Best iPhone Apps

iPhone apps

iPhone Apps

iPhone Apps: The 30 apps that should be on your iPhone

Standard Fare:

These apps require little introduction but I wanted to include them as a baseline in case there was anyone reading who just recently purchased an iPhone.

Pandora (Free): A great way to get music that fits you without the hassle of having to cue up songs or do the necessary research. Pandora Website

Shazam (Free): Easy way to figure out what artist and track you’re hearing at any given moment when that information isn’t available. Shazam Website

Netflix (Free; Sub. Req.): This iPhone app requires a Netflix subscription so if you have one then you should install it. You won’t be using it to watch movies in bed at home like my dad does but if you catch yourself somewhere with time to spare and want to watch an old episode of Southpark it works great. Netflix Website

Yelp (Free): If you’ve used Yelp before it’s the pretty much the same thing on the iPhone, just a nice scaled down version. Easy way to look for something good to eat nearby. Yelp Website

Movies by Flixster (Free): Movie times, trailers, Rotten Tomato rankings are among the many features that make this a nice robust movie listing app. I also have the MovieFone app but I prefer to use this one. Flixster Website

Angry Birds ($.99): Although it’s not the all-time number one downloaded app, I personally prefer it over Doodle Jump($.99). Quick and easy to play so when you have a free minute waiting at the dentist, mechanic, etc. you’ll have enough time to pass some levels and feel like you accomplished something. There are many other games that achieve this effect that I also enjoy. (Words With Friends ($2.99; Free), Cut The Rope ($.99), Tiny Wings ($.99)). Rovio Website

Homegrown Apps

The iPhone is preloaded with Apple’s native applications but they also offers other options within the app store, two of which can be particularly useful.

Remote (Free): The value that you derive from this app will likely be determinant on how integrated your home AV setup is with your computer. If you simply like to listen to music from you computer speakers you might enjoy the ability to change the song from anywhere on your wifi network. However, if you have invested in other Apple products such as an Apple TV, an AirPlay enabled device and/or an Airport Express it’s a great way to be able to control all your music and media throughout your home. Apple Remote

Find My Phone (Free): The usefulness of the actual app on your phone may prove to be minimal however if you happen to own an iPad it is a quick and easy way to pinpoint it’s location should you misplace it or worse. If you haven’t already, you should be sure to setup your iPhone and/or iPad for the free Find My Phone service. You can do this by creating a new email account in settings and picking the MobileMe option. Fill in your Apple ID that you use to purchase items from the App Store and you should be all set. Find My Phone Website

Multifunctional Camera

I’d still prefer to have a point and shoot or a DSLR on hand for taking consistently good quality pictures however the convenience of a camera on your phone can’t be beat and the software that’s available opens up some great possibilities.

Photoshop Express (Free): I included this one for two main features that are currently lacking from Apple’s native offerings: rotate and crop. It’s a solid free option to take care of these two tasks which come up from time to time especially when the accelerometer calibrates incorrectly. Photoshop Express Website

Hipstamatic ($1.99): A great tool to capture a moment in a unique and special way. This app recently caused a bit of controversy for it’s use in a piece of NY Times Photo Journalism. Be forewarned that not all camera filters and effects are available from the outset and you may end up spending additional money. Hipstamatic Website

Pano ($1.99): There are other panoramic generating apps available but this one has worked extremely well and they have rolled out continual software updates over the time I’ve had it which have further improved it’s performance. Debacle Software Website

ColorSplash ($.99): ColorSpash is a very specific app and in all honesty I don’t use it even close to as regularly as the previous three mentioned but with such a low price point some of you could have some fun with it. Pocket Pixels Website

On The Road

It’s a bit of a stretch to group the following three apps together but I wanted to keep the theme consistent. Basically they all assist you in getting from point A to point B.

Taxi Magic (Free): Lets you book a taxi straight from your phone, track it’s location in route and even pay from your phone if you have an account setup (I pay with cash however as they charge you a $1.50 surcharge each time you make a payment through their system). Taxi Magic Website

MapQuest Mobile 4 (Free): Mapquest Mobile is by no means the best map app. Apple’s offering, powered by Google, is far better. However MapQuest offers something that Apple doesn’t: turn by turn directions. And it’s the best free offering out there. There have been rumblings that iOS 5 will bring this as a native feature but until then the MapQuest app serves this purpose well. MapQuest Mobile

Strands (Free): There have been a good deal of apps released recently providing workout tracking and summary but Strands has served me well over the past couple years and it’s free. It gives you audio mileage and duration updates, a full breakdown of your workout once you’re done and will store your workout on your phone for future reference. If you want something a little more polished and/or have Nike+ shoes, Nike+ GPS ($1.99) is a great paid alternative. Strands Website

Game Changers

If you follow sports, the iPhone can be extremely helpful. Especially when you’re favorite team is playing and you’re stuck at, let’s say, a joint bridal shower.

Sportacular (Free; Pro $1.99 ): Provides one of the most robust experiences for sports scores, rankings and news. One of my favorite features is the ability to have alerts sent to your phone whenever there is a score change or a game ends. Sportacular Website

TuneIn Radio ($.99): Not necessarily just a sports app, but that’s its primary use for me. It has a huge selection of local and national radio stations that can be streamed to your phone and an integrated search function that makes it easy to find the sports broadcast you’re looking for. TuneIn Radio Website

March Madness On Demand (Free): After April 4th, there won’t be much of a need for this app but you can at least be sure to catch the last three games of the tournament no matter where you are. Hopefully other sports content providers take notice at this apps success (ahem…ESPN3) and make their offerings available. March Madness Website

Might As Well

These apps are free, easy to use and are just good to have on your phone in case a need arises.

