I thought it would be fun to review some of the apps I use on my iPhone because they have become kind of essential to me. I cannot imagine life without a smart phone now...
Most Used by Me
For daily journal writing. You can write as much or as little as you want as many times a day as you like. It is kept private, and I find it most useful for transferring over to my scrapbooking of Project Life. It is so easy to forget the little moments and random thoughts, but they are stored right in one place now. One advantage of using this app is that I am much less likely to randomly post elusive status updates on Facebook.
This is a to-do list and cleaning check list all rolled into one. There is a basic template which you can edit according to your lifestyle. The to-do list is divided into three parts: today, this week and later. There are Focus Zones as well for deep cleaning of certain areas of your home and it keeps you on a schedule - one week per zone. There is no pressure really except that you it fills in a part of a star every time you complete a task, and it counts up your accomplished tasks each day. When you open the app, the first thing you see are these partially filled in stars and a note that says something like, "You've completed 6 tasks today!" Like a child, this really motivates me to want to do more.
Addicting. I downloaded the app the day of the earthquake (3/11) because it was the only way to contact people for a first few hours. I have been addicted to it every since.
While driving in the car, this is a useful app for when you hear a song but don't know who the artist is. It listens to the song for 10 seconds, sends the data to Shazam, Shazam sends back everything you have ever wanted to know about the song. Does not work with live human voices. I tried it. But, this is my way of finding out about new music to add to my iTune collection.
Just started this today but I can already see it will be addicting. It is a way for friends to share images of just about anything with each other. Each person maintains their own "bulletin boards" of whatever topics they like, and if you see something on another person's board, you can repin it.
On a Needs Basis Only
I use dropbox with my work/grad school laptop and my home desktop. Can't live without the syncing of my files and the knowledge that my most important files are safe. It makes things so much more efficient too. I use it on my iPhone only once in a while.
When studying at a noisy cafe, this certainly comes in handy. Not only does it have white noise, but it's also got a variety of color noises, nature noises, and whatever else your heart would desire.
Also downloaded right after 3/11. Almost everyone in Japan has it now, so when there is an earthquake (a bigger one), everyone's smart phones start going off. This happens on trains, in offices, in classrooms, in stores, everywhere. It shows you some basic info about the earthquake along with a map pinpointing the location of the epicenter. It sometimes goes off BEFORE the earthquake arrives to your area and sometimes after or right at the same time. It is not always consistent, but then again, neither are earthquakes!
If you want to text with friends who live abroad and also have iPhones, this is the way to do it. You can also call and talk for free, but I have to admit there is a bit of lag time. The texting works well though!
When I am truly bored, I check out this app to find out what the latest flicks are. You can watch the trailers, and if I were in the USA, I would find the movie theater location and price information very useful.
This gives you access to radio stations from around the world. When I first downloaded it, I listened to Q106 (Madison's Country Station), but it kept cutting out, so I gave up. I am sure that there are some radio stations which never cut out ... still looking though.
When lost or in an unfamiliar place, I find this app useful for finding coffee shops, gas stations, restaurants, banks, etc. in the immediate area where I am at that moment. This even works in Japan!
Used by the Kids
My friend Gayle recommended this one. It's a British guy who teaches the alphabet and phonics via these video feeds. You can watch him on You Tube as well, but if you download the app (it's 4.99), you can access everything right there on your iPhone anytime your kids are bored. Ailin watches it all the time and she really catches on to it. He is a unique and memorable person, so I think kids like him.
Both of the kids enjoy these sets of quizzes that were actually designed by a guy who wanted his kids to be able to play games on his iPhone. The quizzes range from easy to difficult and are accompanied with sound, so they hear the words/letters and have to choose the answer. After getting a certain number correct, they get to choose a sticker and place the sticker on an outdoor scene.