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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 October 16, 2019

                11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

                Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

                Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

                In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

                1. ScheduleOnce

                  ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

                  ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

                  ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

                  Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

                  Available on Web

                  2. Calendly

                    Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

                    You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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                    Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

                    3. Assistant.to

                      For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

                      From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

                      While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

                      Available on Web

                      4. Acuityscheduling

                        Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

                        It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

                        Available on Web | iOS | Android

                        5. Pick

                          Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                          At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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                          Available on Web

                          6. X.ai

                            For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                            This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                            Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                            Available on Web

                            7. YouCanBook.me

                              is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                              They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                              Available on Web

                              8. Doodle

                                Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                                It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                                You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                                While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                                Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                9. WhenAvailable

                                  WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                                  Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                                  Available on Web

                                  10. Rally

                                    Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                                    Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                                    Available on Web

                                    11. NeedtoMeet

                                      Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                                      NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                                      While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                                      Available on Web

                                      Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                                      In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                                      To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                                      Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                                      A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                                      Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                                      If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                                      Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                                      With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                                      The Bottom Line

                                      Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                                      Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                                      Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                                      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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