Written on May 25, 2012 at 9:00 am , by Kate
I don’t consider myself a big “techie” person but I do appreciate those great apps that improve productivity or offer a little fun diversion from the daily grind. The May issue highlighted innovation, so in the same spirit, today I’m sharing some of my favorite apps for smartphone and iPad.
I’ve had an iPhone for years and can’t imagine life or blogging without it, and love the convenience and fun of the popular apps like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Just a few months ago, we acquired an iPad for family use and although we limit screen time in our house, we find it a beneficial tool as well. Here are some of my favorite apps!
First up is Flipboard, which integrates all your news and social media accounts into a digital magazine and instead of clicking on and scrolling through text, it presents it all in a beautiful book-like format with images allowing you to easily “flip” through articles, tweets, and posts like you would with a magazine or book. I like to bring the iPad outside when the kids play and catch up on the latest with Flipboard.
I don’t need to carry a notebook around with the Noteshelf app - you can use different size and color pens and highlighters to write directly on the notes which come in blank, lined or grid formats. You can enter type and emoticons too. Noteshelf allows you to store all your scribbles and notes on a “shelf” and access them later, or send your lists to your iPhone (or your “honey do” lists to your spouse!) Noteshelf is strictly for iPad and costs $5.99 but if you’re a doodler or notetaker or listmaker, you’ll love it.
Okay confession time, I’ve gained a few pounds from all the sitting I do all day, so I’m in the middle of a ‘reverse course’ and using My Fitness Pal mobile app to do it.
This app tracks calorie intake and exercise to help me reach my goal of dropping those extra pounds and getting back in shape. You input your weight, height, profile, level of daily activity, goal weight loss and this daily food and exercise journal helps in that weight loss goal. A My Fitness Pal account can also be accessed from your desktop.
Photoshop Express is a fantastic “quick edit” app to tweak your photos before you print or share them with friends and family, free and easy to use with just a tap of the screen.
The Guardian Eyewitness is a free app for iPad that features amazing images from around the globe taken with incredible photography. I like to flip through it every few days to see what’s notable in pictures around the world.
Did you ever have a dream you were flying over the earth like Superman? Google Earth for smartphone and iPad lets you do it! You can spin the globe while your at it and pick any place on the planet to “visit”. My kids love this one as much as I do, especially peeking at different cities, and zooming in on topography from mountain ranges to deserts.
Magic Piano is a fun one for kids and adults who love the sound of a tinkling piano. You can tap the board to play and play from the song choices that vary from classical to modern or go freestyle with a few differently shaped keyboards.
Photobooth is a crazy camera filter built in to the iPad but if you want to give your kids or friends a laugh, turn it on and snap a screenshot – guaranteed to make everyone giggle!
Five other notable app mentions include Shazam for when you hear a song and don’t know the artist, this app will identify it for you 9 times out of 10, pretty amazing. I sync my Google Calendar to remind myself of what’s coming up on my editorial calendar when I’m away from my desk. I love the free app Orchestra for when I think of something I have to do but don’t have a pen with me – it has a voice recognition function which translates to a text reminder, love that. Also, I’ve just downloaded Kindle for iPad and so far it looks promising, and of course, I adore pinning with the Pinterest for smartphone app.
What are your favorite apps you can’t live without?