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Bruno Gaspar Romualdo’s iPhone setup

Every week we post a new interview with someone about what software they use on their Mac, iPhone, or iPad. We do these interviews because not only are they fun, but a glimpse into what tools someone uses and how they use those tools can spark our imagination and give us an idea or insight into how we can do things better.

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Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Bruno Gaspar Romualdo, a Brazilian journalist that designs learning objects for Oxford University Press. I also do freelance writing and translating. I’m based in São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest, lamest, and most beloved. Apart from doing all that, I try to quantify and qualify what I read, watch, play, eat, and listen to.

What iPhone do you have?

Bruno Gaspar Romualdo's iPhone

A 16GB iPhone 5s (space gray) I bought in New York City a year and a half ago. You may wonder why such a small capacity, but don’t fret: I like to keep my mobile data traffic as little as possible. No hoarding! Also: data plans are really expensive in Brazil. Lots of files and band usage would mean emptier pockets.

What apps do you use the most, and why?

My setup changes dramatically and almost on a weekly basis. That’s why I took so long to write about it. This was what my iPhone setup was on June 29, 2015.

1Password — Even my underwear size is stored there. I can’t describe in words how important it is. In emoticons, perhaps, it would be: ??.

99Taxis — São Paulo’s cabs are expensive and often unreliable, but this app makes it all a little easier. It’s available in most major cities, so I’m covered. It’s a pretty good service.

Citymapper — despite not having to rely upon different commute options, Citymapper does a great job at telling how much my usual route will take and how far my bus lines are from my stop. It’s very polished and friendly.

Convertible — This one is on my homescreen since I bought the 5s. I don’t use the app itself much, though. It lives in my Today screen and neatly serves the purpose of telling me how expensive EUR and USD are in comparison to the BRL.

Scanbot — I don’t scan much, but when I do, I do it in style.

Tweetbot — Man, how I struggled to liked it — and succeeded. I was a heavy official Twitter app (which is pretty good) user, but then I got tired of the ads and the lack of read-position sync between devices. Tweetbot lives on the hotspot ever since. Kudos to the dev. I ditched RSS in favor of Twitter because of this Glen Fleishman article. Been a happier news reader ever since.

Facebook and Whatsapp are the main social apps in Brazil, but my favorite has to be Twitter (via Tweetbot). I can easily spend several minutes (or even hours) browsing for stuff in all of them.

Pushpin is what I use to store and archive things in Pinboard while on the go. I tried Pinner for a while, but never really loved it. I confess that Pushpin’s previous lack of updates made me use the competitor for some time, but the last version is killer.

Spotify is my streamer-of-choice since, like, a month ago. Before that, I used and really liked Rdio. I changed services because Spotify has a substantially better catalog. That’s a no-brainer about digital music, I think. On the other hand, Rdio has a superior app and overall service. Chances are I’m switching to Apple Music once it’s available in Brazil. I’m dying to legally listen to some King Crimson.

TeeVee is great for TV-tracking. I watch lots of it.

Stock Apple apps: everyone hates them, but I don’t. They’re simple and do seamlessly what I expect of them. My favorites are Mail and Notes. Both are used on an hourly basis. I also really like Weather. I don’t need Dark Sky because the weather is always nice.

Which app could you not live without?

Well, there’s really no such thing. I won’t pretend to be a die-hard fan of anything. In fact (as mentioned above), I change setups quite a lot, almost down to the weekly level. That being said, I guess that some apps do make my life easier, but not necessarily more delightful. This is where cultural and geographical contexts come into play. I rely on Santander for my banking setup because there’s no better option (I’m trying Itaú out, but my account is not yet fully active). I depend on Ticket Restaurante’s app to track how much I spend of my food voucher. I really hate almost everything about Waze, but it’s the best shot I have at avoiding traffic. To clarify: I could very well live without any app (ditching 1Password would hurt, I confess), but those I mentioned above are the necessary evils.

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