I realize the irony of showcasing apps that help you live life in the slow lane, but not everyone has the luxury of doing a full-scale digital detox.
That being said, it’s summer—and August at that. Which means it’s the perfect time to let your foot off the gas for a bit.
These apps will most surely not pester you with constant notifications. In fact, you’ll need to exercise patience in order to truly enjoy them.
So, slow down, take a deep breath, and remember that good things come to those who wait.
Slowly: 21st-century pen pals
If the promise of social networking is to instantly connect hordes of people with similar interests all around the world, think of Slowly as having the same goal.
Ah, but there’s a catch. You write virtual letters to people with similar interests one at a time. And sending a letter doesn’t mean that it gets delivered instantly: The farther away the person physically lives from you, the longer it’ll take to get your letter delivered.
It’s like real mail except without all the stamps and the trips to the post office. The basic app is free, or there’s a paid version for $8 a month or $43 a year which offers advanced friend-finding filters, enhanced avatar customization, and other goodies.
Serial Reader: Classic books, 20 minutes at a time
So, you’ve always wanted to read War and Peace, but the thought of grinding through 1,400 pages isn’t exactly a motivating factor.
With the Serial Reader app, all you’ll need to do is set aside 20 minutes each day.
The app will deliver the book—or any number of classics from its huge collection—in daily “issues” so as not to overwhelm you.
War and Peace, it turns out, is a whopping 235 issues. But you can breeze through Machiavelli’s The Prince in a mere 11 issues if that’s more your speed.
The app is free for as many books as you can handle, with a one-time premium version for $3 which unlocks cloud synching, notes, highlights, and additional quality-of-life features.
1 Second Everyday: Quick daily memories
The concept behind the 1 Second Everyday app is simple: Capture a second’s worth of footage every day and, after a while, you’ll have a memory-filled movie to watch.
You’ll have to stick with it, of course, but the app will prompt you daily so you don’t forget. You can also choose custom lengths for your projects. That week you spent in the Bahamas? Enjoy your seven-second movie. The previous year of your life? A truly epic six-minute blockbuster.
The app is free to use and contains no ads. There’s also a pro version that allows longer snippet captures, collaboration with others, unlimited backup and other features starting around $10 a month depending on the plan.