12 Essential Apps Every Smartphone Owner Should Download

iPhone at Concert

Between iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry, there are hundreds of thousands of apps to choose from.

Let’s make it simple.

Out of all those apps, there are only a handful of essentials. Here are the first apps you should download.

Twitter is a great way to see what's happening, live.

Even if you don't like to tweet, you should download Twitter. It's a great way to keep up with news and follow celebrities, athletes, and journalists you're interested in.

There are several third-party Twitter apps, but most people will be fine with the regular Twitter app.

Price: Free for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry

Facebook Messenger is a great way to chat with your friends.

Chance are pretty good that most people you know are on Facebook. You probably are too. Facebook's Messenger app is a simple chatting tool that lets you send your Facebook connections quick text messages. It's arguably more useful than the regular Facebook app.

Price: Free for iPhone and Android

Instagram is the most popular way to share photos on your smartphone

With 130 million users, Instagram is the biggest photo-sharing app out there. The Facebook-owned service recently added a new feature that lets you upload 15-second videos, complete with the app's iconic filters.

Instagram is a big hit because it was one of the first apps that made photo-sharing on smartphones fast and easy.

Price: Free for iPhone and Android

Evernote is the best note-taking app on the planet.

Evernote is more than just a note-taking app. It's a locker for your entire digital life.

The app lets you store text, audio, and photo notes to an online account and access them on any Web-connected device. Spend one week with Evernote and you'll be obsessed.

Price: Free for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry

All your friends are playing Candy Crush Saga.

Candy Crush Saga is the hottest smartphone game at the moment. It's a very simple puzzle game, but it's exploded in popularity in recent months.

The game has hundreds of levels where you try to match three of the same candies in a row to clear the board. It also lets you connect with your Facebook friends and compare scores. You'll be addicted. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Price: Free for iPhone and Android

Snapchat is a fun way to send photos to your friends.

Snapchat is one of the most popular social networking apps available today. The app lets you send photos and short video clips to friends that self-destruct after they're viewed. You can also annotate and doodle over your photos.

Sound simple? It is. And millions of people are obsessed with it.

Price: Free for iPhone and Android

Pandora is a great way to stream music.

Turn off your FM radio. Pandora is a much better.

Pandora lets you create your own customised radio stations that stream over the Web. Just enter an artist, genre, or song and the app will create a radio station with similar music.

Price: Free for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry

Digg is great way to find the best articles on the Web.

Digg's app uses a mix of computer algorithms and human editors to find the best articles on the Web. The app's clean design makes it really easy to scroll around and find something you're interested in. You can also save articles and read them later.

Price: Free for iPhone

Dropbox lets you store your files online.

Think of Dropbox as a virtual file folder.

The app lets you save any file type online and access it from your Web-connected device. You can also easily create a public folder for quickly sharing files.

Price: Free for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry

Dots is another fun casual game.

Dots is one of the hottest new smartphone games available.

The game gives you one minute to clear as many dots as you can by connecting two or more together in a straight line. If you make a square, you'll clear all the dots on the board of the same colour. You can also earn powerups that help boost your score.

Price: Free for iPhone

GroupMe lets you easily send group text messages.

Have you ever been caught up in a group texting chain where your phone is buzzing nonstop?

GroupMe is the answer. It lets you create groups of friends that you can text and send photos to. It's much better than using regular texting.

Price: Free for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone

Instacast is a great app for podcasts.

Instacast is our favourite app for keeping up with our podcast subscriptions. The app lets you sign up for a podcast and will automatically download them to your iPhone. You also have the option to stream.

Price: $4.99 for iPhone

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