Friday Favorites: Apps

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Who could live without their smart phone these days? Apps can make the mundane seem interesting and the complex much easier. It amazes me to think that only 2 short years ago, I didn’t even have an iPhone. How did I function? And while I say that somewhat facetiously, I really do rely on my apps to provide directions, keep me connected to work and friends, entertain me, and to answer any and all questions that I can’t figure out for myself. 

This Friday Favorite round up was hard to narrow down, but here are my top 5 (er… 6) favorite apps. 

  1. Houzz: Before I knew about Pinterest, I used ‘Houzz Ideabooks’ to compile all of my house decorating ideas. This app (and website) has endless photos of beautiful homes and rooms to provide inspiration for any project. I also love that most photos have tags that source all of the elements in each picture. So if you want to know where the decorator bought the backsplash in a kitchen you love, all of the information is right there for you! In addition, it also serves as a message board where you can ask the designer questions about the room and get answers from professionals. Awesome! I could spend hours flipping through the photos (and sometimes I do!)
  2. Shazam: If you ever wish you knew the name of that song that’s playing on the radio or what song was in the background of a commercial or movie, Shazam is the answer. Simply tap the Shazam button in the app and SHAZAM the name of the song and the artist pops up. The app also tracks all of the songs that you have “Shazamed” so that you can download them from iTunes later or instantly from the app on your Smart phone. It’s so easy, and will keep you on the cutting edge of music.  
  3. Instagram/Camera+: I just could not choose! Both Instagram and Camera+ are awesome photo editing apps and I love both for different reasons. Instragram, which is free, has a great social networking platform built in to its awesome photo filtering capabilities. I can connect with my friends, like their photos, and tag other users. It also has integration with other social networking sites and most blogs. You can check out my Instagram feed at the bottom of this page or you can go my Instragram page here to request to follow me. Camera+ on the other hand has no social platform but will share your pictures to the social network of your choosing. The photo editing capabilities in Camera+ ($0.99) are more advanced than Instagram and closely emulate the tools on photo editing programs like iPhoto or Photo Shop. In addition to filters it offers captions, a brush and layering tool, as well as white balance, tone, and detail enhancements to name a few.  If the two apps could be combined, we’d be in business! 
  4. Songkick: Another music lover app. You need to download this app right now before summer concert season is in full swing. To use Songkick, you input your favorite artists (or you can allow the app to scan your iTunes music library) and it will give you a rundown of all the upcoming live concerts in your selected location(s). As more concerts are added, Songkick will send you alerts to let you know when and where your favorite artists will be playing. You’ll never miss a concert! Wondering what’s on my Songkick list this summer? Fleetwood Mac, The Black Keys, Yeasayer, Pretty Lights and possibly Passion Pit (saw them once at IU…Jay and I were the oldest people in the auditorium and the most sober). 
  5. Hey Tell: I like to think of my Hey Tell app as text messaging with audio, or kind of like a high tech walkie-talkie. In a day and age where we text more than we talk, Hey Tell at least takes a step in the right direction. If your friends and family have the Hey Tell app they can send you instant voice messages that are short and sweet and meant to be conversational - like text messages. While voicemail messages are typically used for one-way communication, Hey Tell messages are meant to be back and forth voice messages that makes getting your plans together with a groups of friends on a Friday night a breeze!