Tag Archives: Mobile Apps

Making Fetch Happen

Google+Plus

Okay, so.  Lately, I’ve been hanging out on Google+ and you know what, you guys?  It’s totally the future.  Facebook?  Too cluttered, unorganised, and self-involved (Facebook Home– you’ve got to be joking).  Twitter?  I love Twitter, but what it gains in brevity is lost in the way of visual interest.  Google+ is the best of both worlds (plus more).  It allows you to share ideas both big and small, pair your text with beautifully formatted photos, and easily network with others.

After hanging out on Google+ for the last couple days (you can find me here) and learning lots and lots, I’m ready to declare it the way of the future.  Why?  Because:

  • Circles! Organise your circles however you like, name them what you want (nobody sees them but  you), and easily share information with the people who will actually find it interesting.  Want to share your engagement photos?  Share with your Close Friends & Family circle.  Want to share an article on astrophysics?  Share it with your Geek circle.  FUN!
  • Follow Strangers! Like Twitter, you can choose to follow whomever you please.  This allows you to connect with people from all over the world, regardless of whether or not they’re in your network. Take advantage of this feature and follow brands, artists and movers-and-shakers that you’re genuinely interested in learning from and engaging with.  Then, do exactly that: learn from them, engage them, and build digital relationships.
  • Google+ App!  It’s sleek, it’s easy, it’s awesome.
  • Be Found on Google!  Posting to Google+ can boost your Google search rankings and better lead searchers directly to your content.  For anyone with an idea to sell, this is huge.
  • Communities!  Find your tribe, beat your drum, be with your people.

I know, I know. You’re all like, “Gretchen, stop trying to make fetch happen. It’s not going to happen.”  Except that it is happening.  Still don’t believe me?  Check out these great articles by people who know what’s up and let them convince you.  And then set up your profile and circle me in– providing I’m not in the Geek circle, of course…

  • David Masters tells you how to create a great profile, organise your circles, and connect with others
  • Mark McGuinness shares 4 reasons why creatives (or anyone with an idea to sell) should be using Google+

‘Appy ‘appy joy joy!

Are+You+AppyThis is Justin.  (Hi, Justin.) Justin is my tech shaman and the man I go running to when my MacBook/iPhone/iMac has a problem.  I also call (or Zello) him when I need help with WordPress or can’t figure out why the $*!@ my photos aren’t uploading properly!!!  No matter what the situation, Justin makes it better.  He also makes apps with Create DM and is always telling me about the next app that will totally. change. my. life.  As such, I asked him to share some of his favourite apps with you guys.  Again, he delivered.  Enjoy!
                                                                                                                                                           

As a developer of mobile apps, I get asked regularly “What are your top ten apps?”  I always reply that it’s a difficult question to answer as I download a large number of apps for testing, research and fun every day. Consider the following… there are currently somewhere in the region of 1,000,000 apps available in just the Apple app store alone, so picking just ten really is a brain teaser.

Therefore, my method for this post is to write about the ten apps I use the most. Now, before reading further, there is an app on this list that I was involved in building.  While this could be misconstrued as bias, I want you to know that I use this app all the time for its purpose and I’m really proud of it.  So there’s that.  Let’s begin.

Tweetbot for iPhone 1. Tweetbot – I haven’t always been a Twitter fan but the more I use it, the more I like it.  That being said, the native Twitter client on iPhone, although good, isn’t the best experience that can be had, so I use Tweetbot made by Tapbots. This app allows me to manage and interact with Twitter in a way that is engaging and fun, has a really good range of features and a lovely user interface, too. It is £1.99 from the Apple App store - Tweetbot for Twitter (iPhone & iPod touch) – Tapbots

Path for iPhone2. Path – There are two words for this app, Beautiful and Exclusive. Path was built as the antidote to social networks– okay, that’s a little unfair but I like to think of it that way. Path is a members-only social network where you only interact with friends that you want to interact with. Path allows you to share life’s moments with a select few that are special to you and then your friends can comment on your posts. The app integrates to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Foursquare so you can add content to these networks if you want or just keep it private and between friends. It is a Free app from the Apple App Store - Path – Path, Inc.

