Many paid apps cost less than a fast food meal (or a Starbucks coffee, for that matter), yet lots of people are quite stingy about spending a few bucks on a product that will likely provide them good value. In this post, I will share a few of my favorite paid apps and products. I am not being paid/bribed to share these - they're apps I genuinely use regularly and highly recommend.
I plan on sharing solid apps like these every now and then. If you feel you have a good app, don't hesitate to reach out to me. If you'r interested in getting Product Management help, I am also available for consulting.
Pricing: $4.99 on Android and $3.99 on iOS
What it does: scans documents, receipts, photos, etc.
Where it shines: it's super easy to scan multipage documents. The integration with saving as a PDF to dropbox or sharing a JPEG over email are straightforward. It has great edge detection and scanning quality is always super crisp.
How I would improve it: I would automatically sync all scanned documents into a Dropbox app-specific folder. Maybe use OCR techniques to automatically guess the document's title.
What it does: compiles a very large library of guitar tabs.
Where it shines: it has a MIDI-type player which will show you perfectly detailed notes to play - while using the player, you can slow down the tempo to make it easier to learn a song. It comes with guitar lessons, a metronome, and a tuner. You can easily transpose any song.
How I would improve it: I would link to YouTube tutorials for the most popular songs.
Notarize - iOS
Pricing: app is free, $25 per notarization
What it does: allows you to notarize documents from your phone.
Where it shines: the whole process to notarize a document is quick and smooth. There's an inline field editor so you can type your name, date, etc without having to print anything. Once you're done with that, you hop on a quick video call with the notary and seconds later, your document is ready. The visual and interaction design of this app are truly exceptional.
How I would improve it: launch an Android version of the app. The iOS app is already pretty solid.
Pricing: $5/month for families, $65 for lifetime desktop, $9.99 for iOS and Android
What it does: keeps an encrypted database of your passwords and credit cards.
Where it shines: lots of convenient features to make handling passwords as low-friction as possible - Touch ID integration with iPhones (fingerprint security also enabled for Android 6.0+ devices), a strong password generator as a Chrome extension, ability to store and auto-fill out credit card data, and tags+folders to categorize passwords.
Pricing: app is free, $20/year for PRO features
What it does: keeps track of golf scores and uses GPS to show you distance to hole.
Where it shines: it's super easy and convenient to enter your score/putts per hole. At the end of each round, it shows you very detailed stats about your game. You can add friends and enter scores for them. The GPS feature is well done - in addition to seeing distance to hole, you can easily calculate distance to any intermediate point, in case you can't reach the hole in one shot.
How I would improve it: I would try to use the accelerometer+GPS to automatically detect the number of strokes per hole.
Pricing: app is free, Fitbit Charge HR is $129
What it does: keeps track of your daily exercise: steps, calories, floors up, heart rate, sleep, and miles walked.
Where it shines: the ability to set a steps goal every day and see how close you are to achieving it is game-changing. I tried other fitness bands before I got hooked on the Fitbit Charge HR. The friends feature is very well implemented - it encourages a level of healthy competition (no pun intended). The heart rate monitor of the Fitbit Charge HR is always on, so it provides excellent indicators of your health. If you have a Fitbit Aria (weight scale), the integration is very smooth - all data syncs automatically with all of your devices.
How I would improve it: the graphs when you want to see more than a month's worth of data are not well designed. In addition to that, I would make the charging connector something standard such as micro-USB.