MY FAVORITE PAID IPHONE APPS
As much as I’m a fan of the iOS app store ecosystem, I have purchased less than 20 iPhone apps and have never made an in-app purchase. So when I actually do buy an app, I usually try my best to make sure it’s a good one! Here is an overview of a few of my favorites:
Total Baby: This app has been SUPER helpful in the first month as a new parent. It helps you track everything like when you last fed your baby, how long they’ve been sleeping, how many diapers they’ve had, which boob you last started nursing with. I can’t imagine having to log this by hand in a notebook, or worse, trying to remember things with a sleep deprived brain. On a fun note, it also lets you record things as milestones or diary entries so you can remember things like first epic poop blowout or first bath.
Tweetbot: I’m not much of a tweeter these days and mostly am a lurker on Twitter. I probably am on Twitter most when watching basketball and football games because I love to read the tweets that sports writers/analysis say. It’s also fun to follow comedians like Paula Pell @perlapell and accidental comedians like Ron Artest @mettaworldpeace.
Downcast: Since I commute from Oakland to SF everyday for work, it’s essential to have a reliable podcast app. Downcast has more than enough of the features I want (easy to control auto downloads, downloading only when on wi-fi, rewind/fastfwd 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min, etc.) and has a pretty easy to use interface. I just wish it was easier to explore and find new podcasts to listen to and subscribe to.
Pocket: I used to use Instapaper but after awhile it seems like whoever was developing Instapaper just stopped developing it. It was a nice solution at the time but the interface was not visually appealing and I found myself saving things to Instapaper and never going there to read them. Pocket serves the same purpose: if you come across a long article that you’re interested in reading but can’t read right then and there, save it to your Pocket account and you can revisit it later. The tagging feature is easy to use which is helpful when it comes to organizing the million things you save. I’ve recently started using Pocket to save interesting recipes I want to try in the future. Pocket integration is built into a lot of other services like Feedly and there’s a Pocket extension you can install on your Chrome browser so that you can save anything while you’re browsing.
Paprika Recipe Manager: Credit goes to Gavin for introducing me to this app. This app is good only if you are also willing to stomach shelling out money for the Mac app so that you can take advantage of the syncing feature. One of my features of the app include the built-in browser where you can save a recipe and it automatically guesses where to put things where as far as ingredients and instructions go so you don’t have to manually enter online recipes. Another awesome feature is the grocery shopping feature where you can go to recipe and tap a button to add all the ingredients to your shopping list (you have the option to exclude things like salt, sugar, etc that you might already have in your pantry before it’s added to the grocery list). You can make a weekly meal plan, then add all the ingredients to your list and it aggregates the ingredients for you (for example keeping count of how many eggs you need for the whole week). Another cool thing about the grocery list is that it groups the items on your shopping list by category (produce, frozen food, baking, beverages, etc.) so that when you’re at the store, you don’t have to bounce around the store and can systematically work your way from one side of the store to the other. Of course the grocery list is easily synced across devices and also easy to email to anyone!
Day One: I picked this app up for free during the App Store’s 5th anniversary sale but I like it so much I would have paid for it. I’ve been trying for some time now to start journaling my prayers regularly and privately but have been unsuccessful. After many failed starts, both in handwritten journals and in a password protected Microsoft Word document that I updated once every six months, I’ve finally gotten my groove with this app. This app is a prime example of how a clean and visually appealing interface can actually make you want to use an app more. They paid attention to all the design details even down to the choice of a lovely default font: Avenir. You can use as many or as few of the features (weather, location, passcode lock) — look, bottom line is that this app makes you want to write more and that’s as good of a recommendation as I can make for a journaling app! Oh yeah, I have it set up to auto sync with my Dropbox so if I lose my phone I don’t lose everything.
Hope this short list was helpful. What are your favorite paid apps?