5 of Kate’s Favorite Apps


new on the scoopIn case you missed it, last week, Apple announced the new iPhones this week. Now…I know a lot of people have a lot of feelings about Apple products. Even though my husband and I have had iPhones (and subsequent iPads) for a few years, I was very resistant to getting a Mac, largely because of the fire-eyed Mac evangelists. My conversion to a Macbook is another story, but when I told my husband I wanted a Mac, I felt like I was telling him I was changing my religion or something. He’s still firmly in the PC camp and our kids have a Kindle Fire, so we are by no means Apple exclusive.


I have an iPhone, I’ve had one for a long time, it works for me. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite apps, most of which are also available on other platforms. These aren’t sponsored in any way, just things I find myself using again and again!


I love and use the My Fitness Pal app pretty much daily–I find it much more useful and intuitive than many of the paid weight loss apps, including Weight Watchers. But a lot of people already know and use it. So…my pick for a fitness app is 5K Runner.

5K 5K 2

There are a lot of Couch-to-5K apps and there are a lot of fitness apps, but I love this one because even though it’s free, it doesn’t operate like a free app. The interface is attractive and user-friendly. It’s easy to listen to your own music, the directions are easy to follow, and it’s top-notch in every way. If you’re looking for a free way to help you get fit, this is one of my favorites!


I remember when I was pregnant with my oldest in 2004, my husband and I went to Wendy’s late one night for a Frosty run (yeah) and we heard a catchy song on the radio. I caught a memorable line or two of the song and spent the next few days, unsuccessfully, trying to figure out what the song was.


It’s not 2004 anymore. The Music ID app listens to a snippet of a song, identifies it (sometimes it takes 2 or three tries), then identifies it.

Music Identify

Sometimes I have it identify a song I know and like but don’t own because it makes a list of songs it’s identified, so then I can either go back and find them or I can even click on the song and it will take me straight to iTunes where I can buy it.


I don’t play a ton of games, but I love puzzle games, especially ones where I don’t have to commit to a huge chunk of time all at once. Two DotsΒ is hands-down my favorite little time-killer.

Two Donts

The graphics and music are darling, the concept is simple (but it can get insanely difficult), and you’re limited to 5 lives at a time (it takes 20 minutes for them to regenerate), so you’re not sucked into a puzzle all day. Admittedly, some levels rely heavily on luck and are almost impossible to pass without the annoying in-app purchases, but itΒ is do-able. This got me through long stretches of road in West Texas and New Mexico when we drove out to Utah this last summer.


Sara and I often get asked what app we use to make collages and add text to our photos on Instagram (if you’re not following us, Sara’s here and I’m here). For collages, I love Bubble Frame— (now Rhonna Collage) there are tons of layouts, fonts, and you can even email yourself fonts from your own computer and use them in this app!

Bubble Fram Bubble Frame

For adding text and effects, we love Rhonna Designs. I swear, it’s the gold standard of photo effect apps. It’s very intuitive and easy to use, effects are super easy to create, and there are even tutorials to help you use it to its fullest.

Rhonna Designs

Rhonna also recently released a new photo editing app, Rhonna Designs Magic, which we love! You can adjust color temperature, exposure, add bokeh and light leaks (non-cheesy ones!)

Rhonna Magic Rhonna Magic 2

I have lots more I love, these are just the ones I find myself using all the time that you might not already know about. So share…what apps help keep your life going a little more smoothly?


  1. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new ProjectLife app (released last night!) and I hear the new iOS8 uses Siri and Shazam to ID music for free. I’ve had Shazam for years so it will be nice to have one less app on my phone!

  2. Do you know any good droid systems that track your running miles? I do not currently use any apps on my phone. I am not a techy person.

  3. I don’t have iAnything yet. My husband just got an iPhone (he was extremely hesitant) so I’m waiting to see how he likes it. I love the idea of that running ap, though!

