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author's profile photo Audrey Stevenson

Your favorite non-work-related app?

Hi All,

I've been wondering for a while now what people's favorite phone apps are (in my case, iPhone apps, but of course for Android users what apps are their favorites too). I'd really like to stick to non-work-related apps, though.

My favorite? It's one of the first apps I ever acquired, and I can't really live without it (well, ok, maybe that's a little overblown): Shazam. I listen to the radio in my car a lot, and when a song comes on and I can't remember the artist or it's a new tune that I think I might want to acquire, I just call up Shazam and after a few seconds of listening I have my answer.

I'm really curious to hear what your favorite/s is/are, and why.

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  • Mar 04, 2020 at 11:29 PM

    If games count I have 3 on my phone otherwise Coinbase and Revolut which both feed my Crypto currency needs ;-) but then I use Apple Shortcuts and Apple Home A LOT!

  • Mar 05, 2020 at 11:11 AM

    For me, I use the Beer-rating App "Untappd" and the Podcast-App "Castbox" regularly for non-work purposes ...

    • Mar 05, 2020 at 02:47 PM
      • I also am a fan of 'Untappd' - it used to be more useful when I was on the road all the time in new cities, but still is useful to see what is new around town at the various microbreweries without having to go to each brewery website.
      • 'Keep Notes' on Android - typical list keeper, but I like it's format and ease of use for ongoing shopping lists and to keep a list of dimensions (rooms, shelves, etc) for wish-list items.
      • LastPass password organizer - works both on Android and laptop - synchronizes entries on both platforms
  • Mar 05, 2020 at 09:19 PM

    I also use Shazam manytimes while driving to get the songname from radio . I wouldn't say it's my favourite app, but it is a very useful one for me.

    The one I use the most, which puts a smile on my face is 9GAG app with loads of funny memes&gifs.

  • Mar 06, 2020 at 01:45 PM

    Sort of work related, but I use it for other things as well is Jot-Not. It allows me to take a picture of something which it then converts to a .PDF file and allows me to email it - usually to myself. I use it for receipts when I'm travelling, but also to send stuff to my daughters.


    • Mar 06, 2020 at 04:17 PM

      Interesting. I've used GeniusScan which I think does the same thing. When I was visiting my mother in Florida and trying to help her organize a bunch of paperwork, I used it constantly; it definitely came in handy!

  • Mar 16, 2020 at 02:01 PM

    Uh, that's really a tough question because I often do work related stuff and I don't play games at all on my phone. But in general I love all the apps to get your things done like banking, emails (also private), messengers, news, insurance apps... but I really cannot choose a favorite. Maybe the one playing audio books which I often use while driving and also running.

  • Mar 17, 2020 at 02:31 PM

    On time: anyone tried the openSAP app? It is available in my android store, but I never use it. Anyone has any comment about it?

    • Mar 17, 2020 at 10:11 PM

      Hi Fausto, I haven't tried it yet. But now that you've drawn my attention to it, I may try to check it out.

    • Apr 29, 2020 at 04:56 PM

      Absolutely, I watch almost all of my openSAP on the iPad app. The phone is OK if there is no small-font-coding involved :-)

    • May 05, 2020 at 09:48 AM

      Yes, I have installed that in my android mobile and it is working pretty well so far.

  • Apr 29, 2020 at 08:43 AM

    A friend showed me an app where you toast your drink with someone in your contact list that has the app as well. You just click on the name and the person receives a "Cheers". I forgot the name of the app, but I thought it's a nice thing showing you think of the other person that is not near and could be anywhere in the world, to drink your drinks together. :)

    • Apr 29, 2020 at 02:56 PM

      I like that idea, Mynyna. Maybe someone else here will know what the name of that app is.

      • May 06, 2020 at 10:09 AM

        I definitely like that, too, Mynyna and Audrey. Especially these times...

        Cheers, everyone :-)

  • Apr 29, 2020 at 05:21 PM

    As an aside, even before Apple bought Shazam it was already integrated into Siri. So just press the button and say "What song is that?" and it'll tell you. It won't save your queries like Shazam does but gives you a direct link into the song on Apple Music if available so you can add it to your library.

  • Apr 29, 2020 at 05:33 PM

    Hard one to answer as there are apps for so many purposes.

    Practical: Home / Hue apps since we accidentally started converting to a smart home.

    Entertainment: Books & Kindle. Half my reading is work-related though so it falls into both camps.

    My son's home education: YouTube & a variety of websites

    • Apr 29, 2020 at 09:14 PM

      OK, now I'm intrigued. How did you "accidentally" start converting to a smart home?

      • Apr 29, 2020 at 10:57 PM

        Haha, OK, bit of a long story, but here's a summary:

        We're gradually having the house rewired, but as smart stuff is a bit pricey on a large scale we weren't going to go flat out on it. I'm OK with pressing a button, first world problems and all that.

        Then the Sparky (*) ran into an inaccessible light switch wire which needed changing. We'd have to pull up the floor of the loft conversion (my office) which has a great big desk built in and ... urgh, no. Asked Sparky what the regulations were around having a bulb permanently wired in, he said no problem. So I bought a Philips Hue starter kit and remote switch, and he just bypassed the existing switch.

        Worked well, so it turned out that cost savings of not having to chase out new channels and wiring in switches offset the cost of going all out smart. This was in the run up to Christmas anyway so bought everything on the plethora of Cyber/Black/Boxing/Christmas/Whatever deals. Even have sensors dotted around to turn on various lights.

