Life Simplified

My usefull apps

1:00 PM

In the comments on my first post of this serie, many said the calendar apps on their phones or tablet simply didn't cut it for them. And I am glad I am not the only one adverse to this technological advancement, but while Google calendar is apparently not such a big hit, there are some apps I found out to be very useful in planning my days and making my life easier. I switched to a smart phone in 2012 and found it to be very useful, this past Christmas I made the jump from a netbook to a tablet and chose to go for an iPad as it was one of the very few meeting my requirements, with it a whole new system, different apps, and it didn't take too long for me to find that it made things even that much easier for me. The main one being that unlike on my netbook I am less likely to stray from the task at hand and waste much less time on the computer being distracted, the iPad keeps me focused and on track with the task at hand...that alone is a big win for me.


But back to the apps shall we. My list of favourites include both android and iOS apps, because I don't really use the phone and the tablet for the same things and I am sure some of the android apps have a iOS version too. So here is my list:


- Out of milk

This is a shopping and to-do list that I installed on my phone as soon as I got it. the app let me list all the things I need to buy without wasting paper, or loosing the list before I make it to the store. One of the nifty feature is that it has a bar code scanner, and with the help of an internet connection will give you the name of the item you scanned...provided you live in the US it seems, but even in India you can benefit from the scanner as it let you enter the name of the product manually after incoming you they could not retrieve it online, then it saves it so that the next time you scan the same barcode, it will immediately give you the name. The app is apparently available on android! iOS and is also downloadable on PC, you can have multiple versions and all put them on the same account and whoever enter something on their list in the household will end up having it synch with the account and the thing will appear on all the other devices sharing that account. I didn't try it though, because I am the one in charge of grocery lists and DH just tell me when he needs something to be added. Once in the store, you just strike the items out of your list as you go in one quick touch on the list...easy.

Cardio Trainer

This app from "noom" is to the best of my knowledge only available on android, DH tried to find it for his iPhone and had to find an alternative. This one is a nifty fitness log and pedometer that works both with or without the GPS enabled. After setting your weight, and pace length, this app will track the calories burned for a number of different workouts, keep track of the number of steps you took while walking or running and tell you how many calories a week you burn working out. Be aware though that the app works best with the GPS as the pedometer function without it will count the tilts your phone goes through, and often ends up logging more steps than you actually took in that mode. The GPS mode will track your actual position and distance outdoor and convert that into steps as per the stride length you entered in the settings, giving you a more accurate distance. The reasons why that silly little app keeps me motivated, is that it add a tiny little icon on the home screen of my phone telling me the calories burned for the past seven days, and to let you know if that number is ok, good or excellent it uses a bronze, silver and gold colour coding, anything in the gold, means you are doing great and are at an optimum workout level, the days it dips in the silver I usually start feeling a bit down and feel the need to get it back to the gold level. You can also log workout manually, choosing from a list of activities...and guess what? House cleaning counts as a fitness activity, an hour of low intensity cleaning will help me burn 181 it even helps me motivating myself to clean up.


That one is a paid app on iOS, I needed something efficient enough to keep blogging using the iPad, something that could compete with Windows Live writer on my netbook? I tried blogger both in the browser and in the form of the free app, but it only reminded me why I switched to Live writer on my netbook years ago. Blogger is great if you use it to type quick posts on the go, not to write longer posts with pictures. and worse blogger doesn't even seem to list the labels on their app version, you have to remember them all, and for me that's a fail, I have as you might have noticed enough label to challenge my usually good memory. Blogsy come at a price of 270 rupees on the App Store, so not too costly, and has many nifty embedding features that let me drag and drop pictures and videos in my post, and even set a default size for them so that they will all look the same and give a certain consistence to my blog posts pictures that I could not really achieve with Live writer. Scheduling posts is also very easy with this app, which means I can write posts ahead of time and then let blogger publish them as per my schedule, and of course it has all my labels listed and ready to pick from a list in the app itself. And if you get a bit confused by blogsy at first, the app has video tutorials that come with it, and for a visual person like me this is excellent, Imlesrn better watching videos than reading a how to list.


I have that app both on my phone and tablet, but when on the iPad I actually prefer opening Bloglovin in the browser, so the usefulness of it really comes when on the go and feeling like reading something to kill boredom when outside. It's a feed reader, once you registered with Bloglovin and added the blogs you read to your account, it will deliver the feeds like any other feed reader. I discovered this one very recently, I was using feedly previously, and while it was good, it was a bit complicated for my taste, Bloglovin has simplified my feed reading needs considerably.

Unit Converter

I grew up in a metric system, I have friends using the Imperial system, India is a mix of metric and Imperial still, with temps written in Celsius for the weather, and in Farenheit when it comes to my body...instead of giving myself a headache doing some maths I am not good at, or taking precious minutes logging into Google to figure it out, I have installed the app to do it for me on my android phone. I could do it on my tablet but don't see the point, my phone can totally double as a calculator for these things and without having me to close one app to open the next on the iPad. And since I can't comprehend body temps in Farenheit and nobody else get what they mean in Celsius around me! I take it in my good old metric system! and then convert them for the Farenheit lovers around me. And even with about 39 Celsius degrees of fever I can operate the app and tell DH I have around 102 (and yes I just used the app to write that).


So there it is my list of really useful apps to make my life easier. I didn't count Instagram and other fun apps! because they don't make my life easier as such! just more fun. So what are you favourite apps out there?


  1. I use a Blackberry, apps that I use and like are Petrol Usage Tracker, Memo Pad, Blackberry Travel, NYC Subway and Tube Map.

  2. Public transport apps sounds really neat, I usually get around by auto, and before it became mandatory for all ricks haws to be equipped with a digital meter the number displayed on the old one was a number that had to be checked against a conversion table to find the price. Most drivers in Mumbai will show you the table instead of quoting blindly, but DH installed an app on his iPhone to do the conversion himself. By the time I made the switch to a smart phone that app was useless as meters we all ungraded and displaying the actual fare price.


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