Welcome to the initial post for my new (and first) series, titled "iBlog on Cloud 9."
A brief introduction of me:
- My name is Natty, and I'm 28 years old.
- I live and work in San Diego, CA.
- Full-time employed in the tax and accounting field.
- Part-time small business owner in the IT field.
This blog series will cover various technological resources and how best to utilize these resources as we move further into the digital future. The end goal (for me personally) is maximum efficiency and convenience in all areas of my life, with as much automation as possible.
Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of Apple products and always try to incorporate their products when possible, so there will be a lot of iOS and Apple talk in this blog series. I have never been affiliated with Apple, I've just always been really impressed with how innovative, smooth, and thorough their products are, and I absolutely love their designs 🖥📱 💸
I hope you will all enjoy the series, and I look forward to hearing your comments!
iBlog on Cloud 9
Post 1: iOS Apps for the Digital Future
For Post 1 in the series, I will give a brief summary of 9 iOS apps I've recently discovered and incorporated into my own life. I highly recommend all the apps below, with the disclaimer that some of the apps have a big learning curve and will require a bit of time to become familiar with. If I stick through it though, it always ends up being more than worth it for me to make the change!
I couldn't narrow it down to only 9 awesome apps, so this first post will be for apps that mostly apply to your personal life. The next post will cover apps that are more geared towards business.
Apps to be discussed are shown in the screenshot:
1) Numbers (also Pages and Keynote)
- Apple's MS Excel equivalent built for iOS (Pages = MS Word and Keynote = PowerPoint). Bonus: iOS easily converts to the MS Office format, although some formatting may be lost
2) Code Swift
- I believe Coding is the future, and I've slowly started learning the programming language Apple uses for its iOS apps. The language is called Swift, and there are multiple learning tutorials available for free on the App Store. My preferred one so far is called "Code! learn how to program – Swift version."
- Super fast and easy app which scans your emails for subscriptions, then lets you "swipe" left on the ones you want to unsubscribe from, and has two options for keeping the subscriptions. I tested this on an old email account and it worked great, although it's scary to give an app access to so much. I usually decide on a case-by-case basis which apps I think are safe enough to allow access to other accounts.
4) Apple HomeKit
- This is one of my new favorite apps, and it definitively takes some work to get it all set up. Once I'm a little further into my Apple Home Automation long-term project, I will do a thorough blog post on Apple and Home Automation via HomeKit for anyone interested 🏡
- Note, Apple HomeKit needs multiple additional Apple-brand and Apple-approved accessories for full functionality.
- For all those random websites you encounter on your phone, this is an iOS compatible app which easily saves and stores each one for you to read later! Very useful app, also free.
6) Amazon App and PrimeNow
- After realizing the convenience of shopping online when I finally subscribed to Amazon Prime, I've started buying almost everything on Amazon (with the exception of some foods, but all my snacks come from Amazon now).
- Household items, heavy cases of water, furniture, and clothing etc gets delivered for free within 1-2 days of placing the order.
- I got some wrong clothing sizes at first, but I've become fairly accurate in judging which size to order, and there is A LOT of cheap yet nice clothing on Amazon. One of my most recent purchases is this cute dress/full swimsuit, it was perfect for when I went to the beach! (picture is a clickable link to where it was bought)
- PrimeNow, which may not be available in all zip codes yet, even has free delivery within a few hours of ordering.
I still have a lot to learn about these last three apps, but I think they could all be very useful:
- iPhone automation with a lot of potential.
- IFTTT stands for "IF This, Then That."
- I have not yet played around with this app very much, but the general idea is: if you always perform certain actions after others, and the actions are always performed in the same order, it can be automated by your phone with this app.
- With help of the app, you decide which actions you want to automate, and the instructions are then given to your phone in a format that it's able to process. From that point on you have automation, and until you change the instruction, you only need to perform the first action in a set. The remaining steps will be automatically performed by your phone.
- As a fictitious example, if you always post goodnight on Facebook and then turn on your alarm right after, with this app your phone would automatically turn on the alarm whenever you post goodnight on Facebook.
8) Cloud storage
- I will be testing Amazon and Apple to decide on which Cloud storage to use. I have decided to go completely digital in my personal life, and I believe their Cloud offerings will be superior to any others. I'm not a big fan of Microsoft in general, and I will not be testing their cloud storage. As an accountant though, I can't deny I love Excel 🤓
9) Workflow (made by Apple)
- I have not yet figured out most of this one, but it looks like it could be an extremely useful app once I know the ins and outs! If anybody uses it I would love to hear your experience with it 🗂