7 Smarter Alternatives To Popular Smartphone Apps

7 Smarter Alternatives To Popular Smartphone Apps

If something is popular, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good. In the case of smartphone apps, a mediocre one can sometimes be much more popular than a better made app simply because it is the default one or is promoted by a big (and wealthy) player on the market. Here is a list of seven apps that are at least as good as their popular alternatives.

1. MoboRobo

Differently from iOS, Android doesn’t offer an official desktop manager akin to iTunes, which means there are numerous alternatives of varying quality and functionality. MoboRobo Android Smartphone PC Manager is about as good as it gets. It is simple to use, serves as a backup and restore client for almost all the data on your devices, allows you to easily manage files on them and, what is even more pleasant, works for iOS too, which allows you to bridge the gap between all your mobile devices.



    2. Sunrise Calendar

    Calendar apps are indispensable for those who like to plan ahead; but the pre-loaded ones both for iOS and Android leave much to be desired. Enter Sunrise Calendar – a free app for both systems which is beautifully designed, has intuitive interface, allows you to easily organize your time and synchronizes with a number of other services, like Google Calendar and Evernote.


      3. Picsel Smart Office

      Picsel Smart Office is a small but powerful tool for both Android and iOS that allows you to read and edit documents created in Office 2003/2007, PDFs, images, open email attachments and more. If you need to share your files with other people, you can easily do it via Dropbox.


      4. Apex Launcher

      Apex launcher has been created specifically for those who are either tired of the Android’s default homescreen or want something more from their device. As a result, it provides you with an opportunity to either customize your homescreen to let it better reflect your personality, or tweak and set it up to make your smartphone experience more comfortable.

      5. Atrium

      The developers state that Atrium is one of the best Facebook apps currently out for Android, and it is easy to believe them. It certainly beats the default app. It is hard to actually add something to an app that serves as a connection to an already existing platform, so the main selling points of Atrium are its clean, simple and intuitive user interface that allows one to stay in touch with one’s friends and the latest news via a single app, keep track of your groups and pages, send instant messages and much, much more.

      6. Google Hangouts

      You may ask: who needs another video conferencing software? Isn’t Skype good enough? It is a legitimate question, and Google Hangouts does its best to answer it. For starters, it is completely free: while Skype requires paid subscription for video conferencing with more than one person, Google Hangouts allow you to start up a conversation with up to 10 people completely free of charge. Add excellent video quality and a number of business-related features, and you’ve got a clear winner.



        7. Tango Video Calls

        Another great video call alternative, Tango has free video calls, an option to send recorded video messages to multiple people, excellent quality, and, in addition to all that, Tango is generally easier on system resources and battery than most of its counterparts, which comes in handy if your battery life leaves much to be desired.

        New apps appear every day, and nothing is set in stone: what seemed like an excellent solution yesterday may turn out to be obsolete tomorrow. Keep in touch with evolution, look at the developments in this sphere – and you will always get the best possible smartphone experience!


        Featured photo credit: iPhone Apps/Daniel Go via

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        Melissa Burns


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        Last Updated on February 15, 2019

        7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

        7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

        Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

        Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

        Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

        So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

        Joe’s Goals



          Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

          Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.



            is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.


            Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

            Excel or Numbers

              If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

              What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.



                I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                Access or Bento

                  If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                  Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.


                  You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                  Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                  All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.


                  I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                  What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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