Jan 30, 2013 tech
I’ve been using my HTC 8X Windows Phone for over a month now, and I’ve been exploring new apps and settling in to my favorites. I’ve changed my start screen a bit since I first posted it, and it just keeps getting better and better.
Now, I don’t do New Year’s resolutions officially, because if I screw up on January 3rd I feel like that gives me permission to screw up for another 362 days. But January is a good time to get organized. So, from getting me out the door on time to getting me ready for my next half marathon (less than a month away!) to helping me work while on the go, my phone has been really great.
Of course, I’m also addicted to Wordament, which is a glorious time suck, but that was bound to happen.
My days run on alarms. I love that I can set as many recurring alarms as I want, and label them however I want. I use the built in alarm app on my phone to keep things running smoothly. And while my husband laughs at the number of alarms I use (I currently have 15 switched on), I have never forgotten to pick the kids up. :-) [included]
I’ve been a LastPass user for a really long time, and there’s no way I’d be able to remember all those passwords while I’m out and about. Luckily, I can take LastPass with me wherever I go. And since the app is password protected, I don’t have to worry about what happens if I lose my phone. [free]
OneNote is my favorite feature of Office. I use it for everything, from keeping track of projects to recipes and lists. And since I sync OneNote over SkyDrive, everything I have on OneNote on my computer is synced to my phone. And since my grocery list is the OneNote page that I go to most often, I’ve pinned it to my start screen as a tile. [included]
So I mentioned SkyDrive up there? OneNote isn’t the only thing I have synced over SkyDrive. Everything I’m working on at any given time is on there, and I can get to it all from my phone. Word docs, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, pictures…it’s all there. [included]
So technically Find My Phone isn’t an app, it’s a feature on the WindowsPhone site. But if you’ve ever lost your phone in your house when the ringer is off, you’ll appreciate that this exists.
Pinning individual people as tiles is the best thing ever. All of their contact info is right there in one place, along with a history of your communications. Makes it easy to keep tabs on them. I mean, uh, contact them. [included]
Rowi is my favorite twitter app of all time. I’m on twitter a lot, and I don’t want to wait to catch up when I get home, so I stay connected while I’m out. The notifications are very clear on the tile, and are more accurate than any other twitter app I’ve used on any phone or OS.
I have my own little sub-blog of pictures and videos, and I can easily update it any time I want with the WordPress app. If I snap a picture and do a quick post without internet, like on the subway, I can save the draft to my phone and post it when I get back to the street. [free]
I take lots of pictures with my phone, and if I need to fix something I don’t want to wait until I get to a computer. I want to fix it right away and post it using the WordPress app! Fhotoroom can manipulate your images in a gazillion ways, and can even be used as a timer when you take pictures and for quick settings. [free]
I record so many things on Voice Recorder it’s ridiculous. From interviews to reminders to myself, I whip this app out several times a day. And then I share the files on SkyDrive so that I can get to them from anywhere.
Google isn’t playing nice with Windows anymore, but fear not: get the MetroTube app, and not only can you watch videos on the app, but you’ll also be able to watch embedded videos.
I watch a lot of Netflix. There isn’t much to say about the app, it just works. [free]
I spend a lot of time on the subway, so I need something to do that doesn’t rely on an active internet connection. Kindle is perfect for this. Plus, it syncs to my Kindle at home, so I can continue reading on a bigger screen without losing my page. [free]
The Audible app is fantastic for listening to audiobooks. Unless you’re walking down the street listening to Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” and cackling like an idiot. Then people will look at you funny. [free]
Sigh. I avoided Wordament as long as I could, because it looked addictive. And is it ever. It’s a live word search game where you’re playing two minute rounds against everybody else playing at that time. I don’t mean to brag, but I did find the longest word in a round once. [free]
Nokia Drive is simply awesome. I used it for a year on my Lumia 900, but now it’s even better – and it’s available for non-Nokia phones! The directions are clear, you have a choice of accents and languages, and you can download maps to use offline. [free]
Have you ever been sitting on the subway near the map and someone comes over and practically sits on your lap in order to see it? Don’t be that person. Download subway maps to your phone instead. If you’re in NYC, the MTA app is great. [free]
Jogging is my most dreaded form of getting around, but I do love the Runtastic Pro app. It maps my route, talks to me, tells me all of my stats, and can automatically upload what I did to twitter and facebook. If I’m running a race people can even track my progress online. The free version is also full of features, but go for Pro – you won’t regret it.
So those are my favorites. I have a lot more apps than that on my phone, but these are used most often.
If you have any favorites, I’d love to hear about them – I’m always looking for new ones to try out!
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