My take on important apps

I think we all have our own little slice of the connected world sitting right in front of us. Some we use all the time; some now and again. So, when I tumbled into the story These are the 25 most important apps of the decade, from Tinder to Venmo, I had to check it out.

The story gives a nice history and development of the various applications and a bit of a summary. I found myself mentally analysing myself but then figured – hey this would be a good post. I wonder how many people feel the same way that I do. I wonder if you can convince me that I’m wrong about my usages.

Here goes…


I do have an Instagram account but I’m not enamoured with it. I like to take landscape images for the most part. Instagram seems have a thing against them unless you doctor things a bit. I’m also not solely dedicated to it; I’ll use the feature to automatically flip things to my Facebook account. I wish I could easily figure out how to combine images; applications should be easy to use. I also don’t do a lot of emojis either.


This is essentially home to me on social media. It’s where I go to figure out what’s going on and where I go to share my learning. I owe a bit debt to Rod Lucier who convinced me to go this route a long time ago. I find that every now and again I have to go all Marie Kondo on who I follow. If you don’t bring me joy, you’re toast. For the most part, I don’t even try to stay up with my stream of Twitter messages. For that purpose, I have a great deal of lists. So many, in fact, that I keep many of them private. Ontario Educators 1-5 and now considering 6 are always wide open.


My first learning network came from working with Twitter. I was convinced by my kids to get on Facebook and have found a different type of network there. Unlike Twitter where everything is open, Facebook offers groups public and private that are wonderful for specific purposes. Since our family is spread out in location, a private family group allows for continued connections without worry that it might fall into the wrong hands. Facebook is also a great place to get a chuckle from friends who who have similar a sense of humour.


I’ve been happily married for a long time and haven’t even looked here!

Google Maps/Apple Maps

Make mine Google Maps. I find it so handy when I’m watching “Still Standing” to zero in on the community in question. Or to get an idea about where the latest Formula 1 race will take place. I think that Streetview is genius. When I’m driving to a new place, it’s nice to know what it looks like before I get there. It saves driving around the block! And, it’s always awesome to get driving directions.


We really don’t have very good internet speeds where I live so haven’t really had the need for this account. But, I did create one to get the Don Cherry podcast. There is a promised that we’ll be upgraded in a few years; at that point in time, this might become very valuable.


I really like Slack for the task of getting things done. When I became President of ECOO, I set up an instance of Slack for the Board of Directors. You can set up private and public subgroups and do direct private messages. As opposed to mailing lists or private email, you just look at the content and not the baggage that comes with headers, signatures, etc.


I’ve been a passenger many times but someone else has done the ordering for me. I’m still stuck with a hotel shuttle or taxi mentality.


I never heard of this application until this article.

Angry Birds

Well, of course, I had to try this out when it was all the rage. I needed something recreational to do with my iPad. It’s long since been deleted.

Candy Crush Saga

The Xbox version came with my new computer so I’ve been playing with it periodically. I love solving puzzles so this does the trick nicely. I was also curious about what it looks like behind the scenes and had blogged previously about investigating a source on GitHub where code is shared.

Pokemon Go

I read about it when it hit the news in social media but wasn’t interested enough to get into it.


This was something else that I had tried and got the hang of. But, to be honest, any videos that I create tend to be longer.

Flappy Bird

This hit my radar in a couple of ways – first of all, it is a bit of an addictive game. Secondly, and more importantly, creating your own version of Flappy Bird was offered up in a couple of places to support the Hour of Code. Now it gets interesting.

Facebook Messenger/WhatsApp

If you use Facebook, eventually you have the need for private messages. Fortunately, on the computer, Messenger rests in the web interface. On mobile, it has become a separate application; I’ve gone to Friendly instead. As for WhatsApp, in 2014 when I c0-chaired the Bring IT, Together Conference, it was the way that we instantly communicated with each other.


To date, I guess I’m one of the holdouts not having a Netflix account.


Or Snapchat, for that matter!


This is the world’s greatest repository of videos and the first place I do when I want to see entertainment or instructional videos. In terms of entertainment, I like the fact that here you can find live versions of songs that made the artist famous.

Google Pay/Apple Pay

No Apple Pay account here but I do have a Google one. To be honest, I don’t use it very often.

Google Assistant/Siri/Alexa

Hmmm. Cortana didn’t make this collection? I do like Google Assistant when I’m out walking the dog and I’m inspired to get an answer right away. In a previous life, I would make myself a mental note to look things up when I got home and yes, you guessed it, I often forgot. 


I think I’m a bit old fashioned. Or maybe it comes from growing up in a small town where “what’s available” helps you decide what to buy. I do get enjoyment from going to stores and actually see the product before I buy. Amazon is a nice way to check prices to see if you can’t do better.


Hmmm. Google Hangouts/Meet didn’t make this list. Of the three that are there, I find that Zoom is the more universal and reliable.


As noted in the description, Fortnite has taken over the life of some family members. But not this one.

Uber Eats/Postmates/Grubhub/DoorDash

I don’t know if any of these services would be available to me here. I don’t mind cooking for myself and enjoy going to a restaurant when letting someone else do the deed.

Google Photos

I used to be a big fan of this but haven’t used it much recently. Typically, the photos sit on my phone until I go on a cleaning binge. If it’s something that I think would be of interest to others, I’ll send it to Instagram/Facebook.

So, there’s my story and I’m sticking to them. I found that there were some that are missing – Word with Friends, Flipboard, News360, WordPress to name a few. Too little use to make the list?

What do you think of my collection and analysis. Can you convince me to move onto something else?


OTR Links 12/03/2019

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.