It’s a fair assessment to say we’re rather app obsessed. The apps that we create tend to have a purpose and fulfil very specific functions to help users do what they need to do, when they need to do it.
The ability to get stuff done is one of the elements that drives us as a company. In the past, we’ve talked about the apps we have on our home screens, but which apps do we find the most useful?
Some of the team here share their thoughts:
Director of Partner Relations, JP Luchetti:
“For me, it doesn’t get more personal than IGNANT
. It’s the app for a design, art, photography and architecture blog that is so much better than the website. It features offline capabilities and a simply UI that relays the quality of the content in the app. It’s just an app that makes me smile.
Despite the fact that the app hasn’t been updated since 2012, it still looks modern and fresh – it personifies good design.”
Project Director, Louise Sturgess:
“I wake up to The Met Office
. It’s still the most accurate weather app and provides all the information I need to know, such as whether I’ll need an umbrella.
When I’m driving, I’ll use either Google Maps
or Apple Maps
for directions. The decision between the two comes down to whether I have the address or not. Despite the initial issues with Apple Maps, it’s actually really good for directions and automatically change to walking directions when you get out of the car.
From a productivity perspective, I’ll use Google Drive
as quite a lot of the documents I work on are stored there and it’s just really simple to use.”
Head of iOS, Olly Berry:
“It would be nice if buses and trains ran on time in Bristol, but they don’t. Both TheTrainLine
provide real-time tracking, so I always know if my transport is going to show up on time, or if I can spend another few minutes doing whatever I’m doing. Both apps also have good journey planning features, route maps etc which are really useful when I’m travelling to parts of the area I’m not 100% familiar with.”
Head of technology, Ben Reed:
“I created Gretel GPX
as a way of tagging the location of pictures I take with my DSLR camera. This came about through a personal frustration I had with not being able to remember exactly where certain pictures were taken. Gretel allows photographers to record their location wherever they are, then link this location data up with photos taken on their DSLR or point-and-shoot camera. It means photographers can keep a track of where they’ve taken their photographs.
For transport, I use Waze
, which recently got acquired by Google. Waze offers decent free sat nav, with live traffic reports. It’s good, but the gamification element can get tiresome after a while. For note taking, I use Byword
. It’s a Markdown editor that can easily convert into HTML, PDF or Word. If you can get to grips with Markdown then creating HTML for the web is uber simple!
At home, I use Plex Media Server
with Chromecast for streaming movies and music around the house. It makes for a pretty good setup.”
iOS developer Jonathan Gwilliams:
“I do a lot of baking so, having a voice-activated timer when your fingers are covered in goo is extremely useful. Safari and Siri are also extremely useful for shopping and getting instant reviews of movies, computer games and other stuff.”
CEO, Mark Mason:
, isn’t the prettiest app in the world, but it is a must have for going ballooning. It brings in data from a number of different weather sources so is really accurate and helps you know when it’s safe to go up.”
PR manager, Robert Haslam:
is how I have found out about 90% of the biggest world news over the past year ever since they introduced push notifications. I don’t go into the app a lot, but do rely on the notifications a lot.
app is a great way to access a huge repository of free content, it means you can just listen when walking or on the tube to some absolute gems.
is a really good app for writing as it lets you focus on one sentence at a time without distraction.
For walking around London, I actually find Apple Maps to be more useful, though will get an address from Google Maps for safety! Last year I tried it again, put on my headphones, some music and put my phone in my pocket. It was really liberating not to have to keep on checking I was going the right way, it also meant I could take in more of the surroundings by looking up, not down.”
Hemel Dave, mobile user interface designer
“CityMapper is simply the most useful app I have used. I used it religiously in Berlin to get around, and every time I’m in London. The ability to save places is great! I don’t even have to worry about drunk typing where I want to go, or work out how to get home.
A great example of an app doing one thing, but excelling at that one thing is WeTransfer. It makes transferring files super quick, and super easy. Pretty useful when you’re a designer!
I’m constantly writing to do lists and Clear is by far my favourite. It’s easy to use and uses gesture based controls. It also has a lovely, colourful UI.”
For iOS developer, Tom Guy:
“Whatever I’m doing, I’m using Spotify
. The ability to stream all the music I want, and save songs offline for when abroad makes it a really good app.”
Project manager Tom Barbour:
“I use Things
to stay organised. It’s a task manager with an easy to use interface. At £6.99, it’s pretty cheap for what it does. It means I can organise tasks into projects and view what I need to do per day, or over the course of a week. As it syncs across devices via the cloud, it’s always kept up-to-date.
As someone who is pretty into sports, I use SportsYapper
quite a lot to stay up-to-date with what’s going on. You can choose the feeds you want to subscribe to and just get the news you want. It still feels like its in the early days as there aren’t a huge number of feeds, but you can see the potential, and it has a nice UI and side menu. I love a good side menu.”
Managing Director London, Sarah Weller:
is an example of an app that is just so powerful. I do a lot of presentations to clients and at events, sometimes with short notice. Being able to just work from my iPad Mini on the train, to make updates to presentations is a life saver. The fact that I can also connect it up to a projector or external monitor and present, whilst using my phone as a remote control, is really cool.
I would struggle to get to meetings without CityMapper
. Ever since I was shown it, I became addicted. It’s just so easy to get a glance of the available routes and decide which ones to use. I’d literally be lost without it.
This will sound a bit corny, but there’s an app called Couple
which I use to keep in touch with my husband. It’s like a hyper personal version of WhatsApp where you can just send messages, pictures, drawings and images to your other half. That’s probably the most personal app I use.”