5+ apps I cannot live without on my iPhone

Here’s a candid post by Nandini Saraf, an author of biographies, on 5+ apps she can’t live without on her iPhone 5s.

I recently acquired the latest Apple phone, the iPhone 5S. This happened after much planning and scheming from my part, where I had to attract my father’s attention toward some really good high-end smart phones, but never mention the one I really wanted.

Father: ‘Why don’t you buy an iPhone instead?’

Me: ‘No! It’s too expensive. These are good enough.’

Father: ‘Let’s go to the Apple store and check what they have.’

Me: Smiling mischievously!


Well, now that I have an iPhone, I realised how addicted I have become to it. And it’s not because it’s an iPhone. Well that’s there. But it is also because of its super amazing apps. There are about half a million apps and more. And almost all of them are rated well by its users.

Some of the apps that I really cannot live without on my iPhone are:

The Big Bad Social Apps

Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, and Goodreads are some of the most popular social networking apps that I heavily use. Not a day goes by when I have not opened my Facebook account or not checked out a book on Goodreads. I have my account on Twitter as well, but there I just follow people like a stalker.

The Keep-me-busy Messaging Apps

Whatsapp, Hangout, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and Skype; these are just a few of the commonly used messaging apps. And I use them all; daily! Need I say more?

The SOS Mapping Apps

Google Maps is what I refer to when I am lost. My sense of direction is so strong that I can get lost even when I am at a place where I have been more than once. Hence, the Google Maps. There are other mapping apps as well, but this is the only map I like to refer.

The Make-me-pretty Photo Editing Apps

There are a whole lot of apps for editing photos. Photoshop, PicsArt, Repix and Pic Jointer are among few of such apps. It is said that a picture speaks a thousand words, and in this age of social media, at one go, it speaks to a thousand odd people too. It is for this purpose that photo editing apps become a necessity.

The Addictive Gaming Apps

Some of the games that I usually play are 2048, HayDay, QuizUp, Scrabble and Monsters. 2048 has now become so addictive that if I had nothing else to do, I would probably end up playing it the whole day. Scrabble and Monsters are the other games that I really enjoy.

The Indispensable Shopping Apps

How can a girl live without shopping? Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, and Jabong are my regulars. Among them, Amazon is obviously a favourite, followed by Flipkart. Although it’s a different issue that I usually and mostly buy books, and mobile and laptop accessories using these apps.


Share with us–Which apps you can’t live without on your iPhone? Write to us.

(image source: CultOfMac.com)

iOS 8 versus iOS 7: Developer’s Kit – Part 2

This is Part 2 of the iOS8: Amazing New Features series. You can read Part 1 here.

With the release of the new iOS 8 SDK (Software Development Kit) in June 2014, the app developers are in for some really good news. This Developer’s kit includes 4000 new APIs (Application Programming Interface), which will help the developers to add new features and capabilities to their apps that will assist in enhancing the apps’ performance.


Following is a list of the various new kits and/or features that come with iOS 8 SDK.

Advantages of iOS 8 v/s iOS 7 Features:


Technology improvements in iOS 8 make it easy for iOS game developers to implement their game’s graphics and audio. 

  • SceneKit helps create 3D animated effects and scenes into apps.
  • SceneKit integrated with SpriteKit helps create high-performing and battery-efficient 2D games.
  • Metal offers streamlined API, a unified graphics and shading language. Modern architectural considerations, such as multiprocessing and shared memory, make it easy to parallelize the creation of GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) commands.

App Extensions:

App extensions lets the developers create actions or buttons separately, which can be used in other apps as well.

  • Your app can now share photos, videos, files and website links with social networking sites and other such websites.
  • You can also customise your own action buttons to help users complete various functions like translating text into another language or editing documents, and so on.
  • Developers can now get their apps to display widgets such as news stories, in the ‘Today’ section of the Notifications centre.
  • Also, your apps can provide storage location which other apps can also access. This helps users to edit one file using several apps.
  • Create custom keyboards that users can install and use universally.


