A ton of friends have been getting iPhones over the past few months, and emailing me: “What apps should I get???” And a ton of sites are putting up their end of year “Best Of” lists. So, it’s that time again. I have been trying to decide how to do this, and for the sake of
laziness thoroughness, I decided to take screen-caps of every single page on my iPhone. Yes, every single one.
What will this show you? Well, first, possibly what a complete and utter freak I am, because I keep my apps tightly organized. Oh, maybe you won’t notice anything, because the organization only makes sense in my head seeing as when I try to explain it to people, their eyes glaze over, much like yours are right now, but seeing as I already mentioned the freakishness many times over, I thought I would just warn you in case you noticed it. Um. OK.
So here goes.
GREEBLEMONKEY iPHONE APP SHOW ‘N TELL:
THE APPS THAT MADE IT TO THE END OF 2009
If you have not heard of Shazam, you are living under a rock (sorry, but you are) and/or never saw the original iPhone commercials, but this app helps you figure out what a song is just by listening to it. I mean the PHONE listens to it. I use this app so much I purchased the $4.99 Encore version (it’s on sale right now, and has a RED version for charity) – to support the company AND get the huge easy-to-shazam button. Be warned, the latest update of Shazam only allows 5 tags per month.
Google Mobile is essential for searching while driving. Err, I mean while being a passenger in a car, because Colorado is a hands-free state and even so, no one should have a phone in their hand while driving. Um. So. Raise the phone to your ear, and the app will beep, you talk, and it finds. Awesome.
I have mentioned this app in my last iPhone roundup – but get Shake It Photo! It makes sweet Polaroid-ish versions of your photos.
As for Echofon, there are tons of Twitter apps, and we all have our preferences – but I have just become attached to Echofon. Its user interface makes sense to me, but the most important feature is the color coding. MAROON = DM = NOT ACCIDENTALLY MASS TWEETING SOMETHING PRIVATE. Rock.
I read all my books on the Kindle App now. ALL. I have some complaints about the app’s lack of organizational ability (particularly lack of sorting and rating abilities, which makes it hard when you have 100’s of books in there like I do), but overall, I have tried all the eReaders and come back to Kindle. (Notice I keep a link to the Kindle Store right there too. Not good for my wallet.)
Facebook is so much easier to
stomach manage through the iPhone app. Nuff said. They did some great usability work with this app.
Favstar (web link) and Favit (app) tie into the Favstar site, which is a leaderboard for “stars” on Twitter – similar to the “like” feature on Facebook, even though stars were there first and no one seems to pay attention to them except the people who followed the defunct Favrd web site and now Favstar. OK, whatever, I read this site before bed to relax. Some of the funniest, wittiest, bawdiest, most interesting people on Twitter rise to the top of this site. But, warning: this group is going through some flux and drama right now. MEOW.
Tweetie 2 is my backup for Echofon. I also like Twitterific, but you only have so much room, right? Birdhouse is an app that lets you make “drafts” of tweets. This is how some of those people on Favstar manage to be so witty, cough, cough, drafting tweets on the potty.
ReQall takes the place of the former Jott. Where you can take notes and it syncs to the cloud, as well as transcribes your voice, in 30 second bursts.
DropBox. Oh how I love DropBox. Another cloud + file + sync dealiebob. You have a desktop app, a web site log in and access via the iPhone app. So much faster than iDisk. And love the way it shares files and photo galleries. Just. Love. This. Service.
WiFi-Finder, Yelp and Around Me are all apps that help locate stuff. Notice how they are near the standard Compass. Told you I was anal. And speaking of locating stuff – G-Park helps you locate where you parked your car. Which I need ON A DAILY BASIS.
I have both the Flickr (web link) and the Flickr (app) – because, as much as I love love love Flickr, I think the application is really, um, not well done. Half the things I want to get to, I cannot via the app, so I keep both.
PS Mobile is Adobe Photoshop’s app – and has an abbreviated version of their tools, although Photogene remains my favorite for editing. Pano allows you to easily take a few photos in a row and the app will stitch them together into a panorama. ColorSlide is great for designers – giving instant access to Adobe’s Kuler site. True HDR lets you create HDR photos on the fly, but not that overdone, cheesy HDR. With the TiltShift app you can fake a photo to look like it’s a miniature. And HOORAY! DSLRRemote turns your iPhone into a remote for your Canon or Nikon DSLR camera!
Finally… what do we all do with our cell phones? Use them as flashlights! MyLite capitalizes on that.
Here is the entertainment section of my panels. PhoneFlicks for access to my Netflix queue. Fandango, Flixster and IMDb to see what movies are out, upcoming, etc. All three of these movie apps are excellent.
What’s On TV is great for someone like me who rarely watches TV – I can put in our local channels and arrange them for which ones I watch most, and quickly see what I am missing [when I am hanging out on Twitter every night].
Broadcaster is Ustream’s new app and I am HIGHLY impressed. Apple just recently flipped the switch for live video broadcasting via iPhone and I tried a few apps as they were released, but none compare to Ustream. It’s stable, and it goes right into your Ustream account (here is mine, I may just start playing with this more now) on the web. Perfect. Just be careful, your phone *will* get hot after a while.
As for music, other than the 10,000+ songs in my iTunes library (not kidding), my 2 go-to apps are Pandora and IO2GO. Pandora because it is artificially intelligent and infers what I would like to listen to when I am lazy. And I get lazy a lot. And, while there are many internet radio apps out there – it’s really all about the stations. And Radioio.com has the best, in my opinion at least. In particular, I love their 80’s New Wave stream.
Oh, and