Meet Josh Johnson: The iPhone.AppStorm Editor

When working as an editor or writer online, it’s easy to stay behind the scenes and remain something of an elusive shadow. AppStorm is no exception – we have a great team of editors and writers who work really hard to bring you a regular stream of top-notch articles across the sites.

Today, I thought it would be fun to publish an interview with your very own editor – Josh Johnson. He joined the AppStorm team just a few months ago, and is the driving force behind everything that goes on at iPhone.AppStorm.

I hope you enjoy getting to know your editor a little better, and feel free to leave a few questions for him in the comments!

How did you begin working for Envato/AppStorm?

I started writing for Mac.AppStorm in May, 2009 and quickly became addicted. David Appleyard and I became fast friends and have since begun working together on a number of other projects. The opportunity transformed my entire career and actually led to me leaving my full-time work as a graphic designer to focus on writing.

Before I knew it I was doing so much for AppStorm on a daily basis that the good people at Envato decided to let me take over one of the sites.

What part of your job do you enjoy the most? And which part really grinds your gears?

I’m a complete Apple nerd so my favorite part is absolutely trying out new apps and writing about what I think of them. It’s amazing to me that I can actually make a living doing something that is so ridiculously fun.

My least favorite part of the job is probably sorting through the mounds of email I receive on a daily basis from various projects I’m working on. I love meeting and interacting with people but finding time to go through, respond to and act upon every message I receive can be exhausting.

Which iOS apps couldn’t you live without?

I love productivity and organization apps so Evernote, Producteev and TeuxDeux are on the top of my list. Apps like these really have the power to change the way I work for the better and I’m always on the lookout for great finds in this category.

I’m also predictably addicted to social media so Facebook for iPhone and Twitter for iPad are definitely two of the apps that you’ll see open most frequently on my devices.

Talk us through your computer setup – both hardware, and software!


I do most of my work on a 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook. I’ve had it for a few years and it’s definitely starting to age – but it helps that I recently maxed out the RAM and upgraded to a 500GB 7200RPM hard drive.

On top of this I own a second generation 20GB iPod that amazingly still works (it weighs a ton and I’m certain it’s bullet proof), a first generation 16 GB iPod Touch, a 64GB iPad, an iPhone 4, and a Time Capsule – just in case any of it ever dies!


For writing, I prefer the simplicity of TextEdit and WriteRoom. I find that when I fill my screen with one of these two apps I’m much more productive than working in a full-blown word processor with tons of formatting options that don’t really matter (especially when I’ll just be copying and pasting plain text into WordPress). I’m not the biggest Microsoft Office fan anyway so it’s a good day when I can avoid that suite altogether.

Since, I’m still very much involved in design you’ll always see Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator (CS5 at the moment) open on my Mac as well. Other Mac apps that I absolutely couldn’t live without include the following:

  • Dropbox: Unbeatable simplicity for online backup and file sharing.
  • TextExpander: This app saves me so much time on a daily basis that I can’t imagine working without it.
  • ClipMenu: The best free clipboard manager on the planet.
  • LittleSnapper: Being a full-time blogger means taking hundreds of screenshots every month. LittleSnapper is a lifesaver for saving and organizing everything that I snap.
  • Evernote: My entire life is in Evernote and I’m convinced that if it ever goes away I’ll be completely lost.
  • Tweetie: Its lack of development is frustrating but I’ve tried every Mac Twitter app in existence and nothing beats Tweetie in the features that I need the most: multiple accounts, user profiles, saved searches, etc.
  • Safari: I go through phases where I switch to Firefox, Chrome, or even Camino for months on end but I always end up right back with Safari. Now that it finally has a decent extension system I don’t think I’ll ever switch.
  • Espresso: It’s simply the best app around for building basic websites. I wouldn’t dream of using anything else.
  • Fluid: I use fluid to turn all my favorite web apps into Mac Apps: Producteev, TeuxDeux, I even have an awesome Facebook menu bar app that’s really just a Fluid instance of the Facebook mobile site.

Which post on iPhone.AppStorm are you most proud of having published?

15+ Incredibly Useful iPhone Tips and Tricks

That article was a ton of fun to research and write. I learned a lot both from the tricks that I found and those that the commenters suggested.

One of my favorite things to do with any system is dig and and find all the little features that most people don’t know about. I wrote a similar article for Mac.AppStorm.

What do you get up to when you’re not editing our awesome articles?

I’m also the editor of Design Shack, and occasionally write for a few other design blogs such as Six Revisions and Smashing Magazine.

In recent years I’ve taken up photography and am really loving it as yet another creative outlet. You can see some of my work at SmugMug.

When I’m not working I enjoy spending time with my amazing wife Kelley and playing guitar weekly at our church.

What’s the best thing that you’ve watched, listened to, and read this week?

The best thing I watch each week is usually whatever web development voodoo Jeffery Way is cooking up for the weekly Quick Tip at Nettuts+ (the latest is on JavaScript Hoisting). I’ve learned a ton from watching his screencasts and am continually impressed with his knowledge of JavaScript.

The best thing I’ve listened to this week is almost the only thing: The Beatles. In honor of Lennon’s 70th birthday I’ve had my several Beatles albums repeating in iTunes. You can’t beat the originals but I do quite enjoy the “Across the Universe” movie soundtrack as well.

In addition to the countless design blog posts and news articles I read on a weekly basis, I really enjoy novels, especially the classics. I’m currently reading “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in addition to a couple of newer novels: Grisham’s “The Appeal” and Crichton’s “Next”.

As you can tell, I’m all over the place with with genres but I tend to favor books with a fantastical setting such “The Lord of the Rings” or even “1984”.

What features would your ultimate mobile Apple gadget have?

My ultimate mobile gadget would be very close to the iPad. Ideal improvements would be dual processors, a couple of cameras with video-conferencing, wireless syncing, the ability to run full-fledged Mac apps, better multi-tasking, integrated text snippets to save on typing and maybe a tiny built-in projector with the ability to interact with the projection.

It would also definitely have wireless charging, and I don’t mean that lame charger you see on the Palm Pre. I mean full-on over the air charging via WiTricity or something similar.

Having your devices charge just by virtue of being in the same room as a charger sounds like something from science fiction, but it’s more than possible using the basic principles discovered by Tesla ages ago and I think it’s about time we started putting this fantastic technology into practice in cell phones, laptops, tablets and more.

If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?

What could we do to make AppStorm a site that you visit every day or at least every week?

Thanks, Josh!

Thanks to Josh for taking the time to shed a little light on how he came to edit iPhone.AppStorm, and what his routine looks like!

If you have a question for him, or would like to answer his question above, we’d love to chat in the comments. Now’s your chance to quiz your editor on anything and everything related to AppStorm and iPhone apps (no pressure, Josh!)

Thanks for reading, and be sure to also check out my interview with Jarel Remick, the Web.AppStorm editor!