I mainly use my smartphone for email, Twitter, messaging, productivity (note taking apps, calendar), Instagram and taking photos. I rarely watch videos on my smartphone or play games. For the record, I do not watch TV at home but I do watch movies on my laptop. Also, I rarely use many voice minutes on my monthly giffgaff Goodybag but instead I use messaging apps or VOIP apps to make phone calls in the UK and abroad.
Twitter – Plume, Official Twitter App and Hootsuite:
Twitter is my online addiction more than any other app. I actually have 2 Twitter accounts so I use multiple Twitter clients. My original Twitter account covers all of my interests and follows my personal friends. My 2nd Twitter account is heavily tech-focused. I used to use TweetDeck for my main Twitter account before Twitter bought it and stopped supporting it months later.
Plume (which runs my tech focused Twitter account) has become my favourite Twitter client because when you refresh your Twitter feed, it stores all of the feed. This compares to the official Twitter app and Hootsuite app (which run my main Twitter account) which only refresh a few hours of tweets at a time (as opposed to all unread tweets). This proves problematic when taking the London Underground and you are unable to refresh your Twitter feed due to the lack of an internet connection.
Productivity – Google Keep vs Evernote:
I used to spend more time using Evernote as my primary note taking app but I have found Google Keep, better for short ‘to do’ lists. Evernote is superior for longer, more complex notes and offers more functionality but I find Google Keep is more convenient for short ‘tick the box when completed’ tasks, lists or reminders. I like both apps but sometimes simplicity is better than more functionality.
I was definitely late to the Instagram game but I love this app. I enjoy following friends as well as various celebrities. As a social network, I definitely like Instagram over Facebook (note: Facebook has acquired both Instagram and Whatsaspp in the last few years) as it is less polluted by ads and rubbish posts from people you do not know very well.
Messaging – WeChat and Whatsapp:
My brother lives in Shanghai, China where most Western internet technologies are blocked, so I communicate with him using the leading Chinese messaging app WeChat. In my opinion, WeChat is superior to WhatsApp in terms of functionality, and when WhatsApp adds new features, it is usually copying what China’s WeChat and Japan’s LINE already have. The WeChat app is available for free in many languages worldwide.
WhatsApp is another ‘must have’ app as basically everyone is on it. I find that I rely on messaging apps to talk to my friends when I am at home. My flat in London often has weak mobile voice quality however, I have fibre broadband so calling over WiFi using WhatsApp or WeChat provides a higher quality voice call compared to mobile voice.
Email – Gmail and Yahoo!:
Email is a tail of 2 apps. One is consistently good (Gmail) while one consistently is buggy (Yahoo Mail). I like having 2 separate email clients but Yahoo Mail can be frustrating as it can be quite unreliable at critical times. I use Gmail as my ‘clean’ email client (no junk mail, no mailing lists, with a focus on good friends and family) while Yahoo is my ‘bulk’ email client (junk mail, mailing lists and everyone else).
I plan to experiment in the future with using a 3rd party email client to potentially replace my Yahoo Mail app. However, I do not want to have a single email client that combines both my Gmail and Yahoo Mail messages. I prefer to have 2 separate email clients. So far I have yet to hear of a 3rd party email client that is easy to use, well built and has enough functionality to run my large, bulky Yahoo Mail account with loads of folders.
Feedback From The giffgaff Community:
Which apps do you use day in and day out and personally swear by? Do you have any personal recommendations for Twitter clients, messaging apps, productivity apps or email apps? What functionality do you primarily use your smartphone for?