My Favorite Apps

AppsWhich apps have I been using enough that I want them on my main iPhone screen? Here’s a rundown (right now, I have two more screens of apps that I don’t use nearly as much, but are pretty handy once in awhile … like a flashlight or the calculator app):

  • Messages – default text messaging app.
  • Calendar – self-explanatory, and used a lot!
  • Clock – I set lots of alarms to remind myself to do stuff (like picking up a child from dance practice). I also use the alarm clock feature when I’m traveling.
  • Camera – self-explanatory. Does video too.
  • Evernote – I use this for random note-taking, jotting down quick ideas, that type of thing. I also keep some lists here (ie., lists of books I want to read)
  • RTM (Remember the Milk) – It’s a to-do list that works well with the Getting Things Done method.
  • reQall – Very cool app that I just discovered. It’s replacing the Jott service I’ve been using, and doing a nice job of it, too. Basically, you can record a 30-second voice memo, and it turns it into text and emails that text to you. You can do a lot more with it … that’s for another post
  • Photography – These are all different cameras, photograph editors, or effects that I’ve been playing with:

    • CameraBag – has some neat filters, like 1962 (looks like an old photo, Fisheye, etc.
    • Darkroom Pro – alternate camera I was playing with, until …
    • Camera+ – I discovered this one! They were kicked out of the iTunes app store for awhile – not sure if they’re back yet. But it’s a great camera app – better than the default one, plus it has some great filters built-in. The only reason I haven’t replaced it with the default app is video (as in, it takes none).
    • CameraPlus – not sure why I still have this here … must play with it again, then probably delete.
    • PS Express – as in Adobe Photoshop Express. Great little app with some handy editing features.
    • Flickr – a flickr browser.
    • TiltShiftGen – makes those funky tiltshift “miniature” style photos. It’s fun!
    • Photos – default iPhone photo browser.
    • Qik Video Pro – this one’s been a disappointment. I bought it because it has some fun video filters (like black & white, frost, etc.). But guess what? It doesn’t do the 16X9 HD video that my iPhone 4 can do (even though the iTunes app store description says “works with iPhone 4!”). So that’s no fun! Otherwise … the app posts live video to Qik, and sends to other places like Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.
  • Bibles – a couple different Bibles I use:
    • AcroBible – the NIV version. A classic.
    • Bible (YouVersion) – I use the Bible part of this app, primarily … but it’s really more of a social network with a Bible in it. You can friend people, see any notes they create, set up virtual Bible studies, hook your calendar up with a variety of Bible reading plans, etc. The app comes from lifechurch.tv – a church that makes apps and social networks!
  • TWC – as in The Weather Channel. Hey – I live in Tornado Alley!
  • Wikipanion – a Wikipedia app. I bet I use this app almost every day…
  • Reeder – a Google Reader app. Also used almost every day.
  • Location Stuff – I’ve been experimenting with location-based services, so…
    • Foursquare – you can be the mayor…
    • Gowalla – another cool tool.
    • Brightkite – a third service I play with.
    • Loopt – the first location-based service on the iPhone.
    • check.in – web-based app that lets you checkin to multiple places at once. Right now, I have it hooked into Foursquare, Gowalla, and Brightkite. It’s very beta, so doesn’t always work.
    • Mayorama – lets you see how many checkins you need to be mayor (Foursquare only). Sorta fun playing with this… 31 more checkins until I’m mayor of Lake Shawnee!
    • Whrrl – another location service.
  • Shazam – cool music service. If I hear a song, I can hold it up, press “Tag Now” and find out who it is, and most of the time, it works great. Unfortunately, I’m often listening to weird college radio or a christian station … neither of which are mainstream. So I sometimes get an “unrecognized” out of it.
  • Facebook – self explanatory.
  • Twitter – self explanatory.
  • And of course, my phone/mail/safari/ipod apps that show on every page.

So, that’s what I’m using. What do you have on YOUR smartphone’s main app page? What can’t you live without?

CIL2009: Handhelds & Mobile

Ben Smith, Sheryl Bai, someone else…, Aaron Schmidt

First up – Handhelds at UCHC School of Medicine

PDA Program:

  • PDAs supported by the library since 2001
  • Library purchased PDAs for staff
  • Did an in-service class for staff
  • did some student and faculty training, too

Ben:

Current PDA Initiative:

meet with faculty, then test handhelds, create instructions.

Train students so they can be a resource to ther students. Cool.

They hold PDA clinics, help them install apps, etc.

