• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Ten apps guaranteed to make life easier

ByGurinderbir Singh

Mar 12, 2023

Almost everyone is looking for a way to make their lives easier, and you don’t have to look too far to find an app or a service promising to do just that.

But the fact is that some apps just do it better than others, and it can be hard to figure out which of the more than 9 million up for grabs are golden geese and which are duds.

So news.com.au spoke to tech commentator and editor of eftm.com Trevor Long to get the inside scoop on the top 10 apps you need to make life easier, and that you’ll wish you downloaded sooner.

Apple Pay or Google Pay

Cash is out, digital payments are in, and Trevor says if you haven’t started using digital payments, “you’re mad”.

“There is no need to carry a wallet anymore. It is the simplest thing in the world because everywhere in Australia except to tap and go. It literally makes life easier,” he said on the I’ve Got News for You podcast.

Open the wallet app installed on your device and either scan your card or type your details into the app. Once the information is verified with your bank, you’ll be away.


It’s time to level up from Google Maps or Apple Maps with Waze, Trevor says.

Waze has all the mapping smarts of Google, but knows “just a little bit more about the road, because it’s like a community app”.

“It knows traffic better than the local roads authority, so if there’s an incident on the way, if there’s police on the way, if there’s construction on the way … you will have marked that on the map,” he said, and the app will find the “most accurate directions and the most accurate ETA” to get around them.

And, for something special, you could be driven to work by a celebrity of your choice with Waze, with stars like Christina Aguilera and Boy George voicing the directions on the app.

Google Keep

Never lose a single note moving between devices again with Google Keep, a cloud based note-keeping app that works across all platforms and all devices.

“I know it kind of sounds like a simple thing. But some of the simplest things are the ones that will make your life easier. And this is the one that works across all platforms,” Trevor said.

You can also lock your notes with passwords and make them pop up like reminders based on your location – for instance, a shopping list that might pop up when you’re near a supermarket.


Speaking of extra protection for your data, the app Authy makes two-factor authentication a breeze and “super secure”.

Authy takes the fiddly six-digit SMS or email code authentication and puts it in a single app which, Trevor said, “generates a new password every 30 to 60 seconds for every single website to keep you completely and utterly secure”.

Google Photos

Another Google winner is Google Photos, which is not only a “great cloud backup” system but has “mind blowing” intelligence, too.

Gone are the days of having to scroll through hundreds of photos for one person or place, Google Photos recognises faces that you can label and then search for in a snap. You can do the same for objects – like food or locations or activities.

Trevor says you can get the free storage or pay a small fee for what he describes as “the smartest and most advanced photo library you can get”.

Google Calendar

Still on the Google train is the “game changer” Google Calendar.

Not only because it makes a very handy calendar, but Trevor says the built-in ability to share calendars makes RSVPing and event booking, especially for people with a billion commitments to juggle, so simple.

With Google Calendar, you will be one-step closer to ending the dreaded moment you either double book yourself, or clash with another event.


JustWatch is like a TV Guide brochure for streaming channels.

The free service shows whether or not a movie is available on one of the services you are subscribed to and, if not, will show where you can buy or rent it online.

“It works for most TV shows, and pretty much every movie,” Trevor said. “It is a remarkable service, a game changer when you sit down with your mates and … you’d have to scroll through searching every single platform.”

JustWatch will also tell you what movies and TV shows are coming out on the services you have.


Investment has never been easier with Raiz, which will literally do the investing for you “cent by cent”.

Securely and privately link Raiz to your bank account, and it will take leftover change from your transactions, round them up, and turn the cents into an investment.

For example, a $1.93 expense will become $2 and that seven cents will become an investment.

Trevor hadn’t noticed Raiz helped him invest $2000 over two years “because it was just rounding up my transactions”.

“And that’s the thing. We all say we want to save, but we never willingly take that dollar or 10 or 20,” he said. “So if you just take cents at a time, it really does add up, and it can save you money and make a great investment for you.”


Back on the cloud technology, Trevor says he “can’t live without” Dropbox.

Whatever the document, whatever the software, whatever the device, Dropbox can allow you to move things from device to device without a hassle. No more battling to find a compatible device to upload your files, videos, or photos.

Once uploaded, just send yourself a link, log into your Dropbox account, and you’re away. And sharing files is just as simple, too – especially for sharing large files, like high-definition videos, while retaining the quality.

National Public Toilet Map

Last but not least, and one that might prove the most useful of all, an app to find nearby public toilets.

We’ve all been there: between meetings, visiting someone, or on the road and don’t know when or where the next stop will be. The National Public Toilet Map – a government app – would have been real handy.

“It will literally tell you where there are public toilets. I’m not kidding. It’s amazing in those times of need,” Trevor said, and he vouches for it from personal experience.

“This is the app that might come in the most handy.”

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