9 Apps That Will Make Your Life Better and/or More Entertaining – Eps. 20

A couple years ago, 60% of apps were never even downloaded. That’s a startling stat. I’m sure it’s not exactly that bad now but geez, when it comes to apps we sure do have a choice, A LOT of choices. Before you demand your marketing department to “make a company app!”, make sure you do your due diligence. Before you just hop on the app ban-wagon make sure you’re solving a problem or entertaining us. Otherwise you’re boring us.

There are only two reasons people go online

So here are the ones that made it. The apps that received more than just a few downloads. These are my 9 favourite apps on my phone.

My favourite 9 apps that will make your life better and/or entertaining. 

1. Sleep BetterSleep Better app

This app helps you sleep. Simple as that. It’s designed to measure your sleep patterns to help you understand how to have your best sleep possible. You spend half your life sleeping you may as well understand how to do it to the best of your ability.

You put it under your pillow while you sleep and it tell you how good of a sleep you had. Tossing and turning all night? It’ll tell you. Not enough REM? Yup, Sleep Better knows. It’ll tell you your average sleep time (determining how much sleep you need regularly to feel good and refreshed), what time you fell asleep, and if you are actually getting the most important REM sleep.

Sleep Better is free, you’d be silly not to download it now.

Sleep better app screenshot

If you’re a nerd with an iPhone download Sleep Better here.

If you’re a geek with an Android download Sleep Better here.

 

7 minute workout app2. 7 Minute Workout

When you need a quick warmup, 7 Minute workout is a treat.

Fitness is so important in our lives, we all need to be finding better ways to get our heart rates up during our hectic days. You need to get your heart rate up every day, even at little better, even for 7 minutes hopefully!

7 Minute Workout is a circuit where you do different exercises with short breaks in between. I was surprised as to how many different things you can actually do in 7 minutes. Hence why when you’re done you feel like Vince Vaughn in the final game at the end of Dodgeball (yeah that majestically tired).

If you want a quick workout to get your heart rate up and arms and legs warmed up, try 7 Minute Workout.

If you’re a nerd with an iPhone download 7 Minute Workout here.

If you’re a geek with an Android download 7 Minutes Workout here.

 

Flipboard App3. Flipboard

Flipboard is a content curation website. Basically makes the websites you read regularly look great. Flipboard is a magazine style website where flipping the pages is very realistic and makes for a great user experience.

You can also select interests on Flipboard and websites that are affiliated with Flipboard will have content related to what you select. I’m not sure if the curation process is much different than other websites (Upworthy, Alltop, StumbleUpon) but Flipboard seems to attract some of the best content on topics I enjoy.

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Eli Paraser reminds us in his book The Filter Bubble not to only look to the same sources online for your information. What ends up happening is that you educate yourself in a bubble without knowing the other side of the most likely very valuable argument. Don’t be afraid to seek out new sources, don’t be afraid to change your opinion upon new information, this is the key to not becoming a know-it-all. You do remember, nobody likes a know-it-all. 

If you’re a nerd with an iPhone download Flipboard here.

If you’re a geek with an Android download Flipboard here.


Bacon Reader app4. reddit

The democracy of the Internet. reddit is one of those websites that slowly changes how you view the internet. The amount of people, the creative potential, what people share and what isn’t shared, is all a part of one of the greatest internet stories our kids will read about in the future.

Under recent controversy (for the firing of a beloved employee) the crowd has spoken and many don’t want to forgive the management team (mostly the current CEO). The problems you encounter when you’re trying to run a company that basically built on the community assisting in running it. What happens when you no longer agree with the crowd?

Besides all the controversy and cat pictures reddit is a case study on the social science of how groups of people interact on a large scale platform. It’s fascinating. But not all good. Some “sub-reddits” (pages that are their own community of users sharing content, up and down voting in their own area of reddit) were banned for content people were sharing.

The best part of reddit? It’s still the fastest way to find content and interesting topics on whatever you are looking for. The community is vast and it’s very anonymous (if you want it to be) so you great some of the most creative humour I have ever read. Try reddit, you never know what you’ll find.

If you’re a nerd with an iPhone download BaconReader for reddit here.

If you’re a geek with an Android download BaconReader for reddit here.

 

StumbleUpon App5. StumbleUpon

I bet you didn’t think you’d see this one on here! StumbleUpon has been around what feels like since the faxing age. But no, StumbleUpon began in 2002, making it almost 14 years young. It was of the “Digg.com”, “MySpace”, and “Messenger” days, or what I like to call the glory days. Then Facebook ruined everything.

StumbleUpon’s traffic may have already peaked several years ago but the service stills provides some of the best articles you can find. Easy to use and usually within a couple “stumbles” I find an article of interest to me.

When you sign up, you select your “interests”. Then you begin to stumble which is a fancy word for the site provides you with a different website based on your interests. You can then vote if you liked it or disliked it. StumbleUpon learns what you don’t like compared to what you do and provides you with increasingly better content.

If you’re a nerd with an iPhone download StumbleUpon here.

If you’re a geek with an Android download StumbleUpon here.

 

HootSuite app6. Hootsuite

Hootsuite allows you to manage all your social media accounts from one app. Welcome to Hootsuite, or what I like to call, command central.

Once you’ve been blogging, podcasting or videoing somewhere on the internet, you’re going to need to share that with others. It’s one thing to create your story (as any organization needs too), but once you have a story you need to get it on to all platforms you are present on. Did you there I didn’t say EVERY social media platform? Why? Because you can’t. You can’t be everywhere and still be amazing. Pick where you want to be amazing and kill it. Hootsuite will help you.

Once you start using Flipboard, reddit and StumbleUpon more you’ll find that you want to share in other places and at different times. Hootsuite allows you to share right to your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or company accounts, with a click of a button. As well, you can schedule posts so when you’re on vacation next week your account stays active.

If you’re a nerd with an iPhone download Hootsuite here.

If you’re a geek with an Android download Hootsuite here.

Kindle App7. Kindle

NERD! Who talks about a book reading app?! Ok, ok, I’m a self proclaimed nerd, whatever! Nerds will run this world one day soon. If you don’t read I feel terrible for you. Other than writing I don’t think anything has been more valuable to my career then reading. I know some of you will never entertain the Kindle app. I get it, oh Jeph I can’t read on a machine, I LOVE my books! I said I get it! I was once you. I loved my books, I still have hundreds of them. But one fateful day I Kindled…

My life would never be the same again.

Not only was the reading experience great, the page turning was smooth and it came with a brilliant feature that’s changed my education forever. You can highlight passages you want to come back to. It’s a game changer, every great story, every great quote, you no longer have to dog-ear pages to ensure you review what you learned.

The highlighted notes was the best thing that happened to me. When you see a quote on this blog from a book, the changes are I highlighted that passage on my Kindle first.

Please start reading. It’s the easiest way to make yourself better for the future. Your life depends on it.

If you’re a nerd with an iPhone download the Kindle app here.

If you’re a geek with an Android download the Kindle app here.

 

Parental advisory

Authentic Weather app logo8. Authentic Weather (download at your own risk)

Yup, we need a parental advisory for this one. Colter Wood one day came up to me at Cowork and said “Hey my fine bearded friend, have you ever heard of the app Authentic Weather?” I had not. I also remarked that he was the first person in 2 years to actually say the words “you have to download this app” that I took seriously. Honestly though, for a while there everyone you knew seemed to have another mediocre app that did something no human being ever needed done.

Then came Authentic Weather. A vulgar weather app. Yup that’s is. It has a sense of humour. It’s the only app in three years of teaching I’ve ever talked about with my class. It’s that good. A complete social object.

Authentic Weather App Screen Shots

If you’re a nerd with an iPhone download the Authentic Weather app here.

If you’re a geek with an Android download the Authentic Weather app here.

 

Dominos pizza app9. Domino’s Pizza App

Last but not least, you need an app that’s going to deliver that double pepperoni, double cheese pizza directly to your door. Think about it. You’re in a meeting. It’s friday afternoon. Your friends are meeting you at home in an hour, you’ll be done your meeting in a half hour and have no time to get food. Domino’s Pizza app to the rescue! Order pizza under the table at your meeting and no one will ever know.

I tried it. It was remarkably simple. I thought it may be a hassle, it wasn’t. The best part is the status bar. It tells you where your pizza is at, being made, cooking or my favourite, being delivered.

In the future I bet we’ll all be able to order any food from our phones. Even Domino’s said they’ll now start taking orders via Twitter now with their “Tweet a pizza campaign”.

We always want things simpler and more convenient….and with extra cheese.

If you’re a nerd with an iPhone download the Domino’s Pizza app here.

If you’re a geek with an Android download the Domino’s Pizza app here.

So what’s your favourite app?! Let me know in the comments below.