What are your favorite apps?

I am in LOVE with my iPhone. I feel actual true affection for the little device. It lets me do so many cool things. My husband complains that I am always on my phone, but he doesn’t have as many apps, and therefore doesn’t know all the fun he’s missing out on. I have gazillions of apps, but here are five faves.

1. Stitcher.

Stitcher - radio on demand

Radio on demand.

I’ve never heard of anyone else who has or loves this app like I do, which is worrisome. It needs some pub, so here goes. This app allows me to listen to my favorite podcasts on demand – no synching necessary. You basically “stitch” together your favorite shows into a customized playlist.  I listen when I’m in the car, and I listen at night as I fall asleep.

I follow: Selected Shorts, This American Life, Planet Money Podcast, Freakonomics Radio, Fresh Air, Radiolab from WNYC, Slate’s Culture Gabfest, Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac, Slate Magazine Daily Podcast, TED Radio Hour Podcast, New Yorker: Fiction, and PRI: To the Best of Our Knowledge to name just a few.

2. IMDb

The International Movie Database app, or IMDB

International Movie Database app

I’m on this app before and after seeing any movie or TV show. Last night we were flipping channels and we saw about two minutes of Cheech and Chong’s crap-fest, “Up In Smoke.” We recognized the guy playing Chong’s Dad in this stupid, racist scene. Flip open the phone, click on the app and the guy with the familiar face is  the famous Strother Martin who had a few great lines in Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid. But he was most famous for his part in Cool Hand Luke, where he and Paul Newman had a “failure to communicate.” For a movie nerd like me, these kind of details make my day. The more details I learn about a movie or actor, the deeper my enjoyment. Unfortunately, the app can make me a  bit of a smug pain in the butt to be around because with its help, I pretty much know everything. 

3. A Beautiful Mess.

A Beautiful Mess photo app

A Beautiful Mess photo app

Of course I love Instagram, (follow me!) but I have a few new photo apps that I am really loving right now. A Beautiful Mess lets you add filters, cut-out shapes, collages, and text. It’s easy. Here’s how.

I used it to create this cute collage for my dear friend with her new Bernese Mountain dog puppy. A Beautiful Mess photo collage

And here to add some decoration and text to a photo of last week’s rain.

A Beautiful Mess photo with textures and text

4. Shazam

Shazam app

Ok, you’re driving along Highway 5, through Central California and there are no radio stations to be had. You turn on Sirius Radio, and an old favorite comes on, but you cannot remember the song or the artist. Just click on your Shazam app and within moments, the name of the artist, the song, and links to download it pop up on your screen. Love it. Once again, you know everything.


Mapquest app

I never really read maps anymore now that I have this app on my phone. I can enter a location and then a nice lady’s voice tells me where to go, so I don’t have to look at anything as I drive. If I do want to read something, it gives lots of info about upcoming turns, travel times, and best routes.

Tell me about the apps you are loving right now and I’ll give them a try!

A few links from around the web:

My husband and I are  OBSESSED with the HBO TV Show, True Detective. If you haven’t tuned in yet, try binge-watching to catch up. This season is almost over, and next season will have a new plot with new actors. The writing and acting are both amazing. I think Matthew McConaughey is as good in this as anything he’s ever done. This article explains why it’s the best show on TV, and another article suggesting it’s all about the art of storytelling. Once you’ve caught up, check out this piece that has theories on the whodunnit aspect of the show. Watch, and let me know what you think. Once it is over, I want to watch and re-watch. The dialogue is just too deep to grasp in one sitting.

The world’s most beautiful airport approaches. I’ve only seen three. How many have you seen? On your bucket list?

Extraordinary Olympic feats, frame by frame.

Writing on trains. 

My husband’s favorite desserts all have bananas.

A breathtakingly moving photo essay on new fatherhood.

How the world looks to a bird.

An “Up” inspired photo shoot.

A ballot for Sunday’s Oscar. I’m going to try and see a few more films before I fill out mine.

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