Apps

People sometimes ask me what apps I use, particularly on iPhone OS.

iOS (iPhone)

General/personal:

  • OmniFocus – I gave up on Things, for which development seems to have all but ceased. I’d been using OmniFocus (iPhone and Mac) professionally and, besides the greater capabilities of this app, it made sense to have everything in one place.
  • Groceries – I find this indispensable, a great way to keep track of what I need for the kitchen.
  • MoneyWell – synced to the Mac app. Still the best financial app, in my opinion, although the syncing is very buggy and often has to be reset.

Social

  • Facebook – I use this, along with the iPad version (see below) far more often than the website.
  • Path – although I haven’t yet been able to convince many people to use it, this is much better than Facebook—and lets you post there and to Twitter.
  • Tweetbot – after the recent Twitter debacle, I went back to this app. But I hardly use it, in favour of the official Twitter iPad app, along with Flipboard; and using iOS’s built-in Twitter support to tweet.
  • Goolge+ – why do I keep this? As of the most recent revision to this page (May 2012) I’ve pretty much stopped using it altogether.
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Messages (Apple’s text message/iMessage app)

Other

  • Analytics – great way to track what’s going on with my various sites.
  • Flipboard – now that this is available for the small screen, I’ve not touched Reeder or and I hardly look at Tweetbot.
  • Clock – I use this mostly for cooking (the timer).
  • Weightbot – fun and easy way to track your weight.
  • CycleMeter – amazing app to track bike trips via GPS.
  • Atmosphérique Pro – finally, a weather app that uses Environment Canada data, and so is not wrong 90% of the time. I think of weather apps in a way similar to toasters: life is a quest for the perfect one, a search unlikely ever to come to an end. But I’ve apparently figured out the secret code of Canadian meteorologists: 40% chance of rain actually means it is going to rain; 30% chance of rain is just for covering their asses.
  • Remote – to play music and podcasts on my Mac and to my Beolit 12 over AirPlay.
Others of note:
  • Canadian (Canadian Oxford Dictionary) – I used to use CanOxford until Oxford apparently decided to switch developers, so I had to pay for this twice. This is one of those “future moments” apps: you’re carrying the entire Canadian Oxford Dictionary in a small slab in your pocket!) I much prefer this to dictionary sites: it’s faster, and it is the Oxford, not an “urban dictionary” or some such generally unreliable source.
  • Flixster – what’s playing where.
  • Vancity – bank app.
  • Road Trip – good l/km and car expense tracking app.
  • Daylight – almost as useful as weather apps: lets you know when the sun rises and sets for any given day.

iOS (iPad)

  • Flipboard – One of my most frequently used apps. Great to have RSS and Twitter and assorted other things all in one place, and presented so beautifully.
  • Twitter – somewhat controversial user interface which I quite like
  • Globe & Mail – has improved a lot. Still frustrating how it auto-refreshes after a fairly short period of time, so if you were reading something you lose it.
  • The New Yorker – I subscribed on my iPad. (See the great intro video.)
  • New York Times – I subscribed on my iPad. Dumb how you have to subscribe separately on your iPhone or iPod touch, but I probably wouldn’t read it much there anyway.
  • The Guardian
  • TED
  • Keynote – Very handy at work; much easier to carry my iPad to a presentation than my laptop
  • OmniGraffle – I have to devote some time to learning this.
  • OmniFocus – syncs with my iPhone and Mac. Unfortunately has a surprisingly primitive user interface in comparison to the iPhone and Mac versions—very unusual for an Omni Group app.
  • Remote – For control of my desktop iTunes
  • Flixster – Movies
  • Analytics HD – Google Analytics app

Mac OS X

I’ve been using the Mac since the 128K. After a quarter of a century, these are the apps I use every day.

  • NetNewsWire – RSS never seems to have caught on to the extent it should have. I find this absolutely indispensable, and much prefer it to Google Reader (to which it syncs). I like “hybrid desktop apps” better than web apps, almost without exception.
  • Tweetie
  • Adium – nothing beats it; all accounts in one highly customizable app. And it’s free (although most of the other apps here are very cheap).
  • Reunion – genealogy app.
  • Things – for personal GTD management.
  • MoneyWell – I reviewed a bunch of personal finance apps, and I thought this one was best. Syncs to the iPhone app (see above).
  • Delicious Library – beyond fun, a great way to manage and publish your library.
  • BBEdit – old reliable, the text editor I’ve used for virtually all markup I’ve ever done since the early days of the web. Every single word and tag on my Rhodes Chroma site, now totalling well over a million words (not counting markup), has been authored exclusively with this app.
  • Cornerstone – in my opinion, the best Subversion client for Mac OS X.
  • Interarchy – far and away the best ftp client for the Mac. It’s synced every file on my aforementioned Chroma site for over five years, but I’ve been using it for over a decade. I only occasionally use the ftp command line app.
  • Aperture – got this recently; still exploring.
  • OmniGraffle – still one of the best reasons to use a Mac. A joy. And they have a very liberal licensing policy: since I have a license at work, I can use it on my home computer for whatever I want. Brilliant.
  • Acorn – “The image editor for humans.” Enough said. Astonishes me that those who don’t really need all the bells and whistles (and accompanying performance hit) that Photoshop provides don’t move to this app.