Since my brother-in-law asked for my favorite phone apps (hat tip to Paul), I thought I’d share my list here with you too. After each app, I list the platforms for which the app is available: Android, iOS, Windows or Blackberry.
1) Evernote is a cross-platform, cloud-based ”remember everything” application. To call it a note editor would be demeaning. Evernote is one of those
simple, but deep, apps that are useful right out of the box, but grow in usefulness as you learn more about their capabilities. I use it to save tech tips (lots of Unix commands, for example), recipes, favorite wines, important family stuff like passport numbers, and travel agendas, just to name a few. My favorite features are: the Chrome/Google search integration, password protected notes, notebooks, the web clipper, and text-search of words within photos. Yup, if you attach a photo or drawing to a note, all the words in that photo are converted to text and available for search. For example, when I take a snapshot of a wine bottle label, I can find that wine by searching for the name of the winery, the type of wine, the year, any text that appears on that bottle! Pretty amazing. I could go on, but I’ve got to get to the rest of the list. (Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry)
2) ColorNote is a simple note editor that backs up/syncs to the cloud. Despite everything I just said about Evernote, sometimes you just need a simple checklist app. I use ColorNote for my mobile to-dos that include lists by store (Costco, CVS, Grocery Store) and other mobile errands such as oil changes, dry cleaning, etc. You know that good feeling you get when you cross things off your to-do list? ColorNote provides the same feedback when you click on an item and it draws a line right through it! Done! (Android)
3) Amazon Price Check I really do feel sorry for brick-and-mortar stores that are struggling to compete with Amazon. But that said, this app is NOT just for price checks, it also can be used to read product reviews. For example, in Costco I scanned the UPC code of a small camera to see what Amazon users had to say about it. Turns out the reviews were pretty good. I also learned that the Amazon price was $30 less than the Costco price. I do, however, feel guilty standing in a store using this app. Sigh. What do you think? It is rude to scan an item in the aisles of a retail store? (Android)
4) Shazam I actually forgot to tell Paul about this one, but remembered it while in the car with my brother and sister-in-law on the way to the Outside Lands music festival this weekend. We were listening to the radio, and my sis exclaimed her love for the song that was playing, but she didn’t know who sang it. Hmmm, I thought, I have an app for that! I whipped out my phone, and clicked on Shazam. The app listened to the song through the phone microphone, found a match in its huge music database, and it identified it for us. The song was “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele. This app is fun, fun, fun … especially for old peeps like me that can’t remember anything anymore. Ha ha ha! (Android, iOS, Windows,Blackberry)
Come back next week for the second half of my list. But before then, I want to know what are you favorite phone apps? Let me know by leaving a comment below.