It’s no question that the smart phone and/or tablet has become a staple in virtually everyone’s life. And with so many different apps available, there’s not much left that you CAN’T do with your phone! Particularly as someone who now owns and operates a little slice of the world wide web, I am often glued to my phone and/or iPad. In fact, when you think about it, it’s quite scary how dependent on these forms of technology we’ve all become. I remember getting my first iPhone for my 19th birthday, and only a few weeks later thinking, “How the heck did I ever live without this thing?!” Having to print out maps to take with you on the go, lugging a DSLR camera around with you anytime you wanted to take a decent photo, even just having to press the 7 key *4* times if you wanted to type an s! These were all common everyday occurrences before smart technology entered out lives. Kids today will never know the struggle…
But I digress, addicted I am, and addicted I will stay! I don’t like to have a crowded phone/tablet, so I don’t have too many apps on my devices. But there are a select few which have become my holy grails that I find myself going back to time and time again! I’m going to share a couple of those apps with you in this list.
What it’s used for: Photo Editing Software
Since I got my new DSLR camera with Wifi connectibility (the handiest thing ever!), I have become obsessed with this app. It makes it super easy to edit any photos I take while on the go. I can simply shoot a photo, either on my DSLR (and then import it directly to my phone/tablet) or on my phone, import it into the app, and begin editing. You can choose to edit the photo manually by adjusting different components such as exposure, contrast, fade, etc, or you can choose from a number of premade filters, both free and available for purchase. The interface is super easy to use as well which makes it great for beginners who aren’t all that savvy with Photoshop or Lightroom just yet. The other nice part about this app is that you can edit multiple photos at the same time, by copying and pasting edits from one photo directly onto another! This is a great little shortcut for editing blog photos quickly while on the go, or when I just don’t feel like booting up my laptop! The app also has sharing capabilities and plenty of other users who post their own work that you can explore for inspiration.
What it’s used for: Gaming, Entertainment
Okay, this one is definitely the least “productive” app on this list, but that doesn’t mean I’m not addicted to it! I was actually introduced to this app by my mother, who found out about it at a dinner party where they all spent the latter half of the night glued to their phone screens playing this game. It’s similar in style to Tetris, in that you have to creatively stack different shaped blocks onto a grid to clear rows, while best optimizing the space you have. The reason I like it so much more though is because you don’t have the rushed, stressful urgency looming like you have in Tetris. You have all the time you want to grab each piece and fit it into the puzzle as you want. Also, the little sounds it makes when you clear a row, or stack a piece are so oddly relaxing and the moving colours are so satisfying to watch. It also has an option to darken the background screen for nighttime playing. I often find myself playing this game before bedtime as a way to turn off my brain, only then I get sucked in constantly trying to better my score, which kind of defeats the original intention I had…
My one complaint about this app is that there are so many ads and it can be kind of irritating, but a sneaky switch into airplane mode will block them for you!
What it’s used for: Instagram viewer for iPad/other tablets
I can’t be the only person who was miffed when I found out that Instagram isn’t available for download on iPads (at least not directly). However, even if it were, I honestly think I would prefer to use Padgram over the official app while on my iPad. This app’s interface allows you to view your Instagram feed in a grid formation, similar to Pinterest, rather than a scrolling feed where you can only view one post at a time. You can click on a photo to view its details, or you can view your entire feed at a glance, and quickly like/comment on several photos in one sitting. This is a great feature for bloggers or those who don’t want to spend too much time scrolling through a very active and clogged feed! There is also a premium account feature which you can purchase for around $6.00, which will allow you to manage multiple Instagram account feeds at once, among other features!
What it’s used for: Tumblr queuing service
I’m a pretty avid Tumblr user in my spare time (I don’t really like to use it for blogging reasons, but I do share the occasional post there), but I don’t always have the time to keep my Tumblr blog active. This is where queuing posts comes in. While Tumblr does have a queue feature built in, I sometimes find it a bit complicated and time-consuming to use. When I just want to quickly queue up some posts for when I know I won’t be able to log on for a while, I turn to Queue+. Queue+ originally started out as a plugin for your desktop, which is still the easiest way to use it, however, they also recently launched an app for smartphones and tablets. It sports an interface similar to that of Tinder (or at least I’ve been told….I don’t use Tinder! :P) where you can swipe left on a post you want to pass, or swipe right on a post you want to add to your Queue. And that’s it! They deal with the rest. You can go in and modify things like how often it will post to your blog, and between what times. You can even add and edit captions right in the app, but take note that it will post that same caption on every photo you queue up afterwards unless you change it. You can also opt to hide captions altogether. At the moment, the app version only seems to show photos/photosets, and not textposts or videos, which is a little bit of a downer, but it’s also a fairly new app, so I’m sure they will be adding more and more features as time goes on.
5. Checkout 51
What it’s used for: Couponing/ Savings
This app is great because it’s essentially like having an electronic coupon book in right in your pocket. It displays several offers on various products from all different brands, mostly food, but there are some other products as well. If you buy an item which is displayed in the app, you can take a picture of your receipt (from ANY store!) submit it, and receive a rebate! Once you bank up 20$ in savings, you can choose to have a cheque mailed to you. I always make sure to check this app before each grocery shopping trip, and if I see a coupon for product that I normally buy or would like to try out, I will make note to purchase it and send it my receipt when I get home! You have to be careful though, because if you end up just buying everything that’s available in the app that week, just for the sake of saving a couple bucks on each item, you will end up spending WAY more than you need to. So I try to only act on offers on products that I would have purchased anyway, or that I was hoping to try at some point.
*Checkout 51 used to have a referral program where you could refer a friend and both of you would receive $5.00, but I can’t seem to find it anymore. If that ever changes, I will share my referral link here for you so that you can get a free $5 added to your account when you sign up!