Episode 164 | 50 Mobile Apps That We Use to Run Our Businesses

Show Notes

“Bottom 4”
  1. Phone
  2. Gmail/Mail
  3. Chrome/Safari
  4. Podcasts/Music
Office & Productivity
  1. Trello
  2. Google Drive
  3. Simplenote
  4. Dropbox
  5. Skype
  6. Google maps
  7. Sunrise Calendar
  8. Evernote
  9. QuickOffice
  10. SugarSync
  11. Commit
  12. DocScan
  13. XMarks
  14. Basecamp
  15. Viber
Financial
  1. Banking app
  2. Paid for Stripe
  3. Xero
  4. American Express
Commerce
  1. Amazon Store app
  2. Starbucks
  3. Dunkin Donuts
  4. eBay
Social
  1. HootSuite (Twitter)
  2. Facebook app
  3. Kickstarter
  4. Yelp
  5. Twitter
Media (Books/Music/Movies/TV)
  1. Audible
  2. Kindle
  3. Amazon Cloud Player
  4. Pandora
  5. Netflix
  6. Hulu+
  7. Amazon Instant Video
  8. Flixster
  9. HBO Go
Utilities
  1. LastPass/1Pass
  2. FTP on the Go
  3. 2X Client RDP
  4. TurboScan
  5. Whitenoise+
  6. Roku
  7. Quickreader
  8. iSSH
  9. AirDisplay

Transcript

[00:00] Rob: In this episode of Startups for the Rest of Us, Mike and I discussed 50 mobile apps that we used to run our businesses. This is Startups for the Rest of Us: Episode 164.

[00:09] Music

[00:16] Welcome to Startups for the Rest of Us, the podcast that helps developers, designers and entrepreneurs be awesome at launching software products, whether you’ve built your first product or you’re just thinking about it. I’m Rob.

[00:26] Mike: And I’m Mike.

[00:27] Rob: And we’re here to share our experiences to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made. What’s the word this week sir?

[00:32] Mike: Well, I’m in the middle of DDOS attack against my blog at the moment.

[00:34] Rob: You’re kidding me. What happened?

[00:37] Mike: I had my blog hosted over at WP engine. I think it was a couple of weeks ago where this first started happening. Today it got so bad that you just could not even get to the site and I sent in a support request and they’re like yeah, it’s still going on. There’s really not much we can do about it except we can change your IP address. So here’s the new scene name that you’re going to need to use.

[00:56] Rob: How interesting. And do you think it’s targeting you or its targeting you because you’re on the WP engine? I guess it’s hard to tell right? You just not have idea who’s doing it or why.

[01:05] Mike: I’ve got no idea. It’s not like I’ve gotten any sort of extortion emails or anything like that. It’s just nailed left and right and there’s really not a lot anybody could do about it.

[01:15] Rob: So we are up to 311 worldwide iTunes reviews. We have some awesome reviews recently from Esoterica, he or she’s in Australia. Don’t be fooled by the fact that these guys are develops. Startup for the rest of us is so much broader than that. The episodes are as regular as clockwork both on their release and the killer content. Actionable and realistic information that will keep you motivated in their journey. Really appreciate that.

[01:40] Also Laten in the US says I’ve listened to about five episodes so far and I’m now going back and working my way to the older ones. I’ve already really enjoyed Rob and Mike’s discussions and appreciate the valuable content they share. And then we have Penske also from Australia. Love the fresh approach to your podcast and that it’s full of information that is useful to my everyday business. I find I can listen to you both all day long and still be as hooked at the end of the day as I was when I started. And to wrap us up, we have what’s up dog LA obviously from the United States. He says I’ve never left a podcast review but felt compelled to because I enjoy this one so much just want to encourage Rob and Mike to keep doing what they’re doing and say thank you guys. So if you have not left us an iTunes review, please log into iTunes and we’d love a five star.

[02:24] Mike: Very cool. Thanks everybody.

