Recommended: My setup
As an app-aholic, I know it can be hard to find good apps. Unfortunately, many so-called app-review sites are either peddling paid content, or they’ll just tell you that this or that new app is out – without telling you if it’s any good, how it stacks up to similar apps, and stuff like that. Anyway, this is my setup, and the apps I use regularly. I have the iPhone 5, and an iPad 2 (soon to be upgraded to the Retina iPad). I also have a Mac Pro and 2 MacBook Pros, but this post is about apps on mobile devices.
Most of the apps mentioned (and linked to) have a free version as well, but I try to avoid getting free versions of apps – I’m thoroughly annoyed by ads, and as John Siracusa put it in a Hypercritical podcast “Nothing’s free. Either you pay for a product, or you are the product.”
To start at some place, my favorite Twitter app is definitely Tweetbot, with Twitterific as a close second on the iPad. I prefer the way Tweetbot uses the available screen-estate on the iPhone, but on the iPad Tweetbot is kind of my everyday client, and Twitterific’s my choice when kicking back on the sofa during the weekend.
Whenever I find something on Twitter I want to check out, I add it to Pocket, my read-it-later service of choice. I used to be an Instapaper-man, but when Pocket was relaunched, I fell for the interface, and it’s ability to handle multimedia-links like videos.
Books, magazines and more
I’m an avid reader, and that’s books, magazines, articles and whatever else comes in written form. I love Longform, an app that aggregates long articles on all kinds of topics, and from all kinds of sources. Like many other apps it supports Pocket, so that’s where I save those articles for reading later as well. When it comes to books, I prefer Amazon’s Kindle app, and I use Apple’s iBooks for content in the epub-format (which the Kindle app doesn’t support).
I just found a great new magazine-app featuring short stories, called Paragraph (free, via Newsstand). I like the iOS Newsstand in general, and have subscriptions for – amongst others – WIRED, Computer Arts and The New Yorker.
Creativity and design
I use my iPad for both creating and consuming content. My preferred drawing app is Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro for more complex illustrations, and 53’s Paper for sketching, doodling or notetaking. As for a stylus, I’m torn between Wacom’s Bamboo (I have both the Solo and the Duo) and Studio Neat’s Cosmonaut. They both have the right weight to feel like a ‘real’ pen.
More great apps I want to include in this post are Flipboard, Dropbox (I subscribe to 100Gb and couldn’t live without it), and currently I use Fantastical as my calender (though my longterm fav has to be Agenda). The best song-recognition app is SoundHound, and my favorite app to read comic is Comic Zeal.
Honorary mention: Everyday
Last but not least I wanna mention Everyday app, which lets me take a picture of myself everyday, and generates a timelapse movie from those. I have been taking my picture for about a year now, and you can see the first published timelapse animation below.
A note to the developer:
I use Everyday ah… everyday (no pun intended). The app hasn’t been updated since april 2011, and it’d really be cool to have it at least updated to the iPhone 5 screen. And a new feature or 2 wouldn’t get you any complaints from here either… I got more than a year of daily pictures in the app, and I hope that there’ll be support for it for many years to go.