We’re linking up with Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop answering the prompt: 3. List your top 10 favorite apps currently. We’re splitting it up and sharing Jen’s 5 favorites and Kim’s 5 favorites (ignoring the obvious apps that everyone has on their phone like gmail, google maps, instagram, Angry Birds, etc).
I was a slow convert to the world of smart phones so when we finally made the plunge, I decided that my smart phone had better do damn near every possible thing a phone can do – a device that expensive needs to seriously pull its weight in my life and justify the cost. Now many phone upgrades and years later, my beloved Galaxy S5 and I are inseparable (for better or for worse, in sickness and in health).
Here are the 5 apps that I cannot live without:
- Alarm Clock Xtreme reminds me to wake up, take my allergy medicine, pick the kids up from school, take them to karate, exercise regularly and anything in between. In addition to having my 8,000 alarms which can each have their own ring tones, possible number of snoozes, and necessity to solve math problems or enter Captchas before dismissing – the app also has a stop watch and timer feature. (free with premium upgrade for $1.99)
- Bloglovin’ has quickly become my feed reader of choice since the cursed demise of Google Reader (seriously, what were you guys thinking?). After much deliberation and a bit of time using a few platforms, I eventually settled on these guys because of their attractive layout and just the right amount of features like saving and sharing content, sorting capabilities and I kinda dig their interactive interface that encourages blog owners to claim their blogs and mingle. (free)
- Frozen Free Fall is the latest game that has me obsessively playing every day. My husband and I are constantly comparing notes about what level one or the other is at and we’ve thought perhaps too long and hard about which characters from Frozen are more helpful or least annoying in a given level (Hans gives the worst condescending smirk whether you are doing well or not – unsurprising, really). It’s similar to Candy Crush Saga as far as game play but it boasts the ability to advance through levels without ever nagging your friends to participate. All games need to follow this trend – the patience level for friend nagging is seriously decreasing and inevitably discourages long time use of a game in my humble opinion. (free)
- MyChart lets me schedule doctors appointments, send messages or photos to my doctor, view my kids’ vaccine records and health charts and more. If your doctor’s office / insurance company works with MyChart, I cannot recommend this app highly enough. (free)
- S Health tracks how many steps I take each day. It runs in the background on my phone and from what I can tell it isn’t using much battery or date to do so. I have a widget set up that I can flip over to that tells me how many steps I’ve taken, how many miles that is equal to and with a few more taps it can also tell me calories burned, let me log what I’ve eaten or what other exercises I’ve been doing and on my S5 it can even measure my heart rate! (free but only works on Samsung phones)
For years I balked at the thought of a smartphone. (What do you need GPS for? Use a map!) I couldn’t fathom the logic behind a small device to do tasks that I could already do on larger, slower, less technologically confusing device than a smartphone. Why fix what wasn’t broken? Eventually I was convinced to give them a try and while ‘convenience’ might as well be my middle name, it’s the myriad of games that has become my downfall.
TOP 5 APPS I CAN’T PUT DOWN
1. BrainWars is exactly what it sounds like. A war of the wits. The games are simple. Tap numbers in the right order, match the right color, etc. However once you’re playing against a random opponent for the higher score, these simple games get a lot more tricky. The better you do, the higher you go on the global rankings. The higher you get, the more difficult the puzzles become.
2. Flow Free is a game with a simple concept. Match the same colored dots together with one continuous line. Now match up the next pair without interrupting the first line. Continue until all dots are paired up. It isn’t too bad with only a few dots per grid, but once there’s close to dozen this game will burn your brain cells, unlike your battery life.
3. Ingress is a guilty pleasure of mine whenever I’m downtown and not the one driving. Public locations, statues, artwork, etc are all “Portals” in this augmented reality game which two sides fight over to control via their phones burning their batteries on GPS usage. You have to be physically present at the portal in order to capture it, which has resulted in some rather odd walking routes, and also some interesting local discoveries.
4. Google Sky Map is a nice sneak peak at what exactly is out in the night sky and exactly where it’s hiding. Just a tilt of my phone towards whichever direction I’m curious about and voila, star and constellation names show up on my screen. If I happen to be looking at a planet, that’ll show up too. I don’t use this app often, but it comes in handy when trees, clouds, or streetlights are getting in the way.
5. Hoplite starts off with one objective. Get to floor 16 of the underworld and retrieve the Fleece of Yendor. There’s just one problem. There’s enemies on each floor on the way. Good news, they can’t move until you do. Bad news, they move when you do. The number of enemies increases with each floor. Only with careful, strategic moves will one ever win. Since starting it last fall, I’ve only reached floor 12.
What are your favorite apps?