I am, as I have freely admitted before, totally dependent on my smartphone. It’s how I run my life – both at home and at work. If I had to give up every piece of technology I own but for one device, the smartphone would be the gadget I’d hang on to.
Like everyone else who has become very dependent on smartphones, it’s the apps that go along with it that really make my smartphone the indispensible lifehack that it’s become for me. And as 2011 draws to a close, I thought I’d offer a round-up of my picks for the best apps of the year, as well as some background on why I love these particular ones so much. Not all of these were released in 2011, but this was the year that they became must-have tech helpers in my own life.
And here they are…
WordPress Mobile App 1 of 5As a busy blogger, the mobile app for WordPress has made my life HUGELY easier. I am now able to write many, if not most of my blog posts both here at Babble and also at my personal blog on my smartphone and my tablet. I can upload photos, type out text, hyperlink and publish blog posts while waiting in the pediatrician's office, while holding a napping baby, and in all kind of other places where blogging from my laptop would be unwieldy. The WordPress mobile app is a nifty option for bloggers that I highly recommend. It's available for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry.
Instagram 2 of 5Oh, Instagram, let me count the ways I love you... I started hearing about this Instagram thing about a year ago, but I didn't download the app and start using it until mid-summer 2011. I was immediately hooked. Instagram is a photo app, yes, but it's more than that. It's a social community for people to share and communicate around images. Although I am active on several social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, I would say that Instagram has become the most personal and organic of social platforms for me. It's not about promotion or brand pages or products, it's 100 percent about people getting to know one anothet through great photos. If you're on Instagram, you can connect with me there as kgranju. Instagram is only available as an iPhone app now, but the company says the Android version will be released very soon.
Spotify App 3 of 5The streaming music service Spotify has been popular in Europe for awhile now, but this year, the company rolled out in phases in the U.S. The first invites to try the service out were given to Klout service subscribers with a high enough Klout score. At that particular moment in time, my own score had peaked for the year, so I got the invite and quickly accepted, upgrading immediately to the $9.99 monthly service. Spotify is the online music service I've been waiting for since I first got online. It's like having all the world's songs (okay, almost all of them - the Beatles aren't there) available at any time, in any order, just by opening up the Spotify app, which I now have installed on both my smartphone and my tablet. Spotify is available for both iPhone and Android devices.
Super8 Video App 4 of 5The Super8 VideApp was launched to promote the 2011 JJ Abrams movie of the same name, and while many/most apps created simply to promote a product or entertainment brand are a big waste of time, this one isn't. Super8 allows wanna be videographers like me to shoot mobile "film" using a variety of filters and effects (inccluding sound effects) that give you the look of an old school film reel. It also offers a cool lead-in trailer for your mini-masterpieces, along with easy scene by scene editing in the app itself, and seamless social uploading to sites like You Tube and Facebook so you can easily share with friends and fam. The Super8 video app is available for iPhone and Android.
The Christmas List App 5 of 5This little app has changed my life - for the better. As the person who does ALL the Christmas shopping for a very large family that includes five children of my own plus many nieces, nephews, cousins, etc, I am now able to stay perfectly organized as my shopping progresses. The app is password protected, so prying eyes can't "accidentally" get a look-see at your shopping rundown when they ask to play Angry Birds on your smartphone on car trips, and it allows you to break your shopping lists down by person, cost, store, and status (need to buy, shipping, wrapped, delivered), It automatically tracks your spending and keeps a running tally of how much you've already paid out for each person and group of people on your list, plus gives you a grand total, so you can stay within your budget (or in my case, easily determine just how much you've gone over). I discovered this app for the first time in 2011, and I will never do another holiday season without it. Love it. The Christmas List app is available only for iPhone, but my friends with Android devices rave about another, very similar app available in their own app store called "Better Christmas List."
If you are a smartphone user yourself, I want to know what YOUR picks for best app or apps for 2011 are. Tell me which apps you can’t live without, and why I should give them a try in the comments below.
THE ENTRY PERIOD FOR THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNER SELECTED AT RANDOM FROM AMONG ELIGIBLE ENTRIES WILL BE ANNOUNCED BEFORE NOON, DECEMBER 19!
DELL GIVEAWAY RULES – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
And now for a little excitement from our sponsor: Leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win a Dell Inspiron All in One 2320 Touch computer! Your comment can be about anything you like, but I’d love to have you share your own recommendations for must-have smartphone and tablet apps
The giveaway will run until Friday, December 16, 2011, 11:59 p.m. EDT and is open to all U.S. residents. A winner will be chosen at random using Random.org from all eligible entries. Readers can also leave comments on posts by other Babble Voices writers participating in the December 2011 Dell Family Tech campaign.
One comment per person per post, please. The chosen winner must respond within 48 hours of notification to claim their prize. Good luck!
Good luck! Katie
PS: Please note that the winner will be chosen AT RANDOM. It’s a random drawing that will include all commenters. I will not be selecting the winner myself. Just wanted to clarify that
READ MORE FROM KATIE OVER AT MAMAPUNDIT (HER PERSONAL BLOG)