FlashLight4G (Free): Does exactly what it’s supposed to, turns the iPhone 4 flash on continuously and does it quickly. I’ve actually had more instances than I would have thought where this came in handy. FlashLight4G Website

Google Translate (Free): Type or say whatever you want and it will spit it back at you in both text and audio in whatever language you want. Haven’t needed this as much recently but I figure it’s worth the small amount of space it requires in case a situation presents itself. Google Translate Website

Amazon Price Checker (Free): Amazon is usually the place to find the best deal on any big purchases especially in the states where it is currently able to forgo charging the consumer sales tax (which may not last all that long). However, I don’t use this app for it’s price checking capabilities as much as I use it as a queue for items I’ve found but at that moment don’t want to purchase or don’t have the money. Amazon Price Checker Website

A Little More Work (And Reading)

The one thing that these apps have in common is that they take a little extra work to get them up and running. If you don’t feel like doing a couple extra steps on your computer then these may not be for you.

Instapaper ($4.99; Free): This is by far my most frequently used app. If you often find yourself browsing the internet and happening upon articles you find interesting but never having the time to read them this is the iPhone app for you. Once you have an account setup on their website it will guide you through instructions to install a special “Read Later” bookmark within your browser’s bookmark bar. Whenever you run across another article that you’d like to read but don’t have the time, click this and it automatically stores it to your account. In addition, when you go to read it on your iPhone (or iPad) it strips all unnecessary ads and side graphics giving you a clean and easily readable interface. Lastly, when you’ve synced up all your recently unread articles they’re stored locally on your phone so you can read them without Wifi or a cellular connection. Instapaper Website

iCam ($4.99): This a relatively cheap way to setup a home surveillance system, to an extent. The cheap is dependent on whether you have an extra computer you can leave at home. If you do, like to take long trips and would like to have all your bases covered this is a great way to do it. Once you’ve installed the software on your computer you can set it for motion detection, text message alerts and frame by frame (not full video) recording of any motion events. SKJM Website

Talkatone (Free): This is the only app I’ve been able to find that lets you make Google Voice calls over Wifi. All others I’ve found let you use your Google Voice account but only through AT&T or Verizon’s cellular network. In order to use it you will need to have a Google Voice account. The times when I don’t have cellular service but have Wifi don’t happen a lot but when the need arises this is great. I took a trip to Mexico recently and didn’t want to incur roaming charges so I used this to call my girlfriend. And it opens up call options when in-flight Wifi is available but that would be obnoxious. Talkatone Website

Airfoil Speakers (Free; Airfoil $25 req.): Alright so this one will likely sound a bit excessive but as you probably can already tell I’m a little excessive when it comes to technology. Airfoil is a computer program that takes Apple’s AirPlay (formerly AirTunes) and makes it more expansive. Airfoil is able to take any audio from your computer and send it to Airplay enabled devices in contrast to Airplay which can only send audio from iTunes. It’s also able to send audio to other computers and with the Speakers app it converts your iPhone (or iPad) into a Airfoil enabled device which is handy if you have a speaker dock. Yea, yea, I told you it would sound excessive. Airfoil Speakers Website

Google Authenticator (Free): If you use Google for a lot of services like I do and worry about your account getting hijacked this provides an extra line of defense. You’ll need to opt into Google’s 2-step verification process. Doing so will then require you to use the Authenticator app to generate a time sensitive code in order to access your account from any new device. It may sound like a pain but once you have it setup it really doesn’t effect you unless you’re signing into a new computer. Google allows you to generate application specific passwords for things like Outlook, iCal, your iPhone etc. which are not compatible with the system. The only headache it’s provided as of yet is that Adwords Editor doesn’t store your password so I have to keep that application specific password handy. Google Authenticator Website

Not Quite Sure Where To Put These

These are iPhone apps that I couldn’t fit within any of my groupings but wanted to touch upon them nonetheless.

Al Jazeera English Live (Free): I happened upon Al Jazeera English during the recent conflicts throughout the Middle East and Africa and found it to be a fresh perspective on the situation to go along with the other news outlets I follow. This app allows you to stream AJE live which is particularly nice since it is currently unavailable on US cable networks. Al Jazeera Engligh Live Website

djay ($9.99; iPad $19.99): With this app I veer slightly from the main objective of this post in that I don’t know that I would necessarily recommend the iPhone version. I haven’t personally used the iPhone version but I can’t imagine it being the experience you’d want it to be especially in comparison to the large iPad version. The iPad app is polished, runs smoothly and provides a great opportunity to test out some mixes without having to get a lot of gear setup. If you don’t happen to be a DJ, this is a still a fun one if you’re into music and would like to dabble in mixing. djay Website

Momento ($2.99): A niche app for people who like to journal. It lets you write out day occurrences, take pictures to associate with events, pulls your posts from Twitter and Facebook all while keeping this private information password protected. This app has great potential and if you’re fine with writing extensively on the iPhone then you’ll love it. However I’m waiting to really start devoting time to it when they expand it to the iPad and desktop while keeping all of them synced. Momento Website

Everyday ($1.99): This is a really small niche app for people who want to make timelapse photography of themselves like this. If you are one of those people you may want to wait to purchase this app as it just came out and could very likely take a price cut down to $.99 in the near future. It’s really well polished with guides and message alerts to remind to take a photo everyday. Everyday Website

That wraps up my suggestions for iPhone apps so hopefully you found something you enjoyed or found particularly useful. If you have any app suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments below.

-Jeff Collins

Originally from Wpromote, Inc. PPC Management. Cross-Posted with permission.

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