Writer’s Workshop: My Most Frequently Used Apps

The wallpaper on my phone

I’ve had my iPhone 8 for over 2 ½ years (I know this because I’ve paid it off) and have lots of apps installed on it, somewhere near 100. I don’t use anywhere near that number, of course; I generally will use either my desktop or laptop computer. Here are the ones I use most frequently…

  • Inoreader: My feed accumulator, i.e. my RSS reader. All of the 200+ blogs I read, plus some feeds from Facebook and some email newsletters, and even a few YouTube feeds pass through here. At mealtime I read blogs this way.

  • WordPress: I don’t blog from my phone, but I do use the app to read and occasionally reply to comments.

  • Instagram: Can’t get enough of the pictures. I also get a good deal of information and news through it, as well as find new musicians to listen to.

  • YouTube: I don’t use this as often as I did, because I’m usually sitting either at my desktop or laptop, but on occasion I’ll pull up videos on this.

  • Dark Sky: I actually have five or six weather apps (as well as a couple of radar ones) installed, all of which are right some of the time. Dark Sky is my go-to app because it’s the simplest.

  • IMDb: As we watch TV, Mary’s always asking “who’s that?” I then dutifully find the show and the episode and read the cast list until we’re satisfied we know who it is.

  • TV Listings: Helps me find the shows and episodes so I can look up the cast lists in IMDb. Also helps when Mary asks what episodes of The Andy Griffith Show or Columbo are on tonight.

  • Amazon: We do a lot of shopping online, especially since Covid-19 arrived from Wuhan.

  • Connect The Pops!: This is a game that I play almost constantly, especially at mealtime, for some reason. It’s hard to describe how the game is played, but one thing I’ve figured out is that there’s really no end to the game; you just go on colecting points ad nauseam. So far, I’ve accumulated 334 quadrillion points.

  • Other TV apps: All of the local TV stations have apps, which I’ve installed. I don’t use them much, but they’re handy to have.

  • Spotify and Apple Music: I don’t use these as much on my phone, but they’re installed in case we’re out and about and I want to hear some music while Mary’s in a store or whatever. I think my music annoys her…

  • Other Games: Solitaire, sudoku, Slices, 2048. Nothing where I shoot anything or break through walls.

  • A few other apps I use from time to time:

    • Discord: There are some groups I belong to that have Discord servers (dead malls, EAS activations, Inoreader), so I keep up to date with those groups there.

    • Podcasts: There are a few I listen to, mostly music and noise-related. I’m not very good about staying up-to-date on them.

    • Reddit: There’s a lot of good information out there, as well as a lot of silly stuff. Anything to keep me off Facebook and Twitter.

    • Twitch: I use this for one show, Best Smooth Jazz, and only if I’m away from my desktop or laptop.

    • FEMA: I don’t use this per se, but if there are any weather warnings, they’ll pop up in this app. We get severe weather occasionally, so this is always a good one to have.

    • Siri: I use the flashlight function on my phone at night. Apple makes it practically impossible to access the flashlight quickly, but Siri can. So, I just say, “Hey, Siri, turn on the flashlight,” and she does, and when I’m done, I say “Hey Siri, turn off the flashlight” and she does. I’ve given her the Australian voice, just for fun. That’s pretty much all I use her for, at least for now.

I do everything with my phone except talk on it…

15 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: My Most Frequently Used Apps

  1. Impressive, John.

    Have you tried “Sky View Lite”? My grandson put it on my phone and I get a kick out of seeing all the constellations.

    I also have one called “Bullseye Target” that works with my camera when I’m on the shooting range. Helps a lot when firearm sights need a little tweaking.

    Stay safe!


  2. “Anything to keep me off Twitter and Facebook”…I hear you on that one! You have some good recommendations to help me do the same! I keep games off of my phone because I get so sucked into them that I stop doing other productive things. lol! I really love the Libby app. It connect you to your local library and allows you to check out books and read them with your Kindle app. I used to buy Kindle books through Amazon, but now I can save money on that!


    1. I used Overdrive when it first came out, and it worked OK, just nothing I really wanted to read. I’ll tell Mary, though; she’s the big reader…


  3. I use Facebook and Instagram more than anything else, but will also use WordPress to read and reply to comments on the go. I’ll have to check some of these out!



  4. Yes, my husband uses IMDb too but he just asks Siri, he doesn’t have the app. Maybe I should download it for him, although I think he likes talking to Siri. No candy crush? I use iTunes but don’t pay for Apple Music, although I’m considering getting iTunes Match so I can listen to all the songs I have on all my devices.


    1. The first thing Apple Music did was to load all my music into their cloud. I don’t know if Match is included with it though.

      I don’t use Siri except at night, in consideration of Mary, who thinks I’m a noisy bastard anyway…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I use IMDB the same way – I’m always asking who that actor is or what have they been in before. How did we manage before we had all this information in our pockets?


    1. My folks couldn’t afford an encyclopedia 50+ years ago. If we needed one, we had to use the one at school or hike the two miles to the library. Now there’s Wikipedia and a host of other information sites that I can get at for the cost of a connection. Of course, knowing my folks, I’d have to use the PC at school or the library…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I fondly remember my parents’ encyclopedia – I used to just sit and read. Once, I decided I wanted to ‘write’ a book about animals and spent ages copying the text into a notebook in my best handwriting.


        1. I had a cousin who read the entire World Book encyclopedia in the bathroom. (Not all at one time, of course.) Everyone thought he was nuts, but he learned a lot that way.

          I’ve heard you can learn a lot about writing by copying passages out of books like that. You’re probably as good as you are now because you did that.

          Liked by 1 person

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