Apps I Love

Sorry for the apparent repeat!  I didn’t mean to publish this post when it went out the other day!  I’ve tweaked it a bit and added some pictures, in hopes of making it a little more interesting than the previous rough draft!  E.

It’s amazing how attached I am to my phone. I am guilty of being one of those people, who my sister complains, “…can’t go through a meal without placing her phone next to her on the table, just in case someone texts or calls.” My phone, sadly, has become an added appendage.

As if I really need to add anything else to my body….

When I first purchased the iPhone, my goal was in no way, shape or form, to have the latest and greatest gadget. In fact, at the time, I thought it was absolutely ridiculous to have a camera on a phone.

All I wanted, when I got the iPhone, was a phone that included a capable calendar, could make calls, and would allow me to text. Period.

You see, I was just starting to schedule more photo sessions and I needed a phone with a large, readable and user-friendly calendar. The iPhone fit my criteria.

If I had liked the calendar on a different phone, I would have gotten it. But, when I looked at, and worked with, the iPhone calendar, it seemed to be just what I needed at the time.


Then, as I carried it, I came to realize how nifty the entire iPhone was/is. Not that I think the iPhone is the be-all, end-all…. I mean, my sister-in-law loves her Droid, equally. My friend June loves her Blackberry equally. I guess it’s what you get used to.

But, no doubt, the iPhone has changed the way we all do things, and phones in general.

One of the greatest aspects of these new-fangled, fancy smart phones is the ability to add the apps. Apps for fun, apps for work, apps for research, apps for music, apps for health, apps for finance, apps for just about anything the mind can consider….

So, I thought I’d create a new list of some of my favorite apps, to date. Of course, come next week, the list will change, because there are always new apps being created, daily.

Please add a comment, below, and let me know your “can’t live without” app.

Favorite Apps for Photography:

Kelby Training (great for the iPad) (must have a monthly or yearly subscription)


As mentioned above, you must have a paid subscription to the web supported learning tool.  You can pay by the month, or yearly.  Either way, the app allows you to watch the videos on your phone or iPad, which is quite convenient when you’re away from your home computer.


The videos are very well produced and they will teach you just about anything you want to know about photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and more.

The app is FREE.  (But, remember, if you get the free app, to use it, you must first subscribe online at

Snapseed, again, for the iPad.

Oh, my.  I have fallen for this app and I’ve had it for only a week.   It’s a photo editing app.  I really didn’t think I needed a new one, but of the ones I already own, this one beats them, hands down.  It works on the iPad and is super!

I’m hoping to do a post showing you some of the editing possibilities, next week.  We’ll see…  Even so, you should really check out this app if you need or want a new editing tool in your app/iPad arsenal.

The app costs $4.99.  WORTH IT!!

Instagram (I use this app on my phone):


Instagram has become one of my favorites among my favorites!  It allows you to tweak your phone-camera pictures, if you’d like, and then either save them to your photos’ file on your phone, or share them on Facebook, Twitter, or through Instagram’s own social sharing program.

When I first started using it, I just used it for the photo editing, but then I realized there’s a whole social network of folks behind the concept!  Instagram has grown faster in its first year, I believe, than just about any other social networking program out there.  (Don’t quote me on that….)

It’s great fun!  I just started following a few folks, like MizBooshay, the Pioneer Woman, and Zach and Jody Gray, for example.  If you use your camera to take pictures, a lot, then this app is for you!

The Instagram app is FREE!!

Photography Tips:


I started following this guy, Jimmy Beltz, a couple years ago, online.  Then, I began to download and listen to his podcasts.  Then, I added his app to my phone. I guess I was an early groupie, of sorts.  But, not in a weird, creepy, stalker kind of way.

The app allows you to watch his video podcasts on your phone.  They stream directly to the app.

