APPS: Past champion apps for iPad ( 2014 )



Every iDevice needs a basic group of apps, a foundation and selecting the best ones is a challenge. The perfect app for one person is a dud to another, the app one person uses daily is a headache to someone else. I pose the following apps as the ideal HOME base for your APPLE iDevice.

NO 1 RIBBONThese apps are not “the very best without reservation.” There is no such list. These are simply the “rock solid” ones. Though they may lack a lot of pizzazz or colourful flare, they are keepers because they get the job done, effectively, solidly and with minimal fuss.

Who do these apps fit? Easier to write who they will not suit. These apps are not for social CHAMPION TROPHYbutterfly who flits from Instagram to Facebook to SMS fluttering from one social group to another; not for the photo hobbyist who needs Photoshop Express or Pixlr Express, nor the statistician nor the accountant who need spreadsheet, financial or calculator apps. They are suited for those who write emails regularly, use a calendar frequently, keep track of tasks and “to do’s,” keep documentation records, of what they do, their notes, their receipts, and their transactions, visiting numerous sites that require password entry. They do not belong to a specific age, or a particular profession, or unique socio-cultural group. These selected apps are for the everyday user who needs apps for various purposes: emailing, note making, dates recording, document archiving and password logging.

Here’s the ideal list for the home page apps on your Apple device.

SIMPLENOTESimplenote is a basic writing app, simple, straightforward; use it to write notes, short reminders, explanations or descriptive paragraphs. It is easy to use, visually clean, and efficiently direct and has an excellent search system. This appropriately named note maker is simply the best note-making app out there for IOS devices.

FANTASTICAL 2Fantastical 2 is a great calendar app, simple, clear, easy to use and very practical with its variety of views and succinct events/task summary. It is the calendar champion at a reasonably low price! Saying more about this app’s outstanding features and simplicity in use would be gilding the lily.

GMAILGmail is one of the best of email apps on any platform. It does its job cleanly and it does it well. It uses a lot of white space to enhance its readability. Google updates the app periodically and each time it is a notable improvement to what already is a solid email app.

MAILBOXMailbox is a real contender for the email crown which Gmail wears; an email app which helps you maintain a ‘zero” mailbox with just a gesture or two. Swipe one way, the message is archived; swipe and pause a bit, it is deleted. Swipe the other way and your email is filed for later action or viewing at a time of your choosing. One of the handiest email applications around!

WUNDERLISTEvery iDevice user needs a good ‘todo’ list manager and Wunderlist is one of the best. Teutonically designed technology at its finest and at a great price,  free,  with the added bonus that this app syncs seamlessly across all platforms. Users can create folders with lists of tasks and/or todo’s. The app lacks glitz and glamour simply doing what it is intended to do solidly, without flare or bombastic flash. It is the task/todo list manager of choice.

Apple users have reasons to gloat as Errands, arguably the best task/to-do list manager anywhere is only available on IOS devices. This outstanding app is a great alternative to Wunderlist; colourful without overdoing it; effective and it does it all in a simple, utilitarian way. Because it lacks the cross-platform connectivity of Wunderlist, the championship crown remains with Wunderlist.

ALARMMy favourite app on my iPod Touch is Alarmed – Reminders and Timers, a terrific alarm app which can be customized with dates and times of your choosing. It is also a timer where users can create individualized, custom titled timers of varying duration. This wonderful little application belies its surprising simplicity, amazingly comprehensive nature and satisfying effectiveness. A superb app at a very likeable price, free.

Storage is essential to good record keeping. Apps to consider: Evernote, Google Keep, Dropbox, Google Drive or Springpad, each with a specialized niche differentiating it from the others but Evernote is the giant killer because of its very comprehensiveness; it does it all and it does it everywhere across all platforms. The free version will satisfy most users but for a reasonable price, the premium version with its increased storage space will satisfy everyone. The power of Evernote is only appreciated after working with it a while. It allows the use of quick short notes or hugely detailed ones, saves files in various formats, audio, photo, and text format and its built-in OCR tool handily converts images with text to electronic text. Finallightningghtening fast search capability and amazingly effective tagging system make it the true champion of storage apps.

PHOTOSHOPFor iDevice photographers, Photoshop Express is a very useful photo editing app for free. It will help improve photos in a variety of areas: lighting, contrast, focus and even removal of extraneous subject matter. An excellent photo editing for non-professionals who want to modify photos with minimal effort and ease. Recently, a competitor has entered the ring as a viable a contender, Pixlr Express.

LASTPASSFinally, every user should consider a password manager for their device and LastPass is an outstanding one. The benefit of a password manager is that one needs to remember one password ONLY to unlock the LastPass vault of your stored passwords. The premium edition at a $1 a month is your best bet because it is the cross platform version for use on your desktop or your mobile device. For those who fear password vulnerability because an outside developer holds your cache of secret keystrokes, as I understand it, all LastPass stored passwords are encrypted/decrypted locally on your device, thereby securely locking them to potential outside intruders. A real password champion!

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