  4. Grocery IQ is the best grocery shopping app. You can add dollar amounts to each item so when you make your list you know before you go to the store if you will be over budget or not! Use this app weekly and can’t imagine having to make a list without it, I’d be poor πŸ™‚

  5. Instagram and Netflix are my two favorites – I don’t know if they make my life run more smoothly, but they are hands down two of my favorites. πŸ™‚ Internet Movie Database (IMDB) is another one I can’t live without – I use when I’m watching a movie and think, “Where have I seen that guy before?”

  6. Loooove Rhonna designs app. So glad you shared that with everyone as it is likely my most used app! Off to download 5K Runner! Thanks!

  7. I really like the interval timer app that was mentioned in one of the fitness posts here. It’s made my little exercise routine so easy to track. Like someone else mentioned I also like Grocery IQ – love that you can have lists for different stores. Also use Target cartwheel a lot and Teux Deux to keep my days chores and errands straight.

  8. I think I need to check out the Bubble Frame and Rhona Designs apps. I’ve been using Diptic and PicTapGo, but I don’t absolutely love either of them. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I always love seeing what apps other people love. One of my favorite discussions on FB are when a friend asks for favorite Ipad apps for kids… maybe that can be next on the Scoop!

  10. I’m so addicted to the Frozen Freefall game. I get really annoyed when I run out of lives though. Kind of annoying as far as how difficult some of the levels are, but I love Frozen.

  11. Fun list. I’m so behind the times I hardly have/use/know how to use any apps on my phone. And that’s totally ok with me. I would much rather sit down at my computer with a big screen and a real keyboard than do anything on my phone. But I might suggest all of these apps for my kids. My daughter would have tons of fun with the photography stuff.

  12. I’m still pretty new to smart phones and apps. I feel lame for saying the Hobby Lobby app is one of my favorites! It’s just too dang easy to get your coupon. I have to try the Target Cartwheel. Whatever happened to the OBB app idea? I would use that so much!

  13. I love the Collect Photo app Sara mentioned in her scrapbooking post. I have so much fun putting in everyday pictures you wouldn’t otherwise print/frame/scrapbook. I also love my kIndle app. I have a kindle, but when I’m waiting around with nothing to do (like at the Doctors or picking kids up at school) I can start reading where I left off. I have the Rhonna Designs app but haven’t really used it, I think I’ll look through it again.

  14. Macs are amazing. I actually own a Mac and a PC. If you are doing any sort of graphics or movie making Macs are totally the way to go. And thanks for the app info!

  15. I have been using Ziplist for shopping lists and really loved it until the most recent update. For some reason it isn’t syncing with my list online correctly anymore. I may try the GroceryIQ app instead. I do like my iPhone. =)

  16. I have never been a runner until this year, and I’ve never been a smartphone owner until this year — coincidence? Maybe not! I did the 5K runner app you mentioned, and it is fantastic. I did two weeks of the program for free, but to progress through the rest of the eight-week program, you’ve got to buy the full version. It’s the one app I’ve actually purchased, but the couple bucks it cost are totally worth my newfound love of running! πŸ™‚ Now that I can run 5K comfortably, I keep track of my miles on Runkeeper — there are lots of apps that do similar things (mapmyrun, Endomondo, etc).

  17. I am a new iPhone user (I’m a little embarassed to say, but really I’m a new smart phone user!), so I really appreciate you sharing some of your favorite apps! Thanks! =)

  18. I have an android (galaxy s4) and use Soundhound to identify songs I hear when I’m out and about or from a commercial. You can also download them, see videos, lyrics etc. Love it.
    Dropbox is awesome too, You can share files between your phone and computer. You can also set up so it automatically uploads all your camera photos.
    Fandango is fun to see movie times and even purchase tickets for them.
    The Starbucks app is good too, as it allows me to register a gift card and store it so I just have my phone scanned instead of whipping out the card. (the way apple pay will work) When you register you can reload through paypal and they even send you coupons alot.

  19. I’m too nervous to download two dots- I’m already addicted to Malificent! It also limits playing time- thank goodness!

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