10 Apps to Help Speed Up Your Life

Photo: Dimitri Otis/Getty Images

Life is short, and technology only seems to be making it shorter. But that doesn’t mean we can’t ask tech to give us some of that time back. Here are ten apps to help you shave a few seconds off, from getting a jump-start for your car to speed-reading a document, and maybe even shortening the distance between contemplating doing something and actually doing it.

Urgent.ly and Buckitdream.

If and when the need ever arises, Urgent.ly allows you to request quick roadside assistance with just a few taps. Prices are estimated up front and users pay through the app with Apple Pay or a credit-card number. Services offered include tows, vehicle lockouts, dead battery jumps, fuel fills, and flat-tire fixes, all starting at a flat $75 rate, so there’s no need to waste time negotiating or exchanging money with the driver. (geturgent.ly)

A social-media app for the dream economy that can help you achieve your life goals. Identify, share, and execute your bucket-list items with friends — or carry the planetary weight of remorse as they wrestle crocodiles in the outback while you file expense reports in your cubicle. A convenient way to create a list of must-do’s, and then motivate yourself to actually go out and check them off. (buckitdream.com)

GoPro and HobNob

GoPro app
GoPro’s new app allows budding auteurs to create professional-grade edits of their footage directly from their smartphones and quickly upload the finished product to social media — all while driving home from the slopes. (gopro.com)


Lets you create and send text-based invites with vivid images and elegant typography from your phone in seconds. Invite friends, family, and nemeses to events and dinners, and HobNob keeps track of the RSVPs, coordinates details, and can even follow up to request photos people took at the party to share with everyone. (hobnob.io)

Citymapper and PhotoMath.

Citymapper is to international public transportation what Uber is to the taxi, aggregating data from millions of users to help you find the quickest way to, say, Jim Morrison’s grave via bus, subway, or trolley. Simple A to B directions humans actually use, with real-time routing updates every minute. (citymapper.com)

The easiest way in the world to solve math problems — simply take a photo of an equation or an algorithm, and PhotoMath quickly gives you the correct answer. It can even read handwritten problems. Kind of makes all those high-school calculus classes you suffered through seem even more pointless. (photomath.net/en/)

Pushbullet and SwiftKey.

Connects all your devices so you can quickly move among iPhone, laptop, and tablet, allowing you to text from your computer, instantly share links (no more emailing yourself to access a URL on a different device), and easily transfer photos and files between all your units. Phone notifications can be viewed on your laptop while you’re working, so you don’t have to waste time reaching into your pocket every time it dings. (pushbullet.com)

The aftermarket keyboard for Android and Apple optimizes predictive text, magically Kreskin-ing the next word you’re going to use. It becomes even more intuitive if you have the tendency to repeat the same phrases over and over again, which you do. And you can swap out colors and themes to make your keyboard more fun. (swiftkey.com/en)

Spritz and Download Accelerator Plus.

The faster you read, the more you can accomplish. Spritz speeds up your comprehension potential by using what they call “focused reading” — instead of having your eye scan from left to right across a screen repeatedly to read a whole page, the app displays the words one at a time quickly in the same place. It may not seem like much, but the time saved adds up. You can set your own pace, with some users reading up to 700 words per minute. While Spritz may not be ideal to take in the enormity of a book like Ulysses, it’s really handy for processing things like a must-read document before a business meeting. (spritzinc.com)

Download Accelerator Plus
This freeware app boosts the downloading speed in your iOS or Android device by up to 200 percent. Download all types of files (music, movies, docs, programs, etc.) — in multiple, at the same time. Its auto-resume function will also complete downloads interrupted by lost network connections. (speedbit.com)

10 Apps to Help You Speed Up Your Life