iPhone app Reviews, Sleep Cycle and Coursera

When I was using an iPhone 4 earlier this year I had to remove apps to manage the storage space.  My paltry 8gb (I never thought I would say that) was stuffed with photos, podcasts, and kids apps and I didn’t have room for anything else.  Now that I’ve upgraded, things are different and I’ve been playing around with a few new apps.

Image-1The first app Sleep Cycle came via recommendation of Mike Vardy at Productivityist.  Mike shared his iPhone screen shots and the apps he uses.  I hadn’t been sleeping well at the time and wanted to try out an app that might give me some insights about how much and how well I slept.

The $0.99 app uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to track your movements and then assign those movements, or cluster of them, to a phase of sleep.  Then, and this is the key, it wakes you within an alarm window when you are in a form of shallow sleep.  For me, I set a window of 45 minutes, meaning that the alarm can go off anytime between 5:45 and 6:30 when it senses that I’m in a shallow sleep mode.  And it works.

Or so I think it does.  I told my wife that after two days of use it might really work and it might be a placebo effect and that I didn’t care.  I like looking at the graph and I do feel like I’m waking up lighter.

The second app is the Coursera app, which allows you to watch the online lectures offered through the Coursera sites.  I’m currently taking the Gamification course and the app lets me watch the course videos and take the online quizzes.  This learning style, a sequential series of 8-12 minute videos is probably the direction education is going and being able to watch the videos and then have a moment of reflection is helpful.  I remember being in two hundred seat lectures halls and staring at the periodic table, wondering if the actual table was older than the elements it listed.  This is nothing like that

The convenience of watching a video during breakfast or lunch if I’m eating alone and take notes is incredible.  The app might someday have access to more of the online tools but not yet.

Anyone have apps suggestions that I’m missing as I refill my iPhone?

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3 thoughts on “iPhone app Reviews, Sleep Cycle and Coursera

  1. Pingback: What Does a Stay-at-Home Dad Do All Day? | Mike Dariano

  2. Pingback: What Does a Stay-At-Home Dad do All Day? April 2014 | Mike Dariano

  3. Pingback: Why I Gave up on the Fitbit | Mike Dariano

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