Locals recommend apps that make life easier

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Whether you’re hoping 2019 will be the year that you improve your fitness, get organized, minimize stress or track your finances, your devices can help you — you just need the right apps.

Lowcountry locals have recommended nine apps they think you need in the new year:

1. CREDIT KARMA

Credit Karma will help you keep a watchful eye on your credit score without hurting it. The app will alert you if your information is at risk thanks to another company’s public data breach or if there’s unclaimed money in your name. The app will also alert you if there are any changes to your credit score and allow you to make disputes and file your taxes right from your phone.

“I love having it on my phone. My favorite thing about it is that it alerts me when there are any changes,” says Haley Orlowski of Hilton Head Island.

Cost: Free

2. HAPPY GLASS

Perhaps you just need a fun and relaxing distraction. If so, Happy Glass is the app locals recommend. The concept of this gaming app is simple: The glass is sad because it’s empty, and it’s your job to draw a line to help fill the glass and make it smile again.

“Sometimes I just get sick of scrolling through social media and it’s nice to do something mindless to wind down,” says Hope Luker of Bluffton.

Available on iOS devices

Cost: Free 3-day trial; 1 week, $7.99; 1 month, $19.99; 1 year, $99.99

3. TIMETREE

Whether you’re a business owner managing meetings, a student juggling classes and after-school activities, a parent scheduling day care pickups, or a spouse trying to squeeze in a date night, TimeTree can help. Users can invite new members and then share their calendars and schedules, create events, add comments, post notes and send reminders.

“We’re so busy with running the store, my husband’s schedule and being parents that it’s hard to keep track of it all. I love it because anyone that’s linked can see our schedules and it keeps us organized,” says Jillian Atkinson, owner of Bluffton’s Moonlit Lullaby, of her favorite app.

Cost: Free 

4. EMEALS — HEALTHY MEAL PLANS

This app might just check two resolutions off your list by improving both your nutrition and productivity. Not only does eMeals offer mindfully nutritious recipes, a smart shopping list auto-populates as you choose the meals you want to cook. The app is integrated with grocery stores and delivery services so you can have your shopping list gathered for curbside pickup or home delivery.

The app has “tons of recipes to choose from and I add them to my cart, and then it sends my shopping list to Walmart and I go pick them up. It’s a life-saver and sanity-saver with two toddlers. Shopping is done for me and I have recipes set for the week all in one app,” says Danielle Lewis of Bluffton.

Cost: Free 14-day trial; 3-month dinner plan, $29.99; 12-month dinner plan, $59.99; 3-month all-day bundle, $39.99; 12-month all-day bundle, $99.99

5. SPARK EMAIL BY READDLE

It’s time to clean up your inbox. Spark will categorize all new emails into Personal, Notifications and Newsletters. You will only receive a notification if an email seems important, saving you from a plethora of unnecessary notifications.

Shaun Olsen of Bluffton deems Spark his favorite app because it keeps him organized. “I love it because it automatically organizes and cleans my inbox!”

Cost: Free

6. THINK DIRTY

What’s actually in the products you’re using? You can find out by downloading Think Dirty, which will help you compare cosmetics and personal care products as you shop. Just scan the product barcode and the app will list the dirty, toxic or harmful ingredients in it — and help you find a cleaner option.

“I can look up different products like face-washes, skin-care … and it lists all of the ingredients in them. That way I know the ingredients in what I’m using and that they’re natural and cruelty free,” says Hilton Head resident Hannah Stackhouse.

Cost: Free

7. WAZE

Avoid traffic jams — Waze will alert you of crashes, police, hazards, construction and more. Waze tells you the cause of heavy traffic in addition to how long you might be sitting in it. The app can instantly change your route to save you time and will even offer the cheapest gas prices along the way.  

Shelby McKeever of Bluffton says that Waze is “the best app ever. It gives you very accurate traffic data. You can message other Waze users near you, post photos of accidents — it’s amazing. I won’t drive unless I have my Waze on.”

Cost: Free

8. FANDANGO

If you’re looking to squeeze in a few more date nights in 2019, or if you just need a little more entertainment, Fandango might be for you. Users can stay up-to-date on new movie releases, watch trailers, check showtimes, purchase tickets, secure seats and potentially score some perks like free screenings or discounts.

“I am a movie freak and it shows me all the movie info, showtimes and theatre specifics,” says Sarah Owen of Hilton Head.

Cost: Free

9. WHATSAPP MESSENGER

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Whether you’re a military family, a travel connoisseur or just looking to connect, WhatsApp makes that easier. The free messaging service uses your device’s internet connection to let you call or message friends and family so you can send and receive photos, videos and voice messages at no charge — even to or from another country.

“I can connect with people for free. I used to work a job where my employer lived in Puerto Rico, so this made it easy for us to communicate. It really comes in handy,” says Steffon Wright of Hilton Head.

Cost: Free