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24 Ways to Supercharge Your iPhone’s Native Apps

24 Ways to Supercharge Your iPhone’s Native Apps

The iPhone is considered one of the most fool-proof gadgets out there on the market. While there are always cool, fun, and amazing secrets to unlock as you begin using your iPhone—like zooming in, the multitask tool, and more—there is always a way to increase the quality of your iPhone through the use of applications. Aside from applications that extend the applications that we like, we rarely think about applications that replace those which are already there. Today, we’ll take a look at those applications and how you can implement them on your iPhone.

Calendar and Reminders

wunderlist

    The calendars and reminders application is a great program on the iPhone. For many users, it organizes the tasks that they have at hand: in terms of calendars, the iCloud feature allows them to view their events both on their Mac and through the iCloud website along with other iOS devices they may own. Reminders, while lacking as many rave reviews as Calendar, is still a good application that allows individuals to man their to-do list. Below are four applications that replace these two programs already on iPhone.

    Wunderlist: An improved to-do list that allows you to categorize them and even invite others to work on them with you.

    Clear: Simplified to-do list without all the muss and fuss.

    Things: GTD app for the serious players. If you are looking for a Reminders replacement, you have it here.

    Calvetica Calendar: Perfect Calendar replacement; keeps a similar iCal interface as well.

    Photos and Camera

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    camera +

      The camera program is very simple to use: simply press the camera button to take a photo, where it’s automatically added to the photo library. The options section allows you to do more features like panorama and HDR, however, these options are far from the advanced features that other cell phones can do, and much further from what we expect from digital cameras with equal megapixel quality. The photo viewer is quite barebones as well, usually with sharing features being it’s main attraction. Below, we have three applications that are great replacements.

      Camera+: Amazing filters available; perfect for Instagram importation.

      iPhoto: Take your photos to the next level with this Mac favorite for iOS.

      KitCam: Multi-shoot, Face detection, and even video recording improvements all in this one app.

      Apple Maps

      transit app

        Chances are you may have stumbled across this application simply because of this feature alone: Apple Maps is quite infamous for how horrible it is, but we shouldn’t be too harsh on the mapping application—it’s still growing. This doesn’t mean that we have to bear through the tough growing period; there are many alternatives while Apple Maps goes through its adolescence. Here are three applications that satisfy transit, mapping, and navigation.

        Google Maps: A long favorite prior to Apple’s severed ties with Google, now back and better than ever.

        The Transit App: Get transit schedules and even plan your trip around the city according to transit stops with this free app.

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        MotionX GPS Drive: A highly inexpensive ($0.99) navigation app that is high quality and just purely amazing.

        Weather

        weather+

          The weather application is okay, but many individuals say that it is plagued with inconsistent readings and is considered very inaccurate by individuals. Also, it’s as bare bones as most other applications on iPhone. Just recently were we able to see weather information by the hour, whereas we used to have to rely on weather information by the day. Below, we have three applications that replace the Weather app and extend the way that you consume weather news and information.

          Swackett: See weather conditions as outfits; know what to wear according to the weather.

          The Weather Channel: A weather classic—one of the best free weather apps on the App Store.

          Weather+ : High quality weather app, ability to see weather in a simple yet beautiful UI.

          AccuWeather for iPhone: High quality and with many advanced information including humidity information.

          Notes

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          awesome note

            If your only exposure to note-keeping on your iPhone is the notes app, then you are missing out on a ton. Third party applications are considered the norm in how you do mobile note-taking; very few people use the onboard notes app. To understand why, you must dive in and try out the various note-taking applications that are available for iPhone users today. Here are four note-taking applications for iOS users.

            Awesome Note : From diaries to other note-taking features, Awesome Notes does it well!

            Evernote: Make document changes and have them automatically apply to your desktop Evernote app.

            Scratch: Simple note-taking application.

            PlainText: Note-taking + Dropbox hook up = PlainText for iOS.

            Clock

            ihome

              The clock as a whole is a part of the application that you may not entirely care about; since the current time is available on the lock screen and the top of the iPhone’s screen. However, two instances where time becomes important are during travel, and as a way of waking you up in the morning. For most people, alarm clocks are a thing of the past, and mobile phones have effectively replaced them. We have four clock applications for you that replace the current native app in time-reading and alarms.

              Alarm Clock HD: The alarm clock that I use—adjust lighting, view your social media feed, and more in a battery-life friendly app.

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              iHome+Sleep: You don’t need an iHome to benefit from this app, which lets you wake up to your iTunes playlist.

              Alarm Clock Free: View weather, the day of the week, and more with this simply-designed app.

              Alarm Clock + : Enjoy wonderful themes, and even the ability to change between analog and digital.

              Contacts

              smartr

                Finally, the contacts feature is the one that many users are hoping to see more advanced upgrades from. Contacts currently allows you to hook it up with iCloud to view contacts on your Mac and to automatically apply it on other iOS devices. You can also hook your contacts up with Facebook and Twitter to have contact images and information automatically applied. Users look for more than what Contacts for iOS can offer, so below are four applications that satisfy these needs.

                Smartr for iOS: Create the ultimate contact list, with the ability to connect your networks and emails to have a central network, with the ability to view contact history as well.

                iContactsPro: Advanced contacts, groups, and more—even with advanced synchronization.

                Bump: Share files and contact information between iPhones with a simple bump.

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                Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                Joe’s Goals

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                  Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                  Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                  Daytum

                    Daytum

                    is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                    Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                    Excel or Numbers

                      If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                      What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                      Evernote

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                        I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                        Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                        Access or Bento

                          If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                          Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                          You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                          Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                          All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                          Conclusion

                          I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                          What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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