This might sound like a classic first world problem, but to me it’s all too real. I call it the FOMOOA – Fear Of Missing Out On Apps. It’s like FOMO. But worse.
If you’re like me, your browsing experience is spread across multiple devices running different operating systems. I spend a lot of time on my Mac, way more than I do on my iPad or iPhone. And I also carry an Android phone (for work).
When I’m on Twitter or catching up on RSS, and I come across an iOS app that I just need to try out, right now while it’s hot, if I don’t save it somewhere, I’ll just forget about it, and my Twitter followers will never get to hear my snarky comments about the hot new app. I can’t let that happen.
So for a long time I’ve been hacking around a solution for saving apps. A Pocket for apps, if you will.
Here are the three best solutions.
Lookmark is a new one. And if you’re just coming into this, it’s what you should look at. It’s a service designed specifically to solve your FOMOOA (I’m sure it’s going to catch on).
This is how it works. On your desktop, install the Chrome extension (sorry Firefox users), and on your iPhone or iPad, install the Lookmark app (and also activate the extension). Log in with the same account at both places.
Now, when you’re browsing around on the desktop and come across that hot new app, just hit the extension button from any web page, and if it includes links to any apps, they’ll be added to your account. (This is a super easy way to save apps you’re reading about.) The same works on iOS. Go to the App Store page for any app, hit the “Share” button, and tap the “Lookmark” button once it’s activated.
When you open the Lookmark app it will show a list of all your saved apps (just like Pocket shows a list of your saved articles).
Lookmark is smart about this. It will notify you about the apps you’ve saved when you get home and connect to a Wi-Fi network, so you can quickly swipe and install the app.
Before Lookmark showed up, I used Pushbullet (along with Pinboard, which I’ll talk about below) to hack around a solution of my own.
Pushbullet, if you’re not aware, is an awesome service which lets you “push” links of any kind between all your devices (desktop, Android phones, iOS devices) easily and wirelessly.
If you’re already using Pushbullet, this idea might have already crossed your mind. When you come across an app you want to check out later, you just “push” that link to your iPhone. If you’re on your iPhone, no worry; you can “push” the link to the same device as well.
Now the link will show up in the Notification Center, and it will be a part of your history.
Whenever you’re ready to download the app, just click the link and you’ll be taken to the App Store.
3. Pinboard (or Other Cross-platform Bookmarking Services)
Pushbullet is fine for “pushing” links, but when you do this app testing thing for a living (like I do), you need to take things up to the next level. Bookmarking – and not just your average bookmarking – cross platform bookmarking.
My weapon of choice is Pinboard ($11/year). That’s because it’s really bare bones, has an awesome community of developers that make great third party extensions and apps and it’s like Delicious – before it took a turn for the worse.
If you like to bookmark stuff like apps, you can use the Pinboard extension to save apps, tag it to make it easier to find, add a description if you want, and that’s it. Next time, just open a Pinboard app on your iPhone to view all the saved apps.
The only downside is that Pinboard is a paid service (it needs to be, to be able to survive). Also, the best Pinboard apps cost money.
But Pinboard isn’t the only cross-platform bookmarking service around. There’s also Raindrop.
And, of course, if you’re going to use a bookmarking service, I advise that you use it to save everything, not just apps.
What’s the Hot App of the Hour?
What’s the one app you’re really into right now that you won’t remember the name of come Monday morning? Share with us in the comments below.