  • Developers can now store and retrieve their app data in a more structured, secured and efficient manner directly on the iCloud.
  • They can also make the users anonymously log in to their apps with their iCloud Apple IDs.
  • Now there is no need to write server-side application logic. With CloudKit, developers can solely concentrate on client-side app development.

Touch ID:

  • Developers can now make use of Touch ID, the way User IDs were used to gain access to certain contents in the app.
  • Touch ID cannot be accessed by iOS or any other app, and is well protected.


  • Now create apps that can directly edit photos in the camera roll. Previously, users had to first import the photos.
  • Other attributes include fetching objects and requesting changes, thread-safe architecture for caching and loading thumbnails, and knowledge of changes made by other apps.

Manual Camera Controls:

  • Now users can use your apps and directly control the exposure settings, camera focus and white balance.
  • Also, they can click pictures with different exposure settings with the help of ‘bracketed exposure captures’.


  • With HealthKit, all health-related information shared by the users is stored in one secured location.
  • iPhone or iPad App Developers can gain access to all the information as soon as the users share them with their app. This helps the developers to provide users with a complete health-report instantly.


  • Developers can now create apps that will help users to locate other iOS devices in their house, for quicker configuration.
  • Your apps can also control the devices with the help of certain actions.


  • iOS 8 can make users continue using an app on another device, from right where it left off on the previous one.
  • Your apps also have the option of doing the same.


  • Swift, as the name suggests, is the new fast programming language which is highly secured and interactive.
  • It is used for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch.
  • Writing Swift code within Xcode 6 shows immediate results before compilation into native machine code.
  • Code your apps in playgrounds before moving it into projects.

Here’s part 1 of the iOS: Amazing New Features series.

(image source: Any Geo blog)

iOS8: Amazing New Features – Part 1

Here’s a 2 part series to get a glimpse of the amazing new features Apple has come up with for iOS8 over iOS7.

Part 1 – Differences between iOS 8  v/s iOS 7  

On June 2, 2014, at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2014, Apple Inc. announced the eighth major release of its iOS mobile operating system. It has succeeded iOS 7, which was released in September 2013. There are some exciting new features for both iPhone users and iPhone mobile app developers.


The new iOS is an improved and advanced version of the previous operating system. Following is an overview of the different new features of iOS 8, in comparison with iOS 7.

Keyboard Difference between iOS 8 and iOS 7:

  • The new QuickType feature helps in typing faster by providing word suggestions in iOS 8.
  • It suggests what word to type next in accordance with the people you are interacting with, whether they are friends or colleagues or a complete stranger.
  • Users can now also install a third-party keyboard, like Swype or Swiftkey.

Interactive Notifications:

  • Now reply to a message without leaving the app you were using. This is also possible for third-party apps like facebook, where you can like or comment through the notification without opening facebook at all.
  • This also works on the lock-screen.
  • In iOS 7, double-tap could only get you in touch with the opened apps. In iOS 8, the same option can now get you in touch with your favourite contacts instantly.

Health Kit:

  • iOS 7 had separate apps to measure blood pressure, heart rate, calories burnt, diabetes and other such metrics. With the new Health Kit in iOS 8, now keep all these measurements in one place.
  • It’s personalised as well! The kit recognises your readings and acts accordingly. For instance, if your blood pressure is higher than what it usually is, or your heart rate has increased abnormally without having done any activity, it will instantly notify a hospital, and a doctor will contact you immediately.
  • For this, Apple has also tied up with Mayo Clinic and several other hospitals.


  • Spotlight is enhanced, providing you with results from multiple sources. For instance, if you search for a movie, you will get results from iTunes, as well as its current running show-time in theatres.


  • Delete mails, mark as unread, or flag, by simply swiping the mail in the inbox.
  • While composing emails, if you want to access other emails, you could now just swipe down the composing mail and check your inbox.


