Photo: Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider
I’m never far from my computer, iPad, or smartphone.So it shouldn’t be surprising that there’s a suite of apps that I use just about every day without fail.
Some of them are pretty basic, but if you’re not using all of these, you’re nuts.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, then Tweetbot is the only app you need to check Twitter. I was pretty disappointed when Twitter redesigned its official app for iOS and Android, which left me hungry for a solid alternative.
Tweetbot is it.
The design is nearly flawless, and we love all the swipe-based gestures for checking @ mentions and related tweets.
It's amazing how a simple app like Instagram can become such an integral part of my phone. Instagram lets you add quirky filters to your photos and share them with your friends via a built-in news feed. You can also push your photos to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare, making it a one-stop app for all your favourite social networks.
Instagram is only on iPhone right now, but the Android version is expected very soon.
Evernote is a brilliant app that lets you store little nuggets of information such as text notes, audio clips, and images in the cloud and access it from just about any device that can connect to the Internet. It's more than just a note-taking app. It's an app to store your entire life. If you haven't tried Evernote yet, you're nuts.
Skitch is a clever app that lets you modify photos by layering text and other graphics on top of them. It's very useful if you need to demonstrate something in a presentation or blog post. (Or if you just want to make funny doodles and send them to a friend.) Since Skitch is now part of the Evernote family, you can send your creations to your Evernote account.
If you have a lot of music, there's no chance it'll all fit on your smartphone or tablet. That's why a streaming music service like Spotify is perfect. Instead of storing all your music on your phone, you can stream from Spotify's library of millions of songs. (You can store your favourites to your phone too.) Spotify also connects to Facebook, making it easy to swap playlists with your friends and see what they're listening to.
Foursquare has solidified itself as the premiere check-in app. Think of it as a real-world game that lets you and your friends compete with each other for visiting the most places within a week. On top of that, many venues will offer you rewards for checking in such as a percentage off your meal or a free drink at your favourite bar.
Who knew a simple concept such as a to-do list could be so pretty? Clear did. This app organizes all the stuff you have to get done in a gorgeous layout. When you're finished with one, just check it off with a satisfying swipe. Easy!
Pro tip: Enable badge notifications for Clear so you can see how many pending items you still have in your to-do list without launching the app. You should also check out our full tour of Clear.
Price: $1.99 for iPhone
Whether you're an Android or iPhone user, Google Voice is my favourite way to keep track of voicemail. All your messages are saved in the cloud, so you can listen to them later on your computer. Google also automatically transcribes your voicemails to text so you can read them instead. However, the transcription's accuracy tends to be less than perfect.
There are a lot of great alternative browsers out there, but Chrome is by far my favourite. I love its simple, minimalistic design and the fact that it usually runs faster than other browsers. If you have a Google account, you can easily sync your browsing history and bookmarks across all your computers that use Chrome.
Google+ isn't even a year old, but its users are incredibly passionate and active. And no, they're not all Google employees. In fact, I already have more than twice the number of Google+ followers as I do Twitter followers, even though I've been on Twitter over three years.
Engagement seems to be higher on Google+ too, with actual humans responding to posts instead of the bots that tend to troll Twitter. Say what you will, but Google+ is a great tool for connecting with people.
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