The most tried and tested way to pass the time (though not the best in my opinion) is to listen to music. If you don’t have a huge collection of MP3’s but crave some variety, there are a variety of services available for both Android, iOS and windows phone devices. My favourites are below:
- Spotify – Android, iOS, WP8
- Google Play Music – Android, iOS
- Pandora – Android, iOS, WP8
- Tunein Radio – Android, iOS, WP8
With all of the above, make sure you are on a wi-fi connection or have a bulky data pack as they will chew up the mb’s quite quickly! Alternatively, enjoy the caching features that both Spotify and Google Play Music include – allowing you to listen to tunes even without data access!
If you find music really doesn’t cut it to pass the time (which it doesn’t for me), then I suggest giving Podcasts a try. There are literally thousands to choose from, varying in frequency from daily to yearly. For iOS users, the official apple podcasts app is the way to go and for Android users, I strongly suggest paying a few bucks to get Pocket Casts. If you something on the cheaper side (free), then check out Stitcher. For Windows Phone users, try Podcaster.
Once you have your apps installed, it is time to get a few good podcasts. Five great podcasts to get you started are:
- This week in Tech – The latest tech news from an experienced panel of Tech industry enthusiasts and expert
- The Empire Podcast – The latest movie news, reviews, commentary and interview
- Still Untitled – The Adam Savage Project - General chats between Adam Savage (Mythbusters) and Will and Norm (of Tested, another great videogame podcast)
- PSiloveyouXOXO – The #1 Playstation podcast around. You can't go wrong with this one
- The Complete Guide to everything – 2 guys talking about nothing in particular, is somehow…. engaging
- Serial - if you haven't heard of Serial... well, you know how the saying goes. Check out Season 1 then move onto Season 2.
A great alternative to podcasts are audiobooks. I find that ‘reading’ through audiobooks is a far better way than actually reading. Trust me, if you are at all skeptical, give it a try. Audiobooks let your mind relax (not have to burden itself with reading), and instead focusing entirely on creating vivid imagery. Out of all the books I have ‘read’, it is the audiobooks I remember most!
To get started, you can’t go past Audible (iOS, Android, WP8). If you aren’t into paying for your audiobooks, then check out LIbravox (Android, iOS, WP8) which essentially crowdsources the reading of out-of-copyright books (with often great, sometimes varied results). Finally, if you have managed to obtain DRM-free versions of audiobooks in mp3 format, and are an Android user, you cannot go past.
If all of the above still isn’t enough to have your hours of exercise fly by – then check out the following apps which offer something a little different:
- Umano – daily news, read allowed (Android, iOS)
- Zombies, Run! – become part of the zombie apocalypse – run to escape! (Android, iOS)
The above tips should give even the most distracted user enough entertainment for a run, row, jog, walk or ride. If you have any other suggestions, let me know (in the comments).