Five Favourite iOS Apps

2 of #100DaysToOffload

In preparation for our kitchen revamp, I explored the deep recesses of our cupboards. Inside the darkened corners lay utensils unseen for twenty years.

In a similar vein, my #iPhone has accumulated vast sums of unused apps. When I first bought an iPhone in 2010, I spent late nights surfing the app store to see what I could find.

Doodle Jump and the spirit level are long gone.

Still, with 76 apps, I'm about to embark on a serious declutter. But some apps make life that bit easier.

1. Ulysses:

Seeing the butterfly logo on my home screen nudges me to write. On Ulysses, I store ideas, develop drafts, and ready the words for publishing. For a short time, I fell out of love with Ulysses when it converted to a subscription model. But I came back after trying some alternatives because it's slick, minimalist and super functional.

2. Nest:

With the Google smart home app, the glass is half full or half empty. Nest and its hardware allow me to run security cameras; manage home heating, and monitor our home for fire and carbon monoxide.

But the app can be slow and clunky, and cameras take random moments to go offline. However, our house is secure. I also love being able to keep an eye on our cats to make sure they're safe.

3. Starling Bank:

My long term bank used to advertise how it was proud to be different when it was the same as all others. It was the advertising that irked me; not the service. So I turned to one of the app-only banks from the burgeoning 'Fintech' sector.

Starling Bank (the UK only) does what it says, and makes budgeting via the iPhone a breeze. I leave the other bank to do direct debits and tedious stuff, while I take the month's spending money over to Starling.

Starling Bank has transformed how we budget our monthly money. Unfortunately, similar services such as Monzo or Revolut, are over-stretching and creating poor customer relations.

4. Unread RSS:

Born out of frustration with Apple News when I still saw ads after upgrading to News Plus, I looked at RSS again. In my search, I discovered Unread. Unread is for RSS what Bear is for note-taking; except there's no learning curve and it's not over-hyped. Both apps are aesthetically similar.

On the downside, Unread reads, it doesn't aggregate, so for that, I turned to Feedbin.

What a revelation that turned out to be. Feedbin integrates with a range of services including I had never heard of before; a micro-blogging platform made with love. 


Through I discovered Mastodon and Thanks, Unread.

5. Meditate – #Mindfulness app:

The world is full of greedy start-ups creating meditation apps. It does not need to cost you $50 to $100 per year to meditate.

You can learn meditation through books, free trials and podcasts. Meditate, by RhythmicWorks LLP, is frustratingly hard to find on the app store unless you type in the exact name. For use on Apple Watch, it costs $5/£5. That's it.

Meditate in silence, listen to music, or like me, listen addictively to ASMR whispers on YouTube. Of course, an app is only for keeping a record and timing your session. You don't need any tech to meditate.

That's my five – #apps to help you write; protect your home and your money; keep up with news, and keep calm.

I’m publishing this as part of #100DaysToOffload. You can join in by visiting

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