[02:26] Rob: So MicroConf 2014 in Las Vegas is coming up. We’re just starting to get the details nailed down. Everything’s still tentative but we are talking to the Tropicana hotel again just where we had it last year and we have tentative dates in the middle of April. If you are interested in hanging around with 150 of your favorite web and mobile entrepreneurs, think about heading over to microconf.com and adding your email to that list. We sold out our tickets in about 51 hours last year and form the size of the list at this point, it looks like it will be that fast or faster so I would suggest that if you’re thinking about coming to MicroConf you definitely head over to microconf.com and enter your email. So I heard you’re a glass hole.

[03:10] Mike: Yes. Because I own a pair of Google glass.

[03:12] Rob: What do you think so far? How long have you owned it? I mean tell us the story like have you worn it out and about? Have people given you weird looks? Do you find that it’s useful? I’m just curious to hear your take.

[03:23] Mike: I’ve had it for almost to weeks now. It’s interesting to use so I find that it works really well if you have Wi-Fi or you have it connected to your phone because it uses all of the different Google services and I’ll give you some examples of where I found that it was extremely useful. I was flying home about a week ago and had them on in the airport. I was sitting down. I looked over at this TV screen that was on the wall and I’m trying to find out where my flight was and whether it was on time or not. With Google glass, you can either touch the side of it or you can look up and it will turn on.

[03:55] Well, I looked up enough because I was looking at the TV screen and it popped on and my flight information was right there. And it told me when it was taking off, that it was on time. I could’ve clicked on it and gotten more information about it but it was awesome that information was just right there. It knew I was at the airport. It knew that I had this flight coming up and I presumably wanted information about it. I think I looked up on Google maps on my desktop how to get to some place and then a short time later I was wearing them, I just happened to glance up at something and the map showed up and basically showed me the route that I had previously looked up on Google maps.

[04:32] Rob: Very nice. So sounds fairly useful. Have you worn them out and about and had people stare at you or do you look like a dork when you’re wearing them?

[04:39] Mike: I probably look like a dork when I’m not wearing them so I don’t know if it really makes a whole lot of different. Maybe it’s an improvement I’ve got no idea.

[04:45] Rob: Touché sir.

[04:47] Mike: I definitely noticed that people are looking at me so I see a lot of people doing like a double take. I was at the grocery store the other day and this kid like every time I turned around he was staring at me so you definitely get looks here and there. I’ve got a few people who have asked me about them, just wanted to try them on and check them out. By large, the people who were interested in it definitely wanted to try them out. It’s definitely interesting wearing them. I don’t know how else to describe it.

[05:13] One thing I have noticed is that if you have an iPhone, it tends to be a lot less useful unless you’re on Wi-Fi because it doesn’t integrate with the IOS GPS that is something of a problem. They’re supposedly working on it. I guess they’ve been saying they’ve been working on it for the past six months they don’t have a solution for it yet. And then the other thing is you can’t send text messages through your phone if you have an iPhone. So it makes it a little bit more difficult for that as well. But if you do sync it with your phone, whenever you get high important email through Gmail, it will ding and then you can look up and you can just read the email right there if you’re using Gmail.

[05:51] Like I said, if you’re using Google services, it extremely nice for that because it does integrate with them and it just shows you information like when it thinks that you want it or when it seems to be relevant. I’ve had some tweets that have come in that just kind of showed up there and they were marked as high priority and primarily because I was mentioned in them or something like that so I could go and take a look at them. And you can take pictures. It automatically syncs it with Google+ and backs up everything and them from Google+ you can share it with everybody.

[06:18] Rob: I think the question on everyone’s mind is how has Google glass helped you get Audit Shark to launch?

[06:23] Mike: I can almost give you an answer for that is with that, I could sit there looking at a screen and I could do a Google hangout and I could walk somebody through it.

[06:31] Rob: I mean I don’t relay have Drip or HitTail updates just because its towards – it’s almost Christmas and we’re working away but there’s no major – we’re just rolling out features for new customers as they requested and we have a plan of what we’re doing in January but really nothing new that I haven’t already talked about anything new with Audit Shark, new millstones you’ve hit?

