One stormy day last May, all Internet access went down at my home. All of my work is conducted over e-mail or Google Docs, so I am frighteningly dependent on my connection to the outside world. I looked at my iPod Touch, which lay sadly on the table, unable to solve my conundrum thanks to its dependence on Wi-Fi.
I pulled out my pay-as-you-go Tracfone and dialed my husband at school. “We’re getting iPhones,” I proclaimed.
“Totally!” he responded
Three months later, I can’t remember how I lived without the constant connectivity provided by my iPhone. Of course, that constant connectivity does have its drawbacks. For example, my husband bought me a gift certificate for a massage for Mother’s Day. As the masseuse was working the knots out of my back, we both heard the sound of a train whistle.
No trains were nearby, of course. My iPhone plays a train whistle whenever I receive an email, and I’d forgotten to turn it off.
Another consequence of constant connectivity has been my feverish acquisition of mobile apps. I have typed in the search terms “top free mobile apps” into Google so many times that I’m surprised Google doesn’t just automatically point me directly to PCWorld’s Top 50 free mobile apps article every time I open my browser. All of my apps are categorized on my iPhone screen inside little boxes. Utilities. Shopping. Productivity. Reference. The list goes on and on.
These are some of my favorite mobile apps. Leave me some comments and introduce me to some of your favorite apps as well.
- The Apple Store App—My oldest son shredded his iPod case, so I walked into the Apple Store at my local mall and took an iPod Touch case off of the wall. I opened my Apple Store app, scanned in the barcode, and paid with the credit card that was stored on my Apple ID. I took the case and walked out of the store, waiting for someone to tackle me. Fortunately, no one did.
- Todo—I have the Todo mobile app for when I’m on the go and the Todo desktop app for my laptop. My to-do list syncs between my iPhone and my desktop so that I always have it in front of me. Sure, there are 10 undone items on it today, and some of them are from two weeks ago, but what does that matter? At least I can’t run away from them.
- TurboScan—I had to send a document to my MFA program director. Thanks to TurboScan, here’s what I did: I took a photo of my document with my iPhone camera. Then, I emailed the document to my program director. It was really that simple.
- C25K Free—This is the app that is currently training me to run a 5K race. The app integrates with my music so that I can play my favorite tunes while I’m being coached by the program. “You are halfway!” my coach proclaims cheerfully when I’m 50 percent done with my workout. “You have one minute left!” she encourages me at the end of my workout, even though I’m convinced by that time that she really means that I probably only have one minute left to live.
- OneReceipt—Can I tell you how much I love OneReceipt? For anyone who’s tried to be responsible and to write down all of his or her debit card transactions, OneReceipt is the fast and easy answer. I photograph my receipts with OneReceipt and hit “Save.” The server then processes my receipt magically, writing the total and the name of the vendor in a computer-generated register. No more scribbling furiously in my register in the checkout line while the person behind me glares two holes in the back of my head. Plus, OneReceipt integrates with Mint.com, so you can match your receipts to the transactions in your check register.
Someday, I may have my iPhone surgically implanted into my forearm so that I can more easily reach my favorite apps. Of course, that could present some logistical problems; how would I take pictures with the iPhone implanted in my forearm? Nevertheless, my 32 GB iPhone currently seems like a bottomless pit of storage. I have plenty of time—and space—to support my mobile app addiction.