Nicole Hanratty FireChat app
Whether it’s Yelp, BeMe, Peach, or my three favorites: FireChat, Evernote, and Postmates, cool apps can change your world. In the digital age of communication, social media apps are constantly revolutionizing the way we interact. Usually free to download, most new apps are not reinventing the wheel. But the good ones make the ride through life much smoother.


This week, the forward thinkers in my Digital Communications class at Syracuse University brought their favorite cool apps to the table. The presentations were compelling, making me want to give things like MeetUp and Periscope a try. It also got me thinking about which three apps on my phone have changed my life the most (for the better, of course).
1. FireChat is an app that rocked my world last year when I was introduced to it at SXSW. It has been called “the future of the Internet” by numerous tech review publications. Hot off of winning the Innovation Award, the FireChat app is, well, on fire. It’s uses revolutionary new technology that allows people to communicate in group chats or via private messaging when they are offline. “Where Twitter, Facebook and YouTube all fall short, however, lies in their need for an Internet connection to work — not the case for FireChat.” [TIME Magazine.] At a music festival with slow Internet service? At a sporting event where technology seems jammed? Where traditional texting and social media fails to connect, FireChat stays alive. The app allows you to reach your friend on other side of the stadium, get emergency information out to family, and see news as it breaks.
2. Evernote was introduced to me last week and it has already become a go-to form of office communication for me. I love the interactive whiteboard and how it allows me to share my thoughts with co-workers in the middle of the night. I can jot down my inspiration without bugging anyone with a text or email. Best of all, when I took a photo of a Post-It Note on my desk filled with appointment times, Evernote RECOGNIZED it as a Post-It Note. That blew my mind. In one week of using Evernote, I am already wondering how I ever lived without it.
3. The third and perhaps most indulgent of the apps that have forever changed my life is Postmates. The app puts a delivery person / assistant at your fingertips. I used Postmates to bring slurpees from 7Eleven to the bedside of my dying friend who was craving something cold and icy. Stuck at work? Use Postmates to order lunch. At home with a sick child you can’t leave? Use Postmates to bring you OTC medicine from Walgreens. Need diapers? They will run to Babies “R” Us for you also. Postmates does charge a convenience delivery fee, but when times are desperate it’s well worth every penny. As a side note, when the delivery arrives there is no need to fumble with at tip. You will be emailed after you receive your product and then you choose between the “No Tip, 10%, 15% and 20%” options.
While I urge you to try these three apps, I would also love to hear which apps rock your world. What app are you using that has forever changed your life?
By Nicole Hanratty
February 5, 2016
This post is for education purposes only for Syracuse University Newhouse School of Journalism.