The social butterflies packed Galatoire’s Bistro on May 8 for our annual Spring Social. William Sellers talked about applications for smart phones and gave us insight on where to go for the latest and greatest apps in the future.
A crowd favorite was Rdio, a paid-subscription service for music lovers. Play just about any song you want at the touch of a button. Plus, your music collection won’t take up space on your phone!
Navigation was a hot topic! Will discussed Waze, an application for “social driving.” Waze is great for avoiding speed traps and seeing what’s going on ahead of you. It also gives great navigational routing based on traffic avoidance, etc.
A fairly new app is Glympse, which allows you to share your position when routing to a destination. Your location can be shared via email, text or social media. The interface is navigable and appealing to the eye in the desktop browser OR mobile app!
The wide variety of other apps Will discussed are below along with his comments about each.
- Pandora: Everyone uses Pandora!
- TuneIn Radio: It’s great for listening to world radio, BBC LIVE, etc. It’s also great for listening to FM channels from around the world.
- Apple Podcast App: As a stock podcast “catcher, it syncs with iTunes for PC or Mac and with AppleTV.
- Rdio: Similar to Spotify, it’s a paid service for music streaming. It’s $7.99 per month; however, it’s a VERY good value. I haven’t “bought” music in years.
- Google Hangouts: It’s Google Chat’s compatible app for chat, video and audio chat.
- Facebook Messenger: It’s my favorite way to chat on Facebook, and it includes great group chat feature, audio chat, etc.
- KIK Messenger: It’s perfect for the times when I want to chat — but not be “friends” with anyone.
- Skype: I have used it for work communication. It’s also useful for podcasting.
- Apple Maps and Google Maps: You must have both!
- Waze: It drives social and is great for avoiding speed traps and seeing what’s going on ahead of you. Also, it gives great navigational routing based on traffic avoidance, etc.
- Glympse: This is a great app for sharing your position when routing to a destination. Your location can be shared via email, text or social media, and Glympse allows for you to set a time limit on your sharing. It looks great in the desktop browser OR mobile app.
- Ford Sync Destinations: It allows push GPS location from mobile app directly to the Ford Sync system, so you must be a Ford owner w/Sync.
- Automatic: It’s a device that plugs into your car’s on-board diagnostics port and pairs with your smartphone to provide driving statistics. I LOVED this device, but it killed my car!
- 1Password: It stores and syncs your passwords across devices and syncs with Dropbox or Apple iCloud.
- NEST: It’s an Internet connected thermostat that allows for modifying your “learning” thermostat remotely.
- WEMO by Belkin: WEMO allows you to connect and manage your Belkin WEMO electrical devices and set rules for when electrical appliances are powered on/off, etc.
- IFTTT (If This Then That): It allows you to create “triggers” on connected apps — then take action based on those triggers.
- Mint: Mint allows you to connect to other banking institutions and aggregate all of your financial data into a “bird’s eye” dashboard.
- Square Wallet: You can pay for goods and services with a simple “Check-in” —Several Baton Rouge businesses are now adopting this service.
- iBank: iBank is my “go to” app to replaced Quicken.
- Runkeeper: This is my standards “go to” app for logging exercise. I pair it with my Pebble Smartwatch and Wahoo Blue HR Bluetooth Heart Rate monitor.
- Fitbit: I’ve been using Fitbit for years to monitor my daily steps and activities. It has awesome social features, and NOW you don’t need an actual device — if you use an Apple 5S, you can now pair it with MobileTrack.
- Withings: It pairs with the Withings Internet Connected Scale and Blood Pressure monitor. It now counts steps via the iPhone 5S M7 processor.
- MyFitnessPal: I HATE logging the food I eat! I’ve always had a hard time logging, but this app makes it easy. LoseIT is also great. However, I like MyFitnessPals larger database.
- Moves: Facebook recently acquired Moves. Moves is my NEW favorite fitness activity tracker. It intelligently logs the type of exercise you are doing and monitors your activity throughout the day. It solves my “What did I do today?” problem. However, it lacks good social media integration; Hopefully, this will get updated soon.
- Flipboard: Flipboard is your personal magazine. It is the most popular way to catch up on the news, read stories from around the world and browse the articles, videos and photos friends are sharing. It also allows you to connect to your social media accounts. I LOVE the interface.
- Dark Sky: It’s a hyper-accurate location aware weather app with a nice interface. It is quite accurate based on your location.
- GeauxVote: It’s the Louisiana voter information app and is great for pre-populating your voting ballet. It also provides election results and more.
- Roku/AppleTV Remote: It allows users to remote control their Internet set-top boxes. It’s a must have for “cord cutters.”
- Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive: These are cloud storage apps, and I use both. There are others, but these are my favorites. They sync with mobile devices and desktop or laptop computers.
- Evernote: Evernote is a MUST HAVE for taking and sharing notes. It syncs among all of your mobile devices and desktop and laptop computers.
- Evernote Hello: A useful app for scanning and storing business cards and contacts. A standard (free) Evernote account is needed.
- Deliveries: Deliveries is my favorite app for tracking UPS, USPS, FEDEX, Amazon, etc. packages. It syncs across devices and with desktop or laptop computers via iCloud or Junecloud accounts.
- CardStar and Passbook: These are both great apps for managing your membership/rewards cards. Passbook also has other features such as airline travel check-in and other consumer services.
- Fandango: You can purchase movie tickets online and walk right into the theater. It is compatible with Apple Passbook.
- Ticketmaster: You can purchase concert tickets online. The Ticketmaster app saved my bacon when I was trying to purchase tickets to see Paul McCartney.
- Facebook Paper: It’s Facebook’s new mobile app for following your friends. Not only does it support Facebook’s most common features but it also includes sections for news, technology, art and culture, etc. Facebook’s “Nearby Friends” feature will be coming to the standard Facebook app before coming to Paper. BEAUTIFUL user interface -— but I went back to “stock.”
- LinkedIn: It’s the default app for connecting with work and business colleagues.
- NextDoor: Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It’s like Facebook but JUST for your neighborhood. Users MUST verify they actually live in the Nextdoor neighborhood they are joining.
- Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline: These are all useful apps for getting deals on hotels, airfare and car rentals.
- Uber: Uber is my favorite app for getting around when I travel; it allows you to hail (and track) an “Uber” branded taxi and pay via your mobile phone. THIS is the easiest way to get around a city that is supported by Uber. In many cases, Uber much cheaper than standard municipal taxi services.
Weren’t able to make the social? Tell us your favorite apps in the comments below.