And we’re back, with a highly subjective list of my 15 favorite Android and iOS apps that I reviewed in 2012. The previous post listed the first five: AirDroid, Any.DO, Circa News, CloudOn, and Current Caller ID. What follows, in continuing alphabetical, are my next five favorites.
If you grow tired of typing all day, it might be time to invest in a speech recognition program. Dragon Dragon Naturally Speaking Premium Edition for Windows PCs or Dragon Dictate 3 for Macs are consistently the top-rated desktop speech recognition applications. (Both programs are $200 but are currently on “holiday sale” for $150.) Each has a cool twist: With the free Dragon Remote Microphone app, you can use your iPhone or Android smartphone as a wireless microphone over a Wi-Fi network for dictating text and commands. I tested it using Dragon Dictate 3 on a Mac and an iPhone 5 and it works beautifully. The free Dragon Recorder iOS app lets you make memo and other voice recordings anywhere, then have Dragon software on your computer transcribe the recording into text.
Long an iOS favorite, Flipboard made its Android debut this summer. Both apps are ideal for aggregating your favorite online-content sources, including major news sites as well as your social media networks, into one easy-to-browse, magazine-style format. The Android version still isn’t optimized for tablets, unfortunately.
Jetpac is a traveler’s wish book app (for iPads only). It turns your Facebook friends’ travel photos into destination slideshows, revealing more about your friends as well as places you’d like to go. Photos from Facebook users you don’t know are incorporated into the app as well, to give it a broader scope. The app may also cause you to step up your own travel photography efforts.
Apple’s iPhoto Mac program has never been my favorite among desktop image editors (I prefer Adobe Photoshop Elements). But the iOS version is a beauty in the traditionally elegant, streamlined Apple way. You can easily add a variety of effects to images and enhance and crop them. And the latest version adds new ink effects, such as Chalk and Palette Knife.
Klout, the social network stature scoring system, released a free iPhone app this year. It’s far from perfect, but if you’re hooked on the ”Klout krack” as I am, it’s the hookup you need. Example: You can see your current Klout score just by looking at the app’s icon. You’ll receive notifications about your score and when you’re eligible for Klout perks, among other things.
James A. Martin is a seasoned tech journalist and blogger based in San Francisco and winner of the 2014 ASBPE National Gold award for his CIO.com blog. He writes CIO.com's Living the Tech Life blog and is also a content marketing consultant.