iOS 10 – Apps I Use

It has been a while since I last did one of these posts. Skipped right over iOS 9. Here are some apps I use. It looks like I use fewer apps than I did in the old days.

Fantastical – $5
Dark Sky – $4
Reeder – $5
PrayNow – $9
YouVersion (now called Bible)
and
Flickr

are all still in heavy rotation.

I’ve switched from Instapaper to Pocket for saving pages to read. They both sell ads based on what you save, but Pocket at least offers a paid tier. I’m not sure if paying keeps them from selling ads, but Instapaper doesn’t offer that option.

Some apps I may have neglected to mention before:

Overcast – a free app about which I have previously written: Importing Arbitrary Audio Into Overcast.app. It is an excellent app if you want to listen to things a little quicker than they were recorded.

Hoopla – a free app that my local library uses to offer ebooks, audiobooks, and videos. I only really use it for audiobooks. I can tell they are actively developing this app because sometimes it gets better and sometimes it gets worse. We are currently in a trough of user experience where the audio will stop playing arbitrarily and sometimes come back, but sometimes I have to push play myself, or even restart the app before I can get it to play. That I am still using it despite all this shows how valuable the content is. One day I might get an audible account, but until then these free audiobooks keep me calm while I’m driving.

Strava – a free run/bike/swim tracker. They have a premium tier for $60/year which might be worth it if I get an Apple Watch, or become more serious about biking. For now the free service does everything I want. They really want you to share your information publicly, but you can keep it private if you dig around in the preferences.

Instant Heart Rate – this app uses your camera to measure your heart rate. I’m not certain how accurate it is, but when I’m able to feel my pulse, it seems to match up with the graph they display, so I’m guessing at least the higher pulse rates are accurate. Irritatingly, it occasionally asks you to upgrade which I have thought about doing, but they don’t say if upgrading will remove the ads. I’ve tried a few other apps that seem to have a better user interface, but they all have much more invasive ads. One of the reasons I’d like to get an Apple Watch with its built in heart rate monitor is to be done with this app once and for all.

There are a few other apps that I use from time to time, but nothing that I use very often.

Capitalization of a Word in Retrospect: iOS Keyboard

Quick tip I learned this morning (I’m using iOS 8.1.3) for when you want to go back to capitalize a word you didn’t without trying to:

  1. Place the cursor just before the first letter (this is usually the difficult part for me, sometimes I just delete the whole word)
  2. Delete that letter
  3. Retype the letter but capitalized this time

Instead:

  1. Tap to select the word you want capitalized
  2. Tap shift (⇧)
  3. There should be a suggestion of that word capitalized in the options

screenshot of my phone showing me capitalizing "dad" in retrospect

Build your own soundscape

Tao Mix is a free app ($2 to unlock all the features) that let’s you build your own nature soundscape. I have enjoyed playing with the free version and might end up getting the upgrade.

You can select up to 3 sounds in the free version and each category has one or two you can select from. (E.g. You can pick heavy rain, but medium and light are locked.)

Give it a try.

Useful Apps

Here is my previous Apps I (still) Use post for comparison.

Fantastical – $3
I’m not a heavy calendar user, but this handles the little I do.

Flickr – free
Pro: Automatically uploads any pictures I take into flickr’s huge, free 1TB bucket.
Con: Doesn’t upload videos, even manually.

YouVersion – free
Bible app offering translations in multiple languages.

PrayNow – $9
Daily Bible readings and prayers from Concordia Publishing House.

Gmail – free
I use the gmail app to keep my work email separate. This also lets me turn on push notifications for just this one account. Since I don’t get many work emails, I don’t mind knowing when a new message comes in.

Dark Sky – $4
I had been using forecast.io/lines as my weather app despite the noticeable loading lag for web-apps. I’m enjoying Dark Sky’s new full-featured weather app in it’s place now. Still love lines in the browser though.

Duolingo – free
Great language learning app.

Circa – free
Well done headline browsing app.

Instapaper – $4
Instapaper is a great way to store anything you want to read later. The app stores a local copy for reading when you can’t connect to the internet.

Reeder 2 – $5
Reeder lets me access my Feedly feeds and integrates with Instapaper and Pinboard for saving to read and read articles, respectively.

DuckDuckGo – free
An excellent interface for searching via DuckDuckGo. I was a fan of their newsfeed when they released it, but it is pretty buggy and seems to randomly pick images for each headline, so I don’t use it that often.

Sparrow – Not Available
Sparrow is the only email app that works for me. I was a little nervous when iOS 7 came out because Sparrow was bought by Google a while ago and I assumed they wouldn’t update the app, and the transition to iOS7 left a few interface bugs. Thankfully they released an update before I found a suitable replacement. Sparrow’s (apparently) unique feature is immediately accessible, individual archive and delete buttons for messages. Mail.app on iOS requires that you decide which behavior you want to be the default and hides the other in a menu. I do both, so I want to be able to do either. Mail.app on MacOS has separate buttons, I don’t get why it doesn’t in the iOS version.

It has been about a year since I last wrote about the apps I use. Here’s the notable apps that dropped out:

MLBAtBat – It isn’t baseball season.

Lose It! – I still Use it! but just as a weight log, not for calorie counting.

Tweetbot – I don’t have a twitter account any more.

Flipboard – Replaced by Circa, which has its own headline writers.

CarTunes – iOS7’s Music App is Good Enough™. I might break out CarTunes if I take a road-trip though. The main limitation for me with CarTunes was that everything is gesture based (good for use in a car) but I couldn’t always remember important gestures.

Showings – I don’t really go to movies very often.

Shredder – I still play from time to time.