My favorite apps.

My favorite apps.

When I upgraded my phone recently, I took the opportunity—with a blank slate, of sorts—to re-evaluate the apps I wanted to use on my phone.

As of right now, my new phone has only half as many apps on it as my old phone did. I chose not to re-install the apps that I didn’t like, didn’t use, or just didn’t want to be using on the go. (Hello, facebook. And geocaching. I know tons of you are raving fans, but my family just doesn’t care.)

Since this is fresh in mind, today I’m sharing my favorite iPhone apps that I use regularly. (Many are available for Android, or for iPad, but I have neither.)

(All apps free unless otherwise indicated.)

On the daily


The Weather Channel. So much better than the native weather app. It’s not as entertaining as Hey Girl Weather, but it tells me more of what I want to know.

Toggl. I’ve been using this time-tracking app for about a month. Easy to use, and the data it generates has been eye-opening. Mostly in a good way.

UP by Jawbone. I use this app in conjunction with my Jawbone Up band to track my steps and sleep.

Social media/communication

Tweetbot. ($4.99) My favorite twitter app.

Instagram. Just for fun. (This is me.)

Voxer. Texting, photo sharing, and push-to-talk messaging.

Photography

Camera+. ($1.99) The only iPhone camera I use.

PicTapGo. ($.99) My favorite iPhone editing app. Great filters, easy to use.

Music

Amazon Music. When Amazon added Prime Music as a free feature for Prime members, I started using this app—and I use it much more than I expected.

Spotify. My go-to music app for writing tunes, and what I use to make car playlists for the kids.

Shazam. I use this all the time to identify song titles and artist names with just a tap.

Reading

Feedly. My RSS reader of choice since the demise of Google Reader. With a caveat…

Bloglovin. I’ve been using Feedly for over a year, because it’s easy. But Bloglovin’ is easier on the eyes, and lately, I’ve been prioritizing aesthetics over convenience for my blog reading.

Kindle. With this app, I’m never caught without something to read. I don’t use it much, but I like having it just in case. (It’s also useful for reading ebooks if you don’t have a Kindle.)

Audible. My app of choice for audiobooks. (Currently listening to Dragonfly in Amber.)

Goodreads. While I prefer the desktop version, I use the app to add books to my TBR list—by scanning the ISBN—when I’m on the go: at the library, the bookstore, or just at a friend’s house.

TED. The easiest way for me to keep track of the TED talks I want to listen to and download them for listening on the go. (Okay, so it’s not reading, exactly.)

My library’s app. I use this to track my (overdue) books, renew my (overdue) books, and request books on the go.

Tools

Google Drive. To easily access my Google docs on the go.

Evernote. I’m not a regular or comfortable user, but I’m determined to become one. My pile of old legal pads, filled to bursting with unruly but valuable scribblings, is getting out of hand. It’s time to go digital.

Mailbox. I like it for its easy-to-use tags and remind-me-later feature.

Genius Scan. A scanner, on my phone. This app was a lifesaver when we were buying our house.

My bank’s app. Whoever invented the deposit-to-scan feature for checks, bless you.

Games

Ordet. ($2.99) This word game isn’t just for kids, but it’s my kids who love it.

2048. Our whole family is just a bit addicted to this number puzzle game.

Those are MY favorite apps. I’d love to hear YOURS in comments. 

My favorite apps | Modern Mrs Darcy

46 comments | Comment

46 comments

  1. Oh my gosh, yes, yes, to the bank app. SO much easier to deposit checks this way.

    (Although I had to come up with a system for keeping deposite checks separate from undeposited ones, an issue I never had when I took checks to the bank!)

    • Ana says:

      Maybe you’re not supposed to “deface” checks, but I just write on them—deposited x date. Then when I get the confirmation from the bank that the $ is ready to use, I tear it up.

