What apps should we be using?

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I’d be interested in people’s daily/weekly/monthly used apps, but it’s a bit narcissistic for me to want to post my own, and I’m not sure if the results are all that interesting. Kirk

Well, I think something like this could be interesting because it is the perfect stage for us to learn if there are alternative apps out there that would be fun, interesting and helpful. It is all too easy to get stuck in a way of working and to only use a set number of apps that you have used for many years, but it’s also likely that for every app you use, there is a better one out there.

Just like music, you probably have a set number of artists that are your favourites. But, if you somehow had the ability to listen to all of the music in the world, it is likely that you would have a whole new group of favourite artists overnight.

So, I will quickly run through the third-party apps that make my days easier-

PocketMoney 2

Likely the most important app I use. I have had it installed on every iPhone I have owned and it helps to manage my finances in a very traditional, and highly visual, way. It has no downsides at all in my opinion.

Awesome Note

It doesn’t get the amount of use it used to, but for me it is still a highly flexible note taker that offers something a little more than what you get elsewhere. Having said that, Apple Notes kills it for quick note taking and for the extra security.


I use the original version as opposed to the Cloud version and it has now taken over from my calendar as my main organisational tool. Absolutely love it.


Twitter is a mess on iOS, with Tweetbot it isn’t. If you use Twitter often, get this.

Pocket Casts

I have used this on my daily commute forever, and I have seen no other app that does a better job of organising podcasts and playing them than this one.


It’s not easy to get the original app anymore, which is simply brilliant, because TomTom is promoting the GO Mobile app instead which is simply awful!

So, that’s it really. These are the apps I use the most. What are yours and why?

10 thoughts on “What apps should we be using?

  1. Much of what I do uses Apple’s own apps, and I can’t think of many, if any, cases where I have replaced a default app with something else. I’ve limited this to iOS, in line with Shaun’s post.

    Mail: it would be better of it had PGP support, but it’s good enough, especially now that it supports multiple signatures

    Safari: it works fine. I use an “always-on” VPN when not connected to a trusted Wi-Fi network, so all traffic routes back through my servers, so I get the benefit of network-level tracker blocking, access to services on the home network.

    Reminders, Notes, Camera, Podcasts, iBooks etc. All fine for my needs.

    Other apps which I use frequently are (in alphabetical order):

    1Password (iPhone / iPad): I have no idea what my passwords are, thanks to 1Password. Essential on both iOS and macOS, in my opinion

    Authenticator (iPhone): a good two-factor authentication app, although it doesn’t seem to offer backup, which is a shame

    Blink shell (iPhone / iPad): excellent ssh application

    Glympse (iPhone): great for sharing location with friends who don’t use iOS

    Good Notes (iPad): for taking notes with the Pencil, with different notebooks per topic

    Groundwire (iPhone): the best SIP client available for iOS, in my opinion

    iAnnotate (iPad): sadly, WebDAV support was removed from the new version, so I am stuck on version 3, but it is still my go-to PDF reader/annotater

    Nextcloud (iPhone / iPad): client for our Nextcloud server. Think “Dropbox, but not on someone else’s computer”

    TomTom (iPhone): their new app/model is a good example of how to take something great and ruin it pretty much comprehensively. But I’d still rather have this than rely on something which needs a cellular connection

    TouchBlur (iPhone): for blurring out faces and so on in photographs, usually for when I want to tweet something but remove unwanted bits

    Tube Exits (iPhone): because I still don’t know the best routes to use on the London Underground

    TweetBot (iPhone / iPad): Twitter client. It would be better if it could do scheduled tweets

      1. Interesting. Thanks. I don’t use it often enough to have much of a problem, fortunately, but it was not a step in the right direction…

  2. I just realized this is very similar to the “show us your homescreen” thing we did a while back 😀
    Google Maps/Waze – nav, prefer 3rd party
    Camera/One Second Everyday – journaling
    Simplenote – love the simplicity and how it has a web frontend
    Weightbot – sad support has dropped for this, the clicky robot sounds make a chore into a pleasure
    Yahoo News Digest – at risk of being supplanted by Apple’s swipe left / quick access area
    FB /tumblr – social meda
    Shazam – music id’ing
    Cracked – good reads
    Slack/Whats App messaging
    Appigo Todo – the first and one of the few I’ve found to really handle recurring Items
    Bebot – best sound toy ever
    Desert Golfing – minimalist gaming

  3. I wish there was a tracking tool on the iPhone to see how much time you used on each app.
    The closest is the Battery monitor in Settings.

    Here are my top battery eaters (no particular order):

    Mail, Music, Safari, Camera, Photos, Phone, Contacts, Notes, Messages
    Google Calendar – better month display, can read individual appointments, rather that just see dots
    Fitbit (mobile app for my fitness tracker)
    Battleship, AcidSolitaire, iFarkle, MS Soitaire
    Library (book reader)
    YO.TV (TV guide)
    Carrot (fitness incentive program here in Canada)

  4. Since I’ve retired, I spend much more time on my desktop Mac than on my iPhone or iPad. And some of my Mac apps are reflections of the apps I use on my iPhone, and vice versa. To specifics:

    Todo – I’ve used this for as long as I remember, with a break of about a year for some reason. I don’t bother with their cloud. I don’t need it. I also have their Mac app which is just okay, but everything syncs nicely.

    1Password – Also on my Mac.

    Firefox – I don’t care for Safari, either on my Mac or on my iPhone. I sync bookmarks from my desktop to iPhone and vice versa.

    Microsoft Pix – Camera replacement.

    Car Care – to keep my gas and maintenance log

    Moneydance – Just a reflection of my desktop version

    NHL – A must for ice hockey fans

    Week Cal and myCal Pro – calendars. The built in calendar is too limited. I need two to keep track of my schedule and my wife’s. With two apps, I don’t have to switch in the app. I just open one or the other.

    WeatherEye – A must for Canadians

    Flipboard – for when I’m waiting

    GoodReader – for a variety of things

    Photos, Messages, Phone, Mail – default iOS apps.

  5. Here are my main ones:
    Google apps: Gmail, You Tube, Maps, Translate, Hangouts.
    Agenda: CloudCal, CloudTasks & Business Calendar Pro, Sectograph.
    Office: AndrOpen Office, Simple Mind, 4001 Spanish Verbs, Free Adblocker Browser, HP Everyday Papers.
    Communication: Whatsapp, Skype, Face Book, Messenger.
    Music: Player Pro, Spotify, TuneIn Radio.
    Media: MxPlayer Pro, Netflix, VLC, tTorrent, Home (Chromecast app), BBC News, Kindle.
    File manager: Solid Explorer, Dropbox.
    Camera: Cameringo +
    Car: Ulysee Speedometer
    Miscelaneous: Nova Launcher Pro, Energy Bar, Swiftly Switch Pro, Swiftkey Keyboard.

    Most I use daily, some weekly… but they all get used.

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