[06:51] Mike: Well this week, we crossed the $1,000 follower threshold for Audit Shark on Twitter so pretty happy about that. The strategy I’ve been using there has been working pretty well and seems to continue to be working so still working on how I’m going to monetize that but I’m thinking it’s more of a marketing channel than anything else, just kind of get the word out to interact with people and get face time I guess.

[07:14] And then beyond that, I’m working on a bunch of different things for next month more or less just marketing strategies and this week we’ve got some more updates that are going into the software. We just put in some new reports, once those are bug free I mean we’re going back to some of my early access customers and basically asking them for money because those were the reports they were looking for but there’s a couple bugs right now we’re just trying to straight out.

[07:34] Rob: Cool. And once that’s done, you’re going to be pushing forward with early access and additional customers and that kind of stuff?

[07:39] Mike: Yup, a couple days from now, I’ve got a call with a reseller who wants to take a look at it and see how it might integrate into their business where there’s an overlap or fit between what Audit Shark does and what their customers need.

[07:53] Rob: Very good. Well as we’re sitting here talking this documentary called the startup kids that I had mentioned a while back, it’s been released and it’s a documentary about young web entrepreneurs in the US and Europe and it has interviews with the founders of Vimeo, sound cloud, Kip, Indinero, Dropbox, food spotting and others. And you can check this out at the startupkids.com.

[08:14] Mike: On Twitter, Damon Clinkscales had sent me a tweet. It was in regards to our predictions episode and they sent me a YouTube video of what looks like a Ted Talk where somebody was talking about all the different things that Google is doing and it basically related very, very well to what I had predicted about companies essentially going down to the micro level and doing micro individual advertisements and feeding people different information. That aligned very, very well of what I said earlier about Google glass whereas I just look up and the information that was relevant to me was right there.

[08:47] Rob: Right. So your predication of kind of personal behavioral targeted marketing…

[08:52] Mike: Has already come true.

[08:53] Music

[08:57] Rob: Today we’re going to be diving into 50 mobile apps mostly to run our business. Let’s dive in here. We had an episode back in February 2011, its episode 37. We talked about the IOS apps that we were using. I listened back to that and realized that it was really out of date. You and I had just gotten iPhones maybe a year before and there just wasn’t that much out. So a lot of things have changed since then.

[09:18] First thing I want to start with is my “bottom four” so those are my apps that are in the bottom row of my iPhone. And for me, I obviously have the phone app. I have the Gmail app instead of the IOS mail app. I have the chrome app instead of Safari and then I have the podcasts app because I listen to so many podcasts. How about you? I’m curios to hear what you’re bottom four are.

[09:42] Mike: Well I left mine to all the defaults. So I just have the phone and then I have the regular mail app and then Safari and music which I also think is the default. I’m curious to know two things. 1) Why you switched out the IOS email client and then why you also decided to just go with chrome? Because for me I don’t really see any difference between chrome and Safari on the iPhone. I know that there’s some rudimentary differences here and there but for the most part, Safari works enough well for me that it just doesn’t matter.

[10:12] Rob: Yeah. So the reason I have Gmail, let’s start with that one. Gmail allows you more flexibility with labels. The labels actually work the way they’re supposed to unlike with the IOS mail app. The labels are colored the same way they are in the web app. Gmail also allows you to actually search your entire library. If you go to search and you type something in, it brings all of your historical emails back whereas the IOS mail app only looks at what it has downloaded locally. It’s more of like an iMap or a local version of the last 100 emails you have whereas the Gmail app is just way, way more powerful like the search actually works just like the web version and I wind up using that quite a bit. There are also more gestures that you can do that can get you between emails really quickly that I don’t know if IOS is implemented or not when the Gmail app came out light years ahead of IOS mail app.

[11:03] Mike: With the IOS mail app, there’s actually two different sections when you’re looking at it, there’s the basically if you have multiple mail boxes setup, it will show you the mail box at the top and then underneath it will show you your accounts. And under the accounts, if you need to search for things on a server, you can go in there and then you can search there and what it will do is it will search your phone first and then it will start searching on the server.

[11:24] Rob: A) It didn’t use to have that and B) that still sounds pretty clunky like you can’t just hit the search thing at the top and type it in. You have to go searching forth through menus.

