We love our phones and tablets, and we love how handy they can be. Gone are the days of only being able to send a simple text and play snake (on your mum’s phone of course, that you took with you when you ‘went down the park’). I’m pretty sure I could write this post every 3 months and the content would be completely different!
Obviously there are the big, must haves (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc), but I thought I’d share my current faves that aren’t quite as high up on the pecking order.
One of my absolute all time favourite apps that I’ve had installed on my phone since I upgraded from the Samsung Ch@t (ie. Fakebury) 5 years ago. Especially as a dance teacher, this has proven to be the niftiest app I’ve ever used. If you don’t know already, Shazam is an app that lets you identify any music that’s playing; be it on the radio, on telly, blasting out of someone’s car that you’re walking past… Click the button, wait a few seconds and (providing the quality is good enough, it won’t always work with the telly if there’s people talking too) it’ll find your song, tell you the artist, and even give you the option to purchase it too. I’m pretty sure 2/3s of my iTunes is thanks to Shazam…my big show piece last year was Shazam’d from LOVE ISLAND can you believe! It really is invaluable.
Potentially an obvious one, but seeing as the iPhone already has it’s own ‘Maps’ installed, I never bothered with Google until recently. And the only reason I did, was because I realised that it gives you the option to (essentially) pair searches you’ve done on your desktop computer, to your phone. I’ll give you my example:
I was doing some cover work and was driving to a studio I’d never driven to before. When I’m driving somewhere new, I like to go on Google Maps street view, to have a look at where it is, and get a sense for the roads I’ll be driving on. Having used my laptop to ‘Yellow Man’ my route, I was given the option to email the route to my phone. So then I just opened the link in the email which opened the app, and there it was! If you already know where you’re going, the ‘Maps’ app is ample, but if you’ve been using your laptop/computer first, this is a fab way of saving you some time.
Also, when you’ve picked your route, it will colour code itself to how busy the drive is…so it might start off blue, then turn orange on a moderately busy patch, then turn red at a very busy patch, then go back to blue again…very cool. And very handy, because it’ll let you alter your route if you want to avoid busy areas too!
Yes, with the dash after as well. We all love a filter, but I don’t use this app for that reason – I use it for the blur tool. It was one of my students who’d recommended it to me, when they’d shown me a cool edit of a picture taken during the show they were performing in. They’d blurred the background with 6 or 7 dancers in, and left the foreground of the picture with a featured dancer, un-blurred. I can’t show the picture of course, so I’m hoping you can visualise instead! I haven’t found many opportunities to use it for work related purposes like this example, but it’s a good way to blur out the background of a selfie, or your yummy meal at a restaurant. I know Instagram Story has recently released a similar ‘Focus’ tool, but honestly, I forget most of the time.
The one game I have installed on my phone! Kind of does what it says on the tin. You’re a snake, you bash through walls of certain amounts of points, if you smash through a wall with more points than your body, you die (so for example, if you only have 4 body parts and you smash through a wall of 5, game over), but you pick up body parts on the way too. It sounds really boring typing it out, but it’s SO addictive, especially when you can end up having more than 100 body parts…
TAKE A BREAK
I’m leaving you with a chilled one, and again, an app that’s been installed for as long as I’ve had a smart phone. It’s a meditation app, and you can choose to have it play you the sound of waves or a stream or something, with or without the chilled out American lady doing some mindfulness exercises: ‘Let’s begin by letting go of everything you’ve been doing…’. I’ve turned her off now coz she annoys me, but when I can’t sleep, I play the sound of rain. And it’s lovely 😊