  • This app has become tidier, as you can now choose to hide the sidebar containing bookmarks, shared links and reading lists.
  • It also provides a bird’s eye view of all the websites that you have opened, grouping the tabs which are from the same site.
  • Scanning the credit card and make purchases without entering your details.
  • By holding the ‘+’ icon, open a recently closed tab.
  • Now enter into privacy mode for only select sites, unlike previously, when under privacy mode, all opened tabs went into that mode.


  • Configuring your device in accordance with your organisation has become as simple as it can be.
  • Also, there is better privacy option with passcode protection for all apps – calendar, contacts, mail, messages, notes, reminders, third-party apps (eg. fb).


  • If you now say ‘Hey Siri’, the Siri is activated right away. You don’t even need to touch the phone at all.
  • It even recognises songs playing in the background.
  • Ask it to purchase that song for you, and it will take you to the iTunes store.
  • It also supports 22 new dictation languages.


  • With iOS 8, you can now have all Apple products synced together.
  • Switch between devices and pick up from where you left off, and that too, without manual configuration.
  • You can now also Airdrop files between Mac and iOS devices.

iCloud Drive:

  • In iOS 8, if you make any changes on the documents that are saved in the iCloud drive, you instantly have it on all your synced devices.
  • You also get the first 5GB data storage for free.


  • In iOS 8, now share audio and video files instantly and also share locations.
  • Have group conversations, add or remove people, and switch to ‘do not disturb’ mode to mute a conversation, or leave the group entirely.


  • Editing features for photos in iOS 8 has become smarter than before.
  • Also, photos can now be easily searched for by typing their timeline, location or name of albums.

Family Sharing:

  • With this new feature, add up to six members sharing the same credit card.
  • Share as many photos, movies, songs, documents, lists or calendar reminders with family.

End of part 1. In part 2 we will discuss the Developer’s Kit. 

Update: Read the Part 2 – iOS8 versus iOS7 Developer’s Kit here

(image source – IBNlive.com)

6 steps to finding the perfect iOS app developer

There is no dearth of developers in the market but there is a scarcity of good ones. While planning an app and looking for an iOS developer, one must keep a few things in mind. One cannot settle for the first app developer one finds. The more you search, the clearer the idea you get of what you want from the developer and your app. With the advancement in social networking sites, it has become much easier to do thorough background searches on people. This is a brilliant way to understand their past work and their capabilities. Now, we see how in 5 easy steps you can hire the perfect iOS developer for your work.


Step 1: Knowledge is the key for an App Developer

The most important aspect of a good app developer is his or her knowledge of software programming. This is absolutely crucial. The developer must have the knowledge of the software design and Apple’s development philosophy and tools. To build apps for Apple’s iOS 7, devices should be running on iOS 7 and the Mac has Xcode 5 with iOS 7 SDK installed. These are the few basics that a good app developer must know and have. Get the developer technically evaluated through an interview, this is a must.

Step 2: Experience counts

It is our advice to look for people with prior work experience. It can be an internship or a job that they held for a while. This way you will always know if the person is competent enough to work. Building an app can be difficult but what is of more importance is to know if the person can take the pressure that comes with it. Developing an IOS app takes time and patience and while looking for a developer, do keep that in mind. Do take a look at his/her portfolio and check the apps the developer has built previously. This is a good indicator of the app developer’s experience and capability.

Step 3: Are you social?

If an app developer has a good presence in different online forums, do follow them. This will give you a good idea about their interests and if they will be a good fit for you. The way he or she handles a technical question, says a lot about his or her view about a work or its workflow. If they have a blog, that’s a plus. Read through their blog and understand their technical expertise through the articles they publish. Another important aspect to check is if the developer has done any open source contribution. An open source contribution shows that a developer is proactive, wants to learn/grow and technology is his/her passion.

