Apps Worth Paying For

This was a question I intended to ask on RW’s old Community forums but never got around to doing so. So, I’ll ask here.

What app or apps on any of your devices - Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, etc. - have you paid for or would be willing to pay for if free?

I’ll lead off with a macOS app, Texty for Google Messages:

While I could certainly use Google’s Messages for web, I prefer having a dedicated app. Texty offers a free version but $1/month gets me some additional integration with macOS.

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Easily the best money I’ve spent on an Android app was for Tasker. Tasker is an event-driven programming language that gives you an amazing amount of control over your phone.

You specify events to react to, then supply a procedure to follow when an event is triggered. I’ve used this for extreme custom ringtone control. One example is one person who rotates among multiple ringtones with each call. No particular reason, it was just amusing to do.

A common thing I do is: I have a task that silences the phone. I then define as many events as I need where I need silence. Movie theaters are typical, I just define being able to see a WiFi network in the theater, and the phone silences automatically. I also define things like medical offices, and I can even specify a location using GPS. All these evens trigger the silent task, then return to normal when the event no longer applies.

I have a trigger on receiving SMS, I then have a task that examines the messages and looks for conditions to use special sounds. If a message fails the checks it produces the default message sound. Being a Geocacher, messages that announce a new Geocache produce the Jump Jack sound from the Speed Racer cartoon. This is handy for improving my odds on a first-to-find. I have defined messages that, if received, will cause obnoxious noises for locating it or scaring thieves into dropping the phone. A phone that is screaming “Stop thief!” is not something you want to hold on to. If the temperature at the office data canter gets too high, I will get a spoken alert, including the temperature.

I am currently working on a task to create a GPS “Map tack” to find my car if I’m in a really large parking lot and might get lost.

I’ve gone on too long, and haven’t made a dent in my task list, but you get the idea.

Tasker cost $7 at the time I got it, and has been well worth it.

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I’ve been a Gmail user since 2004 back when it was invite only. But in the past year, I decided to pay for an email service called Hey. I never thought I would pay for email, but it’s been a breath of fresh air and helped me get my personal email under control. Rather than start over from scratch, I forward my Gmail address there and have it configured so I can still send from that address.

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We hike a lot, so we pay for the AllTrails+ app upgrade. Downloadable and printable topo maps, combined with GPS and a physical compass has kept us safe in the mountains. $35.99 a year.

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