Apps you never knew you needed

by Nikkita Dixon

A smartphone app store can be a goldmine for handy apps you never knew you needed. You know the ones I’m talking about – the apps you stumble across while mindlessly browsing or the ones that appear in your top 25 that you’re not entirely sure you’ll use but you download anyway. Sure, most of these apps will end up cluttering your wall and become forgotten. But take a minute to consider the following:

Toilet Map
The name says it all. This is a handy app which lets you know where you might find a public toilet in your area. It even uses Google Maps to locate where you are and shows you how to get to said toilet destination. Trust me, it’ll come in handy.


This app has spread like wildfire since its release. It’s only real function is to allow you to record a short voice note and pass on to another person who also has Heytell. It’s a bit like sending a text message, but with some personality injected into it; or like making a phonecall, but without the commitment. The exchanges are so quick though, it’s almost like talking in real time. Once you get going it becomes quite addictive. The only problem is that your inbox becomes full pretty quickly. It’s free though, so I can’t complain.

Ever wanted to sing just like Kesha? Well with Songify you’ll get pretty close. Just record a bunch of spoken words with the app (anything from a poem to your textbook notes) and somehow they’ll be played back to you with an auto-tuned melody and a sweet beat behind it. After that, it even lets you share your amazing talent across your social networks.

For those times when your neighbours are being noisy or you just can’t get to sleep, Sleepmaker will lull you to the land of nod in no time with a collection of various white noise. My personal favourite is ‘rain on canvas’ (which is usually followed by adventurous camping dreams), but you have the option of choosing ‘waves crashing’, ‘rainforest’, ‘heavy downpour’, ‘white noise’ and (I’ve not been brave enough to use this one) ‘brown noise’.  A must-have for insomniacs everywhere.

These are just a small sample from my own personal cluttered wall, but stay tuned for more random app favourites on the iiNet Blog.

Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.


  1. SJ says:

    Brown noise refers to the timbre of the noise, not its result. It’s also called “red noise” (not quite the same but close enough) and “brownian noise”.

    The timbre of brown noise has less hiss and more roar; less like wind, more like a waterfall. I like it better for drifting off to sleep with than white noise. 🙂

  2. glob says:

    when providing reviews of smartphone apps, please clearly indicate the platform of the apps. it’s annoying to have to search for every app to determine if it will work on my android device.

  3. Hannah says:

    Google goggles. You take a photo of sometging/someone unknown and the finds matches on google and tells you what it is! It’s helped me cheat at several trivia nights during the Famous Faces section!

  4. Shane says:

    But glob, didn’t you know the only smartphone in existence is the iPhone? 😛 Although, I thought the screenshots would be a pretty big clue.

  5. Brian says:

    @Shane, the screen shots look fairly generic to me too… please explain your ESP on telling if a screen shot is from an android of iPhone?

    Does iPhone have a screen shot grabber like andriod now? 😛