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5 Endlessly Addictive, Free, Boredom-Busting Apps

Read forever, go on a treasure hunt, watch TV all day, and more.

The dog days of summer are nearly upon us. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself with a little too much time on your hands–at least from time to time, when your life doesn’t feel impossibly busy–these apps ought to help keep you plenty occupied.

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1. Read (or Become) the Next Big Author.

Wattpad (Android, iOS) is a reading app full of free stories from aspiring and professional authors alike. You’ll find material from modern-day authors, celebrities, and a whole bunch of freely available classics. You can follow along with books as they’re being written, commenting on various chapters and chatting with other readers–and if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can upload your own work for the rest of the community to enjoy.

2. Organize Your TV Watching.

Take binge watching to the next level with Series Guide (Android). The app helps you keep up with your favorite shows, marking each episode as you watch it and incorporating info about upcoming episodes. Series Guide leverages the popular Trakt service to let you check in, comment on, and rate various shows as well. Apple users can check out the similar TV Show Tracker 3 app (iOS).

3. Test Your Trivia Skills.

The aptly named Trivia Crack (Android, iOS) is an addictive spin on the tried-and-true trivia genre. It plays somewhat similarly to Trivial Pursuit, your quest being to correctly answer questions from six categories. You can play live against random opponents or challenge your friends, with more than 100,000 questions and frequent updates to keep you on your toes. You can even suggest your own questions for inclusion in future updates.

4. Go Exploring.

Grounspeak’s free Geocaching app (Android, iOS) introduces you to the wild world of real-life treasure hunting–right in your own neighborhood. You’re given clues that help you navigate to one of 2 million hidden containers; find one, and sign its logbook to prove you’ve been there. The app gets you started with some basic hotspots in your area, with premium memberships starting at a few bucks a month that open up a whole bunch of additional geocaches.

5. Get to Know People.

The premise behind What If (Android, iOS) is pretty simple. You’re served up an enticing question (“What if you could extend your life by 20 years?”) paired with an annoying gotcha (“But you step on a Lego once per day when you least expect it.”) Answer yes or no, and then see how many other players answered the same way. It’s a fun ice-breaker app for a stiff party or a lame date.

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