Not much changed, but the obvious highlights to the last year? My favorite apps didn’t change a lot. Previously, I called these the Daily Driver Apps
- Ulysses — Middle of the first pandemic wave, I tried to swap out Ulysses for a slightly simpler software, called ByWord, but, it just didn’t work for me. They are both web slash WordPress slash Markdown tools. For my style, and the quantity of content I produce and manage? Ulysses is my current word processor, workhorse of choice. Ulysses connects with with various sites’ backends, and that’s what I want, seamless, easiest, least amount friction. Breaking with Apple’s older user interface guidelines, though, Ulysses only allows one window at time, for work. Figure that’s kicking it old school.
- Pages — Apple’s native Pages number two on my Word Processor list, still second chair, Number Two spot? I use it less for word processing, and more for page layout, book-length manuscripts and that sort of chore; think: anything that needs a real Table of Contents. When I was working on this list, I realized that my first “Page Layout” software cost upwards of several hundred dollars, a princely sum at the time, and that “design” software had less ability than current iPad version of Pages.
- Books — Apple Books for reading, still the superior book reading app. I would prefer, still do, prefer to purchase books this way. This is my preferred reading app.
- Libby — My sister turned me onto Libby, as it is a ubiquitous front end app for San Antonio Public Library, well, many public libraries, but I use it for SAPL. Cute interface, actually yielded up a book or two that I wouldn’t have read, otherwise.
- 3M Cloud Library — Looks like the name has changed, it’s just cloudLibrary now, and it’s started to offer some updated performances, like limited scrolling, which, for me, reads faster. This is the front-end for the local Bexar Bibliotech, the county-wide, all-digital library, attempting to bridge that digital divide.
- Kindle — Like “all things Amazon,” there is love/hate relationship with the invasive technology. But messing around with the Libby app, I discovered I could shoot the library book over to Kindle app, and I like the experience better than the native Libby app. One word: continual scrolling.
- Messages — I tried What’s App, Telegram, Telegraph, Signal, SnapChat, FB Messenger, etc. Apple’s seamless, effective, and relatively private message app works just fine.
- Flipboard — Magazine-style news reader. RSS feeds, and other crap. Mostly a way to scan the news and I can go deeper, as need be, but for me, it’s more like headline news reader. It’s a way to sample news without getting bogged down.
- Dark Sky — Simply put, the single most effective weather app I’ve used. Previously, I liked the Apple iPhone Weather, but this one — now owned by Apple — works best. Just one app for weather.
- Photos — Image storage and basic manipulation. Stock. Just works.
- Shakespeare Pro — 41 Plays, the sonnets, the longer form poems, all in a handy digital format. Just plain easier with each update. Ancillary material and I love being able to fact-check a quote.
- Camera — Calendar — Amazon — Bog standard apps.
- iPhemeris — the iPad version of the app is the best, as a simple statement. It is ahead of its Mac version, and the smaller phone screens are near-impossible for me to navigate, but the iPad iteration? Works really well, with a monthly ephemeris, set to whatever time zone I like, natal charts, progressed charts, relocated charts, and the most reliable? Transit charts.
- ChargeStripe — For years I was a proponent of Square, and while I still admire the software and hardware, I have the Square readers, for the simplest, most economical transaction? Stripe is proving to be better — for me. Hint: with Stripe, I don’t have to trigger a deposit, why I prefer it over the other two.
- Voice Record — I use this less and less, and the link, said it was “free,” but I was sure I paid for it. Don’t know, won’t be bothered. I had to mess around with the settings to get it work the way I wanted it to, but now, it’s almost completely integrated into my style of work. It performs one function, as advertised in its name, it records voices. Shoots out “lossless” mp4, or what I prefer, the more universal mp3.
Favorite Apps 2020-1ish
When I was looking the list of apps, first page only, what is most used, and the recent TEXAS FREEZE weather event, and my subsequent loss of electricity for a few days? I used only email, and those four book reading apps. At one time, I had four different novels underway, one in each format, just because.
The two public libraries? They saved my life.