      • Anne says:

        My bank’s standard instruction are to write VOID across a freshly deposited check, in ink. That kind of freaks me out (what if the deposit doesn’t go through??) so I just write deposit@home in pencil up top. 🙂

  2. Sara K. says:

    The apps I use the most are:

    Audible – I listen to audiobooks while I’m working using this app.
    Lose It – using this to track my calories, exercising and weight loss goals
    Redbox – Love being able to reserve a movie before heading to the box so that I can be sure it’s there!
    IMDB – use this a lot when watching a movie and I can’t remember where I know a particular actor from 🙂
    Google Maps – for GPS navigation
    Goodreads – like you, I prefer the desktop version, but for on the go reference I like the app 🙂

    I wish my bank and library had apps, but alas they do not 🙁

  3. Kayris says:

    On my iPad…

    Facebook and Instagram, feedly and goodreads, overdrive (the digital library app), kindle, Dropbox, the weather channel, linked in, flashlight.

    I have two puzzle apps, magic puzzle is the better one, pacman, mahjong, and sudoku for me. Various angry birds games and the museum of modern art app for kids (MOMA Art lab….free and really really great). And snapseed and PS express for photo editing.

    The App Store had a free note taking app a couple of weeks ago and I passed on it. Kicking myself now because I’ve been going to more seminars for work lately and my handwriting deteriorates with each one.

  4. Hey, we’re app twins! Except I’m a VSCOcam and Afterlight girl, myself. Also: I’m two books ahead of you in listening to the Outlander series, and even though it’s taken me almost a year to get this far because listening takes so much longer than reading, it’s totally worth it. I could marry Davina Porter’s voice.

    • Anne says:

      Nooooo! Don’t tell me it takes that long! I can read fast but I can’t listen fast, and that’s the one thing that’s frustrating to me about these audiobooks. But yeah, her voice does help make up for it. 🙂

  5. Great suggestions! I keep meaning to look for more apps that would be useful. Right now I use Evernote a lot but honestly that’s about it, which is kind of crazy given what’s out there. Thanks!

  6. Jenni says:

    I LOVE feedly! And at first I didn’t like Bloglovin. But I was looking at it the other day and you are correct, it is easy on the eyes!

    Thanks for sharing the apps I can’t wait to check some of them out!

  7. Jenni says:

    Also I love the Google Keep app! Helps me make lists and remember random things on the go. You can also record messages and snap pictures.

  8. Paige says:

    I upgraded to the new iOS yesterday and took the same opportunity to remove a bunch of useless apps. I have not yet pulled the trigger on removing facebook, though it is hidden away so it’s not so accessible.

    I use a lot of the same apps, heck I’m even halfway through Dragonfly in Amber on Audible 🙂

    • Anne says:

      Oh yes, a big update like that is a great opportunity for a fresh start!

      And you’re halfway through, too? (Okay, I’m 5 hours in—in some books that would be halfway!) That’s crazy! Hope you’re enjoying it. 🙂

      • Paige says:

        Well, I suppose I’m more than halfway. I’m about 14 hours in. I listen to audiobooks while sitting in traffic (which I obviously do quiet a bit…). I am enjoying it!

  9. Holly F says:

    I use the GroceryIQ app, Fitbit, Instagram and Feedly. I just added the Waze traffic app about a week ago (for Atlanta traffic) and think it will be helpful on trips when I’m the navigator and my husband is asking me if there’s bad traffic coming ahead or if there’s an alternate route. For weather I use WeatherRadio. On the days I don’t telework and go into the office, I often end up using IMDB at lunchtime because someone will ask a question about a tv show or movie and we can look it up quickly that way.

  10. Kate Frishman says:

    I had no idea about Amazon Prime Music, thank you so much!

    And my kids are crazy about 2048 as well. So simple and so brilliant.

    My Jawbone UP24 arrives today, so I’ll be downloading that app. I can’t wait to find out just how bad my sleep pattern is…

  11. Kerry Ann says:

    I use commonsensemedia.org newsletters to update apps for my kids. My favorite app? I agree about voxxer, amazon music (exactly what you said), I was addicted to quizup, fun party game, love the international factor, good ice breaker with a group. For my cognitive therapy, I use Recovery International, which I love it is why my Aspie boy is doing so well–social, popular, expressive but still himself, still an aspie. But requires outside study. I’m playing with Shutterfly This Life and Waterlogue.

