Three reasons to use Tweetbot

Tapbots has released Tweetbot 2.0, a major update to its popular Twitter client for iPhone (and now for the iPad, too). There’s a lot to like about this update, but I’m going to focus on three reasons to use Tweetbot 2.0.

Readability integration. My love affair with low-distraction readers continues, thanks to Tweetbot. Much like its desktop browser counterpart, Readability in Tweetbot lets you read an article without ads, footer or header. A toggle switch appears once you’ve tapped an article linked in a tweet. Flip it to the right for the mobile view. From there, several layout customization options are available. First, the font can be re-sized. You’ll also find five themes to choose from: Newspaper, Novel, eBook, Inverse (pictured below) and Athelas. You can also adjust the width of the article and share it via Facebook, email or Twitter. The Readability view is so beautiful and useful, it’s almost reason enough to use the app.

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Three reasons to use Gift Plan

It’s December 1st and that means holiday shopping is in full swing. There are many iPhone shopping apps in the App Store, but my hands-down favorite is Gift Plan by Glasshouse Apps. I started using Gift Plan last year and fell in love with it. This week, Glasshouse released version 2.4 and it’s a super update. Here are three reasons to use Gift Plan when shopping with your iPhone.

  1. Tight organization. I can tap any contact’s name and instantly see all of the ideas I’ve generated for him/her, sorted by occasion (birthday, anniversary, Christmas), as well as his/her preferences, important upcoming daters (with countdown) and purchase history.
  2. Simple, fast data entry. I often get gift ideas while I’m out with the eventual recipient. That means I must make a note quickly and covertly. Fortunately, Gift Plan only requires few taps. In fact, I can even just snap a photo if there isn’t time to type. I love that.
  3. The Occasions screen. I forget things. A lot. A whole lot. Gift Plan’s Occasions Screen overs an overview of every gift-giving occasion I created, complete with countdown. I love it.

There’s much more to this fantastic app, so go get it and shop with your iPhone this holiday.

Instead of writing a long-winded review, I’ll opt for simplicity with three reasons to use Gift Plan. You’ll find more mini reviews here.

Three reasons to use Twitterrific

Instead of writing a long-winded review, I’ll opt for simplicity with three reasons to use Twitterrific. You’ll find more mini reviews here.

Not since the Cola Wars of the 1980’s has the world seen such an epic battle for consumer dollars. The Great Twitter App Wars of the early 2000’s have spawned debate and some fantastic apps for iOS and Mac OS X. My favorite is Twitterrific. Here are three reasons to use the recently-released Twitterrific 4 for Mac.

  1. Color coding. Many people have publicly posted a tweet that was meant to be a direct message. Twitterrific lens a hand by color-coding your tweets, both sent and received. Direct messages are blue, mentions are brown and your own tweets are green. Timeline tweets are either black or white, depending on the theme you’ve selected. Best of all, a direct message is a darker brown than a tweet that simply mentions you. All of this makes it super easy to see what’s what at a glance.
  2. The collapsable sidebar. The Twitterrific sidebar displays lots of useful information, like tweets, messages, mentions and favorites, plus saved searches, lists and trends. I like to run it fully collapsed, so that only each function’s icon is visible (see above). It saves a lot of space on my MacBook Air’s little display.
  3. Multiple timelines. From the Timeline menu, select New Timeline (Command-T) to open a new window to follow a second (or third, etc.) account. For those of you who must monitor more than one account at a time, this works well. Otherwise, you can keep one window open and use Command-J to toggle between accounts. Note that the paid version is required for multiple account support.

There’s much more to this app, and I suggest you check it out here. Asking people about their preferred Twitter client has nearly become as personal as religion. Dozens of options exist, some differing only slightly, so you’ve got to find that one aspect that wins you over. For me, it was these three.

Three reasons to use DraftPad

My favorite note-taking iPhone apps mimic the ease and flexibility of pen and paper. I want to tap, write, close. The problem comes when I want to use the captured information. DraftPad solves the problem with clever, customizable “Assists,” while making data entry super simple. Here are three reasons to use DraftPad.

