One of my favorite people in the Mac community is Jean MacDonald (Twitter), one of the owners of Smile, makers of my beloved TextExpander. The thing about Jean is that every time I spend any significant time with her, I learn some new thing about her that I never knew before, like that she is in a rock band, Ruby Calling, and on the board of directors for Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls. So Jean, shown us your home screen.
What are some of your favorite apps?
Twelve apps are Apple’s default apps, but I use those apps all the time. Of the remaining eight third-party apps, here are a few of the ones I find most interesting:
GroceryIQ: I like it because it allows me to segment my shopping list by store. There are certain items I only buy at Trader Joe’s, versus New Seasons or Fred Meyer. A shopping list is important part of my process of getting things done. I need to have an easy way to get things off my mind and onto a list that I won’t forget.
WriteRoom: This is my default note-taking app. I like the simplicity of it, and that it has TextExpander support built-in.
Due: This lets me set alarms on an ad-hoc basis. It’s much easier than using the Clock or Calendar app.
Maybe the most interesting thing about my home screen is what’s NOT there: TextExpander. Obviously, I use TextExpander all the time. But on the iPhone and iPad, the OS does not let TextExpander function the way it does on the Mac. It’s still very useful, but more so in the apps that have added support for expanding TextExpander snippets. Osfoora for Twitter and WriteRoom both have TextExpander integration. TextExpander is on Screen 3, along with all the other apps that support it. It just doesn’t get opened very often, especially now that all my snippets are synced via Dropbox.
What is your favorite app?
Maps. When I got my first iPhone, I was heading out on a solo road trip from Portland to Northern California. I never anticipated how useful the Maps app would be, even before there was GPS in the phone. I love calculating how much time is left until I reach my destination. I was just in Chicago, and I used the Public Transit option to plan my trips around the city. I use the app to check traffic. And I use it just for fun, to go look at some exotic destination in satellite view, or to show someone my neighborhood in southeast Portland.
Which app is your guilty pleasure?
Cat Piano. I use it to mess with dogs.
What is the app you are still missing?
I want an app that can identify trees and flowers from a snapshot. Kind of like Shazam for plants.
How many times a day do you use your iPhone and iPad?
My iPhone is almost never more than a foot away from me. I use it too many times a day to count. I use the iPad two or three times a day, more if I’m traveling.
If you were in charge at Apple, what would you add or change?
I would let developers respond to App Store reviews. The system right now is so frustrating. Frequently, the gripes could be resolved with a quick response. I’d also like to encourage all your readers to take a few minutes to leave reviews for their favorite apps. It really does make a difference!