Love Nike's new epic "LNDR" film from Wieden+Kennedy. Letting the youth be heroes of the narrative is brilliant, and set the stage for wider engagement/participation. It feels so natural, culturally speaking, and while I'm obviously an outsider, seems to capture London's special, shared spirit through a range diverse perspectives. Impeccable writing and craft, too... where to begin? And beyond Skepta, I don't know any of the celebs, nor do I understand half the insider references, but I watched this (three-minute) film five times voluntarily in the last 24 hours.
I've been in a lot of conversations recently about favorite apps. I hadn't given it up much thought, so I put together a list of those that have taken the most battery power of late. Some old, some new, some likely old to many and new to me. My first crack landed at 17, so the spirit of the year that's (mostly) ahead, I’ve cleverly coined it my "17 for 18.” Enjoy.
A master class in mobile commerce, Nike’s app gets straight A’s across the board: Great product presentation, cool editorial content and dangerously seamless checkout functionality. I’ve got notifications for shoe drops stacked up in my — all they need from me now is a thumbprint. // LINK
I've been looking for a reliable podcast app to replace Apple’s buggy, limiting and downright confusing onboard option for a while. Castro’s the first I’d recommend. Easy to build queue feature and simpler discovery make this my go-to. // LINK
The first alarm app that I’ve found to be remotely effective, Rocket Alarm lets you greet the day with the sound of a shrill mobile alarm with a bonus that it can’t be silenced until you complete a simple video game, which . Try to snooze? Sorry, this thing is both punishing and relentless.
HQ is going to take over the world, twelve questions at a time. My goal isn’t to win the twenty-eight cents, but just to have my emoticon, the photo of a weasel, bounce across the screen. I’ve been two questions away. This is just the beginning. // LINK
Environments Can’t understate how rad this is: The intrepid, untouchable local reissue label Numero Group just launched a one-of-a-kind ambient sounds app that’s captured the stunning, analog field records of Irv Treibel. Overall, it's 14 hours of sound, ranging from windblown forests to ocean waves. Beautifully designed with thoughtful functionality like loop and playlist options. Incredible! // LINK
Totally bananas video camera app that shoots through fractured, acid-washed and otherwise disturbing and creative filters. With the right lens, it’s like instantly giving your footage a touch of Cronenberg or Lynch before even opening your editing apps. Essential. // LINK
Six stars for Flightradar24, my desert island app (assuming said island had a connection and air travel was still a thing). Instant dashboard of all air traffic around the world that lets users single out planes and see their altitude, speed, airline, route and more. And the incredible AR planespotting integration and "cockpit view” are the delicious icing on this cake. Recommended for nervous flyers as a dose of context — it’s aweing to pan across the country and see the volume of jets safely soaring through the skies… pull back to capture that on a global scale and it’s sublime. // LINK
Seriously, I dig Twitter. I lurk more than post, but still my go-to for breaking developments, the spin on the latest news cycle and updates for niche interests like commercial aviation and streetwear. It’s also great on mobile, and there’s a trove of genius, left-field accounts that would make Twitter worthwhile on their own — choice picks include Epcot Centre, birdrightsactivist and Wu-Tang Financial. // LINK
Subscription required, but this thing provides access to a trove of daily puzzles dating back to — I’m not even sure, but way back. Far enough back that it’s not an issue. It also archives your daily solve times, averages and records, so it’s a perpetual goal to keep those numbers going down. It’s become a nightly ritual, as I tend to dive into the next day’s puzzle before hitting the sack. // LINK
A personal favorite comparison shopping app that scans across retailers from Barneys to Ssense to find the best deals on designer goods. I’ve yet to purchase anything directly, but game-changing in that I’ll never consider another purchase without consulting it first. // LINK
Weather apps for me are all about one thing — how can I get to my hour-by-hour forecast the quickest? Dark Sky delivers that, and just about everything else about its design is intuitive and simple. And that’s about all I need. // LINK
It gives me comfort that at any given time, I’m sitting on like at least a half dozen free items at Starbucks. And that’s thanks to my (twice) daily habit of hitting the outpost in the lower level of my building for venti Pikes, coupled with this app, which means I could at least survive a couple days if stranded at any major airport on the planet. // LINK
I listen to a lot of hip-hop, so I’m referencing Genius a few times a week to check the definition of words and phrases, source producer credits and just generally decipher things. The largest database of song lyrics — of all type — it’s rare that I check a track (SoundCloud excluded) that’s not here. Interesting editorial, but hasn’t been as culturally impactful as I expected it to be at peak momentum. And their iMessaging App, one of the best and only ones I’ve ever used, is out of commission… probably thanks to copyright. // LINK
The more data I collect, the more integral it becomes. This recommendation comes with an unavoidable $99 device that wraps around your wrist, but well worth it. Not to say I’ve used it to optimize my life, per se, but it keeps me moving. Extra points for ease of navigation, elegant presentation of data, and useful tips and insights. // LINK
Yeah, as with Twitter, I’m a proud enthusiast of YouTube. Not only is it a repository of Russian dash cam footage and a place catching Conan highlights, it’s also a garden of knowledge. Where else can you brush up on Kant’s categorical imperative or learn how the hydraulic system on an Airbus A320 works in just minutes? My go-to for long-haul flights, I stock up on it’s (premium) download feature. After all, I’d rather be catching up on Vice and bootleg Forensic Files than be watching “La La Land.”
Ah, I’ve got a love/hate relationship with Evernote. On one hand, it’s been a digital constant for nearly a decade — a rare thing in this era. It’s facilitated the seamless transfer of hundreds of files, served reliably as a cross-device, sketchpad-meets-Moleskine platform, and been a lifesaver on more occasions than I can count. On the other, it’s overpriced, and hasn’t evolved over that decade in a direction I’ve found tremendously useful. Of course, it’s possible that I’m still not using it right. If that’s the case, I need to find that devoted, almost cult-like Evernote fanclub that there once was and check out one of their seminars — or at least, look one up on YouTube. // LINK
Two quick items I'd love to emphasize:
a) The team behind it does all the work here — they deserve all the credit for bringing it to life every month;
b) Re: that last question about when "we'll stop" — I missed the opportunity to stress that however long this series exists, I expect people-centric storytelling will continue to be a priority pillar for corporate and consumer brand storytelling. My biggest takeaways have been that these types of series are effective drivers for bigger-picture messaging, and what a great opportunity content in a mobile-first world can have for orgs hoping to reach both internal/external stakeholders with consistency / efficiency.