He’s a self-proclaimed country bumpkin from Oklahoma, who knows his photography.  He’s becoming a more polished teacher/podcaster as the years go by, but his desire to share his knowledge is what has been impressive to me–also, he seems quite accessible, and friendly.  (He has a lively and helpful photography forum online, but I haven’t spent a ton of time there.)

His app is $1.99.



LightTrac allows a photographer to see exactly where the sun will be at any given time of day.  It also tells you sunrise and sunset times.  I love this app!  Very helpful.

The app is $4.99…worth it, in my humble opinion.

The Weather Channel:


Why is a weather app under the subject of Photography?  Well, as someone who does the majority of her shooting outdoors, I need to know what the weather is forecasted to be at any given moment.

Love this app.  Use it daily.

It’s FREE!

Favorite apps for fun and/or relaxation:



Pandora is one of my all-time favorite apps.  I prefer this app over my Satellite Radio!  It has maybe one commercial per hour, it lets me create my own stations based on the type of music (or artist) I’m interested in at the moment…. I love, love, love this FREE app.

Words with friends:


Okay, if you still haven’t downloaded Words with Friends, you are truly missing out!  You can play Scrabble with your friends at any time, day or night.  My sister and I have a minimum of 6 games going at all times.

So fun!  Addictive!  Get it!

The “commercial free” version costs $1.99.  I like it way better without the ads.  But, if you’re even cheaper than me, go for the FREE version.

(I haven’t jumped on the Hanging with Friends bandwagon, just yet.  Too many reviewers were frustrated with the crashing.  I will get it, but just not right now.)

(Hanging with Friends is Hangman and works the same way, where you can play with others at your leisure.)

Angry birds:


You can’t have a smart phone and not know about Angry Birds.  I’ve even noticed television shows makes references to the game in their scripts….  It’s a fun game that will make you angry, as well.   It’s worth the 99 cents.



Okay.  This game is HARD!  Well, at first, it’s not.  But, as you progress, it gets harder and harder to get the trains into their prospective stations.


You can see above that I have absolutely no idea how to solve the puzzle!

I would have a hard time explaining this game to you in a short, concise manner, so I won’t.  Just suffice it to say, it’s a good brain teaser game, if you’re into that sort of thing.

It’s also $.99.

Bejeweled 2:


The opposite of Trainyard.

If you are looking for a mindless game with little or no challenge, this the game for you!  I play this all the time.

I think it’s $.99.

Favorite apps for retail:



I used this app a lot when I was shopping for accessories for our new backyard/pool.  It was quite handy.  (The app lets you search for items at Target, both at your local store and online.)

I needed 4 more solar lights to match the 4 we had previously purchased, but we didn’t realize we needed them until summer items were disappearing from the shelves.  With this app, I was able locate a store a little further away that still had the lights.  Score!

The app is FREE!



I have yet to purchase a coupon deal from this app, but I love looking at the deals.  There are some really good ones out there.  And, you can search for deals in most locations, so if you are traveling, you can look up any local deals there.  It’s a FREE app.

Grocery IQ:


I use this app weekly, sometimes daily.  It allows me to create lists for whichever grocery store I choose to shop.  Then, as I check the item off my list, the list shrinks, and eventually, you can “checkout” which erases your list.  You can place items in Favorites, so you’ll remember what you buy, often.  You can also create different lists for different stores.

In the beginning, when you create a new store list, you can also organize the order of your list based on the order of the store’s aisles.

I really use this app a ton.

It’s FREE!


We have this app loaded on our iPad, so I didn’t capture a picture with my phone.  It’s been very useful when we travel–we can download movies to the iPad and watch them on the plane or in the hotel room, etc.

The app is FREE!



I must admit, I have not used this app as much as I should.  But, then again, I go through spurts as to how many movies I get to watch.  But, I do like that I can look up what movies are available, and at what local Redbox…  It’s FREE.

Favorite apps for recipes and health:

AllRecipes Dinner Spinner:


This has become one of my favorites for looking up recipes on the fly.

