Wednesday, June 5, 2013

5 Apps amore!

 I have an iPhone and an iPad but both are Apple's smallest storage version of each which is why I'm very discerning about which and how many apps I download to my devices.  But there's a few I use all the time and simply adore  Here's my favorite five...well six...and all of these are available in both iOS and Android platforms.

Google Maps - Do I really have to elaborate on this one? It has guided me countless times to many destinations. And its traffic feature is priceless if you live in a metropolitan area or are visiting one.  To me this is a "must have" app!

Flashlight - If you're approaching 50 and you need to hold anything written at arm's length to read it, you'll appreciate why I love Flashlight.  I can't tell you how many times I've used the Flashlight app in a restaurant because there wasn't enough light to read the menu or the bill.  Or how about on those nights when you come home and realize you didn't leave the front porch light on?  Flashlight is there to make the world brighter!

Urban Spoon - Anyone who likes to explore eating at different restaurants will love this app.  I use this app every time we are out and looking for a new restaurant to give a try.   The beauty of Urban Spoon is that it rates restaurants from user reviews and ratings given. Search for a restaurant by name, browse restaurants close to your current location using the "nearby" feature, search by specific cuisine or if you're really adventurous, use the shake feature and the app brings up random restaurants.  My personal feeling is that if the restaurant has an 80% rating or higher, it's worth checking out.  Be sure to read the comments from viewers on the actual restaurant's Urban Spoon page because past customers often offer recommendations on menu items.

Scramble Free with Friends- If you haven't found this Zynga app yet, all I can say is "addictive." If you like the game board Scrabble, you'll love this too.  Play with your friends, a random opponent the game matches to your skill level, or play with one of your Facebook friends.  Be sure to use the power-ups because they will automatically regenerate. HINT: you can select the same power-up twice.  I use the free Freeze and then use one of my power-ups for an extra Freeze...sneaky, I know.  But I still rarely beat my sister.  She's so darn competitive!

Santafy Me - This one you may not have heard about since it was made by some very creative St. Louis developers, but it's purely, a silly, fun, free app that will produce lots of laughs at Christmas time.

Santafy Me allows you take a photo directly from the app or select a photo from you photo library and add silly Christmas themed objects to your photo.  The free options that come with the app include fun items like reindeer antlers, Santa beard, an elf hat, a Christmas present, a Rudolph nose and a Santa hat to name a few.  If you become addicted, bundles of other objects can be purchased for 99 cents each.

A St. Louis digital marketing company called Integrity made the Santafy Me app.  The folks at Integrity design websites and mobile apps but also specialize in traffic generation and social media strategy.  These guys (the owners are two males but gals work there too) are incredibly witty...just check out their website or blog and you'll see what I mean.  By the way, I highly recommend Integrity if you're looking to hire a digital marketing company.

App Gratis - I can't write about favorite apps without mentioning App Gratis.  This little gem features a new app every day and offers the app discounted to usually free or a minimal cost like 99 cents to $2 for that one day.  I have my App Gratis app set up to email me daily notifications of each day's app so that I can read about them and determine if I want to download one in iTunes to give it a try.  There's typically one app offered for iPhone and iPad each day. The App Gratis Android app was recently added to Google Play for Android users.

App Gratis had some kind of falling out with Apple back in April so if you don't already have this app on your iPhone, you won't find it in the iTunes store.  You'll need to visit App Gratis' website via your phone to check out the daily featured apps, but there's a link on the website to download the app if you're interested in it.  Otherwise just remember the name of the app and go to the iTunes store on your phone to search and download it.

 If you're curious about what happened between App Gratis and Apple, you can read App Gratis' version of the story on its blog.


  1. These are great selections here, Julia. I especially like the Flashlight one. At the moment, I actually have to carry a flashlight in my handbag, so having one on a smart device would be so much simpler. I'm definitely heading towards app-land very soon!

  2. Thanks Susan! Yes, Flashlight could eliminate having to carry that flashlight in your handbag. Oh and a bonus tidbit I didn't mention...Flashlight comes with a compass that comes up on the screen when it's opened. Just a little extra bonus feature! :)