Everything That’s on NPH’s Phone
From my handheld device, to yours: my favorite apps, games and more
Passcode entered, face ID’d, two factors authenticated, and away we go…allow me to share with you what’s on my handheld smart device, dear reader.
My background is a blown-up image of Spaceship Earth at EPCOT. A brilliant geodesic dome of geometric wonder, one of the all-time-great animatronic attractions. Also looks cool on a phone.
HOME SCREEN AND APP ORGANIZATION
My first screen houses the apps I use most often and a devilishly specific number of scheduling notifications. Fancy that. Plus almost 2,000 unread emails. Better to just text me.
Anyway, lemme show you around. Instagram, natch. Equinox tells me where to workout. Waze tells me how to get there. Uber drives. Slack is how I stay up to date on Wondercade (the team learned early on to stop emailing me), Day One is an online journal, but I keep forgetting to write … I added Reminders to remind me, but I keep forgetting to check them. They should make an app for that. Marco Polo is awesome: a cross between a video walkie-talkie and a text thread. Can send videos to the family and they can respond at their leisure. And it isn’t stored in your phone’s memory, so film away. It’s been a godsend.
The next screen highlights just how app-addicted I am, or at least how much I crave organization. Maybe both. I’ve created a multitude of folders, and can drag new apps into their appropriate spot. Food, Drink, Funhouse, Shopping, etc. Of note: seven of the folders all contain different types of games, which tells you a bit about my brain hole. Games: Action; Games: Mind; Games: Puzzle; Games: New; Kids: Brains; Kids: Games; and Cube (which houses all of the Rusty Lakes puzzle/horror chapters. Worth a creepy deep dive).
GAMES AND FITNESS
Games: Mind. I go here often, when I’m bored, needing distraction or procrastinating when Wondercade articles are due. Ha, I’m kidding…I’m totally not kidding.
The NY Times Crossword app is in regular rotation. I’m only able to finish Monday and Tuesday, but recently just decided to turn on AUTOCHECK for the rest of the week, so at least I can start learning and not just get frustrated. I recommend it. Backgammon is always great, a game well worth learning. Her Story is a bold experiment in interactive storytelling, very clever. The Room is perhaps the best puzzling app I’ve ever played, as if steampunk contraptions found by DaVinci existed and you get to explore them. 7 Little Words is so simple. It’s great to play when in a customs line, and I crave the smiley face when I succeed. Professor Layton: Curious Village has a British soft spot in my heart, The Great British Bake Off of puzzle games. And Small Town Murders should be great, I’ve played it a LOT, but it frustrates in that as the levels advance, it just becomes more necessary to buy add ons and boosters and such. Which honestly sucks. It’s fairly disrespectful. I want to solve the crimes and not feel abused. Sigh. Commerce over community, I suppose.
What’s another folder I use a lot …? Ah, Fitness! Apps have revolutionized the exercise/health world, making workout programs and instructions accessible anywhere. The Nike Training app has easy to follow workouts that I go back to often, but I’m also following Jack Hanrahan’s most excellent PRGRM. I started following him on Instagram, and his focus on form is inspired. Plus, he’s British, so everything sounds James Bond-y and important. Alo Moves is my go-to yoga app, thanks to trainer Dylan Werner’s instruction, I’m still working on perfecting my handstand. Headspace and Balance are both solid choices for meditation and mindfulness, either through single sessions or longer programs. But if I want to exercise my brain and not quiet it, I love Elevate — daily mental challenges to work your synapses in a variety of disciplines (memory, math, spelling, vocabulary, etc.). It’s like a mini gameshow every day, and adjusts to your individual strengths and weaknesses. Lastly, I’m digging on Supernatural, which is the companion app for the sweaty Meta Quest VR game. I never imagined that one could get a legitimate cardio workout while wearing a headset, but Supernatural is legit, hilarious and awesome.
I’m only now noticing that I have an entire folder called Shopping, and directly underneath it a dedicated Amazon app. Considering how much I use the latter, not sure I really need the former. That Jeff Bezos. He just might be on to something.
So that’s a taste of what’s on my phone. I’d love to know any app recommendations that you have — next-level, game-changing apps that have legit improved your world. Send them my way at email@example.com. I’m always hungry for efficiency and/or fun.
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