I don’t know about all of you, but my phone is always with me. No matter your opinion about whether this is what will lead to the end of civilization or not, it is a fact of life that most of us live this way. We use our phones for everything. We use them for work and play, productivity and goofing around, shopping and paying bills. While we all have many apps (maybe too many at times) there are those that we always jump to. Our most used apps. Here is a list of the top five apps I use and why. Why did I choose five? Seemed like a manageable number. Why iPhone and not Android? Because… Apple.
What makes it a top app: I’ve written about Wunderlist before. I used to use Todoist, another good task app, but Wunderlist’s versatility is what attracted me to it and what keeps me using the service. The ability to keep lists separate and have sub-tasks, notes and attachments makes this service one of the most useful task managers. Not to mention the fact that you can access it on the web, which is great for my day-job, too.
Why number five: I use the app a lot and it is a quick interface that makes it simple and fast. It is just a very smooth experience. That being said, I don’t use it more than a couple of times a day from my phone. I use the Mac app or website far more often.
What makes it a top app: Nowadays every site has a password. This leaves you with two options: first, use the same password which makes you extremely vulnerable to hackers, or you can get 1Password. It keeps everything in one, secure place. It is easy to use and touch ID makes it even easier. I currently only store passwords, but you have the option to store secure notes, credit cards and other identity information as well.
Why number four: The app is easy to use with a simple and straight to the point interface. I use it at least once a day, if not more, and don’t even have the Mac app.
What makes it a top app: One of the main reasons we all keep our phones on us is to stay organized. Wunderlist helps with tasks, 1Password keeps us sane and Fantastical keeps us on schedule. Fantastical has a reliable calendar and multiple view options. My favorite part of the app is the ability to simple write something like “doctor’s appointment at 5pm on Monday for 30 minutes” and it will put in a doctor’s appointment at 5pm to 5:30pm on Monday, April 25th. Simple.
Why number three: Fantastical keeps me on time and I use it all day. I have it linked to Google, where I keep my personal and website related events, and my Outlook, for work. I very rarely, if ever, have a problem using the app. The iPad one is great, too, and they recently added new features to the Mac app.
What makes it a top app: Citymapper is most-often the first app I open in the morning. It keeps me on time and is very versatile. The app is a great service for anyone who commutes or uses public transit to get around your city. Citymapper is continuously adding new cities and currently supports commuters in 31 cities around the world; including Boston, Hong Kong, New York, Rome and Tokyo.
Why number two: It is the first app I open in the morning and you know you have a good app on your hands when you feel lost without it in bad signal areas on the subway.
What makes it a top app: I love podcasts. I used to use the Apple podcast player and tried a few others over the years. Nothing beats Overcast’s interface and reliability. There are also many cool features, including, my favorite, Smart Speed and the ability to adjust the speed beyond that. The app even tracks how much time you have saved from using Smart Speed. I have been using the app for all of my podcast listening for a little over a year and have saved 59 hours. The app is always being kept up to date and recently added a patron option allowing you to support the app. This comes with a couple of cool features, including the dark theme for the interface.
Why number one: If Citymapper is the first app I open, Overcast is typically the second. Unlike Citymapper, which I may not use 7 days a week, I use Overcast every day. I currently subscribe to 35 podcasts and I only use this app to listen to them.
So that’s the top five iPhone apps. There are a couple of honorable mentions, however. I use Reeder almost daily for RSS, but use the Mac app more. I also like Quartz for some light news consumption.
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© Zone Zero Geek & Sabrina Klein, 2014-2016