When I moved from a BlackBerry to an iPhone, my life was changed. Those of you who know me well know that I wasn’t super keen on switching, mostly because I was super efficient on my BlackBerry and was afraid the learning curve on typing on the iPhone would be too much.
Well, I was wrong! I’ve often joked on Facebook that I’d love to marry my iPhone, that’s how much it has changed my life. Yeah, it took a few days to get used to typing, but now my little thumbs move over the keyboard just as quickly as they did on the phone I left.
So, after six months of loving my phone as much as one can love an inanimate object, I’m here to present my very favorite apps (not including the social media apps), in no particular order.
Starbucks Mobile Card. The Starbucks mobile card app allows me to reload my balance on my card via my phone. No longer do I have to do it at a computer or at the store. And, as soon as Chicago has pay-by-mobile at Starbucks, I already have it loaded so I can pay using my phone instead of my card.
Instapaper. Instapaper allows you to save articles that you’re reading online by dragging a widget to your toolbar and clicking it when you have the article open. It syncs with my phone and I can catch up on my reading in the back of cabs, in the airport, during that downtime between getting on the plane and the doors closing, on the bus or train, in line at the grocery store, or wherever else I have some time.
Flixster. We see a lot of movies – it’s my husband’s absolute favorite pastime. Flixster does a few things that I love: I can buy tickets (but have to still print them at the kiosk at the theater), I can see what’s coming to the theaters, I can watch trailers, and I can see when movies are released on DVD so I can add to my Netflix queue (see iPhlix below).
Old Camera. I have just discovered Old Camera, which takes photos in B&W, sepia, or watercolor automatically. If you take a lot of pictures (like I do), it’s a cool way to mix things up a bit. My mom got a lot of B&W photos of Jack Bauer, our dog, this past weekend.
Redfin. My friend Mari Luangrath introduced me to Redfin, which is an app that shows you which homes are for sale in your neighborhood. Well, not just your neighborhood. It searches your location by GPS and tells you which homes are for sale in a two mile radius around you. But it gets better! You know how much they’re listed, how long they’ve been on the market, and can take virtual tours. Even if you’re not looking for a new home, it’s super fun to see the inside of your neighbor’s homes!
Order Pizza. Order Pizza is a Chicago business so, of course, I was curious to check them out. You download the app and, using GPS, it locates all of the pizza delivery and take-out restaurants in your area. You choose which restaurant you want to order from, choose your pizza, and hit send. It takes care of the rest. The only con, right now, is that you can’t use a credit card for payment (cash only). They’re still working on the security of allowing you to do that.
iPhlix. If you’re a Netflix geek like me, you will love this app. It accesses your queue, lets you add and remove movies, and move the order in which you want to receive them. It also allows you to alert Netflix if a movie is lost in the mail or you’re having shipping troubles. It’s better than Netflix online.
iTriage. I was introduced to iTriage at a Vistage meeting in Denver. A local doctor created it in order to better service his patients. Right now you can look up ailments and it gives you common symptoms and a phone number of a local doctor or nurse to call. We also use it when we’re working with healthcare clients to better understand their product or service. Warning: If you have tendencies toward being a hypochondriac, this is a bad app for you.
Yelp. If you like to eat out or travel quite a bit, then Yelp is a must! Just like other apps, it locates businesses around you by GPS and ranks them in order of best to worst reviews on restaurants and closest to your location for retailers. So if you’re looking for an ATM or the hottest new nightclub, Yelp has it all for you.
Weather Bug. I am a weather nerd. I love the weather…anything about it. So the weather app that comes standard on the iPhone is not enough for me. I want to see the radar, I want to see the forecast, and I love to see the alerts. And, because our IT guy won’t let us have the Bug on our computers, this satisfies my need to always be in the know as weather constantly changes.
What am I missing? What are your favorite apps?