I’ve been pondering the range of possibilities the ubiquitous app store holds, and also thinking that after two years of Droid ownership I’m probably not optimizing my phone as best I could. Checking email, chatting, navigation and searching the web came naturally, but other tasks like using the calendar for scheduling, downloading a budgeting app, and taking notes took a lot of getting used to. I still haven’t branched out to things like QR codes yet.
As a librarian and fan of new technologies I should be ashamed to say I have never scanned a QR code, but I’m not sold on the promise of instant access and relevant information. I find myself drawing a parallel to the zoo key I got when I was a kid:
I remember being highly entertained by the technology, which to a young kid seemed mysterious – put the zoo key in a slot and the talking storybook told you about the animal exhibit (and if there were other kids you had to run or they’d get to the storybook first). The product, on the other hand, was a somewhat clunky form of information dissemination – a slow-talking voice that held you captive waiting for it to finish. QR codes seem to be the same kind of clunky – most of the time I feel I can get information faster and better if I find it myself.
I will acknowledge that I may be close-minded on the topic though, and in that light I’d like to ask for suggestions and tips from other smartphone users on which apps make the most of the technology we carry in our pockets all day. Here are my favorites:
5 Favorite/Most Used Apps
- EEBA (Easy Envelope Budget Aid) – user-friendly, customizable budgeting on the go
- Amazon PriceCheck – scan, photograph or speak the name of a product to price-match
- US Bank – so nice to pull up account info and transfer funds away from the computer
- Out of Milk – save multiple shopping and to-do lists, check items off as you go
- Flashlight – nothing fancy, no silly colors or flickering lighters, just a really bright white screen
5 Favorites from a Librarian’s Perspective
- Good Reads – I ‘cataloged’ all my books so I can see whether I already own something
- Amazon Kindle – sign in to your Kindle account from your phone, auto-syncs new items
- Dictionary – dictionary & thesaurus
- Google Reader – I’d be lost and bored without the ability to check my RSS feeds
- Sticky Note Widget – I keep short notes on things I hear and ideas for later
What are yours?