thief comes over to a man walking down the street and says with
murder in his eyes, “Don’t move, this is a stick-up! Your
smartphone or your life!”
man pauses for a long time. Finally, the thief says, louder, “Come
on, buddy, your smartphone or your life!” To which the guy replies,
“I’m thinking it over!”
a modification to the great, old Jack Benny routine; in the original,
the thief is demanding money, not a spiffy gadget.
I’m without my iPhone I feel not only out of touch but positively
disconnected. It’s not because I’m afraid I’ll miss a call.
It’s mainly because I’ll miss my apps.
summer upon us and at least a few days of vacation looming, I thought
you might enjoy recommendations for apps that can be quite useful to
those in the broadcast biz. I’ve also included a few for fun. Note
that not all are available for all phones.
assume you’ve already got the streaming apps from the major U.S.
radio companies, plus Pandora and Slacker. But I run into lots of
radio folks who have never tried Stitcher for on-demand news and talk
is probably the most useful app for mining fresh talent, getting
ideas for new shows and being able to listen easily to programs in
episode form. Their cool new feature is that you can set your phone
to do the downloading when you have access to Wi-Fi, saving you
bandwidth charges and eliminating buffering.
other radio-like apps are worth a test drive:
Concert Vault, by Wolfgang’s Vault, consists of music from Bill
OTR Streamer has old-timey radio shows that take you back to the days
Scanner Radio Plus acts like a scanner for police, fire, EMS and
Police Scanner Plus is a scanner plus music with the ability to
Songza brings you music to fit a mood
Twitter’s “music” hashtag (#music) is an interesting way to
find new music trends out there in the tweeting ether.
lets you easily transfer large files via all devices, and can
automatically back up photos taken on your phone.
makes amazingly clear PDF files using your phone’s camera and is
terrific for doing PDF conversions on contracts, memos and receipts,
then sending them effortlessly to an email address.
lets you make notes on either your phone or computer and they sync.
X HD tests the speed of any Wi-Fi connection you can reach. I used
this baby often, to see if I’ve got enough “up-speed” to
isn’t perfect, but when you don’t have a magnifier handy, it’ll
help you read that invisible serial number.
displays your unique device identifier (on iPhone and iPad) and
allows you to email the numbers. When you’re testing apps, this is
true time saver.
tracks all of our Google Analytics on as many websites as you have in
get Flashlight (or any of the bright LED apps out there) — come on,
you know you’re going to need it!
has saved me many times from being stuck in traffic when the bigger
name map apps have failed. Why? It’s user-driven, and in major
cities that means that lots of people are using it to share
information. It has a very cool interface. In my market, they’ve
partnered with a TV station, but perhaps in your city they’d
partner with a radio station.
pretty much “Let’s Stalk Your Kids”; at least, that’s how my
kids saw it when I demanded they put this tracking device on their
smartphones. But once they started using it, they realized they could
find my wife and me, too! You could execute some really fun morning
show bits with this app and probably also get yourself into serious
Compass, for those times you just gotta know which way is north.
Traffic View, the free version shows only photos, but sometimes these
shots from live traffic cameras can help you out quickly enough to
check info for on-air use or just for driving somewhere yourself. The
paid version streams live video.
as many news apps as your memory will hold, but if you gotta choose,
pick Flipboard. The interface will blow your mind and you can
customize it to your needs.
will show you what news and topics people find interesting (it’s
the app version of www.reddit.com). Any of them may be just
what you need to know in the moment.
also Wikipedia. Need I say more?! Nothing has made on-air
personalities sound like genius more than this product, and it works
super fast on your phone. Of course, factual accuracy is not
let’s not forget Weather, a pure necessity for anyone on the air. I
like the Weather Channel’s version, but almost all weather apps
deliver the goods.
LinkedIn. In this business, you gotta stay connected because, well,
you never know.
SMS lets you send text messages to large groups of people, like your
sales staff to remind them of their 7 a.m. meeting every Monday
for the WhitePages app, it’s not perfect, but what phone book ever
is a blast. If you have no musical talent whatsoever, at least you
can drive your friends crazy by playing with tones. Highly addictive.
you actually do play piano, try Virtuoso Piano. You’ll be
frustrated by the size of the keyboard, but it makes for a good
icebreaker with the opposite sex.
you can tell, I’m a bona fide app junkie and very appreciative when
friends share great apps they love with me. There are so many
released daily that it’s virtually impossible to keep up.
Lapidus is president of Lapidus Media. Send him more suggestions of
great apps; write to firstname.lastname@example.org.