[11:33] Mike: As I said, it’s kind of similar to Safari where it’s like its good enough and plus I also have an exchange server mailbox.

[11:40] Rob: See, that’s an issue. If you didn’t have that, I don’t think the Gmail app would work with that but I almost guarantee you if you are on the IOS mail app and you switch over to the Gmail app for one week that you will not go back to the IOS mail app. There’s enough features and differences and swipes. There’s all kinds of stuff you can do that if you learn it, it just makes you much more efficient.

[12:01] Mike: Cool. Maybe I’ll give it a shot.

[12:05] Rob: And then the other question was about chrome versus Safari. I switched to chrome maybe a year ago. Safari crashed on me quite a bit. That was the original reason I switched. Tabbing was the other thing. Even now Safari on IOS has tabs, it didn’t when I started and there’s a lot of really cool stuff you can do with tabs in the kind of multi tab view on chrome on IOS. If you just swipe on it left it disappears and you can reorder them. It feels faster as well just like on the actual desktop or laptop. So that’s why I’ve switched. Again it’s a little nuances. When chrome came out on IOS, it was ahead of Safari. Safari may be catching up at this point.

[12:44] Mike: Cool. Like I said, I’ll probably give chrome a shot again. I’ll probably just swap it out on the bottom bar because I do have chrome installed. I just don’t generally use it.

[12:52] Rob: Right. The other thing I like about chrome is all your bookmarks are synced and all your open tabs. I can literally have open tabs on my Mac book air. I can leave and if I’m out I’ll just click it and it’ll say open tabs. I can click Mac book air, it will show me all the tabs that are open there and I can just pop them open or view them right there in the browser so in case I was in the middle of something looking at a doc or looking at analytics or something, pops right up.

[13:16] Mike: Yeah. I use Xmarks for that which is kind of in our next section of office and productivity utilities.

[13:21] Rob: Indeed. So we have quite a few office and productivity apps. My first couple are Trello which I use to manage obviously my Trello queue, my to do list and stuff and sometimes I’ll add things from my iPad or iPhone but most of the time I’m using it if I’m out and about and I want to read my to-do list and think about an item. If I’m going to add it, I will typically actually do that via email. I’ll just pop open the Gmail app and type it in there and send to my Trello address.

[13:48] Mike: Yeah. I also use Trello. Another one I use on the go is Evernote. I don’t think you use Evernote, that Evernote has the worst user interface that was ever designed and created but millions and millions of people use it which is kind of weird way that its gotten this success that it has but I definitely use Evernote on my phone to take notes while I’m on the road because it allows me to throw them into different folders and be able to access pretty much my data repository of all the various marketing and sales things that I’ve run across over the years.

[14:19] Rob: My next one is Google drive and this is basically this allows me to access my Google docs. I don’t use Google drive to store files that I use Dropbox for that but I do use Google drive to access Google docs and I have frequently used it to actually pop open the outline for our podcast and add things while I’m on the go. It was nice. Before they had this Google drive app it was pretty clunky to try to do it in the browser and the Google drive actually makes it useable on an IOS device.

[14:48] Mike: Yeah, I also use Google drive but I use Google drive in combination with an app called Quick Office and Quick Office is also from Google but allows you to create documents where Google drive just always you to access them which is kind of nice because if you’re using an iPad or an iPhone, it makes it very easy to be able to pop it open, start writing a document and then you can send it to you Google drive later on so that you can get it to it from anywhere.

[15:14] Rob: And that is crazy. Alright I‘m making a note to download that. I have never even heard of this.

[15:19] Mike: Yes. It’s very nice. I’ve used quick office a couple of times to write like entire blog posts on a plane and just from my iPad. That’s kind of nice.

[15:28] Rob: Very cool. My next app is called simple note and this is basically like notepad but it’s synced across the cloud and it’s much simpler to access and to open up a new doc and create one like Google drive is. And so I use it for a lot of things that I want to take quick notes about like a shopping list. My wife and I sync up our shopping list through all of our web accounts and through our iPads and iPhones and then we also have some other docs that we’ve created that we collaborate on like Christmas list and that stuff. It’s just a little harder to get to if you make them a Google doc that you have to go in and search and formatting and a lot of clicks and the interface isn’t as easy as simple note which is basically just like I said a note pad, it’s like a little text editor.

