Apps for the Gent

In a recent post about the Iphone 7 we alluded to the fact that “A gent regards his smartphone the way he might any useful tool: it should be reliable, simple (and elegant) to use.”  We think the same criteria can be applied to apps for your smartphone.  Today we wanted to take a moment to share two apps in particular that we think will enrich your personal and professional lives.

The first app is Overcast and it is, quite simply, one of the best podcast apps on the market.  It was built by Marco Arment, who co-founded Tumblr, and has two features that no other podcast player offers.  The first is Smart Speed.  This is a technology that edits out dead space and pauses from your podcasts and thus can offer you a 1.2-1.4x equivalent listening speed without any difference in sound quality or the distortion you would normally get from speeding up a recording.  It just edits out the silence and thus you can get through your programs faster.

The second feature that makes this app great is Voice Boost.  It uses dynamic compression equalization to normalize volume and make shows easier to listen to in noisy environments, like cars, for example.

Overcast is only available on iOS and is free, but does offer the ability for you to donate in the tradition of freeware (remember those days?).

The second app we want to share with you is available for both iOS and Android and is called Headspace.  This app is all about helping you develop a habit of mindfulness.

Now, before you get worried about woo-woo, Headspace is not that.  The kind of mindfulness promoted by Headspace is a stepping away from the background chatter of the mind, and peer-reviewed studies by the American Medical Association have shown such techniques to be demonstrably helpful in dealing with stress.

Headspace does this by asking you to carve out 10-15 minutes a day for some “you” time.  There is a “Take 10” package included with the app that gives you 10 free 10-minute mediations so you can find out if something like this actually helps you perform better.

Do you use either of these apps?  Do you have podcast or mindfulness apps you like to use and want to share with us?  What types of apps would you like to see discussed in a future blog post?  Comment below and be entered in a drawing to receive 25% off one of our Body & Massage services.

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