These are a few of my favourite things….


I’ve been wanting to write a post on apps I use on the iPhone and iPad for a while.  I’m often asked what are the best apps  out there, and I often send them a list of apps.   I want this post to be a bit different.  I want the apps listed to be used on a regular basis by me, as opposed to just being a good app.  There are a lot of great apps but I don’t use on a regular basis – an example is QuickOffice which many people love as a Microsoft Office style app on the ipad and iphone…. I have it, but rarely use it.  So here’s a list of my ‘must have’ apps and why.

Click on the app icon to be taken to the itunes link for it (well… for almost all of them…)


I use dropbox for everything. It installs on my PC, my Mac, my iphone and my ipad. It’s the easiest way to backup files but also to transfer files to my devices. It’s free, and you can get more space for free easily by referring friends. I’m up to over 6 GB of storage which is perfect for my files and getting them onto my phone and iPad. Here’s a link to check it out at You can find the iOS app here.
Good Reader is a must have for me. It allows me to open all sorts of files including from emails, my dropbox, etc. for reading, reviewing, and even adding notations too. I use this app for preaching off of, meeting files, etc. The functionality and flexibility make this app an essential one for me.
Buy Me a Pie
So I get tired of carrying a pen and paper for shopping. We’ve started using this app and it’s been awesome. This is a great shopping list app which allows you to add items on one device or a web browser, and have it show up on another device. They continually are tweaking and improving it. The autocomplete is handy, ability to list quantity, and multiple lists made this one a winner for us. Now when my wife asks me to grab groceries, she adds it to the list and it syncs onto my device when I open the app. (no 3G data? just open the app while you have wifi before you leave)
This one is pretty simple – video streaming.  I use some tv network apps, but not as much as I thought I would. Netflix continues to impress me as they add new titles and it gets used regularly.  The app works great for viewing videos on the go.
I use evernote for storing files.  As in, this is now my filing cabinet.  I can search in it, and organize everything.  I no longer keep paper files unless required to for some other reason.  There are apps to plug into browsers and email programs that allow me to add content from there as well right into Evernote.  It’s been a great tool for storing all sorts of info.  The ipad app gives me access to those files on the go.
Find My iPhone
This app is for when you get your phone stolen or can’t remember where you left it.   If it’s connected to the internet you can pinpoint it’s location on a map, or even send a message or sound to it so you can find it.  I use this more than I thought, even when I’m at home and can’t remember where I left something.
Battery Doctor Pro
This app is all about maximizing your battery and keeping it in good shape.  Simple as that.  I was skeptical at first, but after working with the app I’m sold on it’s value.
Social Media
I think facebook/twitter/pinterest are fairly self explanatory – these are common social media sites.  They all offer their own apps.  Usually I’ll say that the official app is the best…. however when it comes to twitter I find the official app a bit limited in it’s functionality.  here are the Apps I use for Social Media – facebook, pinterest, twitterific

With the ipad and iphone able to do video skype is a natural. While I still prefer a desktop or laptop, the mobile device has some great advantages. I’m also slowly starting to prefer facetime over skype, though it’s limited to just mac and ios users.
Edmonton Journal/Saskatoon Star Pheonix
This is now I get my daily news fix. no paper newspaper needed. I open up the app and they’re updated automatically. new editions come out every morning (around 7 am). With a lot of different sections, I may not get the whole newspaper, I do get the major stories and features.
I am doing most of my reading, when possible, on the kindle.  I know there are other options, maybe even more Canadian options, but I find the Kindle store has the best selection for me, and with the ability to do notes/highlights that I can access on a webpage (great for school classes!) and proper page numbering, this app wins for me everytime.
I know magazines have been around for a long time, but Zinio has gotten me into reading magazines.  The prices are competitive if not a steal when you get a sale.   I love reading my magazines on my ipad and having them with me wherever I go.  I’ve subscribed to major magazines for as low as $6/year, Pop Sci for $10/year.  While those sales aren’t always there, the regular prices are often much cheaper than the newsstand. f you sign up for Zinio click here and you’ll get a $5 credit on your first purchase.
Bible by LifeChurch.TV
A great little Bible app.  I’ve used others, and some have much more features.  This app is clean, easy to use, and free.  Well worth grabbing.

You’ll notice I left out games and what we use with the kids. Those will have to wait for another post down the road. I’d love to hear your feedback on these apps, or what other ones are essential and you use daily.

One Comment

  1. Tyler Dola said:

    Thanks Mike! I installed the Battery Doctor one on my phone.

    One app I always use is OPlayer to play all my video files. I love it because I can use it to connect to my NAS and download over WiFi. Then I watch shows on the bus and train in the morning 🙂

    October 4, 2012

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