Computers are great, but what makes them really useful are the many apps that are available to download and use, with the intent of making our lives a little better. These apps help us not only to work, but to play. Using the right app can save us time and lower our stress levels. Using the wrong app, however, can have an adverse affect.
Below is a list of my favorite apps. I've split them into three different categories (for three different devices... each with their own purpose). All apps listed below are 3rd-party apps. I use the built-in apps quite heavily, but since they are built-in, you already have them and most likely use them.
Mac OS X (on my MacBook Pro with Retina)
Like all computer users in our modern age, we are forced to try to remember lots of passwords for different websites, etc. 1Password helps by making password management easy. As long as you can remember one password for 1Password, it will remember the rest. It's a great cross-platform solution for password management.
- Adobe PhotoShop
I'm not a graphic artist, but I find myself using PhotoShop on a daily basis. Whether it's something as simple as cropping and rotating an image, or replacing colors or applying filters. It's a great everyday tool to have in my toolbox.
Unless you've been on vacation for a very long time, you likely already know what Dropbox is. For those who are just returning to reality, it's a file storage system that allows you to store files in the cloud. This is great not only because it helps to keep all your files in sync, but it allows you to easily share those files with others.
If you work, there's a good chance you are required to attend meetings. Evernote helps to keep your meeting notes organized and available on all your devices (Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, etc). Not only for yourself, but for others... that's right, Evernote allows you to share your notes with others.
- VMWare Fusion
90% of the time, you will find me using my Mac like most other Mac users do. I turn the computer on, log in and start working. Occasionally, though, I need to run Windows 7, Linux or even another instance of Mac OS X Mountain Lion. That's when Fusion comes in. With Fusion, I can run virtually any mainstream Operating System I need to, without the hassle of having to use different hardware for each machine. It's the best $50 you'll ever spend (if you need to run other OSes).
iOS (on my iPhone 5)
As you know, I'm into social networking (that's likely how you found me here). Of all the social networks available today, my preference is Twitter (I use others, but not nearly as heavily as I do Twitter). My app of choice when using Twitter is Tweetbot. It's got some great features and the UI just makes sense to me.
I'm constantly receiving shipments from various vendors. Deliveries helps me to keep an eye on where they are (including maps). It's very nicely designed with color-coding, making it easy to see where my packages are at-a-glance.
When I can, I enjoy running and cycling. RunKeeper is a great, easy-to-use app that allows me to keep track of my activities in real-time (with GPS tracking and notifications), then share that out socially when I'm done.
- Fly Delta
When I travel, I fly on Delta. I think they're a great airline for business travel. Their free app helps me to keep track of my flights and even has built-in Passbook support. It also has lots of useful information about major airports like Sky Club locations, bag locator, aircraft information, and much more.
- Square Register
For anyone who wants to accept credit cards on the go, Square is a great network for doing so. The app is free, and there is no monthly fee to use the service (they charge a low rate per charge). They'll even give you free readers for your iPhone. This is a great solution for teenager businesses as well (babysitting, lawn mowing, etc).
iOS (on my iPad with Retina)
- Keynote (part of iWork)
OK, so this is technically an Apple app, but it's great. This is a must-have for anyone who gives presentations on the go (even great for "elevator pitches"). The graphics are very professional and the transitions/animations are cinematic. Many of the features found in this version of Keynote come directly from the full version of Keynote for Mac.
- Paper (by FiftyThree)
Do you ever find yourself wanting to diagram something on a whiteboard, but there's no whiteboard nearby? I seem to always be in that situation. Paper is a great whiteboarding app. The pens and tools are gorgeous and easy to use.
- DocuSign Ink
I work on documents quite often that require review and a signature, but I'm not always at a traditional desk where it's easy to print, sign then scan. Even if I were, that's a waste of time. This app allows me to digitally sign a document and return it to the sender... all from my iPad on the go.
I'm in the business of help people out of a jam, and I can't always control when or where that will happen. With GoToAssist (a monthly subscription service), I'm able to do just that from anywhere. I just create a new remote session, email the link, and I'm controlling someone else's computer (Mac or PC) from anywhere on my iPad.
Hey, I'm human! I need downtime just like everyone else. The iPad Netflix app is great, and the quality is good (even over 4G or LTE). Whether I'm in a hotel room, at home or in a cab, I can stay current on my favorite shows, movies or documentaries.