10 best free apps of 2014

To sign off for the year I thought I'd take a more orthodox approach and write a post on the apps which I have either found useful or have enjoyed using this year. In digital marketing it really helps to have a good toolkit to enable the quick and easy creation/digestion of content and a smartphone is an essential piece of kit. I frequently try out new apps as recommended by friends or blogs but very few warrant pride of place on my home screen - here are my top 10 for 2014 (in no particular order):

Overcast

It's a constant task to keep up with the latest trends and developments in digital marketing and one way I've found works well is to subscribe to the Digital Marketing Podcast. This is a fortnightly show that I can listen to on the way to and from work in the car. By far the best podcast app I've found to do this is Overcast. There are tons of features such as smart sound to remove silences, voice boost to improve the quality of the recordings and

Hyperlapse

My favourite social media app is Instagram. No question. Therefore anything released to complement it was always going to be worth checking out. Where Hyperlapse is great is that it uses the phone's native camera to record great time lapse videos. The built in image stabilization helps shoot remarkably smooth and steady videos. It's not really a standalone app but compliments the main app nicely and we've already used it to give an overview of our Freshers Fayre or our new building at Bedford. Just make sure you have plenty of storage space on your phone as for it to look any good you need to be filming at least a 5min video!

Domainr 

Having just setup a short URL this little app was essential in our search and is a recent addition to this list. Available in English, this free domain search app allows you to search for top-level domestic and international domain names. It also includes the capability to share search results by email. This feature was particularly useful in compiling a list of potential URLs for us all to vote on. Domainr not only shows if a domain is available, it tells you if it is possible to register an available domain name and provides links to registrars. It also includes permalinks for established URLs to include as links to your personal blog and website.

Dropbox

This app is like a trusty old friend! It's a fantastic way to upload and access any file from any device at any time. Where it comes in particularly handy is in completely removing the need for any external storage devices. We have a business account which means enhanced features and some brilliant opportunities for collaboration. One feature which came in particularly handy this year was the ability to restore deleted files as with Dropbox nothing is ever truly deleted. I can't imagine the size of the server room needed to house that amount of data!

Flow for Instagram 

Yet another Instagram related app (I told you it was my favourite!) this one is iPad specific. I already spend way too much time on my phone and in front of a computer and scrolling through an Instagram feed one picture at a time can take quite a while, especially if there are an abundance of not so great photos for the day. With Flow I'm able to power through the days Instagram feed in a matter of minutes if I choose to. This is due to Flow utilising the iPads larger screen size to display more pictures at a time - a lot more. There's also great features for discovering interesting Instagrammers to follow.

LinkedIn

Whilst having a profile on Linkedin is almost essential for any digital marketer the app itself was pretty clunky for a very long time. Having it on my phone was sort of a necessary evil. However, in the past year there have been some massive improvements meaning that this is now the one app for which I have notifications turned on. The newsfeed has been vastly improved with blog posts and updates being very easy to see and you can also update your profile from within the app. The thumbnails of those who have viewed your profile recently are now right at the top. This is a great little feature to see who has been snooping at your skillset!

Mashable

This is THE app for keeping up to date with the latest news on technology, apps, mobile information, social networking and general internet-related news. The sheer amount and quality of the information makes it absolutely essential for keeping up to date. There's also a fair amount of amusing stories on there as well which demonstrates the power of both digital and social media in today's business environment. For this alone it is the most powerful news app out there with the full ability to share any articles. The prefect way to while away a long train journey (battery permitting!)

Google Maps

An old one but a good one. This has come on massively since it first launched and considering it is free cannot be bettered. In the past I had an awful experience with the much lambasted Apple maps with it telling me to make a 3-point turn on the motorway and trying to get me to go left into a hedge! This app has never let me down and the latest update which shows the road as red when there is traffic is a great feature. it also offers alternative routes and displays how much longer/shorter it will take in case you decide to go the scenic route. I really do now have no excuse to ever be late.

Barclays mobile banking

A bit of a dull one but it really does make my life so much easier! There's no better way to either check your balance or transfer money directly from the comfort of your own sofa. Although I've not used any other banking apps I'm reliably informed that this one is one of the best. Installing this also meant I could get rid of my 1970's looking PINsentry reader!The latest update even allows me to use the app to take pictures of and upload secure financial documents to Barclays’ CloudIt cloud storage feature.

FIFA 15 Ultimate Team

A fun one to finish! With all of the app games out there this one really does take some beating. Although it has no way near the quality and depth of it's console counterparts it's a really slick version which allows the possibility to create your own team and fight it out with the best other players in the world online (I can't get past division 2!) I've chosen not to buy any coins to build a team the easy way but fight to earn points to buy the best players. After a hard days marketing this is a welcome diversion and the fact you're playing on an iPad stops you getting too carried away and wasting an entire evening due to violent hand cramp setting in after about five matches!

So there you have it - my first top ten list. I'll also be tweeting out my top ten people to follow in HE marketing so have a look at my Twitter feed to see that. All that remains is for me to publicly thank my team for another fantastic year of work. I have a feeling 2015 is going to be a big one with lots of positive changes all around... Happy Christmas!
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1 comment:

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