Got an iPhone? Like free things?
This past February, I did it. I finally jumped on the iPhone bandwagon. Before then, I simply used my dumb phone. Just a stupid phone that I could conveniently carry with me and call people whenever the need arose (totally dumb, I know). How in the world did I ever get by? How?
Now that I have this awesome piece of goodness, a smart phone, I needed to get me some apps. Lots and lots of apps. Because an iPhone without apps would be dumb, and I’d been doing dumb for years. Been there. Done that. Time to do smart.
Since most of my budget went to the purchase of the iPhone, I needed awesome apps that were free—For freeee? (Insert Adam Sandler voice here). Yes for free. Ninty-nine cents was simply too much.
Now there are kazillions of free apps offered for the iPhone, and though I have my slew of apps—game apps, music apps, Hawaiian Word of the Day apps—I wanted to check out the apps available for writers. Because that’s what I am—a writer (that last little part right there <---- was not meant to be humorous. It’s serious).
What did the iPhone offer, for free, for the creative writer in me. Well, this is what I found and want to share with you:
1) WriteChain: Every writer should have the goal to write daily, keep their writing brains and fingers limber so their creative muse will bless them with writerly words of wisdom. Practice makes perfect, so we’ve been told. This nifty little app will help you, the writer, to keep and maintain your daily goals. You enter the word amount you typed for the day, and then you come back the next day and do the same thing. Each day, you add your word count, thus creating a “chain". If you miss a day, you have broken the chain and your phone will yell profanities at you. Okay, you caught me. That last part is not true. But by breaking the chain, you must start over.
2) Evernote: The iPhone does come with a Voice Memo App under the Utilities App for recording notes and ideas on the go. But with Evernote, you can go one step further. It’s a little green App with an elephant that REMEMBERS everything (elephants remember stuff, in case you didn’t know). It records voice messages, notes, and can snap pictures as well. It can help to keep track of blogging ideas, interviews and any research you may do. The great thing about this app, you can access it from your computer, iPhone, or the web. It’s simply a handy tool to be better organized and keep your thoughts straight—who doesn’t need that?
3) Writing.Com Writing Prompts: Need some inspiration? What about random inspiration? Well, Writing Prompts by Writing.Com offers a neat little app that uses colors, types of genres, types of writing styles, and sketches to give you a creative prompt. I just gave my iPhone a little shake (that’s how it mixes it all up) and offered me this prompt: orange, romance/love, haiku, and three pictures of a bird, dollar sign, and test tube. Hmmm…So if I were truly desperate, and knew what a haiku was (I know it’s a poem of sorts) I could give myself a writing challenge and make my brain go to work.
4) WriMo Demon: Ever hear of NaNoWriMo? If not, look it up . I don’t have time to explain this to you (insert smiley face). http://www.nanowrimo.org Actually, this little app works much the way the NaNoWriMo counter works, but you could use it all year long. It works similar to the WriteChain as far as setting and keeping goals, only with this app you have a cute little red devil to stare at you. No, I mean, that’s true, but it’s more of a monthly tracker. It will calculate how many days of the month there is, how many words you want to complete that month, and let you know percentage wise and daily wise how much you would have to write to meet that goal. For instance, today, I set the goal at 80,000 words and told it I wrote 1,000 words. It now lets me know that at this pace, I have only written 142 words each day in March. That I only have 1% complete, that there is only 24 days left of the month, and at this pace I have to write 3,160 words to meet my goal.
5) Word of the Day: It’s pretty simple. It gives you a new word each day. Wah-la. How did you like that snappy definition? Today’s word--incipent. Meaning: beginning to exist or appear. Oooo, I like it. This little app with help increase your vocabulary and make you appear smarter than you are.
6) WordDot: Need some fresh ideas? Just use this app. Give it a little shake (iPhones like that) and POOF—just like that, a random set of words will appear such as: foolproof fiction or perceptive liberty; or brokenhearted bargin. Need a noun? It has that too. How about, imprecise woman. Hey, wait a minute, that’s not nice. But you get the general idea.
7) Snaptell: Ohh, this is nifty. Not necessarily “writerly” but it can help you in a pinch if you’re out and about and are looking to purchase a certain book, DVD, CD, or game cover. Just snap a picture of the cover of the book you’re interested in, or snap a picture of the barcode and the nifty (did I already say nifty?) little app will let you know where it is available for sell, the prices, and reviews. For instance, I snapped a picture of the barcode of the book “I Am Number Four” and up popped the prices to local stores with directions to get there: Barnes & Noble for $10.67; Walmart for $12.00; and Overstock.com for $12.41. On Amazon, I could get it for $10.57.
8) B-Rhymes Dictionary: Do you like to dabble in poetry? Well B-Rhymes “is a dictionary that’s not stuck up about what does and doesn’t rhyme." It will provide you with words that are, well, “close enough” but sound good together. I typed in the word POEM and it gave me the following options as rhyming words: boeing, easygoing, glowing, doctrine, goyim, knowing—as a few options. Kind of fun if you’re a poet and didn’t know it (ha,ha).
9) Dragon Dictation: Speak into this special little app, and through its voice recognition program, it will magically transcribe a text for you. It says that it’s “five times faster” than using a keyboard. Once the app has transformed your words into text, you are now able to email it, use it as a Facebook or Twitter status, or send as a message or even make yourself a copy if you need one. I just downloaded this app, so it’s relatively new to me, but let me tell you, I’m enjoying myself a little too much trying to trick it. I decided to try a tongue twister (with a lisp, just for kicks): Sally sold seashells by the seashore, and guess what? It transcribed it exactly right.
10) Kindle: Lastly, I have to mention Kindle—because it’s awesome! We are told time and time again how we as authors need to read. Without reading, how can we learn and improve our craft? So why not a free Kindle app. AND, even better—download free books. I do own a Kindle and when I added this app to my iPhone, all of my previous purchases became available as well. BUT instantly, it had several free book offers ready at my fingertips—Pride and Prejudice, by Austen, Treasure Island, by Stevensen, Aesop’s Fables, by Townsend just to name a few. If you don’t want to do Kindle, the iPhone offers great apps such as Wattpad, an ereader, (which I have as well) that offers over 100,000 free books right at your fingertips.
Now of course, there are free dictionary and thesaurus apps which I didn’t include because, well, they’re kind of a given (and boring). You can download those for free as well. I also like What the Font, an app that lets you take a picture of a words and it decipher what font was used, and Writer’s Hat, which is another writer’s prompt creator. I don’t use them as often, so I didn’t include them in the official list, but they’re free so why the heck not try them out.
If you know of any amazing apps for writers that are free, please let me know. I’m always looking for new and fun apps to add.