My Most Used Apps of the Year
The year is coming to an end and that usually means many people will write a “round-up of the year” post in some shape or form. I am no exception, so without further ado, here are my favourite apps of the year.
This app allows you to “text” from any device by connecting to your phone. I primarily use it on my laptop, for two reasons: I hate having to constantly switch between my phone and laptop to reply to a text as it’s incredibly distracting when you’re trying to get stuff done; and also because I type a lot faster on a full, physical keyboard than on my phone (despite auto-correct and predictive text).
On the subject of texting, Textra is a fantastic replacement for Android’s default messaging app. Its design is beautiful and there’s a lot of room for customisation: allowing you to change the colour of chat bubbles and also the colour of the notification icon, as well as giving you the option of “quick compose” which sits discretely in your notifications panel and lets you send a text without ever launching the app in full screen.
When it comes to staying organised, a calendar app and a note taking app are pretty much your bread and butter. Sunrise is a gorgeously designed app with a smooth-running interface and seamless sync between the phone and desktop apps. The colour scheme is easy on the eyes and the transparent widget sits beautifully on the home screen. What more can you ask for?
I’ve already mentioned a calendar app, so here is its perfect companion: a note taking app. I’ve cheated a little by mentioning two apps under the same heading, but here’s why: Keep is for the causal user — someone who needs to quickly jot down a simple idea or short list. Trello, on the other hand, is for the power user — you can create “boards” to organise a task and break it up into simple parts. It allows for collaborations with friends/colleagues, and helps you keep track of everything, all at once. Both apps are very pretty in design and make tasks seem that little bit more pleasant!
This is one of those apps that has the potential to change your online life — it allows your to “push” (send) notifications, messages, photos, etc. between your devices. You can even copy text from one device and paste into another. You can also use “channels” to keep on top of news stories and subscriptions. Bottom line, it’s a massive time-saver!
As tech news apps go, I think I’ve found my favourite. Appygeek collects articles from all over the web and groups them by topic. It also generates a “news digest” which includes the most popular stories of the day, allowing you to catch up on a whole day’s worth of news in a few clicks.
There are many editing apps out there, but very few of them are specifically designed for annotating photos/screenshots. This is where Skitch comes in. It allows you to underline, circle, highlight, blur, etc. parts of images and export them. The process is quick and easy and the end result has a very professional feel.
I’ve never really been a fan of photo editing and filters — I much prefer seeing photos in their original glory. However, thanks to Photofy, I’m beginning to see the appeal. The app includes some gorgeous filters, frames, and general other editing options which help enhance single photos, as well as build stunning collages.
9. HDR Camera
This app completely changed the way I view mobile photography. It makes everything look absolutely stunning, and perhaps even better than it does in real life! It works by taking several photos at different exposures and then blends them into one single, sharp and vibrant photograph. The process of taking one such picture can take around 7 seconds, but it’s more than worth the wait! You’ll see the individual photos flash up on screen, then the blend, and finally the finished product. Amazingly, you don’t have to have a completely steady hand in order to create a perfect, sharp image — the images are blended in such a way that slight movement isn’t detected. As well as that, photographing moving people will not ruin your photo. I’ve never been more impressed with a camera app in my life!
So there it is: my app round-up of the year with my favourite / most used (new) apps. I’m obviously excluding apps such as Facebook and Twitter, because really, who doesn’t use their social media apps often!
I am, however, going to give an “honourable mention” to a small list of apps that I’ve been using for a few years and still love: Shazam, Dropbox, Google Drive/Docs, Snapseed, Pinterest (which received a lovely update recently), and SoundCloud (which also received a stunning makeover this year).
If anyone is interested in how I got on with any of these apps (or any others), feel free to get in touch on Twitter: @mila_georgieva.