Step 4: Mind your language

Knowing different technical languages is a must for an iOS developer. And, a good one keeps learning new languages and keeping oneself updated with the world. He or she should be familiar with languages like Haskell, Ruby, Scala, Erlang and others. Always prefer a multi-skilled programmer. Moreover, make sure the app developer has the right attitude and communicates well too. Most times, developers who don’t gel well with clients or team members, become a problem statement for the team’s productivity.

Step 5: Problem Solver

Always hire problem solvers, because you want your app to be innovative and solve real world problems in simple yet effective ways for your app users. A developer with good problem solving skills can do wonders for you. Interview the developer on problem solving skills.

Step 6: Update, update & update

This last step is actually most crucial one. Apple keeps updating its iOS with new features, design guidelines, security, hardware, etc. So, a good developer must also update himself or herself with the changing times. He or she also needs to understand the business and the kind of work that is needed to be done.

You know the last step truly is to have patience; lots of it. If time and money permits then do a trial round with the applicants as it will give you a clear idea if their sensibilities matches with yours. As the proverb goes, ‘Prevention is better than cure’, meaning, spend more time looking for a good developer than trying to fix it later.

Top 5 reasons your business must have an iPhone app

In a hyper connected marketplace it has become necessary for any business to stay connected with the consumers on the go and all the time. Having a website or being present on social media platforms is just not enough. The profusion of personal mobile devices has multiplied the expectations of the consumers about access to information. We expect to find information on products anytime, anywhere. It is a challenge for the businesses to cope up with such dynamics of communication – but it’s also an opportunity.

In the current scenario, we cannot imagine the world without iPhones and they cannot be imagined without their applications. The Apple app store might be the busiest online store in the world and a variant number of apps are available, just about to cater to every tiny need in every walk of life or industry.



We discuss here, the top 5 reasons on why you must join the bandwagon and how will your business benefit. (We are sure there are plenty of other reasons, but here’s a start)


Mobile Internet as a platform has great potential in terms of reach. It has been estimated that 1 in 5 people uses a smartphone.  Of these numbers, IPhone users are about 22 – 30 % of the market. Which may not be the lion’s share yet but when seen in numbers, the total potential of the reach can be very easily seen. And this market is growing. Not to forget that if your business is to cater to developed nations or top-of-the-pyramid products/services, iPhone app is a must for your business because your customers are most likely to own an iPhone.


An IPhone app is a good source of revenue. If a user in his capacity finds your app relevant, he/she may conduct business then and there. It adds another medium of generating revenue. The market of IPhone is huge, thus the market for the application also becomes bigger. The app may fetch more customers leading to a bigger market and eventually, more revenue. Most applications are chargeable on the app store making sure that the app developer earns the right amount of revenue through their apps. Market research shows that 4 out of 5 Iphone app users trust the app store and are willingly to pay for them. This is the trust that the Apple as a company and a brand has been able to bring forth.

Even though Android has more market share when it comes to numbers, Apple iPhone apps is where majority of app developers make money. So, to make money, iPhone app is a must!

Customer loyalty and keeping them up to date

 The biggest challenge for any business is to sustain its customers and their loyalty. A mobile app will also speak for the brand and builds a relationship between you and your customers. Your customers can receive the latest information from you, be it latest products, discounts, offers, newsletters, etc. through push notifications or in-app notifications. Make your app engaging and your customers will never leave you.

User Experience

 The iOS platform is a very simple, beautiful and user-friendly interface. Thanks to the genius of Mr. Jobs the interface is fast and easy to use. The iPhone has a great hardware with one of the fastest running RAM and amazing display. This is the plus that an app maker looks for in a phone. You can give an unparalleled experience to your clients on your app.


 To create an iOS app, one has to go through layers of internal and external approvals from Apple App Store, which ensures that when an app is being made, it is 100% full proof and secure. Hence, clients trust Apple and feel secure and are open to doing transactions on your app and paying for your services or products.

To create a beautiful and useful app for your business, connect with GoodWorkLabs today. Contact us.




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