The apps of our lives

Our phones have gone from merely being a communications tool to being an essential part of helping us through life. Among other things we find our way, kill time, schedule things and I for one wouldn’t last long without it. Three years back I wrote a post on some of the apps that I was pining for and it’s fun to see that Spotify, Netflix and Siri are now here. Most of my apps have firmly settled themselves on the home and second screen but there are some new additions. I’ll give you a run-through so read left to right, top down.


iPhone screen 4-2013

The Home Screen 

Week cal is an upgrade from the traditional calendar that comes with the iOS. A calendar is a must to keep track of everything.

Weathercube is a gesture based weather app. I don’t personally care much about the weather but my wife often asks me about it.

Camera is the camera that comes with iOS but I also have Camera+. Camera covers your basic needs.

Captio allows you to quickly send email messages to yourself. It’s a bit redundant but I often use it to scribble down ideas or shopping lists.

iOS’s Settings and Messages should always be kept close.

Wunderlist allows you to make to-do lists across different platforms. It’s very handy and the app is intuitive.

Twitter has become my go-to app for checking what’s going on locally as well as globally.

ReittiGPS is the app for getting around the Helsinki area with buses and trains. It has saved me many times when I’ve found myself lost outside the city and it allows me to quickly move from one flea market to another.

Facebook doesn’t really need an introduction and I seldom check it anymore but it still has its place.

Helsingin Sanomat is Finland’s largest newspaper and it’s no longer free to read.

Huffington Post provides me with a good selection of American and world news. It’s become a bit trashy but it’s still ok.

Couple is the newest app that I added and I think it’s quite fun in spite of a number of usability flaws and bugs. It gives you new ways of communicating with your partner during the day and I find that important.

Uniqlo‘s wake up alarm is a traditional alarm but with a twist and a bit of humour. You can check out other people waking up and listen to cool tunes.

Instagram makes it easy to take nice looking enhanced photos and share them with your friends. I find myself casually browsing through other people’s shots more often than not and it’s equal to Twitter and superior to Facebook.

The App Store, Phone and Mail are essential tools and although there are better alternatives, these are the ones I use.

Mercury is my go-to browser because of the additional features it has. A home screen with links, syncing and support for lots of formats gives it a cut above the rest.

Spotify is what I use for listening to music. I don’t know when I last opened iTunes and I don’t really store any music on my iPhone.


iPhone screen 4-2013 2

The second screen

YouTube has become a must for not only viewing your friends’ videos but also watching full-length movies. They have a separate uploader app now which is a bit strange.

Google Maps is infinitely better than Apple’s map offering and I instantly installed it when it launched. It has everything the old version had and more.

Photos (iOS) allows you to browse your videos and photos as well as upload them and share them with friends. I use it to upload to YouTube as it’s the simplest way to do it.

Flickr came out with a new app two months ago and it’s fabulous. It’s par with Instagram and it offers much more functionality.

SR Play is Sweden’s radio app. They have a vast inventory of pods and most of it is gold.

iReddit and Reddit Pics provides hours of fun and they don’t call Reddit “the front page of the internet” for nothing.

Flipboard is your social personalized magazine and it’s based on different kinds of feeds.

Notes (iOS) makes it easy to write up things that you need to remember. It’s become a bit redundant so it might have to make room for something else.

Calculator (iOS) does the job.

TripIt allows you to keep track of trips and hotels and it informs you of any changes in your plans.

Shazam identifies music that you play to it. You need to keep it close by as you sometimes have to find it quickly while that ad is playing.

Cracked is a humour magazine that I already read back when I was a child. It’s a pure time-filler but you might learn something too.

Etuovi is one of the larger real estate portals in Finland and it’s interesting to check out the map functions when you’re in a new place.

Podcasts (iOS) delivers all the streaming video and audio you need.

OP-mobilen is the app of my bank. Paying bills has never been easier. Now if we could just get rid of the paper code sheet.


That’s that. Let’s see what my home screen looks like in a couple of years.

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