Thank goodness for the mobile app.

Recently, I went on vacation with my family to Minnesota (don’t-cha know). Before leaving, I lined up a cat sitter, let the neighbors know we were leaving so they could keep an eye on the house, and tackled a mile-high pile of dirty laundry.

Finally, I loaded up my Fiesta — which somehow accommodated myself, my 6-foot-5-inch boyfriend, both our respective 7-year-olds, our luggage, and our fishing gear — and we hit the road for the 14-hour drive from metro Detroit to Brainerd, Minn.

As we were approaching the Michigan/Indiana border, I had one of those moments — you know, where you can’t remember if you shut the oven off, left the lights on, or remembered to unplug the curling iron? Except in my case, it was the air conditioning. Did I turn it off, or at least turn the temperature up so we’re not paying through the nose to cool an empty house?

Nope, I’d left it set at a frosty 68°F that morning in an attempt to remove some of the suffocating humidity from the air. I could practically hear the money draining out of my checking account and into the utility company’s wallet. How frustrating!

But then, I remembered: I have an app for that.

So I whipped out my iPhone, opened up the Nest app, and turned off the air conditioning with a couple quick taps on the touchscreen. I saw the thermostat icon change from blue (cooling) to black (off), and I exhaled a sigh of relief.

A few days later, after a small but powerful series of storms plowed through metro Detroit while we blissfully floated around one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes, I again used the app to make sure the house still had power. (It did.)

Could I get by without the Nest app? Sure, I survived 30 years without it already. But would I give it up now? No way. It, along with many other apps, has proven to be incredibly useful in my daily life, and I don’t intend to give up this modern convenience.

So, readers, what mobile apps are most valuable to you? Which mobile apps do you use on a regular basis for personal or business purposes?