As we bid many of our contributors farewell and welcome a new group of writers with the beginning of the semester, we decided to ask our writers, What's on Your Phone?
What are the apps you use every day and why do you like them?
Twitter - I am able to stay up to date on what the arts and tech industries are doing in their own words.
Mashable - It brings a variety of news topics/articles into one place.
Rdio - This is my music app. I recently converted over from Spotify and so far am loving this new one :).
GrubHub - Not exactly every day, but might as well be. This is how i order delicious food to my house when i'm being lazy and am craving tikka masala.
Twitter - This is how I get quick updates on what's going on in the area, as well as the latest drama in the life of my 17-year-old sister.
Google Drive - You can't get through grad school group projects without a heavy reliance on your Google Drive.
RunKeeper - Also not exactly every day, although I wish it was. This is how i keep track of my exercise and stay motivated.
Snapchat - It's a quick and funny way to stay in touch with my friends back hom in Florida, without having full-length conversations that we don't have time for.
Kristen Sorek West
Instagram - I follow some arts organizations, bakeries, and fashion bloggers, as well as my friends. I like it because I love arts, fashion, and desserts, and I love to see what photos people post about these topics. i also use it a lot because my friends are on it and I can learn about their lives.
Starbucks - The overall design looks good, and it is extremely handy because you don't have to reach for your wallet when getting a drink, as you can just pay with the app! Also there are perks for becoming a member, such as free drinks. I love how the special offers surprise me!
Sleep Time - It is an alarm clock that wakes you up based on your sleep cycles, so that you wake up more naturally. It also records your sleep cycles and every morning you can see how you slept last night.
Tiramisu - I use it to track buses to get home. It provides real time prediction so it is very helpful.
Is there an app you think developers should be working on?
Daniel Fonner - An app to track public transit in Pittsburgh real time. [Editor note, as of the most recent update, Tiramisu has begun to pull Port Authority data].
Jackie Shimshoni - Unfortunately I am an admitted technophobe, so the idea of spending even more time with my phone is not my favorite. But I love education, and I think that the more apps developers can make to make learning and art into games that are truly engaging for kids who do love their phones the better!
Kristen Sorek West - An app that can take my eye prescription.
Aoni Wang - Tiramisu needs to be worked on! The interface is horrible and the ads are annoying.
Is there an app which surprised you with its usefulness?
Daniel Fonner - Google Drive, I can view documents that I saved on my computer without having to sync my phone.
Jackie Shimshoni - Uber, this app saved me in Los Angeles; after waiting a half hour for a cab I used this thing and got a ride within 3 minutes.
Kristen Sorek West - Venmo, it caters to those on the go, integrates familiar social cues, like short message and emoji, and a social network (I can see who is hanging out with who and what they are doing).
Aoni Wang - Starbucks! Paying with your cell phone is so easy! Because of the convenience, I found that I have been buying more Starbucks since i started using the app.
If you could recommend an app for every arts manager, what would it be?
Daniel Fonner - Google Drive again. For organization the ease of use and the ability to stay up to date regarding changes in the organization's documents is crucial and this app helps tremendously to keep everyone on the same page.
Jackie Shimshoni - Slack. This was an app that my most recent job used for internal communications and it was fantastic. it's like texting, but you can also have group conversations. it kept work conversations out of email and in a central location, but at the same time made it so you could go back and search anything you needed.
Kristen Sorek West - NPR and Twitter. i know they are pretty run-of-the-mill, but there is so much happening that I like to find ways to isolate themes of content so I can check in easily. NPR's app is easy to use and high quality. Because it is a news station their content is extremely thematically organized. Twitter's 'Lists' function is amazing. Users have to put work into cultivating and refining lists, as with any collection of content, but the reward is an easy and quick review of what is interesting to that user at that moment in time. Lists cut the noise.
My other recommendation could very well be for all managers, because it's a communication app, but What's App is great. I was introduced to What's App last semester for a team project and it really helped facilitate group conversations outside of the office/classroom.
Aoni Wang - Instagram! You could learn about what is popular, what kinds of photos get the most "likes," and how some people and organizations are holding promotions/campaigns on this platform. it is important to observe and learn from others, and also doesn't hurt to look at beautiful photos all day.