Spotify has changed the way I listen to music. They’ve excelled in music discovery in a way that sets them apart from other streaming apps, specifically Apple Music. The concept of dynamic, personalized playlists was a major step forward — I haven’t met anyone that doesn’t like Discover Weekly.
I recommend Breaker to anyone I talk to about podcasts. I listen to podcasts when I go jogging, so I usually get through several a week. There are a lot of small things that come together to make Breaker great. Their playlist concept works really well. Here’s my profile.
My favorite type of content is long-form. 400-word news articles are typically too short to build any meaningful understanding of an issue, so I often look for longer articles that I send to Instapaper. I like Instapaper compared to other alternatives because it’s dead simple and looks great.
I bought a Kindle a couple of years ago, but do most reading on my phone now. I’ve been split for the past few years on whether I prefer Kindle over physical books, but I’ve landed on something in-between. I’ll read a book on Kindle first, and if I like it enough to read it a second time, I’ll buy a physical copy. One feature I love that Kindle recently added was “Continuous Scrolling”, so you can read a book as if it were an article. I also have night mode on all the time. Paired with iOS’ Night Shift, I can read with my phone in bed and still fall asleep immediately.
I check Slack often enough to keep it on the home screen, but I’ve disabled badges. I prefer to use Slack on desktop, so I only use the app to read or send quick replies.
I signed up for 1Password back when they allowed a one-time purchase with Dropbox integration, but I don’t think that’s possible anymore. I’ve also heard good things about LastPass.
The best thing you can do to keep your accounts safe is to use a different password for each (and enable 2-factor), and that’s essentially impossible without a password manager. Account takeovers typically happen when one, less-secure site is hacked. Then, spammers will try the leaked email and password combinations on a variety of more secure sites to see if they get lucky.
I’ve been a serious language learner for a couple of years, and Chatterbug is my current favorite language learning app. I’ve also put significant amounts of time into Duolingo (German Level 13, Spanish 7, French 5, Italian 5) and Memrise (1.4m points), Lingvist, iTalki, Yabla, and LingQ.
Chatterbug excels because it combines several different exercise types into one app. Just hit “Start studying”, and you’ll get a balance of listening exercises, reading, writing, videos, and flash cards. They also help you schedule lessons with instructors at a super reasonable price (which I’d recommend for anyone learning a language — practicing conversation is key). I’ve improved my German substantially using exclusively Chatterbug.
I’m on Strava almost every day uploading runs or bike rides. In my experience, the community has been incredibly positive. It’s encouraging to follow your friends and see where they’re running.
Google Photos is my favorite Google product. The unlimited, high-quality storage was a masterstroke. The app also makes it easy to delete photos that have been backed up. Compare this with Apple’s offering: