Share Your Favorite Apps!


It's an App World!

The scene has become quite common.  Two geeks meet at a bar, at a conference, at the airport or in a restaurant and then out pop the smart phones (which they wear like six shooters on their hips) – iPhones, Droids, etc…

And then the app swap begins.

  • “What’s you favorite work app?”
  • “What’s your favorite game?”
  • “What’s your favorite productivity app?”

I know, I know. Geek alert alarms are squealing through cyberspace.

But it’s fun and quite frankly, I’ve gotten my favorite apps this way.  Forget the various recommendation engines, it is from friends and colleagues that you get the best stuff.

So here are my five favorite apps (at this time).  Please note that I use an iPhone.  And please share your favorites!

The New York Times

This is an app that I use several times a day to check on the flow of news around the world.  It is fast and easy to navigate.  The Times made an excellent decision not to cram everything into this app.  So you get the latest breaking news and then the most popular stories that have been shared via email and social media channels.  The text is easy to read and scroll through – and you can increase the size of the fonts by pressing a button.  The best part is that you can quickly share your favorite stories via social networks with two taps on the screen.  A must-have for any news junkie. (Free)

NPR News

Another incredible news app.  Almost every single show on NPR – from All Things Considered and Fresh Air to Car Talk and On Point – is available as a podcast.  You can listen to all your favorite shows whenever you have the time.  I often listen to On Point at the gym while running on the treadmill.  It is a wonderful app for commuting.  Just plug your iPhone into your car radio and tune into the NPR show of your choice.  The app also provides up to the minute news alerts, information on NPR stations and allows you to create your own playlist. (Free)

Yelp

Yelp is a great service for finding new restaurants, dry cleaners and car repair shops.  Users rate the businesses and you can decide based on their reviews if the businesses is worth going to.  Yelp actually works best as an app and it has become a valuable tool for business travel.  So when I fly to Dallas or New York City, I have a fast, easy and informative way of finding the services that I need right at my fingertips.  Yelp helps me locate any business or restaurant right in my vicinity.  It uses GPS technology to allow me to search from my exact location and filter from 0.3 miles up to 20 miles away.  I can also filter by price ranges (very handy when looking for a good, but affordable restaurant).  The Yelp app also gives me directions to the business! (Free)

Flixster

Find movies and movie theaters where ever you happen to be.  This app provides you with the closest movie theaters, the times the movies are playing and directions and information about the theaters.  But it also allows you to read reviews of the movies (from Rotten Tomatoes)and even play the trailers.  Flixster also has partnerships with Yelp and Bing so you can find nearby restaurants and bars for a before or after treat or drink.  Great app for movie fanatics. (Free)

Lose It!

A powerful calorie counting app that has helped me lose 20 pounds since Christmas.  Lose It uses helps you set up a program to lose weight at a rate that works best for you.  Once you have a program you enter in your foods and it counts the calories for you.  It has a library and thousands of foods and their calories, but once you get into a pattern it only takes few minutes a day.  Lose It also lets you enter in your exercise (including things like mowing the lawn and raking) and deducts the calories burned from those activities from your daily totals.  You also have the option of joining a support community.  It really works! (Free)

Honorable Mentions:

  • Google - the voice search feature is outstanding.  No typing – just talking.  And it’s fast. (Free)
  • ESPN ScoreCenter – The action and results from your favorite teams pushed in summary right to your phone. (Free)
  • Guinness – Great app.  Allows you to find the closest bar pouring the “Black Stuff” anywhere in the world based on your location. (Free)
  • Battery – Gives you the facts on your juice situation. How much power you have left for music and video. (Free)
  • Ragdoll – An addicting game of puzzles featuring a cannon that shoots, yes, rag dolls. (Paid, but a free lite version)

How about you?  What are your favorite apps?  Please share!

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5 Responses to “Share Your Favorite Apps!”

  1. George,

    Have you seen Google Goggles for Android? It allows you to take a picture with your Android phone and then it will search Google based on images and/or text…

    Not necessarily useful but very cool to demo ;-)

    – JJ

  2. Here are a couple:

    – Pushing the home + power button (top right of iPhone) … takes a screenshot of the iPhone screen … free app, comes in hand when I need to take a screenshot of something on the phone and send it …

    – Shazam … because you can never have too much music

    – Foodspotting because it’s great to see what others nearby are eating and find delicious

    – ManGo: similar to Yelp, proximity to chain stores, etc

    – IMDb: because there is always conversation about movies and you need to figure something out

    – stickybits barcode scanner to see what others are saying about products and things associated with barcodes

    – Cardstar: keeps track of ALL my frequent accounts, i.e. airline, hotel etc

    – PS Mobile: mobile photoshop to tweak photos on the fly

  3. Great suggestions, Patrick. I’m already a big user of Shazam and IMBd. Definitely going to be trying out Foodspotting and Cardstar.

  4. Evernote – great note taking app, and works on the desktop for full syncing
    Tweetdeck – my Twitter app of choice
    Gowalla – Never got into Foursquare, but I do use Gowalla
    Instapaper – Reading online on your PC, you can create a high fidelity version for reading elsewhere (think .pdf, but better and for mobile viewing)
    Pixelpipe – upload pics to multiple locations concurrently
    RedLaser – worth the $0.99 – scan a UPC code, and the app tells you other prices, and sorts by distance from where you are
    Wikitude (3Gs only) – augmented reality meets wikipedia
    Y! Sketch – look up a map, draw a shape (any shape) around it, and then just search within that shape (eg., restaurants, shops, etc.)
    The Onion – no description needed
    Whole Foods – like or hate the store, it’s got a nice recipe applet for helping you make a recipe with what’s on hand
    Pandora – mobile music
    Yowza! – mobile coupons, based on location

  5. Hi Alan:
    Hmmm… Evernote and Instapaper sound like apps I need to explore…

    Thanks!

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