We’ve all experienced a bad situation once in a while. Either it’s an uncomfortable conversation with the in-laws, being stranded on the side of the road when your car breaks down, or any number of difficult situations that you find yourself in during day-to-day life. So, what if there was an app, or set of apps, that could help you get out of some of these sticky situations? In this article, we’ll go over some very useful apps that can do just that. In a sense, your iPhone is a Swiss Army knife that can be fitted with a multitude of tools to take on almost any situation. After all, isn’t the purpose of owning a smartphone to help you with getting through your day?
The iOS operating system is designed to do much more than just make phone calls or allow you to check your email. Like Android and Windows phones it is designed to make your life easier. So why not put it to work on all those social, economic, or unexpected situations you might find yourself in on any given day?
So picture this: You’re at your in-laws’ house and your father-in-law pulls you aside and asks you that question every husband dreads. What do you do when you’re at work and that coworker who’s been eying you for weeks suddenly decides to come up to you and ask if you’re available on Friday night?
Situations like these pop up every day and, believe it or not, there’s an app to get you out of them. In fact, there are several. Here are a few apps that you might want to consider adding to your iPhone for just these occasions.
So, you get together with a few friends and you notice that one of them is making the rounds and asking everyone to help them move. While you’d like to do the right thing and help them out, you really don’t want to miss that big game going on on Sunday. What do you do? You could set yourself up for an out.
Enter Fake Conversation, adaptable not only to give you a fake phone call, but to carry on a virtual conversation with you to help create a more believable excuse to get out of the room. Having a conversation with silence is very difficult, especially if you want to get the timing down just right and make it as believable as possible. This app actually makes that possible by giving you prompts so that no one will suspect you’re really just trying to get out of the room.
Fake Conversation is available for free on the iTunes App Store and is compatible with all iOS devices running 3.1.3 or later.
Sometimes, you just want to get out of the situation, but you don’t want to have to fake a phone call to do so. Fake-A-Message allows you to receive a text message alerting you to whatever made-up problem you need to have going on at a given time. It even allows you to customize who you receive the message from, so you can avoid people asking “Well, who’s that person?”
Fake-A-Message looks just like a regular SMS conversation. You can even have the app carry on a conversation with up to 50 fake scripted responses to make the conversation all the more believable. Not only that, but you can have it send you a photo on cue.
Fake-A-Message is available for all iOS devices running 3.0 or later, but you might want to use it on an iPhone in particular.
Let’s say you’re not interested in having a full-on conversation with yourself via text or voice. You just want to have your phone ring so you can get out of the room. Fake Calls allows you to do this in a way that no other app I’ve seen does. You can have it give you multiple phone calls so that a situation seems more urgent, allowing you to leave the room without having to act out a conversation. This makes it a great choice for the work environment where you may be in a business meeting that can only be interrupted by a matter that is believed to be absolutely urgent.
Fake Calls is available for $.99 on the iTunes App Store for all iOS products running 2.1 or later.
On the Road
MotionX GPS Drive
If you’re like me, you probably get lost more than you care to admit. Whether you’re driving through a new city, an unfamiliar part of your hometown, or simply taking in the sights of the countryside, being able to make your way back to familiar territory is an important consideration in any trip.
MotionX GPS Drive is an incredible GPS application for the iPhone. Not only does it give you turn-by-turn directions, but it performs just about any task you would expect of a high-end, standalone GPS device. It gives you the ability to save favorite locations, keep track of your speed and heading, and even search for specific places in your area with a tap of the screen.
You can get the app itself right now for $1.99, and enjoy a year of live voice guidance with turn-by-turn directions for an additional $9.99 as an in-app purchase.
Alan Klein, a member of the Gnomies, recommends: “Navigon GPS App, a real time saver for people who travel a lot to different unfamiliar locations. I used to have a separate Garmin GPS, but this is much much better and more up to date. It works great with my iPhone 4.”
So, it’s the middle of the night and your car just stopped running. What do you do? You can’t find a cell signal, you don’t know exactly where you are, and perhaps all you really need is a tank of gas. Sure, you could call a tow truck and have it charge you an arm and a leg to help you out or you could signal for help. Sometimes, the situation requires immediate assistance and waiting for tow truck just isn’t possible.
Enter Flashlight *. There are a multitude of flashlight apps on the iTunes App Store; this one just happens to be my favorite. It features a very easy interface with a single large button and the slider to choose between being constantly on and strobe. A strobe light will attract attention much faster than a still light would, which makes it a must-have app for those emergency situations.
Having a flashlight app also comes in handy during power outages when you may not be able to find a traditional flashlight right away. Not to mention the times when you drop something under the desk and you need to find it.
All right, so not every app is meant to get you out of a bad situation in which you may find yourself, but something that helps prevent a bad situation from occurring in the first place is certainly worth a mention. Trapster is an app for the iPhone that is intended to let you know when a speed trap is set up ahead. You can also use it to plan your routes to avoid these potentially costly traps.
It works for you in several ways. It alerts you to any nearby speed traps, includes a built-in speedometer and speed limit indicator, and gives you real-time traffic analysis so that you know whether or not delays can be expected.
Trapster is free and is compatible with any iOS device running 4.3 or later.
Out on the Town
Going out on the town can be a lot of fun, especially when you’re out with friends. However, having a little bit too much to drink can create a difficult situation for everyone involved. You should never get behind the wheel after drinking, but what do you do when you can’t find a taxi?
What about those very same text messages that you send after you’ve had a few drinks? What about determining the right tip for the waitstaff when your mind’s a little fuzzy? Believe it or not, there are apps for just these situations.
Taxi Magic is one of those apps that should be made mandatory for everyone in college. Never again should an iPhone owner have the excuse of not being able to find a taxi after a long night out on the town. With Taxi Magic, you can book a taxi with just a few taps on the screen. Whether you’re in downtown Chicago at 2 a.m. or leaving your neighborhood bar at 10, this app is a great way to make sure that you, and everyone else on the road, gets home safely.
Taxi Magic is available for free in the iTunes App Store and is compatible with all iOS devices running iOS 3.0 or later.
Sometimes, you just want an app to do everything and anything you need it to do when you need it to do it. Few apps out there do more than just a couple of things. That is the case with AppBox Pro, a virtual Swiss Army knife for the iPhone (which, as mentioned above, is already a Swiss Army knife — wrap your mind around that, bucko!). This app does just about everything from monitoring battery levels to tip calculations, and it’ll even help you convert currency. This app even acts as a translator when you need it to.
If there’s anything you would want a single app to do, this one will probably do it for you — at least to some degree.
AppBox Pro is available on any iOS device running 3.1 or later.
No one likes to send or receive embarrassing text messages. Whether you’re confessing your love in a drunken state or simply saying something a little bit too silly, it’s never a good idea to drink and text.
Enter Textalyzer, an app that will keep you from sending embarrassing text messages when you’re not in the right state of mind. Textalyzer presents you with puzzles that you have to complete in order to have access to the text functionality on your iPhone. This is a great way to filter out what you should send and what you would really regret sending later on.
Textalyzer is available for $.99 in the iTunes App Store for all iOS devices running 4.0 or later.