My (and probably your) digital life is all about Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Notes, Reminder, Cloud, Planner, and (Some) Social Media apart from work. To organize it further, I have an app/service for each category. That’s Gmail (for Mails), Google Contacts (for Contacts), Google Calendar (for Calendar), Evernote (for Notes), Google Tasks (for Reminders), Google Drive (for Cloud Storage), Google Reader (for news updates) and all those social media stuff like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
Now that I have an iPhone, I spent almost a month organizing apps. I’ve installed and removed several apps several times. Today, I hope that it’s all perfect and I got what I want from my phone. But it may not be the same tomorrow if better apps are introduced.
For me my smartphone is not just a mobile it’s something that makes my life easier. This time I decided to go for an iPhone (Sorry, Nokia) as I wanted to increase my productivity and organize my digital life in better way. Now I can perform almost all tasks that I could do with my laptop or a desktop. Well, that must be primary reason for the existence of a smartphone, right?
That said I recently moved from Google services to more of Apple and Microsoft.
As the first step, I migrated from Gmail (@gmail.com) to Outlook.com (@maheshone.com) via Windows Live Admin Center. Earlier I was managing my @maheshone.com e-mail via Gmail’s SMTP Server Settings. And now I’m managing my Outlook via Gmail itself as it’s not as powerful as Gmail even now. But I hope to manage the Gmail via Outlook someday.
So, here’s the current list of apps/services which I’m using now as my preferred client for Mails, Contacts, Calendar, Notes, Reminders, Cloud Storage, and Planning.
What Make My Digital Life Easier
Mail (Outlook.com via Gmail SMTP)
Contacts (iCloud Contacts synced with Facebook & Google Contacts)
Calendar (iCloud Calendar)
Notes (iCloud Notes)
Reminder (iCloud Reminders)
Cloud (Google Drive)
Planner (Microsoft OneNote)
Please note that I haven’t included any of those popular iPhone apps which almost every iPhone user must be using (like Maps, Instagram, Flipboard, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Flickr, Google+, IM+, Foursquare, Facebook Messenger, etc.) as I’m NOT using any of them.
Why iCloud? As Apple says “It’s the easiest way to manage your content. Because you don’t have to.” iCloud which is a built-in app in every iOS and new Mac not only stores your content but gives you access to photos, music, documents, contacts, calendars and much more regardless of the device you’re on.
20 Free iPhone Apps That Make My Life (and Probably Yours) Easier
1. iPhone Contacts, Calendar, Notes, and Reminders
With iPhone you don’t need a Google Calendar or a Google Tasks. iPhone’s iOS 6 has got everything you’ll ever need. It’s got a Contacts and Calendar which syncs with Facebook, Google Contacts, Google Calendar, Outlook etc. It’s got a Notes app so that you can write yourself a quick note and with its built-in email function you can send your notes to others easily.
The Reminders app on iPhone helps you remember everything you have to do. And it makes sure you get it all done. No matter what you’ve got going on, there’s an easy way to remember it all.
With iCloud Contacts, Calendar, Notes, Reminders all go wherever you go as it syncs all your data with your other iOS devices such as iPad, iPod touch, Mac etc.
What’s more? iPhone features Voice Memos too. Now you can record interviews, reading samples, study guides, or class lectures with Voice Memos. Capture a thought, a memo, a meeting, or any audio recording with Voice Memos. When you’re done, edit your recording, then email it or send it via MMS.
2. Find My iPhone
Do you fear losing your iPad, iPod touch, Mac or iPhone? Install the free Find My iPhone app on any other iOS device and access it with your Apple ID. This app will not only find your phone but protect all your data too. To add more, you can lock your device remotely, erase data or even locate your gadget on a map.
Want to capture quick ideas or important notes while on the go? Try the Microsoft OneNote for iPhone. Sync your notes with Cloud (SkyDrive), add pictures or organize notes in bullet form or create to-do lists, this app does it all.
