Have you ever left your phone at home and felt that you have had a limb taken away from you? 4 out of 5 UK adults apparently now have a Smartphone so the TEL team asked the Student Digital Champions to let us know what apps they use regularly on their Smartphones.
So…What’s in your pocket?
I use WhatsApp to message friends and family, as it is a good way to stay connected. Its multi-purpose aspects transform the traditional messaging app into phone calls, video messaging and as an image sender. This makes the app more useful and appealing to use. I use this app if I am abroad or if family go abroad to make phone calls and to stay in contact. I normally use the app every day to stay connected to friends.
I use Spotify to explore new music, listen to chart music and to keep me motivated when going to the gym with the playlists. I enjoy using Spotify for the simplicity of finding artists and music using the search engine, or by browsing the playlists. I use the app when I am at home, studying, chilling out or at the gym as a motivation
As a student, this app is very useful, it helps me to see how much money I have in my bank account; as well as to see the different transactions made. As a student, we tend to borrow money so it is very ideal and convenient to send people money in the comfort of your own home. I use this app a few times a week to check my balance, which in turn helps me monitor and manage my money at University better.
This is by far my favorite app; I use the YouTube app for entertainment and educational purposes. I enjoy watching other YouTubers and finding viral videos. Additionally, I enjoy using YouTube as an educational platform. As a visual learner, I enjoy watching videos and find it easy to learn about new topics. I use the YouTube app every day to watch various genres of content.
I love music, taking pictures, and making videos of things that catch my attention. The apps that I use the most will have to be my Music app, Snapchat, Notes, Calculator, Afterlight, Lloyds Bank, Twitter, Tumblr and the university’s mobile app.
These apps perform different functions for me with regards to how I feel or where I am.
Music app- This has a variety of songs from all genres so if I have heard a song I like, I can search the name and start to listen for however long.
Snapchat- This combines messaging, and the camera features with amazing filters. I have started a YouTube channel where I share things I am passionate about. The videos and pictures I take/save on this app, I combine to tell a story and publish. However, this app takes up a lot of space so I have to delete once in a while and focus on other things.
Notes- I am always thinking about something and I do not like to forget so I have sort of turned my notes app to my little creative corner. I write down ideas, to do’s, assignment titles or deadlines.
Calculator- Let’s just say my mental math needs a little bit of work lol. I reach out for this app when I am at the stores mostly to get those figures right before I get to the till to pay.
Afterlight- This is a photo editor app. It helps me to edit my pictures to my liking and share on my social media.
Lloyds Bank- This mobile app shows my bank statement and my current and savings balance so that I can budget properly.
Twitter- I use my twitter to interact with my followers, share my thoughts and gather opinions. Also, primary research for my dissertation; there is an option to create polls e.t.c so I plan to use that to gather information for my project.
Tumblr- Tumblr is sort of a digital journal for me. I share posts, music, projects I’ve worked on e.t.c I love to look back on my posts and appreciate growth.
University’s Mobile app- This app has saved me so many times. I get notifications as soon as they are published. I do not always carry my laptop around but I have my phone so I can quickly search course resources and find out what time my class is and what my tutor has asked us to prepare for the next class.
There are 5 apps which I use most frequently: The Google App, Drive Mode, IFTTT, Unibus Finder and Wunderlist. While the Google App seems quite self-explanatory, there are some features which I find most useful. Firstly, the app updates in real time, providing me with information about my likely travel plans, such as estimated time of arrival and level of traffic. Secondly, the app collates various bits of information such as dates of renewal and estimated arrival times for various online orders. Finally, the app allows voice search and the ability to control my phone with my voice.
Drive Mode is an app which is native to AT&T phones. It automatically detects when the user is driving an prevents the phone from easily being used, while this is great, in terms of increasing aggregate driver safety, the main benefit for me is the lack of notifications and the automatic text responses which allow people trying to contact my that I am driving.