I tend to wait until the last minute to decide what to cook, if I cook at all.  And, I’ve discovered this app quite useful for perusing recipes.  The Spinner is fun, but usually, I just choose the type of food, the ingredient and the time, and it searches for matches, rather than spinning.

Like it, like it.  And, it’s FREE!

UrbanSpoon and/or Local Eats:


Both apps do basically the same thing.

If you are traveling and looking for a good place to eat, or you just want to find something new close to your home, you can usually get a good feel for a restaurant based on the critiques by other folks.  I use both apps.  Not sure why, just do.

I like both equally.


Urbanspoon is FREE.  Local Eats is $.99.

Favorite apps for social networking:

TweetDeck (for Twitter account):

This was the first app I purchased when I first started tweeting and it’s what I got used to.  I like it.

Then, when we got the iPad, I tried the Twitter app.  I think, because I had been using TweetDeck already, I decided I didn’t like the Twitter app.

I just like TweetDeck.  Is that so bad??

TweetDeck is FREE!


Do I really need to even explain the Facebook app?



WordPress is who I use for this blog.

Sometimes, though, I’m away from my computer, but I still want to post a picture or write a blog.

What’s a girl to do?

Why, get the WordPress app for her phone and the iPad, that’s what!

The app does what I need it to do (allows me to write and save a blog post draft, or even publish a post, while away from the home computer).  Though, I’m sure there are improvements that could be made.  But, to be honest, I don’t really worry about improving the app, because I’m so happy with the blog.

WordPress app is FREE-ola!

Flipboard (on the iPad):

I cannot say enough about Flipboard!!  I absolutely love, love, love reading Facebook, Twitter, and even the news through this app.  It’s glorious!

You “turn pages” by swiping across the iPad screen.  The pictures are big and beautiful, it links to original articles, it compiles all my favorites in one place.  (In fact, I did not add the Facebook app to the iPad.  Didn’t need it, since I can read Facebook status updates–and comment or “like” them–from the Flipboard. That may be another reason I didn’t really like the Twitter app on the iPad.)

By the way, it’s utterly and completely FREE!!  Costs you NADA!



My good friend and neighbor, Stan, told me, first, about StumbleUpon.  It’s a computer search and gather site, very similar to Pinterest.  He swears by it.  But, because Pinterest had an app, I went that direction.

Both sites require you to sign up for it.  It’s free, though.  But, the idea is for you to list your interests, then, you allow the website to gather pictures and links to items that might be of interest to you.  It’s also a social network, of sorts.

It’s still very new to me, but I must say, I love the beautiful pictures.  I have even collected some yummy-looking recipes.

I have the Pinterest app on the iPad.

The app is FREE.



I can’t really call this a favorite, because I have only recently gotten the Google+ account.  But, I wanted to list it in case others of you have joined.  I’m interested in knowing more about it.  (I’m usually WAY behind the trends, so I thought I’d jump on board in the infancy of this new networking concept.)  Please tell me more, if you know more!

The app is FREE (but the invitations to join are few and far between at present).

Just Plain Helpful App:


Says it all.  Easy to use.  Has a thesaurus, too!

It costs nothing.

Flashlight (I think this app is for the iPhone 4, not earlier versions):

The Flashlight app is straight-forward.  It lights my path when I need extra light to get around in the dark.

I use this app nightly.

I think it’s FREE.  I think.

Favorite App for spiritual growth:

Jesus Calling:


This app was brought to my attention by another blogger and friend, Lana R.  I love the perspective the author takes on these short, but meaningful devotionals.

The author of this app has written a book of the same title and content.  I ordered the book from and actually gave some to a few of my friends.  The app is not cheap, but you get the same content as the book, for $9.99.  (There’s a Lite version app for $.99.)  And, I find I use the app, daily….possibly more than if I had in book format only??

Well, that’s all folks!

I have more apps, but these are my favs.

What are your “I can’t live without” apps?




I'm curious. Tell me what you think...

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