We use apps on our phones, tablets and computers every day. We use them to inform, entertain, and to make our lives easier. And we’ve tried a lot of them. Some are awesome and some weren’t worth our time. So, in order to save you some time, we’ve chosen our 10 favorite apps we used (and loved!) in 2012.
Day One / $9.99
Availability: iPhone, iPad, Mac App
An App of the Year 2012 pick, Day One is a simple way to jornal. Everything from personal experiences to tracking a growing family (or, say, the journey to homeownership?) is easy to track with this app. You can also integrate photos, videos and links into your posts.
Kindle Reading App / Free
Availability: Browser, iPhone, iPod, Android, Windows phone, Blackberry, iPad, Android tablet, Mac App, Windows 8, Windows 7, XP & Vista
You don’t need to own a Kindle device to enjoy reading books in the Kindle platform. The free reader app is available on almost any device, and automatically syncs across devices. We love it because if we start a chapter on our Kindle and want to read a few pages on our laptop, it automatically picks up where we left off.
iMovie ’11 / $14.99
Availability: Mac App, iPhone, iPod, iPad
If you’re a Mac user, iMovie makes it easy to turn your home videos into feature films. The interface is simple to use — even beginners can make movies with relative ease — and the final product looks sharp.
Pocket / Free
Availability: Browser, iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows mobile, WebOS, s60, Blackberry
The idea behind Pocket is simple: When you find an article, video or website you want to save for later, you send it to Pocket. It will automatically sync across all of your devices and keep it there for you until you’re ready to sit down and enjoy it. You can also email things to your queue. We love it because we’re constantly running across things we want to read or watch, but don’t necessarily have time to when we find them. This app lets us browse them at our convenience.
1Password / $49.99
Availability: Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android
OK, we know. This one is pricey. But think about it; have you ever lost a password? Have you ever had an account hacked? What is the value of knowing your accounts are protected and secure? We’re 1Password users, and we have to say that we’ve found it to be worth every penny. It works like this: Create a master password and you can access your passwords to every site you log in to. The service will even create strong, unique passwords for each site as you register.
Forismatic / Free
Availability: Mac App, iPhone, iPad, Windows 8
Forismatic is pretty simple: It’s a collection of inspiring expressions to, well, inspire you! There are three modes; click to get a random expression, set regular ‘sparks’ to appear in the corner of your screen at an interval, or have them appear after a period of inactivity.
Chronicle / $14.99
Availability: Mac App, iPhone, iPod
If you pay bills, you’ll find Chronicle useful. Chronicle reminds you to pay your bills on time, tracks your payments, provides details and statistics and integrates nicely with online payments. It even saves your payment confirmation numbers, and it syncs your data to Dropbox if you have an account.
Cobook / Free
Availability: Mac App, iPhone
Cobook is an address book that outshines Apple’s native address book. It doesn’t automatically upload your address book to servers, so your information is private. It will sync with your current address book and contacts, and you can create groups within the app. The beauty, however, is in the organizing, search and social media integration.
Sparrow / $9.99
Availability: Mac App, iPhone
This app is lightweight and fast, and promotes spending less time on mail. The features are simple and functional, and with integrations that include Facebook profile photos, easy file attachments and Gmail labels, you’ll be sending and receiving mail with ease. It allows multiple inboxes with one unified inbox and IMAP and POP support, as well.
Evernote / Free
Availability: Mac App, Windows, Windows 8, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, Blackberry, Windows mobile, WebOS (via App Catalog)
Our favorite part about Evernote is that there are a million ways to use it: From taking notes at a conference and sharing them with your boss to creating a collection of home decorating inspiration sources and everything in between. Everything stays synced across your devices and platforms, and you can share content by inviting others to your notebooks or easily emailing items to others. It’s great for collecting research, planning trips, collaborating and keeping your life organized.