I wanted to do a quick round-up of some of my favourite apps from last year, so here are six apps that I found to be indispensable.
What more can I say about Workflow? It’s the app I rely upon the most and led me to create an entire website dedicated to it. In short, it’s an extremely versatile automation app for iOS, though to use it is to understand it – so if you’re not familiar with it, buy it now – you won’t be disappointed.
If you want more in-depth information on how powerful Workflow is, Stephen Millard has a great round-up of resources to get you started, and you can also check out my Workflow-related website, Workflow Directory, to browse workflows you can add and use.
If you’re needing to send any amount of money internationally and are loathed to use services like PayPal or pay exorbitant bank transfer fees, this is an app I highly recommend. Developed by the team that created Skype and backed by the likes of Sir Richard Branson, it’s essentially a money transfer service that makes it easy to send money abroad at a fraction of the cost that a bank would charge.
I’ve been using this as I prepare to relocate to the United States and it’s saved me a small fortune. Just register for the service, enter the details for the recipient and then choose an amount and currency to send.
The iOS app is very was one of the first apps to fully support Apply Pay, so you never even have to enter your payment details.
Having spent much of 2015 travelling in many different types of weather, I’ve tried a number of weather apps and found nothing better than CARROT Weather. It’s got enough information without being overwhelming, the app itself is very funny, but the best part is the Apple Watch complication.
The app’s interface can be a little frustrating, mostly because there’s really nothing to indicate which way you should swipe or what to tap1, but these are small complaints in an app that is great to use and adds value to using an Apple Watch.
2Do feels as polished as Things and as powerful as Omnifocus, without seeming to be overly complex. I use this on my Mac and both my iOS devices and can’t imagine how I’d get anything done without it.
I’ve used a few different content blockers since they’ve been available, yet I always come back to 1Blocker. Its built-in rules for ads, trackers widgets and comments are great but what makes this content blocker shine is how configurable it is. You can create your own rules to block specific URL patterns and page elements, and even create custom blocker packages on their website.
A fantastic little RSS reader that has been designed exclusively for use with Feed Wrangler, and to provide support for all of it’s features. Unlike most RSS readers that can only view Smart Streams4 that you’ve created, Sidetrack lets you create and modify them, as well as add new subscriptions to your account.
A great feature of the app is “Smart Reading”, which simply automates the swiping of one article to the next every second or two (you specify how long), until you come across an article you’re interested and tap the screen to stop and read.
I reviewed this app back in June 2015 and it became my default RSS reader of choice on iOS. Over six months later, it’s still on my home screen.
I only just recently found out it has a weather map in the app, something I never spotted before. ↩
Things is a fantastic app, but I need to be able to set custom alerts at specific times of the day for some tasks, and the lack of this in Things meant it just didn’t suit my needs. ↩
I spent a little time with Wunderlist in between my transition between Things and 2Do, though a recurring bug that would sign me out whenever I launched the app – which meant I was constantly losing any kind of offline access to tasks and the apps are useless without being signed in. When you travel on the Tube to work every day, this is incredibly frustrating. ↩
Smart Streams are to RSS feeds as Smart Folders are to OS X and are the equivalent of folders in Feed Wrangler. You can use them in the traditional sense of having Smart Streams for collections of feeds, but they’re really useful if you set them up to display articles that contain specific text. For example, you could have a Smart Stream that will include all articles that mention “iPad”. ↩