Considerations:

  • which handheld platform?
  • Windows Mobile 2003 or Mobile 5?
  • Smartphones?
  • They’re limited because they’ve developed stuff on Windows Mobile platform, so they have to use those…

Smartphones:

  • two devices in one
  • cheaper
  • you have a phone contract too – have to make sure students understand this
  • screen resolution can be worse on a smartphone (aside – I love my iPhone)
  • not all have touch screen functionality

Handy software utilities:

  • dotPocket
  • DeepFreeze
  • ActiveSync
  • Microsoft Remote Display Control (displays the PDA on a computer screen, hence a live demo during a presentation)
  • My Mobiler
  • Windows Mobile Device Center

Chris Tonjes, Aaron Schmidt

Chris (CIO, DC Public Library)

their iphone app:

three layers – transaction layer, data layer, presentation layer (I think)

Goals:

  • continue horizontal integration of our ILS
  • presents an alternative delivery of online catalog – like most, not happy with their ILS. So this gave them a great excuse to start experimenting
  • first foray into mobile world
  • leverages the power of the iTunes app store – the delivery method of the future
  • model for other projects
  • provides tangible near term ROI and extended library use and awareness
  • leverage! Code and analysis used for …
  • They have a blackberry version too
  • more online catalogs! playing with VuFInd
  • Integration/direct download target for content from our electronic resource providers 9Gale and Overdrive)
  • iPhone 3.0! Ecommerce – fine and other payments from within app!
  • model for near future projects (kindle or other readers)

Showing their release roadmap – they are planning for the future

DCPL iPhone App – fast facts:

  • 2199 downloads so far
  • 85 in the last week placed holds with it
  • works with SirsiDynix enterprise portal search discovery tool
  • plug in web service
  • took about 100 total hours of programming time
  • we can forecast LOE to modify for use with ibistro and elibrary
  • code available for download

DCPL SMS Text Msg – Bill

Reach out to the younger people is a goal

they send notices, announcements

patrons opt-in on website registration page

increase library event participation via same day notifications – great reminder of events.

messages and notices tailored to SMS limitations/requirements (ie., message size & delivery)

Normal txt stuff: small messages, if you have more than one to send, you have to do each as separate messages

Cost to the library = 0

They schedule the txt msgs in the middle of the day – important point. You don’t want them sent at 2am! And you WANT them sent when people can see them, for reminders…

Aaron:

in charge of how this should look and feel.

started making paper prototypes

Even did user testing with paper mock-ups to see if the idea worked

It IS possible to design a BAD iphone app… they wanted to avoid that

There’s a PSD element library for iphones so you can quickly create a photoshop mockup

Giving examples of how it works

Next?

QR codes,barcode reading.

HUGE potential for these mobile devices.

SXSWi 2008, Day 4: Life After the iPhone

I thought this session was supposed to be about this (from the SXSW summary of the panel):

“The iPhone may be the most disruptive technology of this decade. The countless ubiquitous computing tools available to User Experience professionals mean convenience and usability headaches. With boundaries blurring between web and mobile, how will the UX discipline change? This panel explores challenges for designing Rich Internet Applications for multiple devices.”

That sounded interesting. Unfortunately, the actual panel was nothing like the above description. This presentation had: no info and no real thinking about the future.

More than one panelist said they like other phones better (so what in the world are they doing on this panel – according to the description given, they were supposed to do a bit more thinking about the iPhone, how disruptive it is, and the future).

One panelist said the iPhone was hard to use, another complained about the SMS capabilities and how hard they are to use.

Hmm… I’ve seen like 5000 iPhones this week, all being used successfully.

But enough about that! Fortunately, I’ve only attended two really bad presentations.

How’s the iPhone Working Out?

Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click To Play

Quicktime version | YouTube version

I’ve owned an iPhone for about two months now, and thought I’d make a video sharing my likes and dislikes.Dislikes:

  • Stocks icon – works great, but I could care less about the stock market, so it’s not terribly useful to me
  • Calendar – again works great… but I have a work calendar and an everything else calendar… so I have both synced up to Google Calendar. That works fine. Usually. [translation=I haven’t quite figured it all out yet].

Likes: Pretty much everything else. Ease-of-use is awesome. Included apps are great. I originally thought I’d get a Treo, but waited for the iPhone to come out to see what it was like… and haven’t been disappointed!

Update: I had a little trouble viewing the video, so I’ve been playing around with it. It should work now! And there’s a .mov and a YouTube version now, too.