It seems that smartphones own the world these days. According to the Pew Research Internet Project, fully 90% of American adults own a cell phone, and 58% of those cell phones are smartphones. If you’re in that 58%, you know just how handy it is to have that little piece of technology in your pocket. Many times my smartphone has helped to navigate through traffic (hello, Atlanta) or answered an idle question during a long drive (FYI, the average temperature in Belize is 79°, making it an ideal place to retire).
Regardless of the ongoing debate over the merits of Apple vs. Android operating systems, most can agree that the apps available through their respective app stores serve to make our phones even more useful. As you might expect, here at Lieberman Technologies, mobile apps are a significant part of our personal and work lives. They allow us to conduct business no matter where we are, take a few minutes to decompress, or learn something new, and we’re big fans of the apps that help us do all those things. With that in mind, we thought we’d share a few of our favorites, broken down into categories of work, play, and learning.
Favorite Apps for Work
Not surprisingly, to-do lists and easily-accessed information topped the string of recommendations for work-centric apps. When you’re on the go, it helps to be able to have your notes and email in the palm of your hand, and these apps make things easier.
Trello – Because collaboration is a large part of the fabric here at Lieberman Technologies, Digital Marketing Architect Zac Parsons favors Trello, saying, “It has such a great integration with the web version that I access on my desktop and laptop. The drag and drop functionality is very intuitive and helpful. We can assign team members to tasks, set due dates on the calendar, build out checklists, and a lot more. I love this app for collaboration.”
Feedly – On a similar note, Director of Web Services Andrew Epperson favors Feedly to keep track of his reading list as well as sharing reading material with his team: “This App has singlehandedly changed the way and how much information I consume from my favorite blogs. A must have App for anyone serious about blog consumption. Easy to use, syncs across all my devices, allows me to easily share content and links with the team.”
To Do Reminder – Sometimes you need a little help remembering day-to-day tasks. Partner and Director of Development Pat Heck uses his To Do Reminder app “for everything from remembering to set out the trash to remembering to bring something home from work.”
Other apps that made the list:
Apps for Play
All work and no play is no fun, so taking a little mental health break is what these apps are all about.
Instagram – Software Engineer Robert Morgan likes this photo-sharing app “because it’s a documented version of my days using photographs.” Because of the ever-better cameras on smartphones these days, Instagram is a wildly popular app, with more than 150 million users worldwide.
Candy Crush – You probably know someone – or several people – who play this colorful, candy-swiping game, and they’ve probably invited you to join them. In fact, if you’re a Candy Crush-er, you are one of more than 93 million people worldwide playing the game, more than the population of Australia. Software Engineer Zandr Martin is among that 93 million: “I am hopelessly addicted.”
Live Holdem Pro – For Senior Solutions Consultant Karen Cheaney, this online poker game is all about winding down at the end of the day. “It helps me to relax at night.”
Apps for Learning
Keeping up with the mountains of interesting information available these days is a task best suited for a smartphone app. Whether you prefer to read or listen to learn, hone your knowledge with quizzes, or receive your news from a central source, there’s an app for that.
Google Cards – If having all sorts of information on a virtual bulletin board appeals to you, Google Cards is an app that not only presents you with that information, it learns your preferences and presents you with new information based on those preferences. Systems Engineer Paul Schwake finds the ever-adapting cards to be an important part of his day. “They just keep adjusting them to what I show interest in, and I keep finding new info that I may not have seen anywhere else I normally frequent. I didn’t understand Cards at first but now it’s a staple.”
Instapaper – Readers, like Software Engineer Tom Ballard, like to have reading material wherever they go, and an app that makes that possible is Instapaper. Says Tom, “I use Instapaper to save websites that I want to read later to my Instapaper account which I can then read on my phone with the Instapaper app. Great for websites with a lot of text, like news, science reports, reviews, etc.”
Pocket Casts – Andrew Epperson finds this podcast app helpful when he wants to multi-task: “It syncs on across my Android devices and allows me to enjoy all my favorite podcasts during my favorite summer past time… Podgrassing. The yard is going to be mowed, I might as well multi-task.”
Because smartphones are so much more than phones these days, the variety and volume of apps available – a large number of them for free – promises to make users more productive no matter which ones they choose. Whether you’re killing time waiting in line or need up-to-the-minute information in the palm of your hand, chances are… there’s an app for that.
Your turn: what are some of your favorite smartphone apps?