Last Friday, I detailed my general computing setup so that those of you who like to see what other geeks use to get things done could enjoy some serious nerdery. This week it’s the same gig, only the iPhone edition.
I could go on forever with this stuff, but I’m only going to talk about the apps I use a lot, where a lot means several times daily. Believe it or not, I get asked this question a ton (“What app do you suggest for #TOPIC?”), and if I’m honest I always pore over other nerds’ app selections. It’s sad, too, because if I read posts like the one you’re about to, I’ll be out five or six bucks by the end — guaranteed.
So, you’ve been warned. Here’s the first of two parts. Part two will be published next Friday, so if you’re into this sort of thing (high five if you are!), check back then.
My go-to weather app is Dark Sky, followed by My-Cast. I use Dark Sky primarily, but I also find MyCast very good if I get the feeling Dark Sky is lying to me. I love the sparkline graphs in My-Cast, but the hour-by-hour predictions in Dark Sky are uncannily accurate.
There is passionate debate about this app segment — just take a look at Brett Terpstra’s massively, world-bendingly detailed comparo. While I really want to geek out and try at least half of these, I just stick with what I’ve been using happily for years: Simplenote. It syncs perfectly, has Dropbox integration, and offers a web client for note taking and random jotting while you’re at your computer and you think of your next hilarious cat picture caption. It supports tags, note sharing, and versioning. It has a cool icon. Really, just go get it. It may not do everything some of the other iOS editors do, but what it does it does perfectly. I pay for the pro version.
Man, if you could see the nightmarish folder I have stuffed full of iOS photography apps. In the end, though, all I really use for taking pictures are Instagram, Camera Awesome and Camera+. If I had to pick one, I have no idea what I’d do: I like Camera Awesome despite it’s frat-boy name, and Camera+ is a legit ‘photographer’s photograpy app’. Instagram is a daily thing for me because I like to think I’m a decent photographer (I’m not) and people like to see what I shoot (they don’t).
For editing apps in post on my iPad or iPhone, I use Snapseed or Apple’s own iPhoto, which is more advanced than meets the eye. I try not to do too much photo editing on iOS, though, as I prefer using a desktop. Call me old school. Kids today, editing real photos on touchscreens. Bah! Get off my lawn!
I’m a huge podcast nerd, and I use Downcast pretty much every time I get in a car. In fact, Downcast alone has pretty much eliminated the need for my car to have a functioning radio or CD player, because it’s that good over Bluetooth. Other people swear by Instacast, but I’ve not tried it. I mention it here because it gets too much buzz by people I respect not to. Check them both out and pick the one with the prettiest screenshots. That’s what I always do.
Seeing how I’m a web nerd and spend my days staring at glowing screens reading about the salmon other people are having for lunch, this is a pretty big category for me.
For Twitter, I use Tweetbot, easily the best Twitter client I’ve ever used anywhere. I use Facebook for, well, Facebook, although I’m finding it increasily slow and buggy and frustrating to use. I use Foursquare a lot too, although I have a sinking feeling every time I voluntarily tell an anonymous server in the sky where I am. I use WordPress and Squarespace for blogging and shortform web writing. Anytime I find a cool link, I save it with the mobile version of Pinboard because there’s a .0003% chance I’ll remember it otherwise.
When I’m on the road and need to record something to remember, I use Captio to send an email to my Gmail, where I have a filter that breaks all Captio messages into their own inbox for easy parsing. From there, I transcribe them into my second brains: Due and Apple’s Reminders app. A giant part of productivity — at least for me, because I have a zillion things to track and unless I get it out of my brain and on to a list somewhere, the idea is as good as doomed — is organization and remembering the ideas that come to me out of nowhere. I tried the pen and notebook thing, and found it too manual.
So. Here I am at 923 words, and I could keep going for another 2,000 if you let me. Which you won’t, and I don’t blame you. Check back next week for part two if you want, but if you don’t it’s OK with me. So totally OK.
Have a good weekend, everyone.
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