Mobile Apps News by Nicole Hennig – Jan. 13, 2015

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Mobile Apps News

by Nicole Hennig

January 13, 2015

Hi everyone!

Happy New Year from sunny Tucson! I left Boston on January 1st to spend the winter in a warm, sunny place. I feel for those of you in super-cold locations!

Welcome new subscribers — I love to hear from you, so feel free to hit reply on any issue and send me comments or suggestions.

This issue includes:

  • new apps: Scannable by Evernote, and a new citation app: RefME
  • tips: freeing up space on your phone, and using Dropbox for photo management
  • a few thought-provoking articles: teens & social media, the web is the real world, and more
  • links to 5 interesting articles about mobile and the future
  • info about my new course coming soon: Organize Your Life with Mobile Apps
  • Apps for Librarians next session begins onFeb. 2 via ALA E-Learning – still time to sign up!
  • and more …


New apps

Evernote Scannable

Free, iOS, universal

There are many useful document scanning apps out there (Genius Scan, Scanbot, JotNot Pro, etc.), and now there is a new one, made by Evernote. It’s called Scannable.

I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s getting good reviews. See “Say goodbye to paper as you digitally file everything with Evernote Scannable.”  I love that so many apps connect to Evernote automatically. I’ve been using Evernote for a few years now as my one place to store everything. It’s incredibly useful.

Learn more about using Evernote in my upcoming course: Organize Your Life with Mobile Apps.


Android, iOS

There is a new citation manager app out. It’s called RefME. Reviews are saying that it’s versatile and that it’s handy to format, export, and alphabetize your citations in your choice of eight citation styles, or your own custom style. And it exports to Evernote!

Calgary Public Library launches smartphone app to replace library cards

Did you see this story recently? Your library card barcode will be on your phone instead of on a card. Makes sense! Is your library doing this, too? I’d love to hear from you.

Best apps that have been around for a while

Easily create an eBook with these 3 powerful apps

This story discusses StoryKit, Book Writer, and Book Creator — useful apps for working with young students who want to create their own ebook with embedded media. I’ve heard many good things about Book Creator (Android & iPad), but I haven’t tried the other two apps yet.

I like how these apps are empowering student creativity. From the article:

“Naturally, students are fascinated by eBook creation, and when immersed in this new media, they are more willing to experiment, take risks, and engage in collaborative content creation and learning. Digital book creation provides students with all the tools necessary to help them unleash their creativity.”


Why I ditched photo management apps and use Dropbox instead

Adam Dachis discusses using Dropbox automatic photo backup and file-sharing features to replace bloated apps like iPhoto. I like this idea! Are you using Dropbox to back up your photos on your mobile devices? If not, try it! Even if you use other methods to back up your photos, it’s good to have an extra backup of your valuable photos in case you lose or break your phone.

We will discuss using Dropbox for photo backup in my new course, Organize Your Life with Mobile Apps.

10 Easy Ways to Free up a Lot of Space on Your Phone

Do you have this problem? Always running out of space? There are some good tips here, including using Dropbox or Google+ for photo backup. I finally upgraded to an iPhone 6+ with 128 GB of storage — before that I was always running out of space! Of course, I’m an atypical user, since I teach courses and write books about apps 🙂

By the way, my previous iPhone (64GB 5s unlocked for use on carriers worldwide) is now for sale. It’s in excellent shape! Email me if you’re interested in buying it.


The web is the real world

This article struck me as very true. Online and offline are converging and it’s all the “real world.” Includes a quote from Susan Gibbons of Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library about their redesign and how academic libraries can best use physical space to support digital activities. Another quote: “proximity and time are no longer barriers to getting what you want.”  The web is the real world in 2015.

A teenager’s view on social media (written by an actual teen)

Definitely worth a read to learn what young people are using and how they use it. I didn’t know much about Yik Yak until I read this.

After you read it, then read danah boyd’s thoughts: “An old fogey’s analysis of a teenager’s view on social media.” She has good points about use of social media being shaped by race and class, geography and cultural background.

Just for fun

The top-viewed Wikipedia page for every day of 2014

It’s fun to see what the data shows.

The Future

Most Internet users will soon be smartphone only

…instead of desktops or laptops. And especially outside the U.S. and Europe.

Never buy a phone again

“Your new iPhone is just a little tablet—the carriers just won’t admit it.” Good points!

The future of libraries has little to do with books

On the rise of library as community hub.

2015: The year of the mobile singularity

Online and offline will completely blend. “… the web won’t be something we browse: it will be something we bring with us, wherever we go.” All about mobile first, contextual data, and other interesting data points.

Teachers will embrace students’ smartphone addiction in 2015

You may or may not agree, depending on the schools you are familiar with, but I’ll bet some of these predictions are already happening.

New course coming soon:Organize Your Life with Mobile Apps

If you have even the slightest interest in a short online course on this topic, then sign up now to be the first to hear when it’s live.

Why? Because people on that list will get the lowest price that this course will ever be. And you’ll get access to all future updates for free. It will be on sale for the first month, then the price will go up. Later in 2015 I’ll add more content to the course (making it twice as long, covering more types of apps), and I’ll increase the price for new people signing up.

So now is the time to get the best price.

It’s self-study, so you can do it at your own pace, with no deadlines. And it’s much shorter than my 5-6 week courses.

This course focuses on setting up and using four apps: Dropbox, 1Password, Wunderlist, and Evernote. (These apps work on both iOS and Android).

I’ve noticed that there are so many people with smartphones who don’t use anything beyond email, the web, Facebook, and a few games. These apps are the foundational ones for making your life easier and getting the most from your smartphone because they sync your information between devices and connect with many other apps.

When you have a way to sync all of your important info between devices and access it from anywhere, your life is so much easier!

If you are already comfortable with these types of apps and use them regularly, I’ll bet that you know some other people (your family members?) who could benefit from this — you can buy the course as a gift for anyone.

Learn more about the course. (And share the page with your friends, thanks!) Here’s a slideshow preview.

Apps for Librarians online course:

Become an app expert for your community.

The next session of this 5-week course begins onFeb. 2 and it’s not too late to sign up! This is the first time I’m offering it via ALA E-Learning (instead of Simmons GSLIS continuing ed).

This is my most popular course and I’ve been offering it a few times a year since 2012. I updated it completely in August, so it’s full of fresh content.


Please share this newsletter with your friends who might be interested, thanks!

They can sign up here:

Follow @nic221 I tweet about libraries, mobile web, apps, ebooks, and emerging technologies.

Why you don’t need to stick with one mobile platform if you use the best apps.

Hi everyone,

As promised, Best Apps for Academics has been updated and is on sale for $10 off ($14.99 instead of $24.99) from Oct. 1 – 15.

Here’s the link:

This book will direct you to the best apps and help you to:

  • Take notes and organize them for findability
  • Streamline your research
  • Synchronize your life
  • Present information effectively

If you are like many people these days, you work from more than one location, using multiple laptops, desktops, and mobile devices, which can lead to problems with keeping your information in sync.

The good news is that by using multi-platform, multi-device apps, your information can be synchronized and available from anywhere, even if you use both Android and iOS devices.

Read more in my blog post (and please share):

Why you don’t need to stick with one mobile platform: 50 best apps for multi-platform productivity

These apps and more are described in full in the book, along with examples of how academics are using them.

Thanks for helping us spread the word. You can help by sharing the post above or the link to the book:
(on sale Oct. 1-15)


Nicole Hennig and Pam Nicholas
Authors of Best Apps for Academics