We all have our iPhone apps that we simply can’t live without. Whether it be to entertain, remind you about something important, boost your productivity, or keep you healthy, they really can enrich life. Here are my top 10.
This one was recommended by a friend, and we covered it recently. It makes the podcast listening experience so enjoyable. You can speed up the content of the show to fit more in (without the participants sounding like chipmunks); you can search by category or keyword; subscribe to shows; download or stream; and even amplify the sound to improve the audio experience. Only $3 (or $2.99 technically), unless you get the full version for Mac, which is $9.99.
9. Amazon Music
I was definitely skeptical of Amazon Prime’s music service until I updated the app. More than one million songs with no commercials. You can add individual songs to your own custom playlists, or add everything from one artist. There are also some pre-made playlists with plenty of participating artists to keep you listening to old favorites and discovering new acts for hours on end. Best of all is the price. It’s free if you’re already a Prime member. If you’re not, then it’s $99 per year, but that also gets you free two-day shipping, a dense video library, a free borrow from the library every month as well as one free book to keep from a select list.
8. Amazon Video
I buy a lot of digital download movies on Amazon because they have the best selection. Unfortunately, I can’t watch any of them on Apple TV — or at least I couldn’t if not for this mobile app. Good on both the iPhone and iPad, I can simply start a movie and AirPlay it to the AppleTV to make up for the lack of a native app. Again, this one is free.
Plex has tons of things going for it, including several native and third-party apps, which allow you to watch virtually anything from anywhere. What I use it for, however, is the portal to my digital backups of movies and music. Very cool, and fun to play around on. The app is $4.99. Installing a Plex Media Server on your computer so this thing can run — free.
Using 30/30, I break down all of my work assignments by the time it should take to complete it, unless it’s a long assignment, then I’ll break it down into 30-minute chunks. After I’m done adding all the work intervals to my list, I insert breaks, so I’m up walking around away from the computer for five to 10 minutes at a time. From there, it’s just a matter of hitting the Play button and sticking to the schedule. Great for focus and boosting productivity.
When you write for the web, you need to grab ideas when you find them and store them away for later, or you’ll miss a lot of great opportunities. For this, I have the Pocket app. It’s simple to add links from any device, and it speaks to the app on my computer, so I always know where the next idea is coming from. Pocket is a freebie.
Another freebie, Digg is a wonderful choice for aggregating content. The Digg Reader, in particular, is where this thing is really useful. Just run a search for a website or keywords, and add whole collections of content that you can draw from for inspiration. It’s the modern day newspaper, except it doesn’t cost anything and it isn’t limited in content. There’s always something new to check out for your topics of interest.
Evernote is a godsend for keeping up with tax and bill receipts. It can also help you organize your day and keep notes and ideas, though I prefer other apps for that. The main purpose I use it for is the tax thing. Also free.
This has been by far the best mobile app developed around the Reddit site. You can look at things in a reader-friendly tab or a native tab for the full web browser experience. Countless subreddits packed with a wide variety of characters mean there is something for everyone. It’s also great for developing viral content. Just ask BuzzFeed. Their whole business model depends on Reddit.
This is the most important app that I have because of the difference it’s made in my health and energy levels. Breeze’s main focus is the step output you’ve had for the present day. It keeps a goal of steps personalized for you. That’s based on an average of your usual activity on those days, meaning that you’ll have a different goal each day, and it will continually go up each time you beat it. It keeps up with all of this by tapping in to your phone’s accelerometer. The result: you improve your health a little each day instead of setting outlandish goals from the start, which you never keep, only to get discouraged and give up. Thanks to Breeze, I fully expect to live a longer and healthier life. Unless I get hit by a bus, but that totally wouldn’t be the app’s fault.