A Girl and Her Apps – Part One

January 12th, 2010 |


Joan is a 20-something Dramatic Writing MFA student at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA. She enjoys theatre, reading, writing, circus arts, and cooking. Follow her recipe updates at Balls Out Cooking.

Everyone knows that you can find out a lot about someone by going through their purse or wallet, but have you ever thought about tapping into their cell phone? There are so many apps out these days that a person can tailor his or her phone specifically to their needs and personality, especially if one has one of the larger capacity phones. So for my first post I thought I’d let you know a little bit more about this writer by way of checking out my apps.

Besides the standard apps that come on every iPhone (and, sometimes annoyingly, can’t be removed), I have a handful of utility, cooking, convenience, music and game apps. Here are my favorites:

Tweetdeck: (www.tweetceck.com/iphone, free)
I migrated to TweetDeck from Tweetie not too long ago. Why do I love it? Because it separates your following list, DMs, and @replies into columns while letting you know which tweets you’ve seen already and which tweets are new. It also helps you neatly manage two accounts simultaneously (useful if you have a business and personal account). Another spiffy feature is that it allows you to set up searches as a new column. If you were to search for “#lofnotc,” for example, the new column would show every tweet that includes that hashtag. Maybe my favorite feature, however, is the group of buttons that appear overlaid on the photo icon of each tweet that allow you to instantly @reply, RT or favorite the tweet, with a fourth option that opens a drop down menu of more possibilities. I’m sure there are bad things about Tweetdeck for iPhone, but if there are I can’t think of them. I love it so much I use it on my Macbook as well.

Pandora: (http://www.pandora.com/on-the-go/, free)
Pandora is radio, only better. The idea behind it is that you give Pandora an example of a song or artist you like and it generates a radio station full of similar music. You can also further specialize the station by adding other songs or artists to the station and by “liking” or “disliking” each song. Using the web application, I’ve discovered piles of new music, a great thing seeing as I don’t listen to normal radio anymore. The mobile app is available for Android, Blackberry, iPhone, PalmPre and any phone that uses Windows Mobile. It’s not really any different as a mobile app than it is online, but why fix something that ain’t broke?

UrbanSpoon: (www.urbanspoon.com, free)
UrbanSpoon is a great app for anyone who likes to eat (and who doesn’t)? The app allows you to choose a restaurant in your city by distance, type of food and cost. You can add restaurants and menus to the database and each restaurant has its own page with a rating and contact information. The best part, however, might just be the clever way the app uses the iPhone’s accelerometer. To choose a restaurant, you shake your phone and the app works like a slot machine. You can lock any one of the options marked above (distance, type of food, cost) or you can leave them wide open. Either way, you’re on your way to good eating.

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Joan Miller