App-titude

“Capability; ability; innate or acquired capacity for something.” (Dictionary.com) Aptitude may not be a word commonly used, but I thought it was an interesting title for a blog about none other but Apps. More specifically, iPhone Apps. Since they give us a capacity for things that would be otherwise difficult to do. Although I am much more at home in the outdoors, hiking mountains, climbing rocks and fishing streams, the past year I have found myself within reach of a cellphone tower more times than not. Although this does not make me over joyed, since the last 6 years I had lived outside of cell service and road access. But since civilization has become my more recent habitation, I have found my iPhone has been a faithful companion, through it all. It is amazing how many people feel the same way. An amazing 93.2 million apple devices were shipped in 2011. (Global Mobile) That’s a lot of iPhones, and a ton of iPhone apps. The number of apps submitted to the app store in February are as follows.
This Month (Games): 2,083 ( 104 / day )
This Month (Non-Games): 12,042 ( 602 / day )
This Month (Total): 14,125 ( 706 / day )

Although many of those may never hit the top, or even make millions, there is an amazing 574,607 apps available for download. So with so many options out there, I have found several that have helped me out in many ways. Some to manage tasks, some to view files, some to just pass time. But i figured I would share some of my top picks, that maybe you have heard of, maybe you haven’t. Even if you do not use iPhone, many of these apps are available on android and other platforms as well. I am always looking for new apps and insights though, so please comment or share some of your favorites as well.

 

Wunderlist & Wunderkit

When we can stay on task, and Get Things Done, we are productive and our mind is free to think and dream. But many times we do not make use of the great tools out there to help us do this because the tools are not practical enough or they are too complicated to actually be of any help. 6 WunderKinder set out to solve this with Wunderlist. The app just reached 2 million downloads, on a free platform has helped people manage tasks that sync between desktop, online, and mobile. Although the features are very limited, it is functional, and good looking. They recently released Wunderkit, which takes the task management to a new level, while still keeping its elegance and good looks. They are both worth a try, even if just to gaze upon their color schemes and design. But strangely enough, that fact keeps me using both, which in turn helps me get things done.

 

Mint.com

Setting up a budget and keeping track of money has never been so easy, or good looking. Mint.com is not only an iPhone app, but it is also online accessible from anywhere. It uses the same security of top level banks to keep your info safe, and although it does not allow you to make any changes to your bank accounts from the app itself, it allows you to track your spending, and establish budgets. Although it may not be something we enjoy doing all the time, our finances are important and this app makes it fun, and free.

 

Soundhound:

Have you ever been in a restaurant, and wondered what song was on the radio? Well as the saying goes, there’s an app for that, actually there’s several. It is not the first app of it’s kind, but I have really come to like Soundhound. Although not as commonly known as Shazam, it has great features that give you the option to buy the song on iTunes, send the song to others, and view the lyrics. And of course it’s free.

 

Full Fitness:

It amazes me when other people can do what seems like hundreds of different work outs, and remember how much weight they would lift for each one, how many repetitions or sets, and what each workout entails, I guess it comes with time. Me on the other hand, am pretty new at this whole fitness and work out thing. This last year was the first time joining a gym and really focusing on staying in shape and building muscle. But when I found out about this app from my brother I was blown away. You can do so many things with it, from designing your workouts, selecting exercises based on a specific muscle group, to tracking your progress over time. So for those out there like me that want to stay on track but can’t do it in their head, I suggest this app. Almost like a personal trainer, it will do it all for you, except get you out the door and to the gym, that’s still up to you.

 

Craigslist Mobile:

I spend a good chunk of time on Craigslist, not only searching for good deals, but also selling items, even more than ebay, since it’s free. Thanks to this app, my time spent shopping and selling is more productive, and easy. You can search for a specific item, filter it by categories, and when you get the long list of items it gives a picture preview of what you are looking at and highlights the price on the right side. This eliminates you having to click on every ad to see if it is what you are looking for. Another great feature is the option to star an item to your favorites. That way you can narrow it down to exactly what you are looking for and then go back through your favorites. And when it comes to posting items, the process is simplified and allows you to add pictures from your phone and manage your posts. All in all it is extremely useful. Even though it does remind me of something in the 70’s.

 

Photosynth:

You may think of a word that you learned years ago in biology class, but this is so much more than that. Basically this app allows you to take panoramas, except you are not limited to the number of pictures, so you can create a picture of your entire surroundings. It does all of the stitching for you. just point and start clicking, covering as much area as you want, and afterwards crop it to your desired size. I would say this has got to be one of the best things Microsoft has put out, and there is only one version, and it’s free, don’t know how they pulled that off. So check it out, you can even post the pictures to bing maps and share them with others, but that would just be another extra feature they decided to add that no one wants to use.

Anyway, I hope you found these interesting and gave you some ideas of apps that could stand testing. Please comment and let me know what you think, and share your own App-titude. I am sure out of the half a million out there, there are some jewels still waiting to be found.

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