Desiring Life

Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?

Apps of the Week

I used to relate with Ponyboy from S.E. Hinton’s classic novel every time I walked by an Apple store.  I was an outsider looking in.  All those shiny screens.  Little ones, big ones, and thin ones, too.  Walking by the Apple store in Green Hills created enough jealousy.  Then I walked past the Fifth Avenue store in New York City.  It rises out of the ground like the Palace of Versailles.  The clear window walls invite the masses to look in, but only the bourgeoisie may use the door.

Then last June I became a member of the elite.  I finally belonged.  I could legally walk up to the Genius Bar without Les Miserables’s chain gang chorus of “Look Down!” berating me.  Better yet, I could now visit the App Store on iTunes with more purpose than fantasizing.  But soon I realized that sub-grouping exists within the ruling class: those that play with the free Apps and the big dogs that buy the cooler Apps.  Well, from someone on the inside of the lower tier of the Apple Mansion, here are two free Apps that have changed the way I use my iPhone/iPad.

Pulse News- I will never go through the exhausting exercise of opening and closing web pages again to read news and blogs.  Pulse brings everything that I regularly read into one spot.  I can personalize my page to show the latest articles, and it refreshes every time I open the App.  I keep up with all of the blogs that I follow on one page, with the posts that I’ve already read dimmed.  In less than ten minutes this morning, I found out about Israel’s Prime Minister, a friend’s baby update, and that my Minnesota Twins’ season is dead.  They have no pulse.  Do you?

HeyTell – If you’re addicted to texting while driving and you’ve tried the patch but it’s just not working, you need this App.  HeyTell sends voice “text messages”, which gives you two options for communication.  When the App is open on both ends, you essentially communicate with a push-to-talk that sends your message instantly, making your phone a walkie-talkie.  When your recipient’s App is closed, your messages become “voice” text messages that await them whenever they pick up their phone.  Hey Tell is especially helpful to people like me whose office is comparable to a bomb shelter that no explosion or cell phone tower signal could penetrate.  It’s also available for Android users.  Hey, tell your friends.

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