[16:15] Mike: That’s really cool. I hadn’t thought about being able to share lists and stuff like that between me and my wife. That’s definitely a good one. I‘ll have to check that one out. I use a combination of SugarSync and Dropbox on my end for syncing files. SugarSync just recently said that they are moving to a paid only model for obviously reasons. I mean you don’t necessarily want to be supporting a ton of free users kind of similar to the way Dropbox has been. I mean at some point it become financially unwielding and unfeasible to support that many free users especially when you’re giving them this space that actually does cost you money.

[16:51] Rob: One more company member we’ve talked about this works like companies start with this premium model and most of them get rid of it because of the pure burden of supporting it.

[17:01] Mike: Yeah, so I do pay for a SugarSync subscription but I also have a free Dropbox subscription so I wonder how long it’s going to be before that becomes no longer free. And I don’t know at that point where I would go Dropbox or SugarSync. I mean I use them both for different things. I have some stuff for one business in one place and then some stuff for another business in the other one. I don’t necessarily like or dislike either one. It used to be that SugarSync I thought have a distinct advantage in that you could specify specific folders that were going to be in it as opposed to Dropbox where everything is all in one folder and then kind of spidered on from there. But I think that has gone away at this point so that they’re much more on par in terms of features so I don’t necessarily have a strong preference either way. It’s just whichever one makes it easier to get the job done and has all the files I need.

[17:48] Rob: My next three apps are pretty standard so I won’t go onto them too far. One is Dropbox which you’ve already mentioned. The next is Skype and the next one after that is Google maps which is a no brainer but I don’t use the Apple maps. I just like the routing of Google maps and now that it has turn by turn directions. It’s a no brainer for me. And then the fourth one which is a little different is called Sunrise and it’s a calendaring app that has I’ll say it has a better UI than the IOS calendar app.

[18:17] So if you’re counting I pretty much use none of this talk IOS apps and I’ve actually heard it’s a pretty common thing that a lot of people use more Google apps and or just replacements for the IOS apps and I think it’s a real problem for them. I know they want to make the money form there in hardware but if they can’t kind of write the core software for their operating system, the best, better than other people, I think that’s definitely something that apple needs to work on. But it’s Sunrise is something it’s something you should check out. It’s a free app.

[18:45] Mike: A couple of the other apps that I have are the office and productive section is Basecamp that I’ve already mentioned I use Xmarks for synchronizing some of my bookmarks. I use an application called Viber which I think I used that primarily when we were at MicroConf Europe because what it allows you to do is allows you to send text messages through Viber to somebody else who has it and across nothing but a Wi-Fi connection. So that was helpful for me because have an iPhone and my wife has one and I just downloaded Viber and we’re able to text each other back and forth without me having to pick up a phone or try to get on Skype and it was just nice to be able to just leave messages.

[19:25] The other ones that I have are an application called Doc Scan which I used for scanning receipts so if I’m out on the road and I’m trying to track expenses for a client, what I can do is when I go out to dinner, when I get the check, I sign the bill then I just take a picture of it with Doc Scan and then at the end of that, weeklong engagement or whatever, I can just then take that, converted into a PDF, send it off to my bookkeeper and my bookkeeper can take that PDF, fill out the expense report and then send an invoice to the customers that I don’t necessarily have to deal with. And that’s worked out really, really well. I’ve been using Doc Scan for probably two years and I basically use it all the time.

[20:04] And then the last one I use is something from Nathan Barry and Commit, allows you to put in a goal that you have and something that you want to do or accomplish everyday and you just enter in a time that you want it to remind you whether or not you’ve done that or not and all it is just a button say whether or not you’ve done that on that particular day. And it allows you to go back one day but it helps you to commit to different goals or at least trying to reach different goals.

