9 Extremely Niche (But Still Useful) Mobile Apps

Screenshot: YouTube (Fair Use)

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Not everything is for everyone, but almost everything is for someone,” and these nine mobile apps prove him right. They each do a specific thing, and most of them will only be useful to a certain type of person.

This means that they are almost always useless unless absolutely necessary.

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RPG Sounds: Fantasy

Photo: HopsAndYeast (Shutterstock)

Every dungeon master knows the hassle and panic of running a game with 1,500 pages of rules while maintaining an appropriate “atmosphere”. RPG Sounds: Fantasy makes at least the “soundscape” part of the tabletop roleplaying game easy: when the party enters a tavern, this easy-to-use app lets you instantly pump up the background sounds of a room full of elves and halflings drinking mead and layering in the ominous panpipes of the local bard/NPC so you can focus on calculating the burden. The app’s library includes over 1,500 sounds, and you can overlay multiple tracks with atmospheric audio, sound effects, and music, create custom playlists, and even import your own sounds.

You can download RPG Sounds: Fantasy for iOS and Android.


Introducing iOptigan! An Optigan for your iPad / iPhone

The Optigan was a musical keyboard manufactured by Mattel Toy Corporation in the early 1970s. This flimsy, not-quite-plastic synthesizer played sounds from optical disks. The optical organ was expensive, not very versatile, sounded pretty bad and hardly anyone bought one. But it’s a cool oddity. And now it’s back, in app form! With iOptigan, you can experience all the sizzling, dirty sounds and limited capabilities of this forgotten instrument for only $5.99 instead of the $2,500 you would pay if they were still selling them today.

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You can download iOptigan for iOS.


Photo: wavebreakmedia (Shutterstock)

Have you ever missed the best part of a movie because you had to pee? RunPee will ensure that this nightmare scenario will never happen to you again. This constantly updated movie database warns you with a gentle vibration 30 seconds before each movie’s “PeeTime” so you can quickly step out during a less important scene. Then it gives you a summary of what you missed. You’ll also learn if there are Easter egg scenes after the credits roll.

The story goes on

You can download RunPee for iOS and Android.


How does this app blow out candles?

You’re forgiven if you thought Blower was a troll. Videos of an iPhone blowing out a candle appear designed to trick dummies into destroying their phones or burning down their homes. But it actually works. Blower uses your phone’s speakers to emit blasts of air powerful enough to extinguish small birthday candles. Sure, you could easily blow out the candles on your birthday cake yourself, but do you really think that’s a good idea in times of COVID? Also, you could probably use it to win a bar bet.

You can download Blower for iOS.

is it dark outside

Screenshot: Dirk Malorny/Apple (fair use)

Is it Dark Outside is both totally stupid and totally awesome. Once you’ve installed it and entered your location, you can click on it to see if it’s dark outside where you are. That’s all, but sometimes you need to independently check your senses.

You can Is it Dark Outside? for iOS.

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Calculator photo vault

Photo: Ensuper (Shutterstock)

If you’re some kind of weirdo who hides dark secrets on your phone, Calculator Photo Vault might be the app for you. It looks like an innocent calculator, and unsuspecting people can even use it as one, but by entering a secret PIN, you can access hidden files, videos, pictures, and more. So clever. It even deletes images from your gallery app once you add them. (But what are you hiding?)

You can download Calculator Vault for Android or an alternative for iOS.

A view from my seat

Photo: Budimir Jevtic (Shutterstock)

If you’re buying a ticket to a concert or sports competition, A View From My Seat will show you what the view is like from each seat so you can make an informed decision. Users submit photos, rate views, and leave comments so the next ticket buyer can see if they’re buying a seat with a broken armrest or an obstructed view. It’s awesome and you’ll probably use it exactly once.

You can download A View From My Seat for iOS and Android.


BINKY! The best way to spend time on your phone.

Binky is an anti-social media platform. It gives you the excitement of scrolling through endless amusing, boring, or interesting images, swiping left or right, liking, sharing, and more, but without actually being connected to anyone else in any way be as everything is fake. No one will ever read your comments (which Binky writes for you) and no one will ever know that you swiped right on a 1998 picture of the Chicago Bears offensive line.

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Binky might seem like a one-off hoax (and it kind of is), but if you’re trying to reduce Doom scrolling but can’t quite go cold, it might actually help you.

You can download Binky for iOS and Android.


There are tons of free apps to help you tune your guitar, bass, or ukulele, but if you want extreme, pro-level tuning, you need CyberTuner*. It costs $999.99, and that doesn’t include the monthly subscription. But it’s worth it, some people say. It’s made for professional piano technicians, so normal people won’t understand how it works or what it does, but when it comes to specific disposable apps, this is definitely one of them.

You can download CyberTuner for iOS.

*You cannot use CyberTuner to tune your guitar, bass, or ukulele. It only works on pianos.

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