Previously, I raved about the five iPhone apps I simply can’t imagine my life without. Since then, I’ve expanded my horizons and tried out some new apps that have made my life infinitely easier, more fun, and more educational.
If you’re like me and follow a lot of websites and blogs, I highly recommend using a news reader to aggregate everything into one place. For a long time, I used Google Reader, but when Google decided it wasn’t worth the trouble anymore, many of us were left without our favorite feed reader. I searched high and low for a reader that could replace it, but only one had the function that no other readers had: the simple function to “Mark as Read Older Than One Day.” Feedly was that news reader. Since then, I have installed the feedly app onto my iPhone and have enjoyed having all of my articles in one place. This has been especially useful for keeping up with tumblr. Those people post like the place is burning down!
Ah, HippoRemote Lite, how did I ever live without you? For the past six months, I’ve mourned the loss of my wireless mouse, which I had for many years. The track pad on my laptop works just fine, but as someone who loves connecting my laptop to my TV to watch videos, the ability to control my laptop from across the room using my mouse was fantastic. Without the cash on hand to replace it, I resigned myself to having to cross the room and fiddle with the controls every time I wanted to pause what I watched. But, no more! HippoRemote Lite uses the internet to remotely connect to your computer and act as both a wireless mouse and a wireless keyboard, and all for free! I’ve hardly left my couch since I installed it, and I don’t think I will any time soon.
3. Jewel Mania
Everyone has that time-wasting, simple game app on their phone that eats up chunks of our lives that we’ll never, ever get back. For me, that game is Jewel Mania. Matching jewels has never been so addicting. When I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed with my responsibilities as a grad student and an adult in general, I love to zone out with games that don’t require much skill and don’t have much of a narrative of which to speak. The great thing about this game is that you only get five tries to win a level and, once they’re gone, you have to wait another five hours to try again or else purchase new tries. I’m a broke-ass cheapskate, so that helps curb my time-wasting. But, I’ve definitely gone 20 minutes a pop when I felt sure that I could reach the next level.
The Oneida language, my Indigenous language, is classified by the United Nations as “critically endangered” on all Oneida reservations. This means that “the youngest speakers are grandparents and older, and they speak the language partially and infrequently.” We also recently lost one of our last first language Oneida speakers in Wisconsin, a wonderful elder whose contributions to language documentation remain unmatched. With that in mind, the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin, from which I hail, has undertaken a multipronged approach to language documentation and revitalization, including the use of new technologies. They recently developed this language app (as have many other Tribes) to help teach or reinforce language lessons. Right now, it mostly contains basic phrases, but it’s nice for me to just hear the language and have a chance to brush up on my introductions. Since my thesis and, hopefully, doctoral work will focus on Oneida language revitalization, it’s also given me ideas on where we can go from here.
I don’t talk in my sleep, but I have woken myself up with my own snoring on occasion. So, I began to wonder just how loudly and how often I snore and if I could use my iPhone to record myself snoring. Using the voice recorder that comes with the iPhone wouldn’t work because I would just have an eight hour recording, likely filled with mostly silence that would take up a lot of precious space on my phone. But, after Googling around, I came across the Sleep Talk Recorder for only $0.99. Once you hit record on Sleep Talk, it only records sounds that you make; otherwise, it records nothing. You can fiddle around with the sensitivity of the mic (I picked low sensitivity since I keep a fan running all night), and then you’re set to go. I found that in the early morning hours, my room sounds not unlike a lumber mill.
Readers, what smartphone apps are your favorites?