Three years ago, I never would have believed I’d be one of those people tethered to a smart phone.
At that time, I swore by my original BlackBerry. You remember the one with the little roller ball mouse, right? That was my favourite version. It didn’t even have wifi or internet access. I remember being so disappointed when the ball finally fell out and MTS forced me to upgrade.
One day, my husband came home with a brand new iPhone 5. It was his first smart phone and we both were mesmerized. You could watch videos. You could read books! Suddenly, I realized there was a whole world of technology out there I’d been missing out on for years.
Now, I use my iPhone for pretty much everything. It logs my daily steps, along with everything I eat and the amount of exercise I get. It’s tracked every single outdoor run I’ve gone on in the last year, and recently let me know I’ve technically run a quarter of the way across Canada.
Yes, I sometimes long for the “good old days” when I could leave my phone at home and not care about what I might be missing. But the apps I use every day have really changed my life for the better.
Below is a list of my favourites. These are the tools that help me keep on track with health & fitness, keep informed about world news and keep me entertained…
Health & fitness
MyFitnessPal – With millions of users currently signed up and a vast food database, it’s no wonder this is the #1 free calorie counter. I initially used the app to learn about portion control, but now it’s a way to remain accountable for my food choices – even if my choice is to splurge on that extra glass of wine!
RunKeeper – This definitely is my favourite app. As a runner, I love knowing how far I’ve gone and how many calories I’ve burned after each run. I can also synch RunKeeper to MyFitnessPal, and the two together automatically keep track of my activity level and calorie burn throughout the day.
I should note that you can connect both RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal to social media – but I choose not to. My fitness journey is exactly that – my journey, and mine alone. I love sharing details about the process with friends and family, but I don’t feel the need to share every run I go on with the world.
Breeze – This app is super simple and really quite fun. It tracks your steps throughout the day. That’s it. You can synch it to RunKeeper, or share on social media. It’s neat!
Note: It’s important to keep in mind that calories, distance and steps recorded by fitness apps are estimates.
Songza – There are a few popular free music apps out there, but Songza has always been my favourite. Check out the “acoustic versions of rock songs” playlist. It’s a good one.
iBooks – Just like music apps, there are lots of options when it comes to books. My go to is iBooks, because it’s easy and can be synched with my Macbook and iPad. I do also have KOBO on my phone, and toggle back and forth between the two occasionally.
The Huffington Post – I absolutely love the Huffington Post, and the app is exceptional. You can customize it to include the daily news sections that interest you, and the whole this is updated regularly with new articles throughout the day.
Social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Need I say more?
The Weather Network – There are lots of weather apps out there, but I’ve found that The Weather Network never lets me down.
RBC – Not all people choose to bank online, but my Royal Bank of Canada app has saved my butt on more than one occasion when I’ve remembered last minute that a mortgage payment was due.
If you do choose to use a banking app, however, my advice would be to NOT save your account information within the app. Just log in fresh each time and log out again when you’re done.
And that’s it! What are your favourite apps?