Netbot for iPhone 3. Netbot – App.net was started for developers who wanted a focus area to be social and is designed to be a Twitter style replacement. As a developer, it connects me with like-minded people, enables ideas to be shared freely and easily, and keeps me abreast of the latest industry buzz. App.net is a paid service which keeps the social stream focused. Netbot is essentially the same as Tweetbot so it makes my top ten as an app I use regularly. It is Free from the Apple App store - Netbot for App.net (iPhone edition) – Tapbots

Spotify for iPhone 4. Spotify – The Spotify service is revolutionary. There it is, I’ve said. I love this app.  It gives me access to pretty much any music track I could possibly want in the world and, coupled with a great 3G coverage, allows me to stream albums & playlists that I may not have had access to using my iTunes / iPod apps. A thing to remember here that Spotify really is a premium service; there is a free model but it’s full of adverts and you don’t want that, now do you?  It is Free from the Apple App store - Spotify – Spotify Ltd.

Spotify for iPhone5. Drive – Here it is, our app. One fine day, our Front End Developer said “I have an Idea!” and Drive was born. This is the first in-house app developed by Create Digital Media and we are so proud of it. Drive allows you to safely control certain functions on your iPhone phone (when it’s properly docked, mind you) whilst in your car.  It gives you access to your music, audiobooks and podcasts, shows your current location, allows you to set quick call contacts, and let’s you create predefine text messages that you can send in two taps without looking at your phone. It has a beautifully simple and easy to use interface with big friendly buttons. It is £1.99 from the Apple App Store - Drive – Create Digital Media Ltd.

Spotify for iPhone6. Reeder - RSS is one of those things that you either subscribe to or not. And I do! Reeder is the most elegant and easy-to-use RSS reader I have have ever seen or used. It allows me to keep up with all of the news that interests me and does it in a beautiful way. Additionally, they have iPhone, iPad and Mac apps which sync, allowing me to consume my RSS feed on all my devices. The iPhone app is £1.99 from the Apple App store - Reeder – Made@Gloria.

Zello

7. Zello - This little app is a recent discovery. For years the US has been ahead of the UK with a service called Push to Talk (PTT) and I’ve been envious, to say the least. Zello fills that gap and allows the user to use their iPhone as a PTT or Walkie Talkie device. It works really well over 3G and is super simple to use. Why phone when you can Zello! It is Free from the Apple App store - Zello – Zello Inc.

Foursquare

8. Foursquare - Social, Social, Social. I first signed up with Foursqaure to use by proxy so that I could check in using Path. However, as time has gone on, I find myself using this app more and more.  It’s simple, fun and well designed and turns you into a bit of a competitive person in trying to get the mayorships for various places you visit. It is Free from the Apple App store - Foursquare – Foursquare Labs, Inc.

Basecamp

9. Basecamp - When building apps it’s not only important for us to communicate with clients, but also efficiently communicate internally. Basecamp is a great way to do this and allows full transparency when working on a project. This app allows me to interact with the Basecamp projects whilst on the move and follows the great design of the web application that we use. It is Free from the Apple App store - Basecamp – 37 Signals.

Kickoff

10. Kickoff - This is a cracking little app and its simplicity is its master stroke. Kickoff allows our team to have a private instant chat with a live and easily viewable task list along side. Its not complex, it’s just brilliant!  It is £4.99 from the Apple App store - Kickoff – Michael Villar.

So there they are, the 10 apps that I use time and time again.  Of course I have many, many more (over 100 in fact) and some that, dependant on task, would appear on a top-ten list.  However, these are the most used and loved apps I have.

And remember, keep investigating and downloading apps that are available out there.  They’re made by some super talented developers and lots of indie guys like us, so go support them and enjoy your iOS device!