Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Watch users all have one thing in common. We cannot agree on which applications are the best. ‘Best’ is somewhat subjective, yet we love to see what others call ‘the best’ to see how it compares to what we use.
Apple closes out every year with a look back at the best applications; those from third party app developers that best epitomize what Apple’s app editors think customers like the most. There’s little question that Apple executives and employees live in a bubble, and that explains why Twitter’s Periscope (live video broadcasting) is the top app for 2015. Here’s mine.
Micro-Weather Is Good
My iPhone is packed with the usual suspects. All of Adobe’s creative apps. You know. Work. All of Microsoft’s Office apps. Work. Again. Beyond that I use a number of decidedly non-Apple, non-professional apps which do something special.
High on the list is Things, a remarkably useful to-do, task, and mini-project management app that works very well on Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Watch. Highly recommended.
Also near the top is Flipboard, which works better for me than Apple’s new News app because, well, you know; flipping. Beyond the usual of Facebook and Twitter and Instagram there’s Pocket, which stores websites and articles to be used later (again, Mac, iPhone, iPad). There’s also 1Password, PCalc, and OfficeTime (helps me track my time, and time is money). I love Due, too, because it also works Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Watch.
See the pattern?
Highest on the list of ‘it just works’ though is DarkSky, the hyper local micro-weather app which mashes up local weather with radar and storm alerts and it works everywhere except the Mac.
Any decent weather application can display weather conditions, offer up a forecast for a few days (what good is a 10-day forecast anyway?), and display weather radar. Arranged appropriately on the screen, a quick glance is all you need to get fully briefed. What DarkSky does is different. It tells you when the weather is about to change wherever you are.
That’s thanks to push notifications that come minutes before the rain gets there, and on the Watch it’s a godsend.
DarkSky accomplishes all that goodness by doing what Apple once did so well. Think Different™. The app mashes together your current location using GPS on your iPhone with weather conditions for the same location, including weather radar, wind direction, and more. That means you get notified when it’s about to rain, rather than after the rain has already started.
Apple’s Top 25 Apps of 2015 are worth perusing and you won’t find DarkSky because it’s been out a few years already. What’s also interesting about listing the best apps is Apple’s approach vs. Google’s approach. Apple lists third party apps, while Google’s editors picked their own apps.
I haven’t seen Apple’s list of winners for the Mac yet, but it will be interesting to see how many of them are Mac App Store apps vs. third party apps which do not partake of Apple’s clumsy, cluttered, and anemic app distribution system.