Apps can help to simplify things and make our lives easier (like banking apps) and provide a source of entertainment (games, social media, etc). This week we outline the apps we love, as chosen by our team members:

Local – Lynette Ruffi
Improve Detroit
Improve Detroit appGet it on iTunes
Get it at Google Play Store

This local app was launched by Mayor Duggan in an effort to make reporting problems easier. In the past, residents had to navigate through the City’s department directory by phone hoping to reach someone who could help. Now, users can report a problem using their smartphone – everything from illegal dumping, potholes, broken fire hydrants and running water in an abandoned building. You can even submit a photo. Once it’s in the system you’ll receive notifications so you can track the progress until it is resolved. Reported issues are available for the public to see as well. A convenient way to keep city workers accountable and keep the city looking its best.

Entertainment – Nanette Wiseman

Periscope by Twitter appGet it on iTunes

Get it at Google Play Store

Four months and 10 million users later, this Twitter owned app is gaining speed. As a way to “explore the world through someone else’s eyes”, users can broadcast live and interact with their followers. Videos are available to view for 24 hours, but you can only comment, ask a question, or send hearts (as a way of ‘liking’ the video) while the broadcast is live. You can browse live or recent broadcasts or follow a user to receive a notification so you can tune-in. Users can also choose whether or not they want to share the live video on Twitter. If they do, they will tweet a link which enables people to watch on the web or via the app. Be on the lookout as more and more retailers utilize the app to give consumers sneak peeks, special offers, Q&A sessions, and a view of their grand opening celebrations.

Financial – Mac MacDermaid

Expensify appGet it on iTunes

Get it at Google Play Store

Do you just have a folder or box somewhere stuffed with receipts for deductions during tax time? Rather than spending hours sorting them into expense categories for your accountant or a fortune having your accountant take care of it, try using Expensify for a more organized approach. Expensify is an easy-to-use app that makes tax prep much easier. Just take a picture of a receipt and it will automatically fill in the expense details. You can also manually enter an expense, which is helpful when you forget to get a receipt. Add your expenses to a custom report, like ‘Client Gifts’, ‘Continuing Education’ or ‘Gas’. Other cool features enable you to record number of hours worked and mileage, which can be logged manually or by using GPS to track distance. When you’re ready to turn your expenses in, just select the report you need and enter your e-mail to receive a PDF. You can also log into the website to save the report as a PDF or spreadsheet.
Shopping – Mac MacDermaid
Key Ring
Get it on iTunes
Get it at Google Play Store

Get rid of the bulkiness on your key ring and in your wallet (See a recent experience with that here). Just take a picture of a loyalty card (even a library, gym, or gift card) and the information is saved under the “My Key Ring” tab. These digital cards can be scanned at the checkout counter right from your phone. If, for some reason, the barcode will not scan, you can always have the cashier enter the number displayed under the barcode or give them the phone number that was used when you signed up for the card. View coupons and the weekly sales ad by clicking on a store that you’ve added. You can even digitally add coupons to some of the loyalty cards. If you end up with a lot of entries but have certain stores that you frequent the most, ‘favorite’ the store by clicking the star. These retailers will show up at the top of your feed. As an added bonus, you can create a shopping list for yourself or to share with others. Family members can check off items they’ve picked up. The best part is that you can take a picture of an item you need and add it to the list – super helpful if someone goes to the store for you and isn’t sure exactly what to get.

Navigation – Jim Bieri
Around Me

Around Me navigational appGet it on iTunes
Get it at Google Play Store

Finding your way around a new city can be overwhelming. Sometimes you just want to know where the nearest food joint is, a nearby ATM, or the closest gas station because you’re running on empty. Around Me comes to the rescue. Updates throughout the past few years have really jazzed this app up. Gas stations show the current price per gallon; restaurants show the website, menu, and Foursquare info; movie theatres display show times; and hotels include a brief description as well as the current nightly rate. As if that’s not enough; you can also easily find area parking, taxis and hospitals. There’s even a category named ‘Deals’ that will show available Groupon promotions nearby. Complete with YELP reviews and a navigation icon, you can find the place you’re looking for and get there fast.


Recreation – Alex Bieri
Golf GPS & Scorecard
Golf GPS & scorecard appGet it on iTunes
Get it at Google Play Store

An easy to use app while you’re on the course. You can view the satellite to see your distance to the green or zoom in and touch the screen to show the distance to get you to that point.

As you play, it automatically moves to the next hole. With the digital scorecard you can store your rounds to track your stats. You can even check out your path around the course and upload pictures.

Specialty – Commercial Real Estate

Placemeter appGet it at Google Play Store

This list wouldn’t be complete without sharing a new app with our loyal readers that few yet know about and is creating a buzz in the Commercial Real Estate world. Placemeter is a data gathering platform that can help both landlords and tenants decide on the best commercial real estate for their business. The app uses video streams from any internet-enabled camera (like on an old cell phone) of a fixed space to count the people and traffic, as well as their behavior, as they move through the area in order to help the user determine if the traffic count is conducive to their needs; or even help them decide between several spaces using the same methods. You can learn more about the app here or check out

*As with any data gathering, you need to be sure that what you are analyzing is relevant to your needs. Feel free to contact us for more information.


Please share your experiences with the apps we’ve listed above. We’re also interested in hearing which apps you love…please let us know in the comments below.