Apps Black People Like -- or Ought To

These tech tools will help you keep up with an HBCU, play spades with friends and more.

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Clockwise from top left: Mint; Hopstop; HBCU Homecoming;
Kandi Koated Spades

According to the latest Pew study, 44 percent of African-American adults are the proud owners of a smartphone, a number almost 10 percent higher than American adults overall. So with all these black folks walking around with iPhones and Android devices, where are the apps that cater specifically to our demographic? Since you just got that upgrade, here are a few apps that no smartphone should be without.

If you live in a major metropolitan area or ever plan on visiting one, having HopStop at your fingertips is a must. Named one of the 50 Best iPhone Apps of 2011 by Time magazine, HopStop gives you everything you need to know about navigating a city. You get door-to-door directions whether you're walking, biking, taking a taxi or using public transit.

Developed by Chinedu Echeruo, a former Wall Street analyst from Nigeria, the app boasts info for dozens of major cities in the United States, Canada and Europe. You can also find links on the website for restaurants and events in the area. HopStop is free and available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows phones.

In these tough economic times, anyone who's not Mitt Romney is working harder than ever to keep track of finances and stick to a budget. Mint.com is easily one of the slickest ways to get it done. The interface is super user-friendly, and it tracks all of your spending in detail.

Categorize all of your purchases, set up a budget and get alerts when you go over that budget or to higher-than-usual expenditures from your account. Best of all, it's free, and that's about as easy on your wallet as you can get. Mint.com is available for iPhone, iPad and Android.

For all of my fellow HBCU alums out there (any Rattlers in the house?), HBCU Homecoming is the app that keeps track of all the homecoming festivities at your alma mater. Game schedule? Check! Hot parties? You know it! Even travel deals are covered to get you there at a discount.

Selected games are live-streamed for your listening pleasure, and in-app chat rooms let you stay in touch and maybe talk a little trash. The only downside? It's currently available only for iPhone.