[20:32] So for example, if you want to lose weight, you might say did I go to the gym today and you just say yes or no whether or not you did it on any given day and it tracks how long you’ve been doing whatever that action was. So it kind of helps to motivate you because if you’ve done it for 30 days or 60 days you don’t necessarily want to break that cycle so it’s something of a psychological hole.

[20:55] Rob: Our next category is financial apps and I think we have four of them. One of them is just your banking app if you’re part of even small credit unions these days, they have an app especially the large like Wells Fargo and Bank of America and large national banks will have them. The cool part that I found about my banking app is not just that I can check balances and transfer money but I can now deposit checks just by taking a picture of the check using the app and it scans the numbers and imports the whole thing. So I almost never go to the ATM anymore only to pull out cash these days. That’s been a big time saver for me.

[21:28] And my other financial app that I use is called Paid and I’ve mentioned it in the past but it’s basically a Stripe IOS app. It’s not put out by Stripe. It’s a third party but they integrate with Stripe and they can pull down all your data and have some really attractive reports. The design work was done by Ryan Shurf which is your friend and mine. He’s a great designer up in Minneapolis. He’s done a lot of design work for me so the app looks really sharp and it gives you a lot of inside to kind of when you’re next transfer is coming and how much it’s going to be what your revenue’s been and your per customer. It just gives you a bunch of metrics on your iPhone.

[22:04] And the app I think is like $4 or $5. And the other cool thing is if you are doing live customer development say at a conference, you can just punch someone’s credit card number into Paid and you could charge a certain amount of money on it if you are in fact going to do pre-selling.

[22:18] Mike: Two others that I use, I also use banking app for my credit union and you’re right. It’s absolutely nice to be able to just take a picture of a check and just have it deposited automatically. The other two apps that I use are Xero and that integrates with the Xero accounting application. So I’ve started moving a lot of my accounting stuff and consolidating it for my businesses all into one platform and it looks like Xero is going to be that platform. So I’ve started using that and then the other app is the American Express app so I use that to check balances or make payments or whatever.

[22:54] Rob: Well, it seems like I need to download the Xero app because I use Xero and I don’t have the IOS app. Our next category is commerce and this isn’t necessarily stuff we use to run our businesses but we wanted to include it anyways because I use this the first one. The Amazon store app, I use that every day, every other day to order a crazy amount of stuff. And I don’t use it to run my business, what I do use it to do is save time. Since I have Amazon prime, I can get everything in two days. I’m constantly just popping it in to this Amazon app or right on the fly. You don’t need to combine your orders because you have prime right?

[23:28] The other app I have under commerce is my Starbucks app and here’s the interesting thing. I don’t actually go to Starbucks that much but what I like about this is two-fold. 1) I hate those rewards cards and I go to Starbucks enough that every few months I probably earn a  free coffee but this app, if you pay with that Starbucks app it gives you that free coffee. It tracks it for you so you don’t have to carry around that extra card because I’m Mr. Thin wallet. I’m trying to get a really thin wallet.

[23:50] The other thing I like about the app is there have been a couple of times where I’ve left my wallet somewhere and I have no money and I’m super hungry, you can add money to it. You can store value on it like it’s a card and it basically bailed me out because there’s always a Starbucks around and I went there and I got one of their sandwiches but at least I had something without my wallet and it was kind of my emergency fund I’ve realized if I’m standard or out and about somewhere that I can always pick up a little bit of food if I’ve forgotten it.

[24:15] Mike: Yeah. I primarily use the Amazon store app to hunt for different things. I also use the eBay app. So if I’m looking, doing price comparisons or if I’m looking for something that’s hard to find, between those two, I can usually find just about anything for my phone and then I also have the Starbucks app and I also have the Dunkin Donuts app because if you’ve ever been to the New England area, there’s a Dunkin Donuts on like every single corner. It’s just crazy out here.

[24:39] Rob: Alright, our next category is social. First app that I use for social stuff is Hootsuite and that’s what I use to manage my multiple Twitter accounts and what I like about it is it has the swiping left to right of your different brands or your different searches or your different things that you’re looking at. So you can go through not only multiple Twitter accounts here you’re getting mentioned but you can have an embedded search. So anytime mentions MicroConf throughout the year, that’s just one of my tabs that I’m swiping through. So Hootsuite is a definite winner for me. It’s a free app and Hootsuite’s free as well unless you’re over a certain level of usage which I’m not.

