Since 2014 is coming to a close in a less than an hour, it’s time once again for the TechnicalCafe.com “Favorite Apps” list – a list of apps that I have been using or have used throughout the past year that I have found helpful, well-designed, useful, intuitive, or simply a great way to pass time and enjoy using frequently.
Below is a list of 10 apps that were chosen (by browsing through my iPhone) that is not in any particular order, so an app’s position in the list does not reflect how “good” it is, etc. Also, there are some runners up this year, which are apps that I used and enjoyed, as well, that did not make it into the “favorite apps” top 10 list.
1. MyFitnessPal (Free, Android)
MyFitnessPal is a service that is offered through both an app and website, that enables users to keep track of various health and fitness related data, including food intake, exercise, weight, and more, with the goal of helping to keep users health and in shape.
Users can search for various food items from a database containing a variety of different foods by either typing the name of the food item or by scanning the barcode with the app. Should an item not come up or should a user want to enter a custom food item, they are also able to do so from within the app.
Another great feature of the MyFitnessPal app is that users who have wearable fitness items, such as the Fitbit, are able to connect their exercise information to the app, in order to see how many calories were burned, taking the data right from their wearable pedometer, etc. – something that can be useful if one is interested in finding out their net calorie intake, calories burned, in addition to other health data.
2. TweetBot 3 ($2.99)
TweetBot 3 is an app that was on the list last year, and for good reason – it is a great way to view, post, and manage tweets, and also has support for multiple Twitter accounts. Supporting a variety of touch gestures, such as swiping to view a conversation, etc., as well as the ability to customize the menu, one can easily view tweets, manage conversations, interact with followers, and more! These features, and others not mentioned here, are what make TweetBot 3 worth the $2.99 price tag!
3. Alien Blue (Free, Pro Upgrade In-App Purchase Available)
As someone who has become a frequent Reddit.com user, I discovered the Alien Blue app for Reddit this year, and have been using it frequently ever since! Purchased by Reddit a few months ago, Alien Blue is a feature-packed app that lets users view and vote on new Reddit submissions, read and reply to comments, manage which subreddits one is subscribed to, and more! There is also a paid “pro” version of the Alien Blue app, which provides more features and helps to support the development of the app!
There is also an iPad version of Alien Blue, which provides a great way for users to access Reddit on their iPads, though there is no Android version of the app available at the time of this posting. However, if you are on iOS, I would recommend giving Alien Blue a try, especially if you’re already a Redditor!
4. iStudiez Pro ($2.99)
For those readers who are in high school or college, the iStudiez Pro app may prove useful for keeping track of classes, homework, exams, and other school-related information and data.
5. Sunrise Calendar (Free, Android)
Sunrise Calendar is a great calendar app that I use to keep track of my schedule, be it for school, work, or events that I wish to keep track of. With two interfaces – one that enables you to view a “schedule” of your upcoming events by day of the week, along with weather information, and another that shows you three days at at time and what events are scheduled during that day and how long they are scheduled.
Sunrise Calendar supports Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange, and also has a web-based application, at Sunrise.am, which you can use to manage your calendar from any web browser.
6. Calendars 5 ($2.99)
Calendars 5, by Readdle, is another calendar app that I use to keep track of my scheduled events and appointments, as well as what work I may have due, etc. Calendars 5 offers several views of your calendar, including a daily, weekly, and monthly view option. Also included and integrated within the app is the ability to view, create, and manage Google Tasks, helping to ensure that you get everything done in a timely manner.
7. Snapchat (Free, Android)
Snapchat is a free photo and video messaging app, with the catch that each photo and video that is sent only lasts for a certain amount of time, up to ten seconds, after which point it is no longer viewable by either user of the app. Users can send photos and videos to multiple users at a time, and can even post videos to all of their friends, in the form of a “Snapchat Story”, which remains visible to users for a 24 hour period.
8. Evernote (Free, Android | Premium Upgrade Available)
Evernote is a free note taking and managing app, which I have used since I briefly switched from an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 earlier in the year. I like the ability to use the Evernote app on my phone and MacBook Pro, as well as the option to use the web interface, should I wish to view or edit my notes on a computer or device that does not have Evernote installed.
Evernote lets users upload photos, voice clips, and more, allowing for one to keep track of all sorts of things, such as receipts, business cards, and more. There is also a paid upgrade, to Evernote Premium, which includes the ability to upload more content to one’s account, in addition to other features.
9. Shazam (Free, $6.99 Upgrade, Android, $5.59)
Shazam is a useful app for when you are curious as to what song is playing or who may sing it. All you have to do is open the Shazam app, allow it to “listen” to the song for a few seconds, after which point it will send it to Shazam’s servers and analyze it, returning information about the song that you just tagged, including the song title, artist, links to purchase it from iTunes, etc., and more.
There is also a paid version of the Shazam app, called Shazam Encore, which can be purchased for $6.99 on an iOS device and $5.59 on an Android device, and enables more features and the ability to tag more songs.
10. Mint (Free, Android)
Mint, owned by Intuit, is a free app and service that allows users to keep track of their money and finances, including spending, income, budgets, and more. With Mint, users can add multiple accounts, including checking, savings, credit cards, etc. and see where their money has been going, thanks to a variety of helpful metrics and graphs. Users can also create and view budgets, in order to see if they are overspending on certain areas and what not.
The runners up this year include DataMan Next (free), Google Maps (free, iOS | Android), Waze (free, iOS | Android), Yik Yak (free, iOS | Android), and Duo Lingo (free, iOS | Android).
If you’re interested in what apps made the list in previous years, I invite you to check out the following links to see what apps were chosen in: 2013, 2011, and in 2010.
What were some of your favorite iPhone and Android apps this year? Would you have chosen different apps for the list? Please feel free to let us know what you think or what you may have done differently in this list by posting in the comments section below!
I hope everyone has a happy, healthy, fun, and safe New Year! Thank you for visiting the TechnicalCafe.com blog and TechnicalCafe YouTube channel, and for reading and viewing our content, as well as for taking the time to leave your feedback on the blog and videos; it’s greatly appreciated! Without the readers and viewers, TechnicalCafe would not be the website and channel that it is today!