Brandi Bleak

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Top Apps to Review for 2014

AppsBrandi BleakComment

For my last segment on The Chat for 2014, I thought I'd review a few lists that gave their choices for top apps of the year, pick a few that caught my eye, and review the most creative, fun, educational and innovative selections. A few of them actually surprised me! A found apps that I had never heard of and that I can't wait to use more in 2015. There were a few that I felt people have heard of, and might or might not have, so I included some in my post reviewing my personal picks.

For the show though, I specifically chose apps that I could hopefully introduce a few people to. For even more app suggestions, take a look at Apple and Google's choices for top apps of the year.


Elevate

Free - iOS & Android

This app offers personal training for your brain. Each day you're guided through a new challenge that is based on scientific research to improve the skills you want to focus on. Select which categories you want to improve to get more specific challenges or allow the app to make suggestions. Keep progress of your accomplishments after each set of and watch for improvements.

Elevate is Apple's pick for best iPhone app of the year!


Duolingo

Free - iOS, Andriod, & Windows

This is the best valued app to me. Learning a new language seems hard and expensive. Not with this app! Start fresh or brush up on French, Spanish, or any of the other languages they offer for free. I love how simple each exercise is, with various ways of learning, including writing, speaking and reading.


SwiftKey Keyboard

Free - iOS & Android

This one is popular among everyone I know, but I simply don't find it as helpful as I want it to. I'm not the best at texting without a few random letters or words that autocorrect doesn't have to fix, so I thought this would be ideal for me. Users simply download the app, install the Keyboard then slide their finger across the letters to type and SwiftKey suggests the word for you. Although it's not yet my favorite way of typing on my phone, I do love that they offer a few themes so you can personalize your keyboard.


Steller

Free - iOS only

The app I’m most interested in trying out.

It’s the most like so many others, yet different. Stellar allows users to add photos, text, and video to their clean, modern layout to create stories. I haven’t used it much yet, however this ones is simply intriguing to me. It's a step above many other social media sites in look and design. That alone draws me in. I love that you can search for stories by topic as well. 


This last one came from a recommendation on Twitter and it tops my list for the one you need to download for Christmas!

Kringle: The proof of Santa app

Free - iOS & Android

Record a segment of video from your own living space, then the app adds a layer of video that includes Santa dropping off presents, for example. Proof that Santa stopped by the evening before! Great to show the kiddos!