It all started when I thought about using Craft as my note-taking app. It seemed like a good idea, nicer looking than Obsidian, felt native and not something held together with tape on the iPhone.

I thought about other third-party apps I use instead of the ones Apple ships with their devices, and which ones I might want to try to go back.

📝 I used the trial for Craft and, although I like it, it seems to be getting slower on the laptop after not so many notes, and somehow it feels like overkill for my needs.

I still keep a few hundred notes on Notes, I feel they’re safe there, and decided to try this one again. I’ll probably miss some things, but I have a feeling this is the one that will last.

✅ Reminders is trickier. I LOVE Things. I will try using the official one because the integration with the system is brilliant, and multiple 3rd party apps use it as well. But there are so many steps to get to some features (subtasks come to mind) to work, and Things is just too good. And I’m too used to it after all these years. Reminders still feels old and clunky, even with the latest updates. I don’t see myself letting go of this one.

📅 Speaking of old and clunky: Calendar. Fantastical is another one I’ve grown used to, for many years, and I’m not even going to try to leave this one. Actually tried the Pro tier, but I’m not one with countless Zoom meetings (none, actually), the collaboration features are of no use to me, the added days on the weather forecast are also not needed. Would love to be able to change the icon, but that’s hardly worth the price of the subscription. Natural language input is a time saver, and I can’t imagine having to enter appointments any other way anymore.

✏️ So… no money spent on these, I’ll use that to fund the Ulysses subscription. This is one I can actually see myself using. Managed to get my Drafts theme working there (well, here) already, and it feels like coming back home. I did the three-month trial back in the day and, while not a huge fan of the way it handles Markdown, it has a great writing environment, it’s perfect for longer post with photos, can publish on without the “preview & approve” step, and I can even edit the posts after they’re published. It’s good. Drafts isn’t going anywhere, it’s still in my dock, but I imagine I’ll spend a big part of the year using this one.

📥 Mail is another one I’m afraid I’m not touching anytime soon. Actually, enjoying using Fastmail’s app. Have Canary installed as well, mainly for the PGP support, but I never use that anyway. Fastmail is not the perfect app, but it does the job, and I can live with that. As long as I don’t need email to be accessible without an internet connection!

💬 Texting apps have been discussed before, and there’s no change there: no one uses iMessage here (we’re in WhatsApp country). A few have moved to Telegram, even fewer to Signal. That’s how things work, there’s no way that’s going to change anytime soon.

🌧 Weather app of choice is Carrot, it’s wonderful. I have the official weather app widget visible, next to Carrot’s, to compare the forecast. But I never open the app.

🧮 I can’t remember when was the last time I opened the stock calculator app. Bought PCalc ages ago, created my own layout, and this is the one I instinctively go for whenever I need to do any calculations. It works, I’m used to it.

📷 I still use the camera app often. Very often. It’s my go-to app. If the light is trickier, or I need a RAW file, or if I know I’ll try a few shots and don’t want to deal with the annoying exposure reset (how much do I hate that??), I’ll open Halide. It’s wonderful.

⏰ The stock clock app is my go to for timers and stopwatch, but I rely on Overlap for time zone management. It’s not something I regularly use, but it looks nice, has a helpful widget, and it’s free.

🗺 Maps is another one where it’s difficult to use the app Apple ships. Even though we’re in one of the countries Apple uses as a testing ground, Google Maps is WAY better when searching for something, and Waze is the app everyone uses to get around. Apple Maps fails on so many fronts, it’s unbelievable. The fact that nearly every single car driving on our roads has Waze open helps with the crowdsourcing part, and the app is so reliable I use it whenever I’m driving, even if I know where I’m going. Have Sygic installed, and it’s great, but I’ll use this one mostly on countries where I have no cell coverage, as the maps are available without a data connection.

💻 Browsing the web is done with Safari, mostly. I use it on the laptop as well, almost exclusively, and Vivaldi still has no iOS app. I have a few other browsers installed on the iPhone (Firefox, Firefox Focus, OnionBrowser, DuckDuckGo, iCab), but Safari is the one I’ll go for 99% of the time. The new features are very cool, love having the extensions, synced tabs, the new search bar at the bottom is wonderful, there’s no reason to use anything else most of the time.

That’s it. Love the device, but looks like I don’t have the same feeling for the apps Apple is shipping with it.