The far-flung world of apps—short for application—extends to every corner of the world. In a recent report, Apple states, “out of the 2 million jobs it has created nationwide, more than 1.5 million are related to building apps.” Google Play reports “with over 1 million apps available, it has something for everyone.” From iPhones to tablets to iPads to Androids and our PCs, the use of apps (a specialized program downloaded to a mobile device) is pervasive. Many of us are familiar with commonly used apps such as: Ebay, Facebook, Pinterest, Skype and Uber.
Although many apps cost money, many are free. In fact, the federal government has an on-line app directory for its organizations, services and government-related entities, which are available at no cost to the public (https://www.usa.gov/mobile-apps).
In this column, I catalogue a list of responses from the following question that I posed to the members of Tuchman Advisory Group: “What are your favorite apps?”
BRETT ALLEN ~ Medlin-Davis Cleaners
Clear: “It’s a simple, yet effective, app for a ‘to do’ list. It allows me to easily add tasks as they come up. This app has become an essential part of my business life allowing me to get through everything I need to take care of without forgetting anything.”
Scanner Pro: “This is a photocopier/scanner in your pocket. I can easily scan documents and then forward them in many ways (email, fax, etc.). I have not used a scanner in the last 2 years.”
Skiplagged: “Great app for finding cheap flights anywhere in the USA and internationally. It quickly shows multiple options and routes that offer cheaper fares. It also has a trick to beat the airlines algorithm by taking you to an obscure final destination that connects at your intended destination. These ‘hidden city flights’ often are much cheaper. When you arrive at your intended destination (the layover) you then just miss the continuing flight. This only works if traveling with carry-on luggage. Don’t check your luggage or it will end up at the final destination of the flight.”
Ourpact: “Great app for younger kids who spend a lot of time on their cell phones. It allows parents to take control of their phones and shut down all their apps, or selected apps, during scheduled periods like nighttime or dinnertime. Essential services are still available when the apps are shut down.”
KYLE NESBIT ~ MW Cleaners, Memories Gown Preservation
“According to the Battery Usage Percentage on my 3 iOS devices (two iPhones and an iPad), the three apps I use the most are Pandora, Youtube and Apple Maps. Everyday, as soon as I wake up, I start the day with some musical motivation from Youtube. The most common tracks I listen to and repeat are “Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger” and “Survivor -Burning Heart.” I listen to the lyrics and visualize myself training (a.k.a. working at the office) to be the very best I can possibly be, to be the best at my craft and to be the best in the industry. My occupation is more than a job, it’s a passion and I know that in the end I represent my Lord, family, team, industry and lastly my name. I take it very seriously and try my best to sprint to the finish line daily! It’s easy to coast a few days here and there, but there is an internal reward you achieve when you know you’re outperforming your competition and your peers.”
DREW SINGER ~ Flair Cleaners
Google Keep: “I use this mostly for jotting down notes and the occasional reminder. My favorite part of Google Keep is that I’m able to create the notes from my phone and view/edit them from any web browser if need be.”
Dropbox: “I personally love that Dropbox gives me the ability to access my files from anywhere and have been using it for a number of years. We’ve also begun utilizing it more within the company to share files, and I hope to continue to do so to help streamline more things within our operation.” The Tuchman Advisory Group utilizes this app for generating, saving and sharing documents among our members.
MySMS: “This is an SMS app with a Chrome extension that allows me to read and reply to my text messages from my Chrome browser. There are many apps that do this, but MySMS has been my go to.”
Waze: (traffic and navigation app) “Need I give a reason? It’s a must-have to help me get through the LA Traffic!”
TeamViewer: “This one allows me to log onto any of our computers remotely to help with training/troubleshooting if necessary.”
ANNI LUNDY ~ MW Cleaners, Memories Gown Preservation
Yelp Biz: “This is my favorite app for business. It allows me to see how many people look us up in real time and the click-through rate from Yelp to our site. Most importantly, if there is a review that is less than positive, I can contact the customer right away and fix the issue.”
Apple Podcast: “I live on podcasts. If I need to finish a project or am doing a visual inspection in production, it helps me block out all other auditory noise and focus on the task at hand. I like the apple podcast app because it is built-in on the phone. I’m currently binge listening Sawbones (medical history podcast, it’s really funny and scary what we used to do to treat our medical conditions) and The History Chicks (all female history).”
CHRISTOPHER BILLONI ~ Colvin Cleaners
Apple Podcast: “The number one app I use. Anytime I drive or travel, I listen to podcasts.”
Microsoft One Note: “My technicians can upload photos from jobs, make notes and updates using this app. I can see them live and also send notes or updates.”
iVMS-4500: “This allows me to view all the cameras at work from my phone.”
Untappd: “Track different beers you’ve had at different venues using this app. You can also search for your favorite beer, and it will tell you where you can get it close by.”
TODD WATKINS ~ Martinizing Cleaners
Gmail and Google Calendar and Google Drive: “I use all these apps for email, calendar and storage. We have a company email address via Google, which provides a professional image at a reasonable price and is easy for me to manage. All of our management team gets his/her own email. This is paired with company calendars via Google platform as well. All of it works well together. We can share company docs and store them. These all work well on smartphones, desktops, or laptops.”
Google Keep: “This is great for note keeping and similar to Evernote. Again, this ties together well with gmail and Google calendar.”
Scannable: “This app is perfect for all scanning and faxing.”
iTunes Radio: “My favorite for listening to music.”
TheWolverine.com: “For sports and fun (Go Blue!)”
I have my favorites, as well. I particularly like Wunderlist that allows me to create various lists and enter items on each one. Once I have accomplished a task, it electronically checks it off and disappears, which is a very satisfying feeling! Venmo, a mobile payment service owned by PayPal, allows me to pay or charge someone in an instant for a variety of reasons. For example, I can Venmo my son cash to grab dinner on a whim after studying hard for a college exam, reimburse friends for a shared gift we need to get, or pay back someone that I owe money to if I forget my wallet at home. It is instantaneous, so people get paid with a click of a button on a smartphone or computer device. I use Dashlane to store all my passwords. It is wonderful to easily access any password whenever necessary. There have been many times I need to log onto a website and can’t remember my password, Dashlane to the rescue! Sleep Pillow, is a white noise and most effective sleep app. It has numerous sounds including thunderstorm, crackling fire and ocean waves. I especially use this app when traveling on an airplane or anytime I need to tune out distracting noises so I can sleep. It has a timer that I can set to turn off the app so it doesn’t wear down my phone battery.
The endless world of apps can make our heads spin, but they can certainly be used to enhance, simply, and organize our lives, make us more productive, and provide a source of entertainment. If you have been reluctant to dive into the possibilities, try any of those suggested in this article and enjoy the ride!