My Most Used Apps (Feb 2016)

My Most Used Apps (Feb 2016)

By |2016-03-01T13:57:36+00:00Feb 29th, 2016|

I’m a huge fan of really polished apps. I know, I know… who isn’t, right? Ever since I had a Palm Treo—arguably one of the very first smartphones—I’ve come to rely on productivity apps to help me navigate my life. They help me know where I need to be, when I need to get there and what I need to do, as well as provide a myriad data points. So, I went through a bit of a productivity app shuffle on my iPhone yesterday morning, which serves as the impetus for this video I recorded. It’s certainly a departure from the videos I usually create and I’m interested to see how it jives with all of you. Let me know what you think and let me know what your must-have apps are in the comments below!

My World of Apps


  1. Paul Ciura February 29, 2016 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Good stuff Brian. Keep these kind of videos coming.

    Love my Sonos. Best audio purchase I have ever made.

    Since my Sony A7II doesn’t have GPS, I use an app called GeotagPhotos on iOS to geotag my photos. I start the app at the beginning of my photo shoot, and stop it when done. I then export the GPS data via email from the app (you can export to Dropbox too). Next I import those coordinates to Lighroom using Map module > Import Track File option and geotag the photos that way. Little bit of work, but does the job.

  2. David Kinnear March 3, 2016 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Brian: Thanks for the insights. I am going to check out a few of your apps.

    I get a lot of use from gps4cam Pro, which creates a geolog while I am photographing. At the end of my photography session, gps4cam Pro generates a QR code, which I photograph. (The trick is remembering to do this.) When I bring the photo files into my computer, I use software (HoudaGeo, in my case) to write the latitude and longitude to each photo file. Of course, the clock in the camera must be set to the right time. Geocoding my photo files is a huge help when I want to remember just where I got each image.

    I also have apps from four different airlines and Apple Wallet, both of which are very helpful when I travel.

  3. John Pierce March 3, 2016 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    I too use gps4cam and use it when I import into Lightroom. Please in one of your future videos could you go through the Apps in your App folder. Thanks for the details, I found it very useful.

  4. Chris Biele March 4, 2016 at 4:08 am - Reply

    Great stuff. Looks so tidy!

    I didn’t see it in your catch all folder, but I’m sure you’ve heard of The Photographer’s Ephemeris. I use this on all my outdoor shoots when position of the sun or moon is critical. I’m really just a basic user of it though, as it’s an immensely intricate app.

    • Brian Matiash March 7, 2016 at 3:33 pm - Reply

      Hey Chris, you are correct. I certainly do use TPE along with PhotoPills. They’re both in my “Apps” folder. I’ll put together another video of some of my most used apps from that catch all folder soon.

      • Chris Biele March 11, 2016 at 12:57 pm - Reply

        Never heard of PhotoPills. Looks like a really full featured app.

  5. Mike March 7, 2016 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    I don’t get your aversion to using multiple pages on your phone, but then you have an Apps folder with 10 pages you need to scroll through. You are adding clicks and swipes for no good reason that I can think of. To get to an app in your method, you need to click into the Apps folder, then swipe to find the page where the apps is located. If you just had it on a second page, you have a much better chance of finding it quickly since the full size desktop shows many more icons. To me, the Apps folder is just a less efficient way to store your secondary apps versus a second page on your desktop.

    • Brian Matiash March 7, 2016 at 3:21 pm - Reply

      To be fair, it’s really six of one and half a dozen of the other in my case. While I prefer having all of my apps in a single folder (or up to the max amount that Apple allows you to nest in one folder), I still access 90% of my apps by swiping down from the home screen—which brings up the Spotlight search—and type in the first one or two characters of the app. The resulting hits are near instantaneous and has given me rapid access to any installed app.

      • Mike March 7, 2016 at 3:24 pm - Reply

        It’s just odd that you say “I never understood why people have 8 or 9 different screen” yet you have that many in a folder. So basically it’s the same thing, you have far more apps than fit on the home screen, so you throw them in a folder you need to scroll through versus swiping across desktops. I too use search, but I also use the second desktop for my “second most used batch of apps”. It’s faster to swipe, click vs swipe, type a few characters, click.

        • Brian Matiash March 7, 2016 at 3:28 pm - Reply

          In my mind, it is more of an OCD issue for me. I never meant to insinuate that one way is “more right” than another. I just know what my preferences and aversions are. Nothing more, nothing less. :)

          • Mike March 7, 2016 at 3:30 pm - Reply

            Fair enough Brian, I’m just pointing out that it may not be the most efficient ;) My OCD makes me distill things to as few actions as possible.

            • Brian Matiash March 7, 2016 at 3:32 pm - Reply

              All good! I’ll be the last person to claim that my own preferences are the most efficient. I just know that they’re “my own”. ;)

              BBBuuuuttttt – I’m always eager to hear how other people manage their devices, apps, workflows, etc.

  6. Liana Lehua April 13, 2016 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    Great post, Brian. Thanks.

    I know I’m late to the party here, but I love your single screen setup. My most used apps live on the home screen and in the dock, and I use 4 action titled folders to house the remainder of my apps. The folders are – Learn. Make. Play. Work.

    One app I love is Launcher. With Launcher, I can add app widgets to Notification Center. Like you I swipe down and search for apps more than I scroll through the folders, but I keep only a few apps here that I want to be able to activate from the lock screen – Google Authenticator, Settings, Timer+, and Wallet.

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