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SWON News: SWON Weekly

Smart Apps For Your Smartphone

Wednesday, September 17, 2014  
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
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Apple is releasing a new version of the iPhone’s operating system today, iOS8. To celebrate this (I guess?) several of my favorite iPhone apps have gone on sale.

1Password - Free (iOS)

1Password (available for the iPhone and Android) creates and stores passwords for you. Instead of trying to remember all your passwords, just memorize the one password that logs you into this app, and 1Password remembers the rest.

If you have an iPhone 5S (or have pre-ordered an iPhone 6), you can use the TouchID sensor to log in to 1Password without even entering the password. Put your thumb on the sensor and it logs you in. iOS8 also embeds 1Password into other apps, so you can use it in the Safari browser without even opening 1Password.

It looks like 1Password is actually free because of a mistake on Apple’s part, though this is difficult to confirm. Whether free or its normal $10 price, it’s incredibly useful.

Fantastical - $4.99

Fantastical is a calendar app that connects to any calendar that’s set up on your device, including Google, Outlook and iCloud calendars. Usually priced at $9.99, it’s $4.99 today.

When creating a new calendar entry in Fantastical, there’s no need to enter the day, time, location or other details into separate fields. Instead, the app uses natural language processing. Type in, “Lunch with Dad at Taco Plaza on Friday at noon,” and it creates an event on Friday from 12 to 1pm.

The app shows a monthly calendar and a list of upcoming events at once. Scroll through the list, and the calendar advances to the next month with the list. Connect multiple calendars and Fantastical color-codes them so you can tell them apart. Rotate your phone sideways to see a 5-day hour-by-hour view.

For an alternative, Calendars 5 ($6.99) is a calendar app that shares a lot of Fantastical’s features, including the natural language processing. I find it more difficult to navigate through events, but it has an obvious plus. When you type in the name of a location, like a restaurant, it retrieves nearby matches and adds the location and its address to the event.

If I look back, I use these apps every day I’m at work. An easy-to-use calendar and quick access to all my passwords helps me keep focused on other work, like writing final instructions for my Mapmaking session at Monday’s Summer Reading Program workshop.

Learn more about apps–and how to have a positive performance review–at the upcoming Staff Training Symposium

Early Bird pricing ends Friday! Plan now to join us at the Main Branch of the Boone County Public Library for a full day of sessions, including an hour-long break-out on smartphone apps, with Mary Chesnut, Library Informatics Professor at NKU.

Register today:

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