    • Anne says:

      More bells and whistles, really. 🙂 And I believe that native twitter just added muting as a feature—not sure how that works on the app, though—but that feature alone would have sold me.

  12. Love this list! I’m upgrading to an iPhone later this fall (ditching my Android) so this will be helpful. Thanks for tip about checking to see if my library has an app, it should because it’s a huge library system and that would be so helpful!

  13. Anne says:

    My library app (BookMyne) is is my new favorite app, but judging by this post, I am out of the loop on some good apps!

    And I didn’t know you can deposit a check without going to the bank! Where I have been? hahaha!

  14. I have been looking for a good scanner app. Thanks! How high are you on 2048. It was a race in our family to see who could get to 2048 first now we are working on 6144. I don’t know if I will ever make it. That is the reason I need to plug in the old fashion alarm clock… It’s not late night reading. It’s late night math pattern working.

  15. Laura says:

    Didn’t know about music prime. Going to check that out. I use Pinterest, Facebook, audible, cozi, capture, myfitnesspal, YouTube, goodreads, pepper plate and run keeper

  16. Kirsten says:

    Oooh, you’ve got some new-to-me here. Wonderful! I love your suggestions, as I’ve had great fun with the Commit app you recommended before. By the way, the newest Apple update supposedly has Siri able to identify music for us, replacing Shazam. We’ll see how well she does it. 😉

    For apps you didn’t mention, I love the LoseIt app for tracking calories and exercise. My husband, my older kids, and I are all using the (free) Duolingo app to learn Italian (you can learn French, German, or Spanish also). I love Artkive to keep pictures of the art my kids make so that I don’t have to feel guilty about recycling them. Kindara helps me track my cycles. The App store just had Bicolor as the free app of the week, and that’s been fun (which is why I can’t wait to try the two games you mention).

  17. Susan says:

    I am new to the smartphone world, so appreciated these app suggestions. A couple that I enjoy, both word games, are Seven Little Words and Red Herring. Each of these offers one new puzzle daily, so I can’t run amok playing 😀

  18. Jennifer H says:

    Even though my husband works at our bank, I am still leary of putting a bank app on my phone in case I lose it. Plus I love that most of my branch’s employees know me on sight.

    I did add the LFPL app, which I never knew they had and the kindle app. Although I can’t imagine enjoying reading on my phone, I have been caught with nothing to read before and appreciate this possible solution to that dilemma. Thanks!

  19. Faith R says:

    LOVE this list! PicTapGo is my favorite editing ap too. LOVE Spotify SO MUCH. Kindle app is a must to take advantage of those surprise moments of waiting. Need to see if my library has an app, because I would really use that. I have Evernote too and while I’m not as avid of a user as my hubs I do like it – especially for keeping notes. Since I can update my notes from anywhere.
    2048 – yes. Totally obsessed. Almost as badly as I was with Candy Crush, but maybe even worse. I also really like White Out which is the same basic thing but more colors, no numbers.

    Also: PicStitch for cresting collages. Phonto for adding text to photos. I also have (for better or worse) the Pinterst app. And theses games: Poptile, Bonza & Elevate. Which are all various degrees of educational/brainstimulational.

  20. Jenny says:

    You should look into Overdrive at your local library instead of paying for Audible. Our library offers lots of audiobooks I can download either as a WMA or as an MP3 file directly into my phone. I always have at least one audiobook checked out from them and several ebooks from Overdrive as well. Free books both current and old! Can’t beat that.

  21. Amanda says:

    I love Pinterest, my fitness pal, goodreads and the lfpl app. The library app is a must to keep up with when all our family’s books are due. I use wunderlist for my shopping lists.

  22. I have too many apps on my phone and every time I decide to uninstall one, I use it a couple times and keep it instead. Now I have a few more to add because this list has my curiosity at peak.

    I have an Android. I had a iPhone for a few years but like droid better.

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