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Two free smartphone apps that will simplify your life

I'm not a fan of cellphones in general; I view them as additional tethers in an overly tethered world, but these days, they are simply necessary, both for safety and convenience.  I can't imagine how people got picked up at the airport without having a cellphone. 

So, if I need to have a cellphone, it might as well be an Iphone, which has some of the most extraordinary technology around. My husband swears by his Android, and so the argument continues.  While our smartphones are loaded with "cool" applications, most of them are not all that necessary or utilitarian.  But, here are two free, simple apps that have helped make my life much easier:

Mapquest4Mobile:  basically, it functions as a GPS, which talks you through guided directions like a TomTom, and eliminates the need for an external GPS.  I've tested a few other free GPS applications on my Iphone, and I really like Mapquest the best. Close second is Google Maps for Iphone, but I've found Mapquest4Mobile to be a little more accurate in terms of finding locations.  It is also a "smart" app, in that, if I'm in an unfamiliar area and need to find, say, a drug store, I can type in the word "Walgreen's" without knowing the address, and it will locate the nearest Walgreen's for me and then direct me to it from my current location.  I no longer have to carry my bulky TomTom with me into meetings, and as long as I have my Iphone, I'll never get lost.

Chase for smartphones:  obviously this app is only useful if you bank and/or have credit cards with Chase.  Besides the convenience of being able to do transfers and pay bills from my phone, Chase for Iphone has one feature that I've not yet seen in other smartphone banking apps:  the ability to deposit checks through the phone.  Basically, you endorse the check, log in, take a picture of the check's front and back, and the app scans the amount, account number, tracking number, etc.  and deposits it into your account for you. I love this technology and find it amazing.  I no longer have to go out of my way to find a Chase atm when a client pays me by check.  In fact, I don't even need to leave the house.  Let me know if you are using another banking app with a similar functionality.  When they start making a banking app that dispenses cash from my Iphone's USB port, that will really freak me out.

I know I talked about two apps in the title to this post, but I have to at least mention a third and refer you to my post about The Square.  The Square is an app (and a dongle) that basically allows me to process credit cards. While I've only used it once so far for my business, I see tremendous potential in this fantastic app. 

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