If your daily commute is basically just one giant effort not to nod off on the shoulder of the stranger sitting next to you, these awesome morning-friendly iPhone apps should be just the ticket.
NME Daily – Discover your new favourite artist
With hand-picked daily recommendations for music, film, games, entertainment and more from none other than NME, it’s the perfect way to indulge when you’re sitting it out on the bus or train to work.
You can save your favourite articles to read again and again (or later, when you’re more awake), and you can even sign up as a member to get exclusive members-only videos, photos and articles.
If you’re stuck for something to when you clock off, NME Daily will even plan your night – be it in front of the telly or out with your mates.
Download it for free here.
This AM by Refinery29 – News in manageable chunks
From the fashion and style site for millennial women Refinery29, This AM provides a curated daily news summary for a quick skim over on the tube or train before you arrive at the office.
There are 8 new breaking news and celebrity stories to swipe through every day, kindly written in a short, concise headline format.
If you want more information, you can click a headline to go to the source and read more, or if it’s a particularly fuzzy morning, just swipe through in seconds to get the gist of what’s been happening in the world.
No more secret Googling when your colleagues bring up a topic you had no idea was trending…
This AM is free to download here.
Pocket Casts – Like Tinder, but for podcasts
Whether you’ve already got a collection of favourite podcasts or you’re desperate to discover more, Pocket Casts is the perfect way to get your head down and soak up some brain food (or brain mush) while you’re commuting.
With over 200,000 podcasts in its directory, there should be something for everyone, and you’ll even get special recommendations for new podcasts based on what you’re already listening to and what’s trending.
To make sure you never miss an episode, Pocket Casts will notify you every time there’s a new one, and will auto-download podcasts while you sleep to give you a fresh library for the morning grind.
You can download Pocket Casts here for £2.99
Fred O’Clock – Wake up to a retro challenge
If you’re a bit trigger-happy with the old snooze button, Fred O’Clock is the perfect way to wake up – and stay up.
With 6 nostalgic games based on childhood hits from the 80s, Fred O’Clock forces you to take on a different challenge every time your alarm goes off.
Instead of nodding back to sleep after jabbing the snooze button with the only iota of energy you can summon, you’ll have to get your brain in gear straight away to play The Memory Game, Play That Song, Space Attack, and other simple yet genius games brought to us by the first ever pixels.
Fred O’Clock is US-only for now, and can be downloaded here for $1.99.
Poncho – The day’s forecast…from a weather cat
The last thing you want to hear at 7AM on a Monday morning is that there’s a strong chance of heavy showers. If that news is coming from, say, a colourful weather cat, however, mother nature can bring it on.
That’s the idea behind Poncho, anyway – a personal weather forecast app that wakes you up every day with the day’s weather outlook from the mouth of a cartoon cat called Poncho.
As well as telling you the weather, Poncho will also play you a weather-appropriate song, give you friendly reminders to bring an umbrella or layer up, and also provide jokes, gifs, and fun facts.
The tuned-in cat that he is, Poncho will also give you daily public transport alerts and let you know if your allergies are in for a rough day.
Moleskine Timepage – Your schedule in a heatmap
Sometimes it’s hard to remember what you packed for lunch, let alone what’s on the agenda for the rest of the week.
If that sounds like you, Moleskine Timepage should be right up your street. With an endless timeline view of your schedule, it combines your calendar, events, maps and contacts to let you check what’s in store for your day, week or month at a glance.
One really helpful feature is a heatmap that visualises when you’re busy and free – perfect when your frazzles brain doesn’t have the energy to deal with times and dates.
Moleskine Timepage also syncs with apps like Uber to let you hail a cab directly from an event listing, and also throws in travel updates and temperature and rainfall forecasts.
You can download Moleskine Timepage for £3.99 here.
Citymapper – Plan the best real-time route to work
If planning your commute is a logistical nightmare on a daily basis, you’ll love Citymapper. Touting itself as the ultimate transport for getting from A to B, Citymapper helps you plan your journey on the tube, bus, train, car or your bike for the clearest route to the office.
With real-time departure times, transport maps, line status and disruption updates and even cycle hire information, Citymapper wants to take the stress out of getting to work on time.
It will even tell you exactly when you should be arriving at your destination, which is helpful if you’re ever running late and need to give work a heads-up.
You can download Citymapper for free here.
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock – Wake up refreshed
Sick of waking up bleary-eyed to a shrill alarm tone? Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock is your saviour.
It uses your iPhone’s microphone and accelerometer to determine which sleep phase you’re in, and only wakes you up when you’re in the lightest phase; in other words, when you’re most alert and ready for the day.
There are some extra little touches to help you improve your overall sleep health too, like Sleep Notes for tracking how stuff like coffee intake and the weather affects your kip.
You can also view your sleep data in simplified graphs and charts, which is a quick and easy way to identify trends in your sleeping patterns.
Plus, there are some lovely, calming alarm sounds to ease you into that gruelling morning commute gently.
You can download Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock for free here.
7 Minute Workout – Squeeze in some exercise
If you’ve got some time to spare in your morning routine, why not use it to get a jolly good sweat on? We know- exercise before you leave the house sounds like a chronic idea, but hear us out.
Through video workout sessions and a friendly voice guide, 7 Minute Workout takes you through a manageable series of 12 mini 30-second exercises for a pint-sized workout that won’t make you want to collapse in a heap back in your bed.
There’s a variety of different workout sessions depending on your needs, and while the default time is a nice manageable 7 minutes, you can personalise all of the elements to suit you.
It’s always nice to track your progress when you’re on the road to getting fitter, so 7 Minute Workout has a log of your exercise times, and even syncs with your other fitness data from apps like Google Fit.
Download it for free here.
Wunderlist – The zen way to plan your day
It can be an absolute drag getting out of bed in the morning to face the day when you’ve got a million and one things to do, but that’s nothing that a good old-fashioned to-do list can’t sort out.
Whether it’s that pile of work on your desk at the office or just your groceries and household chores weighing heavy on your mind, Wunderlist gives you the perfect platform to organise, edit and track your to-do list for complete peace of mind.
You can even create folders, set reminders, use your own network of hashtags and share your lists with your friends and co-workers.
Wunderlist is the perfect app for killing a bit of time during the drudgery of that morning train ride too, we reckon.
It’s free to download here.
Flipboard – A digital mag on everything you love
Skimming through the daily onslaught of news articles and social media posts to actually find something you want to read can be a tedious job – especially when it’s 8AM and you need to get your teeth into some stimulating content quickly before you hit the office.
Luckily, Flipboard is here to do the work for you. Flipboard listens to what matters to you the most, and then digs in to all the latest news from top publishers like The New York Times, PEOPLE magazine, Fast Company, and Vanity Fair.
When it finds stuff you’ll love, it throws them into beautifully-presented app-sized magazine for you to pore over and enjoy.
You can even add tiles for your social media feeds to get an overview of everything happening in your life at a glance.
Download Flipboard for free here.