Swaroop C H

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iPhone for productivity

19 Aug 2009

I was reading the The Favorite iPhone Apps of Five Geek Rock Stars and did not find it useful, because it was mostly about games or things that apply to people only in USA. So I was wondering if I had my own list.

Stanza

My most favorite application is the Stanza app for reading ebooks.

It's because of Stanza that I actually started to read more! Mostly because I can read a book anywhere and any time I want to. I also discovered some great books such as Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse because I could explore and download in a few clicks.

Maps built-in application

Google started giving driving directions in India a few months back and it rocks!

RunKeeper

The ability to see your pace at exactly every moment during a run is very handy. And I don't have to carry any extra device because I'm already carrying my iPhone which also happens to be my iPod which I listen to while running. And the best part of the RunKeeper Pro app is that it announces by voice the distance and speed every 5 minutes which gives me the boost I need if I slowed down.

RememberTheMilk and Evernote

The RememberTheMilk app is one of the slickest iPhone apps I've used, but I started making daily todo lists which is a bad idea, so I wanted to think in terms of notes instead of lists, so I started using the Evernote app which was exactly what I was looking for.

The best part about Evernote is that I always have a notepad to jot things down whenever I have a thought. And after I started using Evernote, I realized this happens more often than you think! And it has gotten more useful with the 3.0 version of the app. For example, imagine searching for notes by the location where you created the note! Or make voice notes. Or saving photos of an article in a magazine and searching for the text in that article inside Evernote. Or sending a link to Evernote via email. And so on.

There is also the official Wordpress app for writing blog posts or tinkering with drafts.

MobileStudio and Dropbox

Whenever I need some files that I might need to use on-the-go, I transfer it via FTP to the MobileStudio app and then access it on my iPhone.

For example, in one incident, I was able to quickly open the tickets I had saved as a PDF on my phone since I didn't have the actual printout.

Oh, and having Dropbox access online via the browser means I have all my files accessible any time.

TimeJot

See my earlier time tracking article.

tv.burrp.com

If you thought there was never interesting on TV, just visit tv.burrp.com and find out what's on TV right now. It's very very useful.

burrp.com

Find restaurants on-the-go. Once, a friend and myself were in Koramangala looking for a place to eat, and we discovered Fiorano Ristorante via burrp, and had nice authentic Italian food.

Reach people

I never have to worry about how to reach a person any more, I have all the methods - phone call, SMS, email, Skype, IM, Twitter. You name it, we got it.

TED Talks at night

It's hard to turn off the music or movie and force myself to sleep. So I end up taking my iPhone to bed and watching a TED talk or two before sleeping.

Ambiance

There's actually an app for listening to rain sounds or the crackling of a campfire or sounds of that sort. It comes in really handy when you just want to shut out all the noises outside and you're not in a mood to listen to music. It gives you the background noise that you always wanted.

WordBook

Having a very handy dictionary on your fingertips is handy when you want to check if the word that you're using means what you think it means.

Torch

Yeah, the Torch app comes in handy these days because of the frequent power cuts in Bengaluru.

Wishlist: ngpay

The one app that is missing on the iPhone is an ngpay app. I once called up their customer support and asked if they had plans for an iPhone app and they told me that "Sorry sir, the iPhone doesn't support third-party applications." I was speechless.

There's an app for that

There are a lot of apps out there to use.

I'm just glad that I finally got a kinda-PDA device that I always wanted. Now I never get bored waiting for someone because I can actually spend that time finding out the latest news and I can check Wikipedia for the members of a rock band during a discussion with friends :)

Comments

Karthik says:

N97 vs Apple iphone how do u rate this ?

Swaroop says:

@Karthik I never considered any other phone because iPhone had the app store which was what made it attractive for me.

Gowri says:

I am assuming you have iphone 3G. How is the speed with GPRS?

Swaroop says:

@Gowri The speed is pretty good, I have no complaints.

On the same note, it becomes imperative to find out the URLs of mobile-friendly versions of websites - when using these, suddenly it feels 5 times faster.

srid says:

Things.app is one application that gets the GTD idea .. yet remains remarkably simple to use. They have an iPhone version too.

http://culturedcode.com/things/

RememberTheMilk is too naive an app if you want to use it for GTD.


Oh, and having Dropbox access online via the browser
means I have all my files accessible any time.


I believe the Dropbox app is virtually useless in offline mode? One of the reasons for using Dropbox, as opposed to an online storage service, is that your files remain available even if you are not connected to the internet.

Rohit says:

I was always looking for something like this http://pixiotech.com/Pixio_-_en/MobileStudio.html. Thanks a lot. I was considering to crack my iPhone and install OpenSSH on it.

Swaroop says:

@srid I would've used Things if it synced to a webapp, because maintaining all my projects on a phone is too cumbersome for me.

As I mentioned, I no longer use RTM for some of the reasons you've already mentioned. In fact, I don't use any iPhone app for tasks management at all. But RTM was good enough when I had simple todo lists.


Edit: Also, there is no Dropbox app currently, I just use the browser to visit getdropbox.com when I need something on-the-go. I believe that they are working on an app that will sync to store files offline.


@Rohit You're welcome :)

Pramod Biligiri says:

I've just started using GPRS on my 5800 XpressMusic (which has far fewer apps than iPhone I guess), but it's definitely a huge productivity boost.

Swaroop says:

@Pramod If you don't mind, can you tell us what apps and sites you use on your Nokia phone? I'm very curious :)

Noorul says:

Wonderful :-)

I don't have an iPhone but I liked tv.burrp.com.

Mahesh says:

Hi,
Thanks for your great post. Is there any other phone available in India apart from IPhone, which is good in same context, because Iphone is too expensive in India.

Swaroop says:

@Mahesh I don't know the answer, but I'm guessing that most phones should be able to install Java-based, i.e., J2ME applications? Of course, the next question would be where to find a directory of such applications... http://www.getjar.com is probably one place to start.

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