CHECKMARK. The app, which is available only on the iPhone, allows you to set location-based reminders. The images above, taken at various times, show notifications flashed by the app.

To do: Install to-do apps on phone

(I wrote this for an article on digital to-do lists for the Sun.Star Cebu Weekend)

I arrived home to the ding of my phone reminding me to run 5K and finish writing this article on to-do lists and a blog post on Inbox Zero.

My phone flashed the reminders because it detected, through global positioning system (GPS), that I was home.

Beyond calling, today’s phones have become our main computer. For many people, it already is the main device to read or send e-mails. Increasingly, it is how people access social networks like Facebook.

If there’s one task phones are really good at, it’s keeping to-do lists. Even before smartphones, people were already keeping to-do lists via the SMS editor, alarm system, calendar feature or the rudimentary notes facility built into some phones to keep track of tasks.

CHECKMARK. The app, which is available only on the iPhone, allows you to set location-based reminders. The images above, taken at various times, show notifications flashed by the app.

CHECKMARK. The app, which is available only on the iPhone, allows you to set location-based reminders. The images above, taken at various times, show notifications flashed by the app.

Productivity apps are a dime an unli-SMS bucket today and you’d have a hard, albeit fun, time figuring out which app works best for you.

What makes the task of choosing an app even harder is the tight competition for features and users, with developers releasing updates every few months or so in a frenzied apps race where users, millions of users, are the top prize.

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EVERNOTE. The Evernote applications for iOS and Android allow you to manage your notes on the go.

App-y New Year

Mobile exploded in 2012. US consumers now spend 1.8 more times in mobiles apps than on the Web, according to Flurry, a mobile analytics company. Flurry said that between December 2011 and December 2012, “the average time spent inside mobile apps by a US consumer grew 35 percent, from 94 minutes to 127 minutes.”

Closer to home, the Philippines recorded a 326 percent increase in smartphone sales, the fastest growth in the Southeast Asian region, according to research company GfK. The Philippines is also the country “with the highest jump in smartphone market share within a year, from 9 to 24 percent,” GfK said in a press statement last September.

To mark the end of this year of mobile, let me riff on a Pinoy New Year’s Eve tradition by offering you my favorite apps in 12 task categories, in no particular order:

News apps Zite, Prismatic and News.me

NEWS APPS. (From left) Zite, Prismatic and News.me harness social networking connections to match news stories to users’ interests.

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