[25:15] The other couple are the Facebook app which I use pretty infrequently. I’m not on Facebook that much. Then there’s the kick starter app I talk enough about. I’m checking out kick starter stuff. Yes I actually have checked that out of my phone. It’s quite a good experience. I actually like the experience a little more on my phone and iPad than I do on the desktop web version. And then the last one is Yelp, obviously good for finding a place to eat when you’re somewhere you don’t know.

[25:40] Mike: Yeah. I use an app called Urban Spoon on occasion to find new places to eat. I don’t think use the Yelp app. I also have Hootsuite and then I use the regular twitter IOS app. I use that one primary for my single founder account and then the other ones I kind of manage a little bit here and there through Hootsuite but I don’t tend to use Hootsuite on my phone nearly as much as I do on my desktop. Most of the ones overlap with yours. I also use Facebook but usually when I’m sitting in an airport.

[26:06] Rob: Our next category is media and so this is books, music, movies and TV. My first one is Audible but I listen to probably a couple audio books per month. And I used to sync them via iTunes. I download them to the laptop and then sync it over through iTunes and listen to it in the music app but I realized it was just such a better experience to be able to download it directly over Wi-If. And once audible had all the controls in that 1.5 and 2 times speed, it just made sense to do that. And now I’m actually completely free of iTunes. I don’t use iTunes on my desktop for anything.

[26:40] So my podcast or through my IOS podcast app, Audible handles my audio books and I tried using iCloud and uploaded everything. It scans through and it does the iTunes match and stuff and it was quite buggy for me. I’m on a Mac book air and maybe 50% or 60% of the time I go to play music, it just wouldn’t let me play it and it would blank out and I’d have to reboot the machine. I switched over to this is another app on my phone but I now use the Amazon cloud player and it’s the same basic thing as iTunes match. It’s just using Amazon’s technology.

[27:13] So I have all my music scanned again by Amazon. It matched everything and it uploaded whatever else I didn’t have. You can have it to a quarter million tracks in cloud for lie $25 a year and I think I have 5,000 or 10,000 it’s not that many. So now that is what I use to manage all my music which feels good. I think it’s an adobe air app, my Amazon cloud player on the desktop but their web player is decent and the IOS player is decent and it got me away from using iTunes which has just been an aggravation for me of years.

[27:48] Like everyone, I use the Kindle app. I use Pandora for ambiance music. I like Pandora a lot for music discovery. There’s a Netflix app and a Hulu+ app as well as Amazon instead video and those are the three ways since I don’t have cable. I haven’t had it for years. Those are the three ways that I watched TV shows. A lot of them stream for free or I have premium memberships to all those and I’m able to rent movies for $2 or $3 and I can either watch them on my phone or my iPad or my laptop computer anytime I want or through the Roku  frankly.

[28:19] And the last one is Flickster and this is what I use when I’m out and about. I want to find out where’s the nearest movie theater playing this movie and what are the times? It’s just that GPS but modern smart devices where it just knows where you are and it can tell you the nearest theaters and what’s playing. It really is advancement in modern science and I think we take for granted.

[28:39] Mike: Of those apps, you know what, I have the Kindle app installed but I almost never open it up anymore because I bought a Kindle paperweight last year and since then, I almost never use it on my phone anymore. I only use it on my Kindle and I mostly read books. Like if it’s a business book, I’ll read it on there but I have a bunch of websites where I have the Kindle for chrome plug-in where I can send something to my Kindle and then read it later which is kind of nice and it’s just having that bigger screen is probably what really does it in for the Kindle on the iPhone. I also have Netflix on my phone. I have Hulu+ I have Amazon instant video but I also have HBO go.

[29:20] My wife and are actually looking at getting rid of cable between Netflix and Hulu+ and Amazon instant video. It will probably basically replace cable. But the one thing that I probably won’t be able to keep is HBO so I don’t know what I’ll do when the next season of game of thrones comes out.

