Calling all owners of smart phones and other devices! Are you using your equipment for business or pleasure, or a mix of both? And what apps have changed the way you work and play?
I bought an iPad at Apple's sale a couple of weeks ago. I'd had an iPhone for several weeks by then and wondered how I'd managed without it. Would the iPad give me the same experience? Would I use it the same way?
I seem to have divided the way I use my devices even though they both have for the much part the same apps on them.
The iPhone battery isn't as long-lasting as the iPad so that limits the time I spend using it as a leisure toy. The apps I tend to use most on the iPhone, apart from the phone/contacts/messages/music etc are:
- iCal - syncs beautifully with my Mac and I have the iPhone with me all the time whereas I don't necessarily have the iPad
- Safari - looking up websites on the fly
- ShapeUpClub - brilliant diet app and dovetails with associated website; helps you count your kilojoules and it's the only diet I've used that's helped me lose weight this year
- WordPress and Joomla - but they are nicer on the iPad
- eBay - excellent for when I'm at the Post Office posting off items to buyers and have forgotten to bring the printed labels!
- ShopShop - great shopping list app. You can delete items from your current list and they stay in the database
- Facebook - good for updating status and comments on the run
- Twitter - likewise. Love the Twitter app.
- TripViewLite - for when I'm taking public transport into town or elsewhere. Trip planner and timetable for Sydney and suburbs.
- Notes. Indispensable. Saves writing on the palm of my hand or the back of envelopes when I don't have my day book to hand. It's my current To Do list among other things.
- My bank's app - I can check account balances and transfer between accounts when I'm out and about, saving embarrassment at the checkout.
- Games such as Bejewelled, Solitaire, Paper Toss and Angry Birds. I'm not a great gamer but I enjoy these, particularly at mindless times like telly ad breaks in the evening. They do chew up the battery though.
And for the iPad:
- iBooks, Kindle and Kobo. I've got all three installed so I can have wide access to e-books. At the moment I have plenty of free books to read which I've downloaded. All three readers are similar and easy to use. Great app for when I'm sitting on the train. I have them on the iPhone as well but the experience is much better on the iPad.
- Pages and Numbers. Mac's 'lite' version of its productivity suite which can read and export to Word and Excel files. Getting the hang of the iPad's keyboard is an art to be accomplished, especially if you're a touch typist like I am and tend not to look at the keys when typing. I've created some very unusual words in the last few weeks! Excellent for note taking in meetings or on the fly. Pages beats Word hands down for creative layouts.
- WordPress and Joomla - so I can update my own and clients' sites on the road. Obviously I can't create graphics etc but at least I can make changes to pages and posts, categories etc.
- Facebook, Twitter, Tweetdeck. As for the iPhone, these are easy to use when I'm out and about
- Zinio - magazine reader. You get some free magazines with it but are encouraged to subscribe. Most of the mags appear to be from the USA however as a mag reader it's excellent and free to download the app itself.
- GoodReader - have only just downloaded it but I suspect it's going to be a good friend, allowing me to read PDFs and other uploads and downloads.
- I've loaded Photoshop Express but suspect won't use it an awful lot; it's limited as to what one can do with it, but it's a 'nice to have'.
- I've loaded Smart Maps on the iPad as well as the iPhone. These are good - you don't need to be online to see your city and its suburbs in all their glory. Excellent for navigation if, like me, you prefer to look at a map rather than rely on a GPS in the car.
- DesignNote - another I've just loaded and haven't used yet but I suspect this will be a hit with clients when showing them work. It allows you to annotate your work so you can make the necessary changes back at the desk.
- Games as above - much nicer on the big screen!
So, those are my current useful tools and favourite leisure pursuits on my smart devices. I'll update again soon when I've explored more apps. Let me know yours!