Ten (or so) Essential Apps On My iPhone

iPhone 5

Here are the apps I use most on my iPhone. Once again I have to say I’m fairly quirky so your mileage may vary.

TaskPaper

TaskPaper is used for lists of all sorts. The ease with which I can create them on my Mac and have them replicated on the phone and iPad and the joy of a text format make this an essential. See my posts tagged TaskPaper for my reasons why (and a bonus AppleScript to add tasks to Reminders).

Tio

I went looking for an app that would allow me to quickly log events and Tio is it. The free version allows you three different events but the paid one allows up to nine, the last three are actually timers. It’s perfect for logging when you took medication, I also used it on my last attempt to give up cigarettes. You press the button and the time date and button pressed are logged and you can easily look at the log. The event log can be mailed to you for easy analysis on your computer.

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iPhone 5 first impressions

I’m the proud owner of a new iPhone 5, a slightly late Xmas present courtesy of my phone insurance to replace my broken iPhone 4S. I know I’m coming late to the party but I thought I’d jot down some thoughts after the first day.

The first thing that struck me is this phone is light. It feels much nicer in the hand than the 4S, it seems a shame to put a case on it. If I wasn’t such a clumsy klutz I’d leave it off. The second thing I noticed is that the screen is sharp and those few extra pixels of height make a lot of difference.

Then we get to the new Lightning connector. Another win in my opinion. OK, it’s inconvenient that my iPad and my phone now use different connectors and it’s a hassle that I need adapters for the charger in my car and elsewhere. The new connector is just so much better than the old one that I’m prepared to cope with those minor niggles. The connector is much more solid, connects more solidly and going in both ways up is a major win. The only other hassle is that if you use the Apple 30 pin to Lightning adaptor you will almost certainly find your phone case gets in the way. I’m using a mix of new cables, the adapter and the adapter cable. I bought an extra one of each.

Then final win is speed. First, communication speed. 4G seems much, much faster than 3G, a couple of the things I’ve tried since getting the phone I would have been reluctant to do on the slower network but were fast enough on 4G.

The phone itself also feels faster, the interface is snappier and apps seem to load faster. The one I really noticed was Evernote which opened and indexed some new notes as fast as it does on the Mac.

Short summary — I’m in love. I’m certain I wouldn’t have paid to upgrade from my iPhone4S but I’m more than happy that I now have an iPhone 5 for about $200 (that includes the insurance excess, a new case and the adapters).

TaskPaper for iOS

TaskPaper on the iPad

TaskPaper on the iPad

In a previous post I waxed lyrical about my current affection for TaskPaper on the Mac. Today I’d like to write about TaskPaper for iOS.

On the Macintosh TaskPaper excels because of it’s simplicity and use of text. On an iPhone or iPad interface is king, applications live or die by their ease of use.

The same care that was put in to the simple interface on the Mac has been put in to creating an app for the iPhone and iPad that is clean and incredibly easy to use.

There is one difference between the app on the iPhone and the iPad. On the phone the app opens to a screen listing your TaskPaper lists and selecting one takes you to a second screen with your list, on the iPad the document list is on the left of the screen and the selected list is on the right.

The list screen allows you to add a new list, a new folder for lists, search your lists and a settings screen. The setting are not dissimilar to the settings in the Mac application. On iOS it supports both Dropbox and TextExpander and it is in settings that you turn them on.

Then we get to the list view. Touch support is good. Swipe left to right to mark an item as done, swipe right to left to bring up the “Cut Copy Paste Delete” tab. Tap once to select an item, double tap to edit it, tap and hold to move an item up and down it’s list.

When you are editing an item type return to start a new item. A neat trick on an empty item type return again and the new item turns into a new note, again and it is a new project, again and it is back to a new item.

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Flow Free

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I have to start by saying I am not addicted to this game, definitely not. That I have played 300 levels in the last three days is not addiction, I just like it a lot, really, I swear.

This is a brilliantly simple and compelling puzzle game. You have a grid that can vary from 5 x 5 to 9 x 9 with a number of pairs of coloured dots and you have to find a way to connect each pair of dots without crossing paths and making sure you cover the entire board.

I love that playing a level is, if your brain is going well, a task of moments. It is also something that certainly seems to come easier with practice. You can, if you are really stuck, have a hint but be careful as after a few free ones hints will start to cost you money.

If you don’t buy hints then the game is free to install and free to play so if you enjoy a good puzzle then this is one I recommend.

Flow Free on iTunes – it is also available in the Google Play store for Android.