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The Top 10 apps PHA Digital can’t live without

The Top 10 apps PHA Digital can’t live without

Image App Sphere

Image App Sphere

There are 5.3bn mobile subscribers (77% of the world population) and smartphones are the fastest growing sector. Add to this the 15 million first-generation iPads sold before the launch of the iPad 2 – and it’s clear how many people are accessing the internet while on the move.

To budding entrepreneurs and web start-ups this is a potential goldmine and naturally, a plethora of apps have appeared on the marketplace to cash in. So, when there are hundreds of thousands of apps to choose from, how do you sort the wheat from the chaff?

Image App Store

Image App Store

Here are our top 10 apps, from the best time-killers, to the ones we simply couldn’t run our lives without.

  • Trainline

Mundane but oh-so-useful. After all who wants to spend their money on something as boring as travel?  Trainline has long been the go-to place where savvy train users make huge savings and this easy to navigate app gives you times and tickets in a few clicks.

  • Bump

The digital equivalent of a business card, simply tap your phone against another device with Bump installed and hey presto! Your photo, email address and phone number will be added to their contacts book… now that is smooth.


Do you shift in your seat at a misplaced apostrophe or avert your eyes from a spelling mistake? Then you (like us) are a language geek and this app is your idea of heaven. With an inbuiltThesauruss as well, you will never be lost-for-words again.

  • Spottd

Floxx the inventors of FitFinder have produced a second generation location-based app. The new-look version Spottd helps you locate cafes, theatres and anything else going on around you with reviews from other Spottd users to help you make the right choice. Billed as the world’s first ‘social sat nav’ it is all about connecting with others around you whether you know them or not.

  • Amazon

There is a birthday present for everyone on Amazon… And they do a wrapping service with personalised tags. Everyone needs this app.

  • Kindle

This is by far the easiest to use e-book app. It has 1000s more books in store than Apple’s iBook equivalent, although less visual frills.

  • ITV Player, 4oD catch-up, iPlayer

Whether your loyalty lies with X factor or Strictly there’s no longer any need to stay in on a Saturday night wrestling over the remote. Choose which side you’re on in the privacy of your very own mobile device and no one need know about your guilty pleasure viewing.

  • Colour Splash

Everyone has at least one snap-happy Facebook friend whose endless photo albums have resulted in you filtering them out of your newsfeed. Point them in the direction of this app and they will seem like a Photoshop pro in seconds.

  • TED

TED’s talks about ‘ideas worth spreading’, are unmissable and bite-size at 10-20 minutes long. Perfect portable viewing for the commute home.

  • Scrabble

Admittedly this is better on the larger screen of the iPad. Despite this, Scrabble have done a brilliant job at recreating this perennial classic for the digital world. Move over Angry Birds – the Scrabble app is a serious new contender in the mobile gaming sector.

Digital killed the television star

Every once in a while, the media landscape shifts. Radio enjoyed a reign of power for several years until the television industry began to take off in the mid-1930s. It wasn’t long before moving pictures were the medium of choice in households across the Western world.

Television has held a pretty strong monopoly on entertainment ever since. That was fine, until a few years ago when internet streaming became faster and more powerful, and the online world began to soar with constant new inventions, disruptive ideas and lightning-fast reactions to current events. The television industry instantly began to feel the brain drain as creatively minded young graduates were drawn towards funky start-up companies with AstroTurf meeting rooms and pizza Fridays.

Not only that, but producers began to fear that their audiences would be drawn elsewhere, and there was fuel for their concern. In a study from NMIncite, it was revealed that despite the fact that one-third of the social media population were under 18, only 12% of all conversation about television on social media sites came from the next-generation age group, begging the question ‘is television only being watched by the out-going generations?’econ-logo-rgb-largeIt doesn’t look great, but in my opinion, the television industry doesn’t need to panic. As with every industry across all sectors of the economy, the digital revolution represents a shake-up and an opportunity to demonstrate just how nimble, creative and forward-thinking your organisation really is.

EConsultancy recently labelled Twitter and Facebook “virtual watercoolers”, and they’re right. The incidental, ‘isn’t the weather terrible’ conversations that used to be reserved for taxi drivers and hairdressers has gone virtual. At any time of the night or day, we can tap into the chitty-chatty world of social media to air our opinions and see what everyone else thinks. That kind of Facebook or Twitter campaign is perfect for television – something whole nations have in common.

Sign in to Twitter during an episode of X-Factor and you’ll see what I mean. When Amanda Lily was kicked off the show a couple of weeks ago, the Twitter-sphere went into overdrive and a ‘twitition’ was launched within minutes, demanding that she be allowed back on the show. For a show like the X-Factor, a Twitter campaign is an absolute godsend. ITV have also been quick to encourage TOWIE viewers to take to social networking, setting up dedicated pages and reading out fans comments during the ad breaks. It’s ‘added value’, and viewers love it!

Digital won’t kill television anymore than television killed radio. The media landscape is as broad and varied as it’s viewers, and there’s room for more than one central player. Instead of panicking or burying their heads in the sand, television producers should be taming the beast, and integrating Facebook and Twitter campaigns into their shows to create richer content and more engaged viewers.


Cover image courtesy of Quinn Dombrovski,