So a few weeks ago I did a Websites I Couldn’t Live Without post and Maggie over at RedTedArt has a fab Kids iPhone App page and Jax over at Making It Up is doing a series of Tech Posts for Beginners. I thought I’d add my 10p worth with some of the apps on my iPhone that have really altered my life in just little ways that make me smile that much more. It goes without saying that most of my favourite websites have apps, especially that big 6, but my favourites are things which make my iPhone into a small portable version of every gadget I could possibly need.
I’m now worryingly addicted to my iPhone; I am not entirely sure what I would do without it in fact. The accidental loss of my old 3G thanks to a light fingered tea-leaf did mean I got to upgrade early to an iPhone4 and of all the things about it, what I love most is the huge improvement in the camera. I’m not a great photographer and tend to forget my camera anyway. But even then, my photography leaves a good deal to be desired and since I love to have snaps on the blog, anything that can help is a good thing. So I’ve been TRULY thrilled to discover camera apps that combine with photo editing packages, like my favour site Picnik but even more convenient
I found Hipstamatic first, thanks to a tip from @karamina and really enjoyed the way it was laid our in terms of lens, film, flash and so on. It’s done to feel like an ‘old style’ camera and it does. The only downside is that it produces square pics (though they look and feel nice) and to give the old style effect you don’t always get exactly what you see in the viewfinder. It produces great, quirky pictures though and the items included in the initial download are plenty to get you going. If I had a suggestion for them, make it an option to switch the shutter button to the other side for left handers!
After that I fell upon Camera+ thanks to the photography workshop held by the MadBlogAwards. This has the advantage, for me, of rectangle photos, exactly what you see in the viewfinder being what you get and masses of editing options. What I really like, what makes it the deal breaker, I would say, is that you can bring any photo from your phone into it, or pull one from your Flickr app and edit it to be the same. You can even crop. I’ve not been able to find a fault with it yet.
This week I’ve also tried out Instagram, which is clearly proving very popular on Twitter, which I like too but is simpler than the one above although it does have good editing? options and Camera Plus Pro which @cosmicgirlie mentioned. The app makers were very quick to get in touch with me on Twitter too. I like this one, though I found it hard to get into straightaway and it has some very clever and quirky editing features, such as line drawings and stamp boarders.
I’m easily amused by editing options
For list making, something I need to do a lot of these days, Paperless has been a godsend. it is easy to use, intuitive, customisable and quick. There are themes, icons and fun extras, but what is really is, is a good, solid list making app. it does the job perfectly.
WhatsApp has been a godsend for me; my brother lives in Australia (sob) and texting is not cheap. This mimics texting, including the push notification feature and means you can have an in-line conversation that is similar to texting. My sister also uses it on her HTCDesire. It also means we can entertain each other with emoticons from the Emoji app
Out and About
Over the next few weeks I’m hoping I’ll have a chance to use the Geocaching app and the National Trust one, both of which are, frankly, what iPhones are made for – instant info and interaction wherever you are.
Art, Words and Books
I’m also very much in love with the new Pinterest app. I love this site, it is just a beautiful place to browse and see gorgeous things. Having friends on there is great as you get a whole extra view of them; the things they love to look at, what makes them tick. The app, which showcases pictures, perfectly captures the site and means you can quickly add your own photos to your boards.
New on my phone is Dragon, a voice to type dictation app. I’ve had mixed results from it so far (and had terrible giggles when I discovered an author twitterer I follow had had ‘glare’ replaced with ‘eclair’ by it!) but it is quite handy for those “dammit, I’ve just blogged in my head but I’m going to forget it by the time I get home” moments. I tried it out with a well known nonsense poem and ended up with:-
“I eat my keys with honey, I’ve done it all my life, it makes the cheesecake funny, but it keeps them on the knife.”
As a Kindle owner, I do have the Kindle app on my phone, but for me the great pleasure of my Kindle is the screen and the lack of glare, so I don’t really feel the need to use it on my phone, though I love that WhisperNet keeps me synced so I can read for a bit if I find myself unexpectedly. But I LOVE the new Audible app which has a great library and download feature and is ideal for quickly plugging a child into an audio book. I combine it with my X-Mini Speaker and was able to listen to an audio book in the car, which really was great.
My phone is mainly filled with games to keep Josie amused in ‘waiting for sisters’ moments and her current squeeze is Pocket Phonic, as she is very focused on learning to read. I however, am not so interested in being educated as all that and am still loving Tiny Wings (though not quite so obsessively!) and Smurf Village, which is dangerously addictive for anyone who like empire building. (Or gardening!)
I learned the hard way recently just how much I have stored on my phone when I had it stolen. Dashing home to alter all my passwords and
worrying what I had missed was not a pleasant experience. I’ve now learned to use the pass code feature, even if it is a bit of a pain
and also to have Find My iPhone installed, which means not only can you see where it is (ie is it just in the house/car somewhere or is it in someone else’s
pocket?) but you can also wipe it remotely, assuming you do it before the thief removes the app (which the pass code should stop them doing
So there you have it, a round up of all the things app-wise that make me happy.
(This is not a sponsored post )