I get asked regularly by fellow iPhone users what my favorite apps are. Especially for someone new to iOS, getting started with apps can be kid-in-the-candy-store overwhelming and sneaky expensive. Those dollars add up quickly, and I rarely use the majority of apps I’ve purchased over the past three years. Here are the iPhone apps that have had staying power with me and that I recommend:
- Instapaper ($4.99) – My favorite app by a landslide. Never be without something good to read. Go set up an account and install the bookmarklet on your browser. Then, simply click the “Read Later” bookmark to save any online articles to read later (offline even) on Instapaper.
- Camera+ ($0.99) – Offers an array of cool features (zoom, tap to focus, burst mode) and fun filters to give more options for the excellent iPhone camera.
- Reeder ($2.99) – Beautiful way to browse through your Google Reader feeds.
- Omnifocus ($19.99) – Expensive, but a powerful to-do list/task management app. I use the iPad version for reviews and the Mac version for daily task management, but this iPhone version is perfect for quickly capturing tasks and ideas as they come up. The three versions sync seamlessly.
- Simplenote (free) – Great text app that syncs seamlessly to a web site to save any notes you create.
- Twitter (free) – The official, free Twitter app had been perfect until the recent “quickbar” update. If that doesn’t go away soon, I may opt for a 3rd-party app.
- Kindle (free) – I do most of my reading on the iPad, but the iPhone will do just fine for short bits of reading. Kindle syncs your books across all devices and lets you add highlights and notes.
- Google Voice (free) – I use this for most of my texting. I love Google Voice and give it as my primary phone number since it can ring all of my phones, and I can manage messages easily from my desktop.
- Calvetica Calendar ($2.99) – I’ve only had this app for a couple of weeks, but I’m using it now instead of the iPhone’s native calendar app. It’s a gorgeous and clever design.
- Weather HD (free) – Great for the weather at a glance. Pretty, too.
- Weightbot ($1.99) – Very satisfying interface and sounds. Easy to keep track of your weight over time.
- Calcbot ($1.99) – From the same developer as Weightbot. An elegant, full-featured calculator app.
- Convert ($2.99) – I struggle with measurements, especially in the kitchen. This app looks good and helps me quickly convert measurements.
- Evernote (free) – THE all-purpose collection bucket for any kind of note.
- Dropbox (free)- THE go-to app for saving documents to the cloud so they can be accessible from anywhere.
- ESPN Scorecenter (free) – Go Dawgs.
- 1Password ($14.99) – One of the best investments I’ve made was to purchase 1Password for the Mac. Solved the problem of keeping up with the huge number of online passwords.
- Amazon Mobile (free) – Clean interface. Way too easy to tap and buy stuff.
- Google Search (free) – You can speak and begin searching. Nice portal for most Google apps online.
- TED Mobile (free) – TED Talks on your phone.
- Siri (free) – Find and arrange for services, entertainment, and dinner, all just by speaking your request into the phone.
- Flixster (free) – Find movie times, reviews, and locations
- Canabalt ($2.99) – A simple, one-finger running game that’s quite satisfying to play for a few minutes at a time.
If you asked my kids, they would make sure to include these apps: