Freshly Squeezed Reviews: Singular Apps

Jan 7, 2015 | Reviews | 0 comments

This month, I take a page out of Don’s playbook and review several iOS apps that do one thing and one thing alone. It may be useful, it may be revealing or merely a complete waste of my time (in a good way).
Every now and again, do you find yourself rummaging through your iPhone, stumble across an app that you don’t immediately recognize and wonder what you downloaded it for? Or do you have a app that you rely upon so regularly that you take for granted an astounding feature that it has (to paraphrase Steve Jobs: I didn’t know that I needed that!). You have never really appreciated that singular app until you sit down, break down what function that it performs for you and how it saves you a ton of aggravation.
Today, I want to look at several apps that I found in my pile of iOS apps that I’m learning to really appreciate.
Wegman’s (iOS; free) – Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is a family-owned U.S. regional supermarket chain headquartered in near Rochesyter, NY. with 85 stores lin the mid-Atlantic and northeastern regions. Like many chain stores, it has its own app.
When creating your shopping list, you first type your search into the field and it finds if that product is sold by the store. If so, then you see the customer ratings, read a description of the product, see its vitals (i.e., sodium, cholesterol, et al.) and then place it into your list of items to purchase. You’re also treated to a running tally of what your purchase price will be at the register.
Now, this is where the genius part kicks in (mind you: this may be a function in other apps that I haven’t come across, so please feel free to call me any name you like, should that be the case).
You sync your app to the specific store that you’re shopping in. The app then will place the listed items in an order that routes you through the store without ever having to double back for any given item on your list! I’m not a fan of shopping, so to be able to find all of my items in the least amount of time possible and head home ASAP is a dream come true (yes, yes – I’m easily amused).
BuyPartisan (iOS; Free) – This is another shopping app but with a political bent.
Many people that I know (and from time to time myself) wish not to buy products from companies who plow their profits back into causes or politicians that they are against. This app helps you to easily achieve that goal.
All you do is simply point the camera of your iPhone at an item’s barcode and click. You are then presented with the company’s political leaning – conservative, progressive, what-have-you. You are also provided a list of politicians that the company has contributed to and how much thrown into their coffers. You’re also provided with a list of political and/or social groups that the company belongs to and donates to.
So, if you are concerned as to how your purchasing dollar is going to be used politically, this is a quick and painless way to quickly arm yourself with the information that you need.
John Lennon: The Bermuda Tapes ($4.99) – “Hi. My name is Frank. And I’m a Beatle-aholic. It’s been twelve minutes since I’ve listened to my last Beatle song or tune somehow connected to The Beatles.”
I stumbled across this app about the genesis of John Lennon’s very last album, Double Fantasy. This is a fascinating journal of Lennon’s time spent in Bermuda, leading up to the recording of the “Double Fantasy” album. A must for any Lennon or Beatles fan.
Clockwork Brain (iOS: regular – free/premium – $2.99) – ‘If you don’t use it, lose it.’ There are many valuable apps out there for exercising your gray matter. During my stint in America’s health system, I tended to watch too much television and engage in too little mental stimulation. I used several apps that I used to try to keep myself mentally sharp (well … as sharp as I can be) but I had a physical therapist recommended this app specifically.
Writing and researching this article was quite a bit of fun. It was the equivalent of rooting through my electronic attic and stumbling across some over looked treasures.
To paraphrase the old advertising phrase – “What do you have in your iPhone?”
©2015 Frank Petrie


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