Saturday, June 15, 2013

Off-topic, My Top 11+ iPhone Apps for Grown-ups

If you have followed this blog for years, you will already know that I am an avid iPhone user, and that many of the photos that I feature in this blog are from my trusty iPhone.  I currently have an iPhone 4S and I really like it a lot.

Several times in the past few months I have found myself giving advice to other adults about "apps" that I suggest that they should use on their newly acquired iPhones.  I thought it would be handy to write out a list and post it here, in case you too might want to know what I have advised others as handy apps for grown-ups to use.  So here it is:

1.  Flashlight.  There are many of these available, most are free, and they are so helpful when you need to find something in a dark place.  If you have an iPhone 4S or later this is built in to the phone now.

2.  CardStar.  This keeps all your little frequent buyer/flyer and loyalty key fobs or cards all organized and available electronically.  Even keeps your AAA card and your library card.  Talk about easing your load and simplifying your life!  This is a free app as well.

3.  GeniusScan.  Turns your phone into a scanner.  Take a photo using GeniusScan and it is transformed into a .pdf or .jpg file.  Again a free app and so handy.  If someone asks you to send him or her a scan of a document by email, this is the app for you.

4.  I Am Choking.  This is a real app.  It is also free.  Keep it on your home screen.  If you are choking and have your phone handy (I always have mine) this can do the talking for you, and actually will show, by pictures, anyone nearby how to do the Heimlich maneuver.  Who knows when it might save your life?

5.  WikiTap.  This is kind of a cross between a dictionary, an encyclopedia, and a thesaurus.  Very handy, and again, it is free.  This is especially handy if you want to know how to spell a lot of unusual words.

6.  Handy Level.  I love this one because I detest crooked things.  Free and handy, as the name implies.

7.  Waze.  This is a map/GPS guidance system that is laced with some social media aspects, such as user reports of when there are breakdowns, accidents, new detours or roadwork, even when there are emergency vehicles that might be distractions to drivers.  The best part about it is that it will route you around bad traffic.  This has saved us tons of time when we are travelling.  Works best if you have someone with you.  Also a free app.

8.  Google Translate.  You never know when you might need this, and it works as well as about any of these kinds of things can work.  Many, many languages represented.

9. Night Camera.  If you want to take photos in low-light situations, this is very helpful.  Also has a built in self-timer so if you want to get in the photo, you can with this app.  Also a free app.

10.  Grocery IQ.  My husband and I love this one.  One of us will put something on this grocery list app, and it shows up on the other person's phone at the same time.  Conversely, if we are shopping at the same time, we can check things off the list and they will disappear from the other person's list.  We can divide and conquer the grocery store in short order.  This is a great marriage-saver.  A one-person version is free, but the two-person version carries a small fee.  Well worth it.

11. Pandora.  I love Pandora.  This is an app that lets me make my own radio stations.  There is a basic (with advertising) version available for free, but I really appreciate the full version without ads -- for only $3.99 a month it is well worth it to me. (As of 2014 this is now $4.99 per month unless you signed up for it originally when it was $3.99.)

What is the + you might want to ask?  Well, this is not an "app" but an integral part of the iPhone.  It is the clock, and what I like so much about that is the feature in the "timer" section that lets you select "stop playing" instead of an alarm sound when the timer ends.  I set that function, play Pandora on a nice soft "station" when I go to bed at night, and the music I have chosen plays and then turns itself off at the appointed time.

I hope you enjoy this fully off-topic blog post today.


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