        So an electrical installation hurdle triggered a complete turnaround from "smart stuff, yeah whatever" to "light switches are soooo old fashioned" :-)

        (*) Sparky = slang for electrician here in the UK, not derogatory

        • Apr 30, 2020 at 03:12 PM

          OK, that is a great story. Thank you so much for sharing that! I can almost envision an entire separate thread on "how I accidentally wound up doing XYZ" where folks can share similar serendipitous experiences.

  • Apr 30, 2020 at 09:19 AM

    Here is a free app I'm already looking forward to (it's currently being developed and should become available in June): Cranky Uncle

    Everybody will be able to train their critical thinking skills with it to make it easier to spot misinformation by identifying the techniques inherent in e.g. science denial.

    More information:

    Full disclosure: the app is the brainchild of my friend John Cook who is both a cognitive scientist (at George Mason University in Virginia) and cartoonist.



    mockup-title.jpg (53.6 kB)
  • May 01, 2020 at 02:07 PM
    I'm also a fan of "Untapped". As mentioned, I used it more when travelling. Not so much since I'm not travelling as much now. An especially since the Covid-19 quarantine!

    No games on my phone anymore. (those I use are on my I-pad).

    So most of the items I use are pretty practical things for my SAR work and hobbies.

    1 - GPS MotionX - an app the records your movement, hikes, bikes, walks etc..I use it a lot in SAR to record searches and when doing training.

    2 - OneNote - for lots of stuff!

    3 - PulsePoint - alerts for emergency responses. Not all areas use this. But a lot do. Tells you when a CPR event is dispatched near you or other emergencies that you choose to be made aware of.

    4. TopoMaps - again, a SAR application I use a lot. But if you do a lot of outdoor stuff it's nice.

    5 - Theodolite - a jack of all trades app. Use your phone as a level, an inclinometer, compass, geo-tagged photos, etc..

    • May 01, 2020 at 02:12 PM

      Theodolite sounds interesting. I'll definitely have to check that one out. I've seen several community members use Untapped in the past; that appears to be a pretty popular app. (I'm more of a wine drinker than a beer drinker, so it's not one for me.) Thanks for sharing!

  • May 01, 2020 at 10:54 PM

    An interesting recent addition to my (kids) list of favourite non-work Apps : the BearHunting-App!

    In these special times (Covid-19) of seclusion, some mothers in Belgium have started the concept of "(Teddy)BearHunting" as a means to entertain their kids. The purpose is to "hunt" for TeddyBears that people have posted up in their homes, mostly by a front window obviously ... Taking walks is one of the few things you can do outdoors with the family during the Corona lockdown, yet it's not all that exciting for youngsters. But now they have a goal when going out for a stroll in the neighbourhood.

    I noticed our kids were pretty excited after their walk but there was some discussion amongst them who had found / counted the most Teddy's (I have two competitive sons) ...

    So I gathered : why not build a BearHunting-App with the kids so they can keep scores? My oldest son (7 yrs) built his version with AppInventor (and some additional help) and it worked like a charm!

    We did this in true "StartUp culture" style so we created an MVP (Minimal Viable Product) that allowed for taking and storing pictures, adding a counter, some textboxes, ... not much else. But is was great fun to introduce him to some programming concepts (untill his young mind's attention floated to other things)!

    Finally we uploaded the App on a few old Smartphones we had laying around so both my kids could compete against each other on their next BearHunt.

    Now, there were some drawbacks though, such as : many people seem to be somewhat suspicious when kids are going around taking pictures of their windows, haha! So I guess our App will have to go through another iteration, perhaps finding other ways of registering their hunting-trophies ...
    I was speculating upon using GeoLocation (no recurring addresses) and Art.Intelligence-concepts such as Image Classification (it must be a Teddy, no cheating, no duplicates!), so we would be "Buzzword" compliant for our next release (BearHunt 2.0), haha!

    So whatever you want to do - even in Covid-19 times - there might be an App for that!
    Stay healthy and positive ...

    • May 04, 2020 at 05:56 PM

      Wow, Nic, thank you for sharing about your sons' innovation! I've heard of the teddy bear hunting here in the U.S. as well, but your family took it to a new level, which is great.

      Just so I understand correctly: the app they built is just for your family's personal use, right? Or is it published anywhere so other kids could use it too?

      • May 04, 2020 at 06:39 PM

        Thanks. Well, the App is just for personal use. However, there are options to deploy it on Google Play via the AppInventor-software. However, I don't see it as a real viable product to release 'in the wild'. We just wanted to have some fun and play around with some code.

        Maybe we'll have some more time to improve the App, but some of the questions and features would need some good research to its feasability and purpose (even the legality, with regards to taking pictures) ...

  • May 05, 2020 at 08:36 PM

    I can't believe I left out one of my favorites. Probably because I use it primarily with my IPAD and not my phone much. But it works on both.

    It's technically for work but I also use it for a lot of stuff outside of work too.

    Opus One - it's basically an electronic version of the old Covey system. The one thing the Covey/Franklin system had that it doesn't is the A-Z dividers for filling notes and things. I resolved that by creating a notebook in OneNote that has a tab for each letter of the alphabet.

    Things that I would have filed in the A-Z dividers of the Covey system I do in OneNote.

    Opus One is pretty simple and easy to use. Combined with OneNote its great. (as long as I use it!!)


  • May 06, 2020 at 08:14 AM

    Google Chrome it is :D The most used for everything.

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