4 Favorite New Apps | Two More Days

4 Favorite New Apps

I have a bit of an app installing problem. I love collecting them like little charms on home screen. I never really know what I’m looking for (except for one that will let actually digital scrapbook on my iPad, please) but I love checking out the latest app store offerings. Here’s a few that have caught my eye lately:

Rooms

Free – iPhone

Rooms is a new app from Facebook that is meant to bring old school forums into a handy, mobile-friendly format.

Surprisingly, you don’t sign in with your Facebook account. You make a nickname for any forum (called a room) you join. Your email is used, at this point, solely to sync your rooms between different devices.

It blows my mind that Facebook made an app that is completely isolated from your Facebook account. (And, of course, there’s no guarantee that it won’t be in the future.

There’s a bit of whimsy in how you discover rooms, as well. To find a room you need an invite, which works kind of like a weird QR code. You can take a photo or screenshot with your mobile device and then you open the image in the Rooms app to join the room. Here’s an invite to the Digital Scrapbooking room I made:

Take a photo or screenshot to join the Digital Scrapbooking room on the Rooms app.

I grew up with the internet of chatrooms and there’s something about Rooms that so reminds me of the chatrooms I used to make with friends back in the AOL days. If you download it, come say hi in the digital scrapbooking room and share a layout!

Adobe Shape

Free with Creative Cloud membership – iPhone

Adobe seems to have finally figured the mobile space out with their new apps, my favorite of which is Adobe Shape. Shape let’s you take a picture of anything – a texture, artwork, an object – and coverts it into a vectorized image. (If you’ve used illustrator, it’s basically like having the live trace tool in your phone.) If you’re an artist, this is a great way to get a quick vector of your work. Even my husband has found it useful for taking photos of the whiteboards he uses when teaching Chemistry.

Project Life

$2.99 – iPhone (Android coming soon)

Project Life App

If you’re a digital scrapbooker, I’m sure you’ve already heard about this app, but for my friends who don’t digital scrapbook – this might be an easy way to start.

The Project Life app lets you pick from a few different photo collage options and page designs and includes a few digital project life kits. (There are also many more available for in-app purchase.)

I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, I think this is a great, quick way to document your stories – especially if you’re not already doing it. All my mom friends – I would highly recommend this to you because you can put together a decent looking “scrapbook” page in minutes.

However, as someone who enjoys the process of scrapbooking, I realized through using this app that Project Life at it’s most basic (which is what the app is) is really not for me. I love my hybrid project life albums because I can take the extra time to sew on them or add enamels and stamps, or basically use some of the 4×6 cards for tiny scale digital scrapbooking. You can’t do any of this in the Project Life app. (You can’t even journal on anything but the journal cards, so you have to use a separate app to add text to photos or other cards you’re bringing in.)

If you’re interested in a super low-cost way to try out some digital documentation, this might be for you. If you’re already doing project life or digital scrapbooking, you can probably pass.

I still kept this one as a favorite, even with my lukewarm feelings about it, because I am interested in seeing where they go from here and maybe one day it will be flexible enough to the app that lets me digital scrap on my iPad.

Forest

$.99 – iPhone and Android

This is the app to battle my app addiction. Forest intends to help you put down your phone and do something else. You plant a seed and if you leave your phone alone for 30 minutes, it turns into a tree. You can then label it with what you were doing for that thirty minutes and it shows you all your trees in a nice little plot of land. If you don’t leave your phone alone, you kill your tree. (Forest also will show you how many times you’ve killed your trees.)

Forest App

I downloaded this thinking, “Oh, that’s kind of cute,” but I actually love it. Most of the time when I plant a tree, I don’t even look at the phone until I’m done with the activity I had planned, but I feel like when I’m planting that little digital seed, I am making a commitment to do something without being distracted. And the few times I forget and pick up my phone, Forest is there to remind me to put it down again.

If you are at all prone to being distracted by your phone (and who isn’t these days?), I highly recommend this one.

What apps have caught your eye lately? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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