My top 5 iPhone apps

Anyone who knows me will be aware that I love my iPhone. I’ve been an iPhone user since the first gen was released in 2007. As soon as I saw the TV advert for it I knew I would own one and bought it very soon after that. I finally owned the device I’d always dreamed of but never previously existed. Then they opened iOS to third party applications and it got ever better!

Here I am 7 years later (7 years!) with an iPhone 5S and still love it like I did my 1st gen, in fact probably more. In those years a LOT of apps have made it into my home screen, some for short periods, some for years, so here is a list of my Top 5 iPhone apps.
(List is based on apps currently on my iPhone 5S running iOS 7)

evernote40 Evernote
I’m an obsessive list and note keeper. As such I have used many, many note keeping applications but none have ever compared to Evernote. It’s cross device support means I can access it anywhere I like, work, home or on the go; and I know my notes will always be up to date and perfectly synchronised. I can have various notebooks with multiple notes for all sorts if different topics and finding the one I want is a snap with keyword and tag searching. Plus I can pin my most accessed notes to the top for super quick access.
And, it’s completely FREE!
instagram40 Instagram
A big hobby if mine is photography. I bought a Canon 400D in 2007 and carried it everywhere with me for months. I still have that camera but normally it’s packed up at home though and only comes out to play when I’m on holiday or at an event or family function, when I really want to capture the best shots. “The best camera is the one you have with you.” This saying is so very very true, and the camera I always have with me is my iPhone, and the app I still prefer to edit and share my photos with is Instagram. I’ve used it for about 3 years now and though many see it as a kids toy of unskilled photo editing, I still love the results it gives me. One of the things I love about it most is I can share it across all of my social sites so easily. It’s still loads of fun and I love the sense of community that is to be found by following challenges like Fatmumslim’s Photo A Day challenge.
snapseed40 Snapseed
Snapseed was given away during the Apple 12 Days of Christmas promotion at the end of 2010. I had purchased the app about 2 weeks before this. Annoying! However despite the fact that this app is now completely free I don’t regret handing some of my money over to the developers. It is a masterpiece of photo editing software and is simple to use yet complex enough to really get the most out of your photos. Colour correction, white balance and detail editing is easy yet produces fantastic results. If every you’ve taken a photo you loved but was too dim or yellow this is the app to use. There are so many other great features to this app like, filtering, tilt-shift, frames and textures, so there is something for everyone.
feedly40 Feedly
When Google Reader closed it’s doors I was devastated and didn’t think I’d ever find a news reader to replace it. I tried a few but once I tried Feedly I knew I would shed no more tears over Google Reader. Adding and sorting feeds is a piece of cake, as is sharing articles across a variety of other networks and mediums. Simple, clean, customisable. It’s doing a cracking job and I use it daily, both on my home & work PC and by iPhone and iPad.
kindle40 Kindle
If you are an avid reader like I am, having your current books with you at all time is essential. Knowing that my current location will be synced across my kindle and iPad is awesome, so I know I can pick up any device and carry on reading where I left of. The interface is simple and clean and the font can be customised to suit your preferred size, margin & spacing. You can also annotate, highlight and share quotes, read extra details about thy book synopsis, characters and popular quotes from other readers. It really is great for getting more out of the books you are reading.

Honourable Mention

chrome40 Chrome
Honourable mention because for me this is a no-brainer default app that everyone should be using. Tabs can be synced across devices by logging in to your google account and likewise passwords and logins can be cross-synced.

I’d love to know what some of your own favourtite apps are so drop me a comment and let me know what they are and if you find this list useful!

WordPress for iPad test

Since I haven’t blogged from my iPad since NYC, and with the WordPress app receiving a significant update, I thought it was well overdue I give it a go.
One of my main bug-bears with the previous version was it’s annoying knack of loosing drafts should you make the mistake of navigating away from it within the app. Infuriating! While on the plane to New York I wrote a long post about Christmas and the start of our travels, only to loose the entire thing. I still haven’t quite forgiven WordPress for that one. Subsequently all future holiday blogging was done in simplenote and blogged later. I’ll let you know how I get on with the new app…

The seasons are steadily shifting towards spring, and the daffodils have starting shooting up at work already. Such lovely flowers they are; hiding all winter and popping up anew every year in spring, letting us know summer is just around the corner. That and they always remind me of the original Alice in Wonderland movie which instantly makes me feel cheerier. So now it is light when I walk home, and hopefully soon it’ll be warm enough for me to ride Ethel to work again (I don’t like cycling on the cold, my eyeballs!), and the days long enough for me to cycle to the gym in the evenings.

Greenpois0n has finally been released for windows, meaning an untethered jailbreak for my iPhone and iPad. Yay! I haven’t played around with the jailbreak functionality of my iPad yet, and I’m kind of going through that, “OK, I’ve jailbroken, what’s next?” phase, but I know once I’ve hit YouTube and checked what other people are playing with I’ll start having fun.
Have you tried World of Goo for iPad yet? It’s a great game!

iPhone 4

My phone contract is up next week and I’ll be getting the iPhone 4. I’m actually pretty excited even though I’ve been an iPhone user since the beginning. Pete and I are travelling to New York in December (my first visit to the States! Woot!) and I was considering buying a handheld video recorder. I hopped onto the net this evening to look at what was available and then I remembered I’d be getting the iPhone 4 and that I wouldn’t need to buy a separate device for recording video clips. The iPhone 4 is perfect for my requirements!

Online vs Paper & Privacy Levels

I often find myself torn between my pull to the geek world and wanting to do everything digitally, and my romance with written journals and diaries. I like that digitally I can fit masses of information and photos in one place, It’s easy to search and available to me wherever I go. However I miss the touch of paper and my own handwritting. There is a smell of paper that is familiar and comforting, and somehow feels more private and personal. I suppose a lot of the appeal is also the mystery of carrying around a private journal.

I also struggle with how much to share publicly in this digital age of social networking and how much I should keep private. My aunt recently passed away, and I had to be careful about not putting it on facebook because you never know if everyone has been informed. The last thing you want is a cousin to find out of facebook. So despite wanting to share my feelings with my closest friends, I ended up keeping it entirely quiet. Where is the medium?

I’ve even considered setting up 2 facebook profiles. One for General everyday fun and messing about, and one of a more serious nature. But that seems ridiculous. Finding a comfortable place in the online world is quite hard. Especially considering jobs and employers are likely to see the information and photographs (and others) you throw out there. It’s a very public place to be!

Aunty Sandra, Slimming, Evernote

Aunty Sandra is still hanging in there, just a slow progressive deterioration.

Connie at work commented that I am looking slimmer these days. Just the boost I needed as I’ve eaten more junk this week than I should have. It’s nice to know the hard work to loose weight is paying off, but I still have further to go, I won’t give up now!

I think I’ve finally found the notes/lists/to do manager I have been wanting for ages in the form of EVERNOTE. It syncronises across all my computers (work & home), devices (iPhone & iPad) and has full web access; plus it’s free for up to 40MB of data traffic which is plenty for my needs. I’ve used it for over a year but never properly understood it’s capabilities and functionality, but I’m glad I finally have. I can split all my notes into various notebooks, i.e. shopping, to dos, ideas, etc and store a wide range of info and media, such as audio records, pictures and typed notes. It really is an extension to my brain that is easy to search and recall info from. I really like it.

I want a Mac.

I’m at home reclining on the couch with my iPad on my lap and thinking about various things geeky.

I think I’ve made the decision to make my next computer a Mac. There are many reasons for this but the main one being that their products are so beautiful and work so well. It will be quite a while into the future before I actually need to make a final decision as I’m trying to get my finances in order at the moment, and a new computer is certainly not in my budget for the foreseeable future, especially not a pricey Macbook Pro. But I think I’m finally ready to say goodbye to Windows. I’ve never been a fan of Microsoft products and have always likes Apple, but I’ve always held onto the security blanket which is my Windows PC. I’ve accumulated a shit-tonne of software for windows and little customising and tweaking apps which have always made my windows experience more to my taste, now I think I’m ready to let it all go and have something that is beautiful and stable out of the box. Call me a Fangirl or whatever you want, I don’t have to justify my decision to anyway, if you don’t like Apple or Mac, fine, don’t buy it. But actually, I do.


Yes, Pete and I gave into our desires of geekery and indulged ourselves in the coolness that is the iPad.

I already knew I wanted one but alas my budget would not stretch to allow me to get one. This morning I joking hinted to Pete that he could buy me one and his vague response that didn’t include a “no” made me realise this was a possibility. We discussed it and agreed I’d pay him back or it part of the cost could be considered part of my 30th birthday present. So off we went to PC World in Stoke to have a look. As soon as Pete had one in his hand he knew he wanted one too. So a little while later we walked out with 2 16Gb Wi-Fi iPads.

I really love using this device. Typing this blog entry on it is a dream, so much nicer and easier than both my iPhone and my laptop, as I sit here very comfortable on the couch with my feet up and not overworking my thumbs. The screen is lovely and the styling in the usual slick Apple style. It’s very quick and responsive to every touch and tilt of the screen, and browsing the Internet is the most fantastic experience. I’m very very happy with it. 🙂

Public blogging & Careers

I was inspired this week to get back into public blogging, thanks to the post on authenticity by vancityallie. I realise my real life and online life are 2 rather seperate things and I’d quite like to merge them somewhat. Though this actually scares me as I’m a rather private person and don’t really know how much I want to share between the 2. But what does this actually mean? Sharing day to day activities is one things, but is that enough? How much of myself should I give, what is too little and what it too much? I’d like my blog to truly reflect who I am, but how does one do that? I’m not one for lengthly entries about my view on the world and things that interest me. Maybe this is something I should explore more? Force myself to stick my neck out and expose myself to possible discussion and debate. It could be very interesting to see where it goes.

Career Change

I’ve never known for sure what it is I really want to do as a career. I’ve had a series of jobs since I left school, but haven’t started a career. However, for my work experience in school I chose to go to my old Primary School and experience teaching, and this is something that keeps popping into my mind and I think, “I should have persued that!”. Over the last year it’s been playing on my mind a bit more and I’m going to look into it. I briefly discussed it with Pete and he is supportive, though we know it would put a damper on our current goals of getting a house, married, travel to South Africa, etc. I’d have to study for a few years to become a teacher and the idea of leaving full time work is terrifying, but if I don’t at least look into it, I know I’ll forever regret it. It’s something I may decide not to do afterall, but at least then I know I looked, and decided for myself. So I plan to start by speaking to local college’s and University to find out the requirement for entry, duration, cost, and also try find out what it’s actually like to be a teacher; and then go from there.