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Solebon LogoThere are over 350,000 apps on Apple’s App Store for iOS devices, and everyone has their favorites. Just like everyone else, I’ve got some apps that I find essential, useful, and just plain fun.  This post and the next couple will cover some of them.

In this post I’m going to cover the must-haves, the ones that I check several times a day.  For the sake of time, I’m going to forgo the standard pre-installed apps like Safari and the App Store itself.  Here they are, in no particular order:

 

 

 

Pulse Logo

Pulse News Reader

This app is fantastic.  The interface is sleek and intuitive, and it’s easy to customize the content with anything from RSS feeds of your favorite blogs to your Twitter or Facebook feeds.  I use this app all day.


Facebook LogoFacebook

It’s Facebook. Do I need to say anything else?

 

 

 

Weather Channel Logo

The Weather Channel

This one’s in the top row of my news folder on my iPhone.  I check it every morning and afternoon.

 

 

 

Tweetdeck LogoTweetDeck

There are many flavors of Twitter clients out there, but I like that this one allows me to easily create lists of people so I can separate people I know from people I don’t.  I’ve made some categories to make sorting through the sheer tonnage of posts a little easier.

 

 

Pandora LogoPandora

I love this app.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, you create a “station” on this music app based on an artist, song or genre that you like, and it finds a bunch of music that goes well with your choice.  It’s a great way to find new music, and best of all, it’s free. I can’t recommend this app highly enough.

 

ESPN Scorecenter LogoESPN Scorecenter

I admit it, I’m a sports guy.  Mostly NFL, but I’m a fan of all the local teams, and this app makes it easy to check the scores, standings and news related to your favorite teams across pro and collegiate sports.  Great app to have if you missed a a game and want to check out the final results, box score and analysis.

 

Fruit Ninja LogoFruit Ninja

I like games, but I have some criteria.  The games I like need to be quick, casual and simple.  I’ve got too much going on throughout the day to be able to invest any real time into a game on my phone.  I’ve got some of the popular big games on my phone, like Madden NFL and Civilization IV, but I simply don’t have the time to play them. Fruit Ninja separates itself because you can figure it out in less than 10 seconds, and it’s good addictive fun.  Fruit flies up in the air and you have to slice it with your finger before it falls.  End of story.  Fast, simple and fun.

 

Solebon LogoSolebon

Easily the best solitaire game in the app store.  Tons of games, simple, elegant artwork, and instructions that are pretty straight-forward on the games you haven’t played before. Great app when you have a couple of minutes to kill and don’t want to get wrapped up in anything.

 

 

Scramble Logo

Scramble

I’m a word game addict.  I have a folder on my iPhone dedicated just to word games.  The king of that folder is Scramble.  It’s concept is pretty much the same as Boggle, where you have a grid of letters and make as many words as you can by connecting adjacent letters.  I love it.  Another good game if you’ve got some time to kill. The only downside is that the dictionary they use is too big.  It’s pretty much a guarantee that there are words that you’ve never heard of, and some that you might even think are not words at all.  If you can get past the fact that you’ll never get 100% of the words, you’ll enjoy this game.

 

Dragon Dictation

This is a great speech-to-text tool.  Right from the built-in menu you can send your note directly to Twitter, Facebook or the email app.  You can also copy it with one tap for pasting into the app of your choice.  So if you haven’t quite got the knack of typing on the on-screen keyboard, or if you don’t want to take the time to type one-handed, you can let Dragon Dictation do all the work for you.

So that’s it. Share your favorite apps in the comments.

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This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while now.  Where’s all the grownup music? If you go back 15 or so years, there were popular groups whose music was played on MTV and on popular radio stations whose demographic was almost completely adults.  Acts like Genesis, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and others were writing good, new music.  They weren’t rehashing old styles, they were creating their own sound.

I’m over thirty, and I feel like the music scene is flooded with Lady Gaga’s brand of vapid, useless music.  All teen angst, all the time.  I’d like to assure you that I’m not looking for a resurgence of Cristopher Cross or REO Speedwagon, but where’s the good music for adults?

One argument I’ve heard is that the music industry has become super-segmented, like the television industry.  There are 32 flavors of an individual genre now, when we used to use broad categories.  Now there’s Alt-Rock, Alt-Pop and Alt-Punk when it used to just be Alternative.  That segmentation is causing radio stations to become more narrow in their selection, which in turn is pushing any adult-oriented music to the fringes.  Interesting thought.

Another argument is that the music industry sees the High School/College demographic as being the most lucrative, and are constantly cranking out bands and music to appease their fickle taste.  Musicians aren’t given as much of an opportunity to grow and develop their own sound.

I’ve been assured that Adult Music is still out there, if I can just go find it.  Here’s the problem though:  I don’t have time to look for it.  I’m over thirty.  I have two kids, work full-time, have a house.  You know, the whole adult thing.  Adults need radio stations to be playing adult music so they can be exposed to it and then go buy the albums.

Vive la Steely Dan!

About Me

First off, I try to live my life in a way that pleases God. I'm active in my church, I love my wife and kids, I'm a gadget guy that loves all sorts of cool tech stuff, and I'm an art buff that knows just enough to sound like I know what I'm talking about. I'm also a two-and-a-half sport guy, following the Patriots and Red Sox, with half an eye on the Celtics.

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