As Head of Digital at TMZ.com, Joshua Fruhlinger isn’t usually the one interviewed. More of a behind-the-scenes kind of guy (except for his various speaking engagements), he directs content and digital programming for the foremost entertainment-news Web site in the world, with over 20 million unique visitors a month. Prior to TMZ, Joshua was Executive Producer and Editorial Director for AOL/Engadget, where he managed sites such as Engadget.com, Switched.com, TUAW.com and Downloadsquad.com. Before that, he spent time with Razorfish as a senior content strategist. Now the New York native lives on the opposite side of the country in Playa del Rey, Calif., where in addition to his TMZ day job, he is a tech columnist for The Wall Street Journal and Engadget. He lives with his wife Kei and his two cats, Misha and Sparky.
What smartphone do you use?
What apps do you use most often and why?
LINE, a text/IM thing. I have a lot of international friends, it works on multiple platforms and it’s free. It has lots of cute, stupid emoticons. I use Google Maps all the time because more often than not, it’s smarter than my car’s GPS. I’ll put my destination into my GPS, and then I’ll put it on Google Maps just to make sure it’s going to the right place. Carrot is my new favorite app, it’s a to-do list app, and it gets mad at you if you don’t accomplish things. You get points [for completing items on your to-do list], and you can “level up” like World of Warcraft. I have a Jewish mother, and it works on guilt in the same way of motivation.
I can watch baseball games on MLB.com At Bat. I’m a Yankees fan, and I live in L.A. now, so I can watch Yankee games out of market. I use all the social apps – Skype, Twitter and Instagram. I use Fly Delta mostly just to check in and check where I am on the upgrade list. It’ll send me little reminders to check in. The quicker you check in with Delta, the higher you are up on the upgrade list.
I use Flashlight all the time. At my house, there are two sets of stairs outside, and if you come home past 3 a.m., it can be very dark. I like that app because there are no ads and it’s really straightforward. And of course, I use the TMZ app. I love iReddit. Without mincing words, it’s my bathroom app. You go to the homepage, and there’s always something interesting to read there.
League of Evil is my favorite game. We have annual passports to Disneyland, and MouseWait tells you how long the lines are and shows you how recently [the information] was updated. I use the Strava Cycling app for its GPS mapping so you can map your rides. I do mountain biking and it tells you other users’ lap times on trails. It’ll tell me my time against other people’s times, and you can be King of the Mountain if you’re the fastest in the trail. It’s like the Foursquare for mountain biking.
What’s on your screensaver?
Sparky the cat. He’s my buddy. He’s the boy cat and then there’s the girl cat (Misha). The boy hangs out with me, and the girl hands out with Kei. They cross over sometimes. He’s a little jerk – he’s a rebellious cat teenager right now.
What’s On Your Phone? is an occasional blog series that asks business leaders, celebrities and plain ol’ folks to tell us about their smartphones and apps.