According to Ofcom two thirds of us in the UK now own a smartphone of some sort. And we're spending up to two hours a day each on our devices, that’s twice as long as we pend on laptops or desktops.
Of course the fact of the matter is, most of that time is spent recreationally, we’re either failing at reaching that next level on CandyCrush, Facebook-stalking our neighbour’s holiday snaps or raging on Twitter about the Masterchef quarter-final results. But, of course we can do much more on our phones than that.
There’s actually a range of clever apps these days that can help us around the house in all sorts of ways from improving our home, to keeping track of your utilities. Here’s a few of our favourites.
1. Pinterest app
Pinterest is one of the best places to find inspiration on the web. Whether you’re looking for a dinner party recipe, some ideas for things you could do with the conservatory or you’re looking for a new craft project to do with the kids during a rainy half-term, Pinterest is a great source. And with the app you can access all your boards and pins from just about anywhere.
2. Spirit level app
You’ve just put together that Ikea coffee table for the reception room, but is it really level? You could tell if you could only find that blasted spirit level you got in a Christmas cracker five years ago. With a spirit level app, you’ll always have this handy tool on your phone, and you won’t have to resort to uprooting your entire home just to find a physical one.
If you have an iPhone, you may have not realised that you actually already have one . Search ‘Compass’ to find the app, when it opens do a left swipe to get to the spirit level and bingo! No more will you have to question whether that picture frame in the landing is really straight. Remember the app works both on the phone’s side and when it’s flat for extra convenience.
Think you know the easiest way to change a kingsized duvet cover singlehandedly? Think again. Thought about taking up knitting but couldn’t find anyone nearby to teach you the basics? Don’t fret the Wikihow app is here. Like Wikipedia, Wikihow is a user-created encyclopaedia, only this one is dedicated to creating ‘how-to’ guides for just about every single activity under the sun. We mean it, search anything, no matter how esoteric there’s probably a guide on Wikihow.
Despite all of the slightly odd (and gloriously deranged) guides, there are some real pearls of wisdom in there. Making the app a great asset to have at your disposal for those times when you're wondering if there's a more efficient way to clean the oven or a better way to fold clothes.
You’ve just gotten home late from the meeting from hell, your partner is away and the kids are starving - cooking is the last thing on your mind. Despite this, you still want to give them something healthy, rather than the usual greasy takeaway fare available. Deliveroo to the rescue!
Deliveroo uses a network of cycle and moped curriers to deliver food from local restaurants direct to your door. So whether you fancy some sushi, baba ganoush, or a piece of pan-fried salmon Deliveroo could be the answer. And with the app, you can order and pay in less than 30 seconds.
5. Smart home apps
You’re out for the day, but did you remember to turn the heating off, the washing on and to set your television programme to record? If these are the kind of questions that plague you every time you leave the house, then it may be worth investing in a few smart home apps, which let you directly control things in your home, from your phone.
The most recognisable brands in the UK that offer these services are Google’s Hive and British Gas’ Nest products. Both of which let you control the heating and other things directly from a mobile app, from anywhere with an internet connection.
You can Check security cameras, turn off power outlets and much more today from your device, and as the ‘internet of things’ grows you’ll be able to do more and more things through your phone.
If you’re worried about getting confused by a plethora of new apps on your phone, meaning you’re not sure which does what. then check out things like the nCube and Apple’s HomeKit which work as one stop shops to control them all.
Bonus. The Opun app!
Now, we don’t like to blow our own trumpet too much around here, but we couldn’t write about apps that can help you around the home without at least mentioning the Opun app, which gives you complete access to the Opun Portal wherever, any when. All you need to do is log in to your account to view correspondence, overview your project and send pictures to our handpicked experts.