[Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do]
One of the conversations I have most – quite often over drinks, and always when I or someone else has got a new phone/tablet etc , is what apps you got on it?* What is immediately fun and interesting about this is invariably the question is worded like that, and not ‘what apps do you USE?’ I say this as most people I know have screens full of apps that never or almost never use. In fact I’d go as far as to say that around 80% of all apps on mobile devices are there because people think they should have them or just in case (whatever it is) comes up. I’m as guilty of it as anyone else. A quick glance at my phone for example and I see: Orderella, Kik, Mindjet, Skitch, Skype. None used since I got my new phone over six months ago. Might I use them? Maybe. But I can always download them at the time. I should delete these now.
How about the other question. Which apps do I use? Which apps do I value? Which apps make aspects of my connected life easier for me?
Some are clearly predictable. I’ve always been a big Twitter fan, so the Twitter app is much used, and yes after years of using apps like Hootsuite, Seesmic and others I now just use the native Twitter app. Same too, although I hate myself for it, is the Facebook app. I still know too many people who only connect through Facebook, so I maintain a presence on there. I have Yammer and LinkedIn on there too. I use both less, but enough to justify them staying on the phone. I also use Swarm/Foursquare, both for checking in places and for comments/reviews on if places are an good. I have mixed feelings about ‘Checking In’ products, but at least here it is my choice to be leaving a trial of places I visit.
Evernote. Probably the most used app on my phone/tablet. This is something I use every single day. I save notes and photos from my phone, use it directly to draft blog posts and other articles, I email notes and ideas to it. I save articles, user guides, holiday plans, family history notes, anything really. (so I also use Everclip to add things directly from web searches)
Zendone. A Getting Things Done (GTD) product. I have to admit, I’ve never been great with task lists or getting things done lists, but I am currently trying to get more focussed on this front and this app (which also connects to Evernote) is one that is working for me.
Cozi. Having a shared Calendar is essential if you have a family and I quite like how this works. Assign different people different colours, get each entry name tagged. Sweet. BUT what lets it down and stops it being essential is the lack of two way sync between it and other calendars, which makes it unusable as the main calendar app unless you want to give up your other calendars and just use Cozi. We don’t, as a result we just use feeds from Google calendar going into it, which mean can only edit those in GCal. It also has some nice additional functions for joint birthday lists, todo lists, meal planning (recipes) – which can be linked to a shopping list, and even journal/blogging. Now you can have a hosted journal/blog via Cozi or connect it to Facebook. What I do like here is that they offer “As an extra measure of security” the ability for you to “select key words in your family stories that you’d like to hide, like your kids’ names. Before sharing a new journal entry, Cozi will replace these key words with anonymous words, such as using an initial instead of a full name.” What a great idea.
I use my mobile banking, Chromecast, National Rail, Whatsapp, Spotify and Tuneinradio apps about once a week.
* Or Games if any child is asking you the question.