We all know how important Cloud Storage is these days. Access all your data with the SkyDrive App from Microsoft. You can not only store but also manage and share files, upload videos or photos in this virtual storage space. With 7 GB FREE storage, there is lot you can do. Need more? Pay $10 a year to get 20 GB extra storage.
The Photosynth app for iOS is ideal for capturing amazing pictures in panorama. With the use of computer vision techniques, you can capture panorama vertically as well as horizontally.
6. Microsoft Tag
Reading 2D barcodes and QR codes is now easy with the Microsoft Tag app. Access videos, information and other material on the web without typing anything. Just scan the barcode and the app will do the rest.
Skype has definitely brought the world closer. Now you can not only video or voice chat and send messages but also share photos of any size with this app.
8. Google Chrome
Use Google’s flagship browser Chrome in its mobile version through the Google Chrome App. This app will sync all your omnibox data, passwords, open tabs bookmarks to your iPhone or iPad and iPod touch.
9. Google Search
Google has its own iPhone app for improving the speed of your search functions. It allows you to switch between places, news, images and even search results.
10. Google Mail (Gmail)
The Gmail app is perfect for accessing all your important mails while on the move. It also notifies you when you receive a new mail. The experience is exactly the same as the Gmail on your computer whether it is auto completion of names from contact list or even archiving, or marking spam and labeling.
11. Google Drive
The Google Drive is one of the safest options to store files, documents or data. With 5GB of FREE storage, you can share and upload photos, update your Google docs and even operate in the airplane/offline mode. Moreover, this can be accessed from you iPhone or iPad too.
12. Google Currents
Want the ebook reader feel on your phone? Use the Google currents app which will give you free magazine like editions of many articles, pictures, maps, social streams, slideshows and lot more. Each edition also facilitates quick touch sharing and high speed offline reading.
Addicted to YouTube? Use the YouTube app for iOS and access all your playlists, subscriptions and uploads by just signing up.
Evernote is a perfect app for all the notes you want to make while on the move. You can capture photos, voice reminders and even create a to-do list. You can now save your instant ideas so that you don’t have to crack your brains at the end.
What use is smartphone if you cannot access social networking sites conveniently? The Twitter app enables you to tweet and access every tab on the social networking site so that you do not miss even a small piece of information from friends.
The Facebook app ensures that you stay connected with your social network wherever you are through your smartphone. It will also notify you every time you have an update. The app allows you to play games and also use all your favorite apps on this site.
17. WhatsApp (Paid – $0.99)
For the non-BlackBerry & iPhone users, the WhatsApp Messenger is probably their preferred smartphone chat app. It also facilitates exchange of documents, pictures and video or audio notes at no extra charge. Though its a paid app, I find it useful.
18. Adobe Reader
If you want to easily access and manage your PDF documents, password-protected documents, PDF portfolios or nay such file types, add this Adobe Reader app to your phone.
19. Adobe Photoshop Express
Want to modify or enhance pictures or photos before you post them or share them with friends? Use the Adobe Photoshop Express app and crop your photos or adjust colors and add special effects to them.
Update your vocabulary with the Dictionary.com iPhone app. What’s amazing is that you require no internet connection to access it and it provides you with audio pronunciations too. Besides definitions, you can also check for antonyms or synonyms for each word too.
For WordPress blogger, this WordPress app is a boon. Check stats, add posts or links and pages, approve and moderate comments and much more from your iPhone.
TeamViewer App for your iPhone provides easy, fast and secure remote access to your own or your friends’ computers whether they are Mac, Linux or Windows systems.
GoTasks is the unofficial Google Tasks client for iPhone. It works with Google and Google Apps account and supports multiple accounts as well. It features a Search function, Inplace tasks editing, Notifications (of due, overdue and today’s tasks), and an Offline mode. I was using this app until yesterday but removed this app when I migrated to iPhone Notes & Reminder as it works fine for me now.