There’s an App for That!

The first of the posts to be making their circle this year is posting what apps they recommend on their phones. My friends Jeff Blankenburg and Brian Jackett made posts, and I figured I’d join in on this.

My Phone

I have a Samsung Focus on AT&T with the Mango update. Hard to believe, I’ve had my phone for over a year now. Very pleased with the Windows Phone interface, I’ve added many apps to my phone since getting it.

Social Media Apps

  • 4th & Mayor – It took me awhile to get into the whole Foursquare check-ins trend. But after devLink this summer, I’ve checked into a few places – currently at 184 check-ins, 4 mayorships, 21 badges, 12 tips, and 42 friends. My top places include places where I was contracted to work and where the user groups meet. In the past 6 months, my top categories include airports, food & drink shops, and offices. All of these statistics are easily attainable in 4th & Mayor! Once again, Jeff Wilcox has put out an awesome app.
  • Birdsong – While talking with my friend Chris Woodruff while we were in Seattle last year, I asked him if he could recommend any apps for juggling multiple Twitter accounts. Birdsong is great for that! Whether I’m Tweeting as @sadukie, @clevtechevents, or one of my various conference accounts, I have one app that allows me to switch between accounts and tweet from there. While I don’t use it often when I have my laptop on hand, I do find it helpful if I need to post a picture to Twitter while I’m on the road.

Productivity Apps

  • Amazon Mobile – Definitely handy when you’re buying items from a brick and mortar store and really wondering if you should spend that amount on something that you could wait a few days for. Being an Amazon Prime person and having free 2-day shipping on orders, this is a must-have for me.
  • Diagnosis – Whether you’re trying to diagnose battery usage and signal problems or wanting to tether out on your phone, this is a must-have for Samsung Focus users. You can find more on the Samsung Focus Diagnosis app on the XDA-Developers site.
  • GoVoice – If you have a Google Voice account, you can check your Google Voice texts and voicemails on your Windows Phone with the GoVoice app. This has been helpful in deciphering what some of my transcribed voice mails really were.
  • Last.fm – Listen to the streaming music over last.fm right on your phone with this app!  When I’m not listening to last.fm on my XBOX, I may be listening to it on my phone.  It’s nice to have this option in addition to any other options I’d have in whichever car I’m driving.
  • Mileage Log – Being in business for myself, I have a new world of tax write-offs, including mileage to places.  Also, with getting a new car last July, I was curious to see how its mileage would be throughout the year.  This app allows me to track my mileage (including the price) so that I can see the mpg trends in my car.
  • Stopwatch – Good for timing laps and as a general timer.
  • Translator – Right now, the supported languages include English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.  I like having this on hand when I am dealing with an international audience and need to get words or sentences translated.
  • Unit Converter – I’m known to run searches such as “150 lb to stone” or “47 degrees F to C” and then getting the conversion from a search engine.  However, having Unit Converter on my phone means that I have these conversion abilities right at my fingertips when I’m on the go.  Whether I’m looking at length, temperature, speed, time, volume, angle, weight, or area, this app has been very helpful in getting me the conversions I need when I need them.
  • WordPress – If you have 1 or even more than 1 WordPress website, this Windows Phone app is great for managing your WordPress sites.  One thing to note, XML-RPC publishing needs to be enabled on self-hosted  WordPress blogs before you can publish from the app. WordPress.com-hosted apps have this enabled by default.
  • World Clock – If you have business clients (or in my case, family) throughout the world, this app can help you keep track of what time it is in other parts of the world.  For me, having family in London, Sydney, and Hong Kong, I need to have something like the World Clock app to help keep their times straight.

Misc Apps

  • Across the Room – Recommended to me by Jeff, I’ve found this helpful whether it’s delivering a message to friends in the same talk as me at a conference or sending a message to my husband when he’s sitting away from me in our front room. Of course, he steals my phone so that he too can play with this app. This is just a fun way to deliver a message, as the name suggests, across the room.
  • Coin Flipper – When you live in a house of indecision like I do, it helps to have a coin flipper for making decisions, especially if you don’t like carrying coins around.
  • Fandango – Whether it’s a girls’ night out to Sex and the City 2, a family trip to The Muppets, or a date night to the latest James Bond movie, I like having movie times and being able to purchase movie tickets right at my fingertips. I can see what’s now playing, what’s coming soon, and even what’s showing at nearby theaters – including showtimes for the current day!
  • FML – If you’re having a bad day and need something to make you laugh, just know that other people are having it as bad or worse. This app is great, showing the data from fmylife.com.
  • Geocaching – After a few of my college friends talked me into geocaching, I’ve found it to be a good excuse to get out of the house and a great way to explore cities. Take scavenger hunts to the next level with this GPS scavenger hunt-like activity. Whether I’m on my own or out with friends, I’ve always enjoyed figuring out where the cache is hidden.  This is tied into the geocaching.com database.
  • IMDb – Pulling data from the IMDB.com website, this app is great when you need to wow your friends with a quote from a movie or satisfy your curiosity of who was in the original Ocean’s 11.
  • Periodic Table – Have I ever mentioned that some of my friends are super smart when it comes to science?  If they ever get to talking about elementary topics, I’ve got a periodic table of elements on my phone to remind me how that was structured.
  • Portal Sounds – I’m a fan of the Portal games, and I’ve found that having the sounds at my fingertips can be a great distracting tool.  There have been times where my little nephew (who’ll be 2 in the spring) has started getting fussy, and I’ve played some of the Portal sounds which have caught his attention and got him to settle down.
  • Wikipedia – This app needs to words, other than it takes the data from the Wikipedia.com site.

Games

  • Angry Birds – Shooting birds to attack pigs… this game is an addicting puzzle game.
  • Bejeweled™ LIVE – I have to admit that I have a weak spot for PopCap games. The Bejeweled series was the first of their games that roped me in. I love this gem-matching game, whether I’m at the doctor’s office or stuck on a long ride.
  • Color Sprouts – a coloring book app, good for keeping kids distracted
  • Doodle Jump – a fun little game that makes great use of the accelerometer!
  • Fireworks – nice little app to create a distraction for little ones
  • Fruit Ninja – Be it on my Windows Phone or on Kinect, I have to admit that I am a fruit-slashing addict. On the phone, your fingers are what does the slashing. Slice and dice the fruit, and watch out for the bombs! This game is great stress relief!
  • Parachute Panic – Such a catchy theme song! It’s fun trying to land parachuting guys on boats while working around obstacles.
  • PvZ – I’ve got this on my PC and was super thrilled when I saw it was coming out for Windows Phone. I have this on my phone now as well, and I made it a point to unlock the Whack-a-Zombie mini game for yet another form of stress relief!
  • Swipy Man – Another game that makes physics fun, trying to land a stick figure guy on a platform.
  • Wordament – I’m a words-game junkie. Banagrams, Scrabble, Boggle, and Balderdash are just some of the word games I like playing in person. Wordament is a good Boggle-like game.
  • Toy Xylophone – You never know when you need to distract a kid or play as an accompaniment at Music Monday. Having a toy xylophone on the phone is just a silly thing to have on hand.

Conclusion

Got any apps on your phone that you’d like to recommend to others? Blog about it and post a link to your blog post here in the comments! I’d love to see how others are using their phones and what apps they find useful!

Others’ recommendations so far:

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