace and Android apps have tended to receive a little less attention. These are all high quality – but if they don’t work for you, they’re free, so don’t moan too much…
Andie Graph:
In what may be the silliest but smartest decisions, the Andie Graph app actually looks exactly like your trusty old TI-83 calculator. All the buttons and everything. Andie Graph has all the functionality you’ve come to expect from a graphing calculator and more. The only downside is that there’s no landscape mode like you’d find on the built-in calculator on most smartphones.
Study Checker:
Do you suffer from Study ADD? If you’re like me, you sit down to figure out a useful bit of information only to be sidetracked by apps and shiny things. Study Checker lets you keep track (mostly automatically) of how much time you spend studying, taking breaks, and whatnot. It’s basically like Big Brother or a helicopter parent watching you learn. Recommended for anyone who might need a little more structure in their studies.
Speed Reading Trainer:
While not useful for everyone, speed reading is a fun activity to try out if you’re so inclined. More than a party trick, it can help you quickly skim / read text and digest the important bits. This app helps you by giving you specific text trials and offers analytics on how you’re doing.
School Timetable Deluxe:
Like the Study Checker app mentioned a couple apps ago, School Timetable Deluxe helps you add some structure and guidelines to your school day. Great for both teachers AND students, to be honest. It’s a bit rough around the edges (still being updated, not to worry) but has some powerful functionality like managing your curriculum, grades, and schedules. The schedule part is fabulous as it’s got a very Windows 8-y feel too it with all the color blocking.
Studyblue Flashcards:
You probably know Studyblue. They are those folks who help you make digital flashcards to improve your learning of just about anything. If you like flashcards, you’ll like this app. It feels like a premium app but, of course, is free!

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Six apps to turn your iPad into a whiteboard

They aren’t so new any more, but iPads are the exciting choice among schools as the hardware of choice when talking about ‘new’ classroom technology. There are so many different ways you can use them, they’re pretty intuitive, and there’s a growing economy of apps helping you integrate these sexy little tablets into their classrooms.
Something that is talked about less is using your iPad as an interactive whiteboard for your classroom. Turns out there are a number of different apps to aid you on this journey, ranging from free to paid with varying functionality that you may or may not need, depending on exactly what you’d like to do with it.
Here’s some of the best:

Educreations Interactive Whiteboard

Educreations Interactive Whiteboard is a free app that turns your iPad into a recordable interactive whiteboard. You can use photos, text, digital ink, and voice recordings, and your work is easily shareable via email, social media, or on your (free) account on the Educreations website, which allows you to choose who can and can’t see your lessons. A great way to explain concepts step by step with an easy to use interface and basic functionality.

Show Me Interactive Whiteboard

Show Me Interactive Whiteboard is also free, and allows users to record voice over audio for your whiteboard drawings. It’s an especially great way to create lessons and tutorials that both show the progress of say, a math word problem, but also describe the steps with audio to go along with it. The interface is pretty simple, and though it lacks some of the bells and whistles that some of the other apps have (such as real time collaborative ability), it is simple to use, free, and offers a lot of different uses in a classroom setting, making it a particularly useful tool.


Doceri is basically an interactive whiteboard tool that also allows you to do live screencasting, voice over existing documents or pages that you create, control slideshow tools like Keynote or Powerpoint, and control some aspects of your computer remotely. Doceri is free, and it is easy to share your work and present it too.

Groupboard Collaborative Whiteboard

Groupboard Collaborative Whiteboard is probably one of the most aptly named apps out there – the name gives you a great idea of exactly what the app does simply with the name of it. The app allows you to draw, write, and chat in real time on a collaborative whiteboard that can be used for free with up to five users. For more users, they offer paid subscriptions starting at $9.99/month. They also offer a service called Groupboard Designer, which provides a more advanced whiteboard with features such as infinite whiteboard size and multiple pages, starting at $19.99/month. Users can upload images, documents, print their Groupboards, and collaborate as they wish.

Whiteboard HD

WhiteboardHD is a relatively inexpensive paid app ($4.99), that offers users the ability to use free form drawing/writing, pre-made shapes and lines, and you can import images, too. Boards can be shared live to collaborate, or can be saved as multiple file types for further offline collaboration. The app supports external displays (with the iPad VGA adaptor), and also offers integration with file sharing options like Dropbox and Box.net.

Splashtop Whiteboard

Splashtop Whiteboard seems worth mentioning despite its steep price ($19.99) because it is actually pretty nice and offers a couple of cool options. Splashtop offers users of existing interactive white boards such as Mimeo, Mobi, Promethean, Polyvision, or Smart Technologies a way to access their tools from anywhere in the class without using wireless slates. Users also have complete access to programs like Keynote or Powerpoint without being at their computer. It is not a local app, you’ll connect via wifi to your computer in order to use it.
Have you any more? Let us know your favourites in the comments below.
Photo: Unsplash.com

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How To Use Technology To Transform Your Workflow

The new school year is underway and it is time to ask ourselves a couple of questions. What can I do to be more efficient and effective in my daily workflow? What tools can I use to target instruction? How can I connect with other educators?

