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LAist Recommends Apps to Keep You Safe and Happy

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Nowadays you have to be up on the latest technology before it even comes out. With the upcoming release of the iPhone 4 it's a good time to take a look at apps. Which ones are lifesavers and which ones are just taking up space? With hundreds of thousands of apps out there for your iPhone, LAist staff has come up with a list comprised of some their essentials.

Apps You Gotta Have Just to Keep Up

Facebook - if you want to have any friends and be able to tell them what you're eating, watching, riding or hating

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Twitter Apps: Tweetie (Lindsay) Hello Kitty (name witheld for the sake of manliness)

Skype - talk on your iPhone to anyone in the world with a Skype account (An)

Apps that Keep You from Peril

Don't Eat That - ID's crazy chemicals in foods (Zach)

iPoison X - for hikers, shows poisonous plants (Zach)

SitorSquat- find closest public bathroom (Matt)

Apps that Get You Places

Yelp for listings and local addresses because the iPhone map app is so polluted with purchased search terms you can't use it to find commercial listings.(Lisa Borodkin) and for knowing what's open in the immediate vicinity when you're hungry/thirsty/need to take the parakeet to the vet (skip the reviews, lolz!) (Lindsay)

Dash Downtown LA (Zach)

iTrans LA Metro - subway and light rail schedules (Zach)

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iTrans Metrolink - Metrolink schedules (Zach)

Informative Apps

OF COURSE, istaverse! (LAist on your phone!)

NYTimes is free (Beth)

Wikipedia Why not? (Lindsay)

Apps for Entertainment and Hobbies

Showtimes for movie showtimes (Lindsay)

How to Cook Everything (Beth)

Zagat Guide because Michelin is pointless, Yelp is unreliable and Jonathan Gold won't fit in your pocket (Elise)

Happy Hours (Beth and Matt)

Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains(Zach)

What's Invasive!(How to ID and report harmful invasive plants in the Santa Monica Mountains) (Zach)

Apps to Improve Your Life

Mint - to manage your money and avoid overdraft (Danielle)

100 pushups/200 situps/200 squats-- great workout program! (Zach)

Brain Exercise to stimulate your cerebral cortex (An)

Camera Apps

Plastic Bullet (Josh Tate)

CameraBag is a fun photo editing app and doesn't use the word "hipster" (Lindsay)

Apps for When You're Bored out of Your Mind

Papertoss - for standing in lines (Matt)

Zippo Lighter - pointless but fun! (for about 10 seconds) (Matt)

Plants vs. Zombies (Sam and Ali)

Skee Ball(Beth)

Doodle Jump - a highly addicting games worth spending the $1-3 (Ali)

FML (Fuck My Life) - not a game but very entertaining - super short anecdotes people submit about the really crappy things that happen them (An)

This American Life - Gives you access to archives for an addictive weekly Public Radio show hosted by Ira Glass (Matt)

Apps that Sound like Miracles - because if you're in a store you can take a picture of something and it gets added to your wish list (Lindsay)

Shazam - for when you're all "DUDE WHAT IS THAT SONG?" (Lindsay)

Remote - so you can sit on your lazy ass and control your iTunes from your phone (Lindsay)

DirecTV in case you are slowly getting shitfaced on cheap vodka tonics and realize you forgot to set your DVR to record Betty White hosting SNL (Lindsay)

Translator or any other foreign language tool so you can dazzle your friends with how to say "Lick my quivering underpants" in Swedish (btw that's Slicka min darrande kalsonger) (Lindsay)

ShopSavvy - uses the camera to pick up the UPC code on anything and tells you where to buy it (online/in a store) and for how much. (Beth)

Red Laser - scans barcodes when you're at the store and brings up the product online so you can see if it's cheaper. (Matt)

Dragon Dictation - speak and it will transcribe what you say into a text, e-mail or save on your clipboard for later. It's great when you have a lot to say or don't want to type (An)

And there they are, our essential apps. They may not be essential for everyone, but we hope this helps you wade through the iTunes store. If that's not enough, here are Most Popular appsaccording to Apple, and by all means, add your favorites in the comments section.