I’m in Love with my iPhone

It’s true. I’m sorry for all those who don’t like the iPhone, but I seriously love this thing. I thought I’d do a fun post and just list some of the coolest apps I’ve found, as well as the most useful.

Fun and/or Cool Apps

1. AppsGoneFree – This is app is super fun, super cool, and super useful. It lists all the free apps on the App Store for that day and you can find all kinds of delicious apps that normally cost money. Most of the apps I list here were found through AppsGoneFree.

2. NodeBeat – This fun little app is a visually based music maker. You are able to drag nodes onto the screen and add beat generators that draw musical wonderment from the little circles of harmonious color. I got it for free but it’s normally $.99, I believe. I’ve spent a lot of time basking in my simple musical creations, as well as annoying many of my close friends who don’t find my musical creations all that musical.

3. TrailMix – I literally just found this app yesterday and it’s absolutely brilliant. Have you ever found a song that matched your running pace perfectly? I have and it was awesome! Well, this app takes any song and adjusts the tempo to your running pace. It’s such a brilliant concept! If you are a runner who listens to music on the trail, this app is literally a must have. Go get it. Right now. It needs you just as much as you need it.

4. CarTunes – This is a pretty simple app that makes it easier to manage your music while driving. It’s gesture based so it clears up some of the clutter found in the original music app that you may not want to deal with while driving.

Productive/Necessary Apps

1. PocketSword – This is by far the best Bible app that you can get for free. It has most translations of the Bible as well as commentaries, dictionaries, daily devotionals, and the ability to bookmark verses. You can look up the Greek or Hebrew definitions for certain words if you have the right dictionaries installed and you can get some of the most popular commentaries (such as the Matthew Henry Commentary on the whole Bible). It is so incredibly useful and I’m amazed more people don’t have it. The one feature I wish it had (that it’s competitor, YouVersion has) is reading plans available in the app. In every other way, however, it is a far superior app to YouVersion.

2. FighterVerse – This is a Bible verse memorization app and it is well work the $2 or $3 that you must spend to download it. I’ve memorized many passages with the aid of this app and I recommend it to anyone who has a goal of Scripture memory. It’s amazing and it has proved very useful to me. It categorizes the memory verses as well, which make it convenient when you want to find verses that match a certain struggle you’re going through.

3. 3D Classic Literature – I have three reading apps (including iBooks and Google Play Books) but this is my favorite. The format is unique and different and there’s a pretty good selection of books. It’s $.99 and since I got the app (I had another iDevice for about a year that I used this app with), I’ve read The Picture of Dorian Gray, Frankenstein, A Journey to the Centre of the Earth, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Around the World in 80 Days, and Heart of Darkness. I’m currently working on Treasure Island. I like having a reading app on my mobile device because I can read when I’m waiting for something and only have a couple minutes to spare. I recommend a good reading app for your mobile device.

4. PocketLists – Another find from AppsGoneFree, this productivity app is a task manager that syncs with the stock Reminders app on your iPhone. It lets you assign priority levels, due dates, and location based reminders. It’s quite useful and even though I have only had it for a day, I’ve already found it very useful.

 

That’s all I’ve got. What’s your favorite app for your iPhone/Android device?

 

SDG.

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Music, Books, and Movies

I love books. I love music. And I love movies. Let me tell you about three fantastic specimens of the arts I’ve discovered recently.

Music

Dark Waltz by Hayley Westenra. This song is so beautiful, I just kind of melt. The first time I heard it was at a dance, which was really quite perfect. The lyrics simply speak of the beauty of waltzing in the moonlight (which, by the way, if you’ve never done that, it’s awesome). The music is really pretty and it’s serene and lovely. Give it a listen.

Books

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. This is the first installment of the second Camp Half-Blood series. It’s a young adult fiction book, and it’s awesome. It weaves Greek and Roman mythology into a modern narrative featuring prophecy, heroes, and giants. I loved it. The first Camp Half-Blood series was the Percy Jackson series (you may have seen the abysmal failure of a movie by the same name, unfortunately). That was amazing too, and it’s just exciting to see the action continue into another series

Movies

Primer. This is a small indie flick about a couple of engineers that create a time machine. It’s a nice twist on the traditional time machine genre, and encourages a little more speculation as to what’s going on. There was a nice twist that was a little hard to follow but it ultimately made sense. Maybe worth your time if you’re a hardcore sci-fi geek like myself.

The Manliness of Fiction

The Art of Manliness is an incredible site. They have tons and tons of man-knowledge that’s just plain useful. I’d like to draw attention to a recent article of theirs on why men should read fiction. 

It strikes me that we are not particularly a “reader society” in general, but I wonder how much men are affected by this crisis of readership. As far as stereotypes go, women read romance novels and men read…what? Playboy? That’s just pornography. There isn’t much of a cultural consensus about men being readers.

The article referenced here particularly talks about the crisis of men not reading fiction. When we do tend to read, we like to focus on good, solid, factual works of literature. Maybe we’ll pick up an autobiography or a historical narrative. But do we read fiction?

When I think of books that I need to read, a great deal on the list are fiction. But they’re also the classics; I feel like I don’t “have a right” to start in on modern literature if I haven’t had my rite of passage through the classic works of literature. Fiction is my favorite; I love the imagination and ingenuity that goes into creating a story. We should love fiction because it’s an image and type of what God has already done. He created a whole world; when we write a story, we are imitating our heavenly Father. He is the author of the greatest story ever told. On that note, it’s interesting to see how many elements of the original story are in everything else. We’re made in the image of God so it’s only natural that what we write ultimately traces its origins back to what God has already written. (The first example that comes to mind is actually a movie…Wall-E, which stars a protagonist who leaves his home world to pursue his future bride, and in order to finally be with her, he must die and be resurrected. Read that sentence again with “His” substituted for “his”.)

Fiction is awesome. Pick up and read.

Cheers!