New iPads, Android phones, Samsung's flagship and a myriad of other shiny new tech toys are probably unopened in homes around the country today. A phone and tablet are certainly just as useful as the programs you install on it, so we would like to share a list of some of our recommended and most favorite apps for both iOS and Android devices – apps that range from entertainment to productivity tools and will help you get as much use and enjoyment as possible out of your new device.
This is not a comprehensive list in any way, of course, but it should give you a good start. With the exception of the Dark Sky weather forecast, all of these apps are also available for free download from the iOS App Store and Google Play Marketplace.
Google has spent this year packing lots of new features in Google Maps that will do much more than just help you get from point A to point B. You can also use the app to do Yelp-like research on restaurants and businesses, share your ETA with friends and family, message companies directly and even "follow" updates from a business you're interested in, similar to how Facebook -pages works.
Netflix gave us so much bingworthy content for New in 2018, and there is no reason to expect that you won't find much more to look at in the years to come. From Dogs docu series to Narcos there is literally something for everyone, and the mobile app is still as easy to use as ever. It remains to be seen whether credible contenders will appear in 2019 as Disney's planned Disney + streaming service, but if for some reason you don't have it on your mobile device to help fill out the empty spaces today, get it now.  DARK SKY
There are lots of weather applications out there, and in our experience you can usually find a third party app that will be better or at least have more bells and whistles than the weather app supplied with the device. Dark Sky is such an opportunity. It is almost universally praised and does a great job of helping you how the weather is going to be from one minute to the next. (Note: the app costs $ 3.99 from the App Store.)
If you have had attention at all for the headlines these days, you know how critical password security is. Of course, errors are that we all have lots of logins to remember and many app login information to keep track of. You want an app like 1Password to help you manage this on a couple of fronts – to prevent you from falling back on the bad habit of using similar, simple passwords because they are easy to remember and also help you to create stronger passwords to secure your accounts and data.
There has been some of a resurgence in the media this year, partly driven by the Trump phenomenon, and also a greater awareness of false news and the importance of trusted sources. An app that Pocket is incredibly useful to help you keep track of interesting things you come across that you will read later and spend some time with – things ranging from one article to something interesting you see on a website. As you can see from the picture, Pocket also has some cool features like iMessage integration, and you can also set the app to read the content to you, almost as if it makes your content a personal podcast.
In terms of content, this was also the year social giants like Facebook began to be contacted more warily than ever when it comes to news and information they share and spotlight. To keep you informed of the world and especially of the things that matter most to you, an app like Flipboard is a good option – with which you basically build personal digital magazines filled with things you care about and will read and read.