App Reviews, Technology

Essential iPhone Apps

My dad caved in and got an iPhone 3GS when the price dropped to $50. So, I thought I had better get him a list of my favorite apps to keep him from drowning in the endless chasms of the app store, and someone on Facebook asked me to share the list, so here it is.

First is Evernote. It’s probably the most useful app I have. They also have desktop versions for Mac and PC. You can use it for journaling and song lists and all kinds of other things. I use it for composing blogs, project planning at work as well as task lists. Take a picture of a whiteboard and the text is searchable.

Speaking of task lists, I like Egretlist, which lets you use Evernote for task lists even though the iPhone version of Evernote only allows plain-text input. It also integrates with the calendar for reminders.

Next would be the Apple Remote, which lets you control your iTunes on your computer.

Pandora is a cool app which streams custom radio stations based on your preferences. It’s also great for discovering artists you didn’t even know you liked. It can play in the background like the iPod app while you do other things. If you stream over 3G, watch out for data limits if you’re on the 200-MB data plan. Incidentally, the AT&T myWireless app will help you keep track of your usage.

iMovie lets you edit movies and even provide a soundtrack.

iBooks – Even if you don’t want to pay for books, there are a lot of free ePub books you can download, and it also let’s you save PDFs and bookmark them so you can pick up where you left off.

ESV Bible, by Crossway, is an awesome free Bible. The interface is elegant and beautiful, and it lets you enter notes and highlight. It’s also the best English translation so far.

Facebook, of course.

Trillian lets you connect to multiple IM networks, and provides notifications if someone tries to talk to you when the app isn’t open.

Skype – even though your 3GS doesn’t have a front-facing camera, you’ll still be able to chat and make/receive voice calls. It will also stay on in the background so people can call you as long as you’ve logged in since your last reboot, I believe.

Google Latitude will allow Mom to see where you are, if you’re out and about, and it will also allow family members to see how far away you are when you’re on your way for a visit.

Hipstamatic is my favorite cool toy camera app. We’ve even ordered some prints and they’ve come out great.

Star Walk identifies constellations via “enhanced reality,” as you point the camera around, using GPS and the compass.

Gas Cubby for mileage tracking.

PayPal – lets you check your balance and send money. If there’s another user with an iPhone you can exchange funds by bumping your phones together.

AuctionSniper (I made this!) – automatically bid at the last second on eBay auctions to get them at a lower price than with a bidding war.

Runkeeper is one of my favorite apps. It uses GPS to track your runs and calculate your speed. The pro version is free through the end of the month, so get it now even if you don’t think you’d use it that often.

Guitar Tools by Planet Waves – tuner, metronome, chord finder, etc. Very cool.

Dragon – for dictation

As far as games go, my 3 favorites are Infinity Blade, Flight Control, and Tetris. There’s a lot of hubbub about Angry Birds, but I haven’t yet succumbed…

Sent from my iPhone


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