The first step is learning more about available resources. As you read this post, think about your current workflow. Which of these tools would be most beneficial to your workflow?

The second step is taking action. Start with the tool that will be the biggest difference maker. Set aside a plan period each week initially to learn the tool and then use the tool regularly.

Finally, keep a journal and reflect on the impact the tool has made on your workflow. How did students respond? What were the benefits? What are your future plans to continue using the tool?

Here are six tools to tech up your classroom.


Text students reminders with ease using Remind. This is the perfect way to send information to students for both academics or athletics. This is a free site that creates a simple, yet powerful way to connect your students to the classroom and opens a new channel of communication.


Want a quick way to connect and collaborate with colleagues? Voxer is a walkie talkie type app for iPhones and Androids that streamlines communication and is quick and easy to use. In addition, you can send text, images, and videos too! The group feature allows for multiple people to be on one Voxer message which makes it a fantastic app for teachers. Imagine having your PLC in a Voxer group. When you have a great idea, just hold down the middle button and send an audio message. If another teacher is in the app, they will hear you in real-time, just like a walkie talkie. If not, your message is stored as an audio file that can be played at a later time. This is a great app to use with family and friends too. For more information, check out this post on Voxer: A Vehicle for Collaboration and Communication

Google Forms

Tap into the power of Google Apps for Ed (#gafe) and Google Forms. Google forms are a quick and easy way to collect data to provide targeted instruction for students. Google Forms are quick and easy to create and even easier to share with students. Feedback is immediate and can be used to impact instruction as the lesson evolves.

Another way to use Google Forms is to get a feel for the classroom vibe. For example, you can create a reusable Google Form and ask students a few simple questions.

Check out this blogpost from Garrett Sims (@gtwitsims) who uses Google forms every day to see how his students are feeling. Create a QR code for even faster student access to the form. The results may surprise you and give you great insight to your students.

Google Hangouts and Skype

Tired of driving across town to collaboration meetings? Want to share an idea with a colleague? Connecting with other teachers in your building or educators from around the world with either of these free video conferencing tools can become part of the daily workflow. Both are easy to setup and use.

Why not connect with other classrooms or bring in a guest speaker. To start connecting your classroom, go to Google Plus and join the Connected Classrooms Community and/or get involved with Skype for Education.


A visually pleasing way to brainstorm, share photos, files, and videos is using Padlet . This tool is free, simple to set up, and can be shared in a variety of ways. One simple way to share a Padlet is embedding it on a website. Students can access it quickly on any device. Not only is it free, but Padlet is accessible on any device: computers, tablets, and phones.

Here are some ideas for using Padlet in the classroom: journal prompts, book discussion, brainstorming, curating students artwork, collaborate and share with other classrooms, and more.


Target Instruction with YouTube Playlists

Have a concept your students struggle with? Use your data to target instruction by creating educational screencasts to support student learning or find existing videos at YouTube. Students can listen to these in whole groups, small groups, or individually. Find and/or create videos that target instruction and personalize the learning for your unique students needs. Here are the steps to using the YouTube workflow.

  1. In order to tap the power of YouTube for organizing and sharing videos with a playlist, you must first have a channel. Click here for a tutorial video on setting up a channel.
  2. Adding videos to a playlist is just a click or two away. Click here for a tutorial video on creating and adding videos to playlists.
  3. Search for videos on youtube. Here is a list of 100 Incredibly Useful YouTube Channels for educators you may want to explore.
  4. Share your playlists via a link or embed them on a blog or website. Click here for a tutorial video on setting up and managing playlists.

Give some of these tools a try this school year and tech up your classroom workflow. Keep your journal of the growth you experience this year. When you take a look in the spring, it will be amazing to see how your daily workflow transformed over the course of just one school year by integrating these tools into your routine.

Want to learn more helpful tools from experts and practicing teachers? Join us November 16-18, 2015 in Boston for the EdTechTeacher iPad Summit.




Featured image via Flickr

Sponsored By: thelazyplumber.com.

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20 popular apps and web tools made by students

We talk about the importance of bringing technology into education on a regular basis. But why? What’s the end goal here? Is it to improve learning outcomes, unlock new learning opportunities, or to perhaps equip students with the ability to change the future?
I think education technology can actually do all those things and more. That is, of course, if properly used and handled by a tech-savvy teacher who is willing to help nurture and guide students along the way.
One of the ways education technology integration has changed the future is through teaching students how to code. There are countless online schools and web-based platforms that can help students (and you!) learn how to code. But what happens when students and teenagers around the world take this newfound knowledge and start building apps and web tools?
They create something special. As you can see below, this list of popular apps and web tools comes from the always fun Product Hunt which details a little bit about each app as well as a link to learn more.
I hope you use this list as a jumping off point for trying your hand at coding and learning how to build something that might become incredibly useful and popular. All I ask is that, when you make it, you let Daily Genius know about it so we can check it out!

Flickr image via hackNY.org cc

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