1. No frills. DraftPad dispenses with the bells and whistles and offers two things at launch: a keyboard and a field of white. To create a new note, simply begin typing. There are five font sizes to choose from, and one tap brings you to a searchable history, sorted by date. Tap, write, close. Exactly what I want.

2. Assists. DraftPad Assists are bookmarks that are opened by the app, letting you move text directly to other apps or with web services via mobile Safari. A huge library of Assists is available, including email, SMS, MMS, add to iCal and several online search options. Twitter support is extensive, including tweeting directly from the app or from a number of 3rd-party apps, like Twitterrific, TwitBird, Twittelator and more.

Best of all, you can publish a note created in DraftPad directly to Evernote, OmniFocus, Facebook and ATOK Pad app.

You can modify any existing Assist or even make your own from scratch. The benefit of Assists can’t be overstated; they send the usefulness of DraftPad through the stratosphere.

3. Universal and free. Occasionally you find an app that’s tremendously useful and completely free. DraftPad is on that list. There’s nothing to lose when giving it a shot and a whole lot to gain.

3 reasons to use Due

Due isn’t a to-do app for the iPhone, it’s a reminder app for the iPhone. Due exists for one reason: to politely pester you into performing a task that must not be overlooked. I’ve been using it for several weeks now, and am quite smitten.

Here are three reasons to use Due for iPhone.

  1. It nags. That’s a good thing. Many reminder/to-do apps will present a message when your task is due. Most won’t return after its dismissed, whether the protect is complete or not. Due keeps presenting that message until you go into the app and mark it as done. You’ve also got the option to snooze an event, so that Due will bug you about it at a specific time.
  2. Repeating timers. Is there a timed task that you must preform regularly? Set it as recurring and run that timer over and over with the flip of a switch.
  3. Customizable preset timings. Not that scrolling through the time wheel UI is difficult, but this is even easier. You can create up to four one-tap time settings (8:45 AM for example) that you use often. That’s a very thoughtful feature.

There’s more, of course, and you can read the full feature set here. For a fast, simple and — most importantly — reliable way to be prompted to complete the little things, you can’t do better than Due.


Three reasons to use Teux Deux

My last “Three reasons” post was well-received, and I enjoyed writing it. As a foll0w-up, here are three reasons to use Teux Deux for iPhone ($2.99).

Teux Deux is a simple task manager with a (free) companion web site. It’s beautiful, simple and useful. I think you should be using it. Here are three reasons why.

The Someday Bucket. Most task managers overlook this extremely important resource. Many of the ideas we get throughout the day are compelling but poorly-timed. Those ideas either rot in an inbox while you avoid figuring them out or are dismissed entirely as unlikely or impossible. A Someday/Maybe List places a stake in the ground for those items so they’ll pop back up during your weekly review for re-evaluation. Kudos to the Teux Deux team for including this.

Effortless, over-the-air sync. Enter an item via your browser and it appears on the iPhone. Mark an item as done on your iPhone and that 0h-so-satisfying strikethrough shows up in your browser. If you’re impatient you can tap the “sync” button to get things going.

This is gorgeous.

The app’s UI is quiet and highly usable. Re-order items with a hold-and-drag, create new tasks by tapping the text field (two taps to create a new item) and swipe from day-to-day. Tapping “Someday” brings up that list. Finally, unfinished tasks automatically roll over to the following day.

Teux Deux is an app that productivity nerds with a penchant for design will enjoy. It looks great and works as advertised with over-the-air sync to boot.


Three reasons to use Calvetica

Instead of writing a long-winded review, I’ll opt for simplicity with three reasons to use Calvetica.

Add an event with three taps. Tap the day, tap the time, title your event and tap Done.

Syncs with the built-in calendar. Events created before you purchased Calvetica appear in the app. Appointments created with Calvetica appear in the built-in calendar(s) of your choice and will get synchronized across all devices if you’re a MobileMe subscriber.

Finally, use Calvetica because this is gorgeous:

If you want a more in-depth exploration of this app, look here, here or here. Frankly, I believe the three items listed above more than justify spending 3 dollars on an app you’ll love.