We’ve published close to a thousand app reviews over the last decade, and we’re feeling reflective – so we’ve asked our brilliant review team to look back over their old articles and each pick three favorites that stood the test of time. It’s a great chance to revisit some amazing titles you might have missed the first time around.
Note that this is not a selection of “the greatest apps ever,” but rather a subjective look at the reviews that felt important to the people who wrote them. Which apps stuck with our team long after the final verdicts were dished out?
Today, we’re looking at the top choices from longtime contributor Joe White. For each choice, he’ll explain what made the app so interesting – and we’ll include links back to the original reviews if you want to read more. Enjoy!
It’s no secret that I love the iPad and use it a lot. ScanPro (formerly Scanbot) was the app that finally pushed me to sell my desktop scanner and go all-in, using Apple’s tablet to read, process, and scan documents. Scanbot’s auto-capture feature makes scanning quick, accurate, and easy on the iPhone or iPad, and its on-board OCR turns paper documents into fully searchable PDFs in a matter of seconds. After processing, you can then send your document off to whatever service you use – iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, and the rest. Scanbot is an app I’ve been using since version 1.0 and, like a fine wine, it’s only gotten better with age.
As a graduate student working and learning remotely, Highlights launched on the App Store at the perfect time. On the surface, it’s a simple PDF annotation app. But the magic trick here is that Highlights also automatically generates a file logging all your highlighted text. In this respect, the app essentially puts together a bespoke summary of all the information most relevant to you in any given document, making it a breeze to glance back over the key points. For me, this has made the tricky task of trawling through scientific papers a lot less painful. Highlights might be a recent addition to the App Store, but it’s had a big impact on the way I work, study, and research.
My last pick is a little different. Wild Journey is the mindfulness app I keep coming back to – mostly because it was the first app of its kind to create a rich, believable, virtual world. Animations, soundscapes, and charming settings (including Great Grove and Sunset Point) transport users to babbling brooks, mysterious creeks, forests, and deserts. Trust me: this app is so easy to get lost in. It’s also been really pleasing to see more content reach Wild Journey since the app launched – now, you can even access mindful programs that span multiple days. If you’ve been searching for a relaxing mindfulness app that just feels right, this is the one I’d wholeheartedly recommend.