Everyone finds different iPhone apps useful. Most seem indispensable or at least fun the day you download them, but then you never open them again. Personally, there is only so much joy I can derive out of an app that let's me pretend I am drinking a pint. Cool trick, but it gets old quick.
This is a list of my favorite iPhone apps that I find particularly useful, while leaving out specialized ones like the Tempi metronome that only applies to musicians, or VegOut, which is awesome, but only if you are vegetarian or vegan like I am. Of course, I am leaving out the ones that come with the iPhone, as I think those are generally all great. One disclaimer: since I live in NYC and don't drive much (except when I leave town), I do not use GPS Apps, but my friends who drive a lot say they are extremely useful.
Without further delay...
Top Ten Favorite iPhone Apps
10. Quick Tip (Free): the runner-up Tip Calculator lets you split between people, but Quick Tip is free. If you want to get all detailed, there's Meal Splitter, which helpful since it lets you divide meals between many people, and separate out people who didn't order drinks, but since I am either always eating out with my wife and kid or with just one other person, Quick Tip is just faster and simpler to use.
9. Google Mobile App (Free): I love that Google searches are formatted for the iPhone, and I love that it anticipates what you are looking for when searching. Very cool.
8. Facebook (Free): this app basically just formats Facebook for your iPhone. Other than email, this is the social networking site that I use most often, although I am occasionally on MySpace, and they have an iPhone app called MySpace Mobile that I use less often.
7. Amazon Mobile (Free): I often purchase through Amazon, and this app makes it easy to purchase using the iPhone. Everything if formatted for the iPhone screen, so purchasing something from the Amazon store becomes a pleasurable experience.
6. Memengo Wallet ($1.99): this encrypted password manager app is great for storing personal information credit card information, usernames, and of course, passwords.
5. Stanza ($1.99): this book reader doesn't allow you to read Kindle books, but it allows you to read everything else.
4. Kindle for iPhone (Free): the Kindle book reader for iPhone just came out, and it works quite well for an initial release. I was never planning on purchasing a Kindle reader, and the small screen size of the iPhone does not bother me. Best of all, my wife loves this app, and if she's happy, I'm happy.
There are a few annoyances:
- It doesn't allow you to upload books from other sites or free books.
- You cannot download magazines or newspapers.
- You cannot look up lines in a dictionary.
- You cannot add notations.
- You cannot copy and paste small amounts of information.
- No horizontal reading option.
- No font color or background color changes (but you can change font size).
- It remember bookmarks, but no search function.
Hopefully many of these details will be addressed soon.
3. Toodledo and Appigo's Notebook ($4.99): Apple's notebook app blows. This solution is much better, and also allows you to view your notes from any computer. You use Appigo's Notebook app and sync it on Toodledo's website. Another alternative is syncing using Remember The Milk, but I'm vegan, so I just could not bring myself to use their software (I guess I could Remember The Almond Milk?).
2. Appigo's ToDo ($9.99): I use the ToDo list in iCal all the time, and this app allows me to view my ToDo's on the iPhone. Too bad Apple has not made this process more seamless, but this solution works really well. You also need Appigo's free Appigo Sync application on your computer. BTW: don't be swayed by the couple of negative reviews on iTunes: those are from a few disgruntled users who either wanted to do something really complicated, or didn't read the directions. The price is a little steep, but if you want a To Do list that works, this is the app for you.
1. Mint (Free): this is hands-down my favorite app. As depressing as my financial situation is these days, I really like being able to see my entire financial profile in one place, including credit cards, loans, checking and savings accounts and investments. The best part is that it is free, and works very well on the iPhone. It also lets you see what you spend using pie charts. The only hitch is that sometimes it takes a while to refresh, and it is still not as robust as Quicken for Windows, but I really hate how Intuit (the company that makes Quicken) has treated Apple users like second-class citizens, and I think Mint will only get better. I wish I could import my old Quicken information into Mint, but maybe they will add that in the future. Again, don't be put off by the few negative reviews about security. Your data will be fine. Mint doesn't store anything on their server; they just pull information from financial institutions. Why don't people get that?
There were some runner-ups, apps that—although they are very cool—I just don't use as much, like Jott (a virtual voice recorder that transcribes voice memos into text), Instapaper (lets you send articles you find online directly to your iPhone) and UrbanSpoon (finds restaurants in your immediate Urban area, like NYC—maybe I'm just not going out to eat as much these days). I am sure these are useful for some people, but I just haven't used them as much.
What are your favorites? Vote below. If you don't like my choices, add your own and let's see which ones rule.