These apps are surprisingly good!
After being away from the Apple ecosystem for around 2 years, I’ve completely forgotten how good the default Apple Apps are.
I’m talking about apps like Reminders, Apple Notes, Calendar and so on.
I don’t know what it is about these apps, but in a world where there is an app for everything, I don’t think they get enough recognition.
That’s why I decided to use Reminders, Apple Notes, Calendar and Safari as my default apps for a week and share my experience with you.
On a separate note, it’s been a month since I switched from Windows and Android to MacOS and iOS and I’ve tried many apps to find which work better for me.
The surprising thing is that it’s not the apps I remember using before switching to Android around 2 years ago!
I think it’s fair to say that this app surprised me the most, in the past I spoke a lot about my all-time favourite to-do list app, Things 3.
However for some reason and I don’t know how to explain it, the app just isn’t working for me at the moment.
That’s the thing with productivity apps, they need to work for you and help you become more productive.
If you don’t enjoy using an app then move on, you may find that a different app works better for you, there are so many of them to choose from!
The main thing I like about Reminders is its simplicity. I can create folders and separate lists within the folders.
The tasks that are due today also appear in the “Today” section of the app automatically. I feel that this is a feature that Google seriously needs to introduce in the Google Tasks app. It’s such a basic thing, but it can improve the overall experience drastically.
I also like the fact that I can create a reminder using Siri and when I’m typing it manually within the app, I can simply type something along the lines of “complete blog post today at 19:00” the app will understand that it is due today at 19:00 and I think that it’s great!
The look and feel of the app is also good. I like the simple and straight-to-the-point design. It makes the overall experience so much better.
The second app on my list has got to be Apple Notes.
When I was on Android and Windows, I didn’t really have a default note-taking app. I mainly used Google Keep for quick notes and Microsoft OneNote for bigger notebooks and projects.
I’ve now started using Apple Notes for everything and I really like the experience. It’s just a really nicely laid-out note-taking app with a clean interface that works incredibly well for me.
My only complaint is that I can’t seem to be able to use my Apple Pencil to make annotations and highlight text on my iPad. I feel that this feature will complete my Apple Notes experience.
On a side note, I still use Microsoft OneNote for some things, but it’s becoming rare these days.
I treat Microsoft OneNote as a more advanced notebook app where I type and use my Apple Pencil to annotate things. For example, I’m currently studying towards an AWS exam and being able to highlight and annotate my notes is proving to be extremely useful to me.
But, overall, I think Apple Notes is a great app and that is the reason why I treat it as my main note-taking app.
In the past, I was a huge fan of Fantastical and rightly so, I mean it is a fantastic calendar app!
However, the interface of the default calendar app seems to have improved from what I remember and I actually like the experience it provides.
That’s why I decided to stay with the default app. I mean it works really well on the Mac, my iPhone, iPad and even my Apple Watch.
As an app, it does exactly what I expect it to do and the best part is that it’s free!
However there is a new player on the field, and I am very likely to end up switching to it.
I’m talking about Notion Calendar as it syncs with my Notion databases providing me with a better way for planning and managing my time.
I’ve actually been trying out Cron (Now Notion Calendar), for a long time and I think that it really is a great app, I just wish it had a version for my Apple Watch.
Oddly, I think it’s the one thing that is stopping me from switching completely to Notion Calendar.
At the end of the day, the default app is still a great app, and I think that I will continue to use it as my main calendar app for the foreseeable future.
I tend to be very indecisive when it comes to browsers and I switch all the time and always return to Google Chrome in the end.
In fact the only other browser that I like happens to be Microsoft Edge (Yes, I installed it on my Mac). It’s a great browser and it’s my default browser at work. But that’s a story for another day and I’ve written a dedicated article about my experience with Edge.
This week I decided to switch my main browser on my Mac to Safari and I’m actually pretty impressed.
I mean I’m no stranger to Safari as I use it as the default browser on my iPhone and on my iPad. But I never thought about using it as my default browser on my Mac.
The overall experience is actually quite good, like all the other Apple apps, it features a clean and minimal interface and I like some of the built-in features such as the Reading List.
But as far as my overall experience with the browser, I’m still pretty new to it on desktop, as I always used other browsers instead. So if you have any tips or advice, feel free to share in the comments!
My overall impression after a week
To summarise this blog post, I think that all the Apple apps I mentioned made a good impression on me. But they aren’t the only Apple apps I used.
For example, I use the default Mail app for managing emails from my Home Lab as well as the email address I use for signing up for email newsletters. I find that the app offers a great way of managing and archiving email newsletters into folders if I ever want to go back to them.
I am definitely sticking with Apple Notes as my main notebook app and Reminders as my main To-Do list app.
As for Safari and Calendar, I think I need to spend more time with the apps to make a decision, but I am very tempted to switch to Notion Calendar and Microsoft Edge on Mac.
Do you use default Apple apps? Let us know in the comments!