Austin Woman staff love their apps, and they share some of their favorites.
Lately I’ve been obsessed with the Stardust app! Stardust is a period tracking app that syncs your cycle with the lunar cycle. I know there has been a lot of anxiety around period tracking apps lately that could be sharing or selling your data, but Stardust’s first priority is keeping your data safe with your own unique encryption key. Each day you can monitor your hormone levels, log your symptoms and moods and read your horoscope. I can’t say enough a good things about this app. Did I mention it’s 100% free?
Community and Events Manager
Oh, the wonders of Pinterest! Pinterest is a social networking site that allows users to collect, organize and share anything from decorating to recipes to homeschool curriculum. It essentially allows you to create a digital bulletin board or scrapbook to store things found online. As absolutely amazing as Pinterest can be, it’s very easy to get “hooked.” You can easily spend 20 minutes browsing through hundreds of images in order to find “the right one” for your board. If you want to work on your boards instead of tuning in to the latest episode of your favorite TV show, I’m all for it. But if you are using Pinterest for work, make sure you don’t get carried away by all the beautiful things that catch your eye!
Jen Ramos Perkins
Director of Business Operations
My absolute favorite, bar-none app of all time was Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, an augmented-reality mobile game developed by Niantic and WB Games under license from Portkey Games and launched in June 2019. The game was based on the Harry Potter Wizarding World media franchise and ran on the same grid/map as Pokémon Go. The game was fun, with amazing graphics and audio, and would keep me walking for miles past my daily walking goals just to keep playing.
I started visiting different parks around town to walk with my dog, based on the level of interaction provided with the game. I walked more than I ever have in my life, but that wasn’t the best part. I started meeting people playing the game in parks, who recommended online communities—through YouTube and Discord—that were incredible and so supportive. I have met cool people, all over the world, who (pre-COVID) would meet in different cities to play together.
Unfortunately, the game was shut down in January 2022. I still miss it every day, which I, frankly, never thought I would say about an online video game. I can’t even bring myself to delete the icon for the game on my phone. The following for this game was so loyal and strong that a huge group still meets regularly on “Wizarding Wednesdays” (shout out to XpectoGO, best YouTuber ever, who brings us the latest and greatest in Hogwarts Legacy) to discuss the upcoming release of Hogwarts Legacy, an upcoming action role-playing video game developed by Avalanche Software and published by Warner Bros. (under Portkey Games) using the Unreal Engine. This will release in December 2022, and then I can play online again with my fellow wizards and witches from around the world (and maybe finally be able to delete the Wizards Unite icon). Wands Up!
This one’s a toss-up between two apps I’ve used religiously every day. First, Duolingo. I absolutely adore languages. I want to learn as many as my mind can handle! Right now, I’m on a mission to teach myself Korean. Already having a pretty firm grasp on the alphabet, and getting clearer on the grammar, it’s now a matter of learning more of the actual vocabulary. I’m also planning on learning Haitian Creole, Arabic and improving my Spanish and Portuguese with Duo’s help (and constant mobile threats…I mean, reminders). By the time you read this, I’ll have gone 383 days straight and counting!
The second of my favorite apps came compliments of a recent doctor’s visit. My doctor—shout out to Dr. Kitty Woo Ham!—suggested something called MyFitnessPal. It’s more than just a way to track calories (though that’s what I mostly use it for). This app gives you advice on foods that are crucial to heart health, for helping you get meaningful sleep, exercises for those who have low mobility or need help improving stiffness. There are actual workout videos from professionals and semi-professionals alike, creating exercise regiments for all ability levels.
For me, the coolest aspect is that its food database is so massive. Scanning a barcode will get you the full nutritional facts of said item. Type in a restaurant and the food you just ate. There’s at least a 75% chance your meal is in the app and has the full nutritional breakdown. It even breaks down your intake of sugar, carbs, protein, vitamins, etc., accounting for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and even your water intake. You can create recipes and meals, scanning the barcode of every item or using its seemingly endless search engine. This is one of the most expansive health apps I’ve ever seen, and if you’re a nerd like me and just love watching the numbers and breaking down what’s going into your body, it’s so much fun!