[29:36] Rob: Yeah. That’s the one thing that HBO shows can’t buy them on Amazon and iTunes until the DVD’s come out which is like 9 months after they air. Our last official category are utilities and my first one in utilities is password management. So last pass or one pass or first pass, these are all things that help you have really exotic long passwords and being able to log into them on any device. Highly recommend if you’re not using one already to take the plunge and do it. It’s definitely changed my relationships with passwords and actually my relationship – I used to have that guilt of I know I’m not as secure as I need to be with the last pass one pass group, they really make me feel like I’m more source than I used to be frankly.

[30:15] Then we have FTP on the go which is an FTP client, some absolute emergency I need FTP in and I have done this a few times like at a conference. I also have the 2X client RDP which is just a remote desktop connector and it will get into a server so say the HitTail server or another window server where you need a remote desktop in. It’s a no brainer. It’s not great to do on iPhone because its screen is so small but I do have it on the iPad as well and again, only in emergencies I’ve had to log in and kind of swatch something real quick.

[30:45] Another couple are Turbo Scan which is basically just a scanner. So you can take a picture with your iPhone and it will scan the document in as a PDF or JPEG or a GIF and use that to email it to people so I don’t have to go find a real scanner. Then there’s White Noise+ which I use when I’m at a hotel if there’s a lot of noise especially if we’re there with my kids and I think it’s going to wake them up, I’ll just turn on the inside of an airplane noise or some type of white or brown noise.

[21:14] Last couple for me in utilities are the Roku app which is just a remote control for a Roku which allows you to watch internet television on your TV and there’s Quick Reader which is from our own Patrick Thompson at Inkstone Software which helps you learn how to speed read better. And the last one is Air Display which allows your iPad to basically be a second monitor over Wi-Fi. So it’s great for coffee shops if you really need to compare an excel spreadsheet or something you’re working on in two monitors. It’s not super fast, super responsive so you wouldn’t want to be really flipping back and forth a lot but if you’re just trying to compare data or you just want that extra little 10 inch screen sitting next to you, it also chose their battery actually. But if you do need that, I have definitely used this on occasion.

[31:58] Mike: I think out of those, one I would definitely add is I use something called ISSH which is a very similar to what you talked about with the RDP where if you need to SSH into a machine and its an absolutely emergency and it can’t wait for you to get to a laptop then that’s a good option. But I also have an RDP client so that I can get into my servers if I need to. And yeah, password management, tools, similar to last pass or some of those other ones that you mentioned. You said Turbo Scan. I think I mentioned it before, I use Doc Scan for that. How does Turbo Scan work?

[32:31] Rob: You just take maybe two pictures of the document and it just scans it in and spits out like a JPEG. It can do PDF’s and actually I just looked at it and it said you can just do the basic camera then you can do the sure scan 3X and that’s where you take three pictures of it and it merges them and makes completely sure that you have a really high quality image of it like doubles them up over each other.

[332:52] Mike: Yeah. I think its $3 but Doc Scan is $3 as well. That’s a lot of different apps that we just covered and hopefully we went through and helped you guys discover a couple of new apps that you never heard of. I definitely got a couple off Rob’s list that I’m going to take a look at.

[33:08] If you have question for us, you can call it into our voice mail number at 1-888-801-9690 or you can email it to us at questions@startupsfortherestofus.com. Our theme music is an excerpt from “We’re Outta Control” by MoOt used under Creative Commons. You can subscribe to us in iTunes by searching for startups or via RSS at startupsfortherestofus.com where you’ll also find a full transcript of each episode. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time.

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One Response to “Episode 164 | 50 Mobile Apps That We Use to Run Our Businesses”

  1. Hello Rob & Mike, great post, thanks for sharing. I have tried Trello and many others including basecamp, zoho, asana, wrike etc. but still couldn’t find a Task/Project Management system that I can customize the way I like to work. I just found this one yesterday and have not tried it yet. their site is http://www.smartsheet.com/ .

    Have you tried it or anybody else on this forum? I appreciate your feedback/inputs,
    take care,
    Lewis