IFTTT is an interesting app. It stands for ‘If this, then, that’. It can be used to program automatic actions on your phone, online accounts and various other things such as digital lighting as an example. My main use for it is to automatically turn the sound off on my phone when I enter University and to turn it back on when I leave university.
Unibus Finder is quite a basic app which does what it says it does. I simply use it to try and best time catching Unibuses.
Wunderlist is a very useful app which is essentially a to-do list app. My main reason for using this above any other to-do list app is because Wunderlist has a Google Chrome extension, which replaces the new tab screen allowing me to see all my to-do lists.
I have the usual run of student apps on my phone: Derby uni app (naturally), two mail apps (servicing different accounts – googlemail gets my forwarded unimail and my hotmail account my personal stuff), some games, as well as a photo editor, FX. I use my phone quite a bit for photos but my shots always need tidying up.
Messenger is on there reluctantly as it drinks more power than I drink coffee on a Monday morning, and that is saying something. It is there only while I work through a couple of projects and then it will be removed. It will not be missed. Likewise, facebook and other social media I only use via a browser because of their thirst for power, so that while I use them a lot, you’ll never guess from my home screen. Pocket is my fave pocket app. It allows me to send an article, video or image to a directory for later – just like grabbing a copy of something and putting it in my pocket for me to read over yet another cup of coffee. I have copies of this on my laptop and tablet so that they all synced and by tagging entries, I can keep my list of places to check out for vacations separate from essay research etc.
I have got the Microsoft and Google applications on my phone which I mostly use for assignment checking and notes when I get a quick idea on the move. I mostly use OneNote to definitely note my little thoughts that can probably leave the moment my attention is drawn somewhere else. If I use PowerPoint and Word for anything special I can edit it on the go as well and not wait till I get on my laptop.
Google maps is like my escort when I go to a new place and I also use it to get the earliest bus to and from home so that I don’t keep bus times in my head and get home early still, since I have three buses I can use to get home.
I am not much of a social media person but to communicate with people I use WhatsApp and Messenger.
Instagram is like a news app for me, short and precise videos and thoughtful pictures without too much reading of it and if I need more then I go where I can have more of it and I post a few pictures when I am in the mood for pictures and check up on some of my few friends around the world.
Bank apps are as good as walking around with my money but just in numbers and I can get to send and check payments anywhere I am, I use two banks Lloyds and Barclays Bank.
I figured that Netflix is big and I have an account but those two I have on my phone are lovely, you don’t get all the latest movies but definitely you get up to date series for free with Show Box and Cartoon HD and if I feel like watching these on a bigger screen I can use All Cast or Screen Mirroring for Samsung.
I am a guy of faith so I carry around a pocket bible as well for reading and reference to the bible whenever I have the feeling to.
Even if I have loads of apps on my phone, I can say that I am probably only using half of them. When I have free time, I always look on my phone to discover something new. I still have a lot to learn about it.
All my apps are organised by categories. The social apps that I am using daily are Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Yahoo Mail.
Facebook is usually used for chatting and posting photos or sharing articles, while Snapchat is often used for chatting as well, but also for creating stories with photos and videos. Instagram is my favourite app when it comes to posting photos and for checking my emails I use Yahoo Mail.
Even though the apps mentioned before are complex, I am also using Twitter, Skype and WhatsApp, even if it’s mostly the same thing, but on a different platform. This is because, as a becoming journalist, I like to have a wide knowledge when it comes to social apps, and I like to extend my profile as much as I can, so I can create contacts from different backgrounds.
YouTube is not missing from my list, but I am not using it that much on my phone.
Because photography is my passion, I downloaded couple of apps for editing photos, and some of them are even for sharing the photos and create an online portfolio, like Instagram is almost doing. For example, VSCO is becoming more and more popular lately, as well as Snapseed and Darkroom.
There are also apps like Pinterest, that I am using for inspiration; Bitmoji which creates you own avatar and works as an extension to Snapchat; DJI GO for filming with an Osmo camera or a drone; WhatsCall helps me place calls using the internet, even if I don’t have credit on my phone.