My Perfect iPhone (Play Edition)

While the iPhone is mostly work for me, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t fit in a little bit of play every now and again. For me, play ranges from self-improvement and education to podcasts, to taking snapshots of my kids, to the inevitable time wasted on a game or two.


Music – I’m in a little bit of a transition period here. I have a massive iTunes library (understatement of the century), but have been loving Spotify. In fact, I barely find myself buying music on iTunes anymore (much to the joy of my children’s college funds). For now, I’m split between what I’ve purchased in the native Music app and what I haven’t in Spotify, but find myself frustrated when trying to remember where something resides. I might need to figure out how to get everything into Spotify or stop cheaping out and head back to iTunes.

Podcasts – For the longest time, I used iTunes to manage my podcasts. This was dumb. I would either have to wait until I connected my iPhone to the computer or find a moment when on a Wi-Fi network to manually go one by one and download the latest episodes. Instacast pretty much solves all of those problems, automatically checking for new episodes, downloading them when on Wi-Fi or streaming them when on 3G. If you listen to a lot of podcasts, spend a few bucks and make your life easier. If you don’t, start listening to more podcasts.

Sonos – A great app for controlling our Sonos player at home, it seamlessly lets me access all of the music in my iTunes library and Spotify. It even lets us create playlists pulling from both libraries (something I wish was possible on the iPhone, but know will happen).


Standard Pictures – I know there are many who swear by Camera+, but I’ve always gone with the Camera app. The app has seen a lot of improvements with the latest and the quality of pictures has seen a lot of improvements with the release of iOS 5 and the camera itself is just so much better with the 4S. As a father of two, I take A LOT of photos and to be honest, I rarely feel the need to break out the the Nikon D40 DSLR anymore.

Filtered Pictures – Applying old-school filters to your pictures is one of the latest trends du jour and my app of choice for this is Instagram. While I’ve mentioned before about how important Instagram has been for unlocking my own creativity, it is also doing an amazing job of letting me capture and share special family moments. It also allows a hack of a photographer like myself to create some truly spectacular shots.

Time Sucks (Games)

Every once in a while I just need to clear my mind and completely tune out. Sadly, nothing does this better than some mindless iPhone games. While I have finally managed to ban Angry Birds from my phone (for religious reasons of course), I find myself enjoying Cross Fingers, Cut the Rope, Tetris and Bike Baron, amongst others, for “time well spent” goofing off.

While this isn’t everything on my phone, theses are the apps for play that I actually play with. What do you find yourself playing with these days? I’m always game to try out a new app or two (or ten).

7 Responses to My Perfect iPhone (Play Edition)

  1. I don’t have my iPhone yet. I’ll get one when the 5 comes out. Right now I have a (crappy) Android, on which I spend a lot of time in Spades and Words with Friends. On my iPod Touch though, I’m ashamed to say Tap Resort Party is a staple. And yes, I have spent money on it. Not in the last year, but I have. Even bought Christmas decorations last year, which is when I realized I had to delete it. :)

  2. While some would argue that business and play should be separate, I disagree. I think it’s important for your smartphone to enable you to blend both your professional life and play-time. Apps like Instagram allow the user to feel creative without putting too much effort in at all. And even then, the camera on the iPhone is setting such a standard that sometimes filtered pictures and apps aren’t even necessary. I enjoyed this post.

    • It’s a fair point and there is definitely blending. Much of the reading I had in the “work” section is for fun and many of the apps, especially Instagram, get used for my job. That said the post was getting insanely long and this seemed like a good way to break it up :) 

      I also think there are primary mode and primary uses. It’s probably a byproduct of my ADHD, but it helps keeping the things that cause me to play of the home screen. I’m with you on the camera, especially on the 4S. It’s pretty darn powerful and even a hack such as myself can get pretty darn creative.

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