Getting up at the crack of dawn is hard enough, but if you’re one of the many who have to endure a painstakingly long commute, you know that keeping your spirits high and your mind alert can be quite a challenge. The US Census reports that more than 32% of Americans have a daily commute that last longer than 30 minutes (2009) – If this number includes you, you’ll be happy to know that technology is on your side and there are plenty of apps out there to get your creative and analytical juices flowing before you even reach the office. So whether you’re a backseat carpooler, a faithful bus rider, or a subway swiper, check out our 10 favorite inspirational apps that are sure to make your commute fly by in a snap!
New York Times Crosswords
The New York Times crossword puzzle has been a classic time-killing staple for commuters since 1942 – and now it has gone digital! With this app you can play the same puzzles that are published daily in print, or take on one of over 6,000 classic puzzles from The New York Times archive. You can also compete against top players via the online leader-boards, and write in ‘pen’ or ‘pencil’ for that ‘old world’ feel.
Brain Trainer by Lumosity.com
Get your brain geared up and ready to go first thing in the morning with the Brain Trainer. This thinking man’s app was developed in part with the world’s leading neuroscientists from top universities — including Stanford, UCSF and Berkeley — who sought to create a cognitive program that enhances memory, processing speed, attention, flexibility, problem solving, and even mood! You can play one session per day, and each session has three games that have been designed to improve different brain functions. This nifty app also allows you to track your progress to see how your Brain Performance Index (BPI) changes over time with use.
Available for Apple products
For those of you who want to ease into the day with pleasant graphics (and sans complex math equations), then you’re sure to enjoy the Memory Mice IQ Brain Teaser app. This fun game tests your ability to memorize sequences by asking you to pop memory mice into their proper order. While this app may sound rudimentary, the creators claim that less than 1% of the population is able to complete the full 24 levels.
Braingle – Brain Teasers & Riddles
Is it a duck or a rabbit? Braingle has wrangled up thousands of brain teasers, riddles, optical illusions, logic problems, and mind puzzles to create a comprehensive app sure to awaken every nerve fiber in your cerebrum. With over 15,000 brain teasers available, and more being added daily, you’ll be well-stocked with enough problems to solve until you hit retirement!
Available for Apple products
Turn all those Soduku puzzles you find in newspapers and magazines digital with Sodoku Magic. Just take a photo with your iPhone’s camera and get your Sodoku on without a pen or pencil. Sudoku Magic also generates an unlimited number of new puzzles (ranging from easy to extreme), so you’ll never run out. The puzzles are automatically saved when you close the app.