Smartphones have gone from communication devices to life companions. Nearly two thirds -- 62% -- of the 181 million smartphone users in the U.S. immediately grab their smartphone after waking up, according to an IDC survey.
What really makes smartphones addicting are the applications. Apps tell us when to wake up, what the weather is like, what to wear. When we need ideas for what to do on a Saturday afternoon they provide suggestions for what to do and how to get there.
But many smartphone apps can fill your hours and eat into your productivity, so it's worth asking yourself: How many of these apps enhance my life, and how many just waste my time?
With this in mind, we've come up with a collection of Android and iOS mobile apps that fall into the must-have category. They entertain, keep you organized and help you save money.
When you create a Flipboard account, you can select a few topics, from technology to travel, to start catching up on relevant news (shown here). You can also choose to stay updated on magazines, RSS feeds and websites such as Vanity Fair, The New York Times or Etsy.com, where you can shop right off Flipboard.
In addition to staying on top of the news, you can use Flipboard to stay updated on social media accounts for Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter. All of your social media updates are displayed in a magazine style, and you can still interact with others through Flipboard.
In Flipboard version 2.0, you can save and gather favorite articles or Web pages and create "magazines" of your own. You can also explore other Flipboard users' magazines in the "By Our Readers" category.
Plenty of other useful smartphone apps hide under the radar, but you don't have to search for them -- we've done that for you. Also, let us know which apps we should add to our list. What's your favorite smartphone app? Use the comments field to share with your peers.