If you didn’t know it already, there’s far more to apps than just social media or entertainment. Picture: Pexel.
If you didn’t know it already, there’s far more to apps than just social media or entertainment. Picture: Pexel.

Five of the coolest apps you’ve never heard of

By Sacha van Niekerk Time of article published Apr 16, 2020

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WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook SnapChat, Instagram again, WhatsApp again… If this series is a little too familiar, you've probably settled into a rather mundane routine when it comes to using your cell phone.

If you didn’t know it already, there’s far more to apps than just social media or entertainment. They have transformed beyond that, into useful tools that can fight boredom as well as save the day. 

Here are five cool apps that you’ve probably never heard of:

PlantNet

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A post shared by Écologie humaine (@ecologiehumaine) on Jan 24, 2020 at 7:58am PST

Ever wondered about the name of a plant you stumbled upon in your garden? I’m sure you’ve even tied to Google by typing in a list of visual features into the search box - but to no avail.  PlantNet is an application that helps people identify plants thanks to automated recognition. The system works by comparing visual patterns transmitted by users via photos of plant organs (flowers, fruits, leaves ...) that they seek to determine. These images are analysed and compared to an image bank produced collaboratively and enriched daily. The system then offers a possible list of species with its illustrations.

Star Walk 2

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A post shared by Vasilisa L (@lillian_firewall) on Apr 12, 2020 at 3:49pm PDT

If you love the night sky and find looking up at the constellation of stars, luminous moon and velvety darkness is endlessly fascinating, this is the app for you. Star Walk 2 Free - Identify Stars in the Sky Map is a great astronomy guide to explore the starry sky day and night, find and observe planets, asteroids, comets, ISS, Hubble Space Telescope, constellations, stars and other celestial bodies in real time in the sky above you. All you need to do is to point your device to the sky.

Tap Scanner

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A post shared by Hafiz Suhaili (@haidram) on Feb 24, 2019 at 8:44pm PST

In a pinch, this app is a complete lifesaver. Tap-Scanner is a simple camera document scanner with high-quality PDF output. You can scan documents, receipts and business cards that look freshly scanned as it automatically detects borders and has fine tuning features to reach perfection.

Wysa

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A post shared by Wysa (@wysa_buddy) on Dec 18, 2019 at 9:45am PST

As life would have it, the moment your head hits the pillow your mind is flooded with late night thoughts. What do I need to pick up from the store tomorrow? Did I fill up enough petrol to get to work? But, other times, these thoughts can be a little heavier. In those instances, Wysa is your 4 am AI friend when you have no one to talk to. It’s great at helping you get unstuck. Co-designed by therapists, coaches, users and AI folk, Wysa lets you set the pace, helps when it can, and never judges. It is free and anonymous - so give it a try.

PicsArt Animator

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A post shared by Photo & Video Editor (@picsart) on Apr 13, 2020 at 8:45pm PDT

Named “Most Entertaining” in Google Play’s Best Apps of 2017, it’s an animation creator and cartoon maker that’s simple to use and delivers maximum functionality. Make cartoon videos, animated GIFs and funny doodles in a few simple steps — no advanced skills required! Just doodle, have fun and amaze your friends.

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