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10 Essential Apps for the Essential Gent

I am coming dangerously close to transitioning from technologically savvy to borderline pretentious, in that I judge the legitimacy and respectability of a company on whether they have an App or not. We live in a generation where these trusty apps make the world turn. Not literally, of course – though I probably wouldn’t bet against it in the future.

But how do you sort out the great and useful, game-changing apps from the I-really-shouldn’t-have-bothered-with-this-thing-that-so-far-has-provided-nothing-of-remote-value-but-has-succeeded-in-draining-my-already-pitiful-battery-life type apps?
Firstly, by accepting that most apps will leave your phone yearning for that last shred of battery that it will never get, because there’s still over 45 minutes left of your commute back home and you’ve left your charger on your desk at work.

Secondly, by reading this article. NOTE: I have an iPhone, so this list is largely based on personal user experience. However, I have outsourced opinions of users without iPhones, who were… not so surprisingly, difficult to find.

My Top 10 is based on App Rating and Manliness Rating (from 1-5):

The App Rating (user friendly and aesthetics): 1 – needs a little more work, but has the right idea; 5 – get the app even if it has no relevance to your life because it’s that awesome.

The Manliness Rating (how essential it is to the modern man): 1 – the coming of age type manliness; 5 – the lumberjack eating a raw steak after chopping down an entire forest with one swing of his axe type manliness.

I’ve ruled out the basics (social network apps, and ones that teach you how to cook, or tie a tie, because as men we should already know this).

10. Transform (under Books, for iPhone – FREE)

Lose your self in the world of meditative wisdom by Cheri Huber. The app gives a daily quote and task to transform yourself into a better version of an already incredible you.

App Rating: 3/5
Manliness: 3/5

9. Pinterest (under Social Networking, for iPhone and Android – FREE)

I know. I said I wasn’t including Social Networks, but this is an exception. Once you get on your pin board game, a whole new world of fashion, hot spots, art and beautiful people will unravel itself. Take it from me. Instagram is a strong runner-up (what it lacks in directory, it makes up for in ego boost).

App Rating: 5/5
Manliness Rating: 2/5

8. SKY Sports (under Sports, for iPhone and Android– FREE)

For a comprehensive sports app with a wide range, the obvious choice is SKY Sports. It does what it says on every well-packaged SKY product/tin. ESPN and BBC Sport follow in similar vein.

App Rating: 3/5
Manliness Rating: 4/5

7. Six Pack Abs (under Health & Fitness, for iPhone – FREE)

An awesome, extreme fitness app, with easily accessible videos and minimal buffering time: it literally shows you how to work out. Effectiveness is yet to be measured, but it’s pretty good on the aesthetic front.

App Rating: 4/5
Manliness: 4/5

6. GQ Style (under Lifestyle, for iPhone – FREE exc. Subscription)

The Gentlemen’s Quarterly is an essential for any new-age man. If it’s not your thing, you probably don’t own a phone with the ability to get apps. It comes in the Newsstand section of an iPhone, and each issue costs £5.99.

App Rating: 3/5
Manliness Rating: 5/5

5. The Art of Manliness (under Lifestyle, via iTunes – FREE)

“The AoM app will increase your manliness by 274% right after you download it.” An app version of the website, you can’t really go wrong – or much manlier for that matter.

App Rating: 3/5
Manliness Rating: 5/5

4. Guitar Tuna (under Music, for iPhone and Android – FREE)

This app is great for tuning guitars, and every man should play at least one instrument. An essential app, especially if you are a little tone deaf or generally have no clue.

App Rating: 5/5
Manliness: 4/5

3. Football App (under Sports, for iPhone and Android – FREE)

Call me ballsy for assuming this is probably a good, blokey-app. If you’re a fan of the Premier League – or any other European or International competition – Football App has you covered. You let it know whom you support (in my case, Liverpool – don’t start) and you’ve got all the Premier League fixtures, stats and live feeds, league news, plus main footie headlines. You can’t go wrong, especially when you’re missing a footballing weekend and want to know who’s scored and when!

App Rating: 4/5
Manliness Rating: 5/5

2. Al Jazeera English (under News, for iPhone and Android – FREE)

A proper man always stays on top of current affairs. I’ve opted for Al Jazeera as I feel they’re the best when it comes to breaking news, world coverage, and legitimacy. The app is easy to get around, once you’re used to the grid-ness.

App Rating: 4/5
Manliness Rating: 5/5

1. MR. PORTER (under Lifestyle, for iPhone and Android – FREE)

Look Great. Feel Phenomenal. (A good tagline if I do say so myself. And I do. Because I just made it up.) A beautifully crafted app with men’s fashion at its very best: you’ve the crème de la crème of designer wear to keep you looking slick, suave and gentlemanly. Very much high-end clothing, so it’s a good thing that the app is free!

App Rating: 5/5
Manliness Rating: 5/5

There you have it! Say goodbye to the old you, download the apps (perhaps get an iPhone first) and say hello to the new age, well-groomed, Gentleman of 2013*.

* – 2013 is also the year of the Beard. Do not tame the beast: beard grooming is an actual thing, now!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

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