While I briefly “went Android” (don’t judge me, Apple fanboys) I found such a great selection of apps for my Samsung Note 3 that I barely noticed what I’d left behind. There were Android version of all my favourite and most-used apps: Twitter, Evernote, Dropbox, Instagram etc. But not everything was covered by the many thousands of available apps in the Google Play market…
Now that I’m back with Apple, I’ve just realised the apps I really missed, including:
Day One: A superb diary app. I love keeping a diary and this allows you to simply add any thoughts or reflections, while it pulls in your location, the local weather, any photos you like etc. It syncs across Dropbox (or iCloud if that’s your thing) so you can access and write in your diary on any iOS or Apple Mac device. I *really* missed this and couldn’t find an appropriate Android replacement.
iBank: I found this a really useful app for recording where my money goes. It allows to record expenditure “in the moment” and syncs with a desktop app to give you a detailed breakdown of accounts and credit cards. If you wonder how your account is empty at the end of each month (or before!) then this app will make you more aware of how you’re spending it. And mindful shopping is a lot better than impulse shopping.
Passbook: Everything from event tickets, my Starbucks card and my boarding passes for flights end up here. One handy app to open, rather than multiple separate ones, just when you need that crucial piece of information. It’s one of the best innovations to come out with iOS 7, there’s not doubt about it.
I also brought something back from the Android camp: Pocket Casts. This is a superb replacement for the godawful podcasts apps that comes with iOS 7. Yes, it has improved over time, but in my view it’s missing some key functionality and has usability issues.
As someone who consumes audio and video podcasts in alarming volumes, Pocket Casts is a godsend. Easily subscribe to podcasts from a range of networks, sync your preferences across devices and never find you’ve got duplicate downloads or missing episodes. Yes: I’m looking at you, iOS Podcasts app.
It’s not a free app, but at £2.49 I’d say it was an absolute bargain. If you listen to more than a couple of podcasts a week, or are as frustrated as I am with Apple’s native app, then give this one a spin. And if you’re an Android user, I can heartily recommend the slightly different, but equally impressive Android version.