Elijah's Favorite iOS Apps

All over YouTube, I have seen people do a “What’s on my iPhone video.” They describe what applications they use on a regular basis, and why they use them. In this post, I am going to cover my favorite applications for various situations. Most of these applications are free so if you want to try any of them out, you are free to do so. (Some I am going to list will require something like a membership, and others are applications that are pre-installed on your device)

1. Mail

It’s probably no surprise that this application is one of my most used applications as it is with most smartphone owners. With my Email, I am able to keep updated on various things whether it be mailing lists that I’m subscribed to or just some personal matters.

2. Podcast

I have become a real fan of podcasts. In fact, podcasts are the primary way I am able to keep up on everything in the tech world. The main podcasts I listen to or watch are those from CNET. At my local church, I am in charge of editing and uploading the weekly sermon, thus, podcasts are a big part of my mobile device life.

3. Amazon Prime Music

If you are a member of Amazon Prime, you have access to a vast assortment of music. The huge catalog of prime music can be streamed or downloaded to your device at no additional charge. This is a great deal on top of having access to their free two day shipping and their free Prime Video streaming service. I always enjoy sitting back, and listening to a great song, especially to wind down after a long day. If you are subscribed to services like Apple Music or Spotify, then it’s basically the same thing as those streaming services.

4. Camera

There are many tools available to the blind, whether they be scopes or magnifiers, that aid in improving ones vision. However, many don’t realize that both of these types of tools reside within their smartphone. I have come to heavily rely on the camera to help me see things from menu boards to projectors. I have also been able to use them to serve as a CCTV to read text books. As the cameras keep getting better, we can expect better clarity for the content we may capture.

5. Social Media Apps

Just like many teens, I have become associated with many social media platforms. Unlike those who think Facebook is the only place to get information, I am open to accessing information, and enjoying entertainment on multiple platforms. As of now, I am a part of: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Flickr, Vimeo, Snapchat, WhatsApp, KiK, Google+, Vine, Periscope, Skype, BEME, Peach, and Pinterest. You may ask, why all the accounts, honestly I have no idea, but I try to stay up-to-date with all of the latest trends, and experience for myself if a particular platform is all the hype. In many cases that I have just listed, I would have to say no. The programs I do find myself using the most, though, are the big name ones which have been more heavily adopted: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and KiK.

6. Amazon Photo

Yes, with your prime membership, you also get unlimited photo backup and 10GB of video backup. After spending maybe a couple months on my device, I will begin to transfer my photo library from my phone to a cloud based service. This way, if something happens to my phone, I have a safe and secure backup of everything I had.

7. BARD

If you have never heard of BARD, and you have visual impairments, then you may want to check out this service. This service was created by the NLS (National Library Service) and it offers a huge catalog of literature from classics to modern literature. All of the content can either be requested from a locally supported library, who will send you a playback recorder and the digital books on a digital cartridge, or you can download them yourself and play them on either your special book player or your mobile device. I have been able to take advantage of this serve for many, many years. So far back that the books used to come on cassette tapes! I have been asked why I prefer this service over others such as BookShare. To start, the readers are actual people so you get a more natural voice versus a robotic one. It’s also just easier to use.

8. The Weather Channel

Yes, the built in weather app can be great, but it offers very few abilities. Features such as radar, tides, pollen, and many other useful enhancements are not present on the current application. This is probably the reason I prefer using a third party app like the Weather Channel versus the default weather application. With this app, I am able to get future radar, snow/rain fall, and a prediction of how bad the pollen will be.

9. Maps

I honestly think that Apple Maps has truly cleaned itself up after the bumpy start back in iOS 6. For a long time, people favored Google Maps over Apple’s, but today, both are able to get the job done with ease and reliability. Which one’s better though? The debate between the two has truly lost all meaning. They are both great applications, and I have gotten a chance to use both, but because Apple Maps is heavily integrated with all of my other applications, and Apple Watch, I tend to lean towards Apple Maps. Both offer great features such as satellite, GPS, and new to Apple Maps, transit. It all just depends on personal preference.

10. YouTube/Video Streaming

I’m basically going to lump both of these into one category. Yes YouTube consist of individuals making videos, and streaming services tend to consist of television shows and movies, but they both serve one purpose, and that is to entertain and educate us with a visual illustration. I use YouTube quite a bit so that I can tune into some of my favorite tech channels: EverythingApplePro, Techquicke, DetroitBORG, and Snazzy Labs to name a few. These videos are a great source of information for me to increase my knowledge of technology and how each component of a computer works. When I want to relax, I may watch a movie on Amazon Prime Video. Though it may not be as huge a library as Netflix, there is always something to choose from.

Those are basically the applications I use the most, and yes most likely your list will be a little different. What apps do you use on a regular basis? Which ones would you say are essential to a smartphone user? Can you think of any popular applications that you would consider “not worth the hype?” I would be interested to hear what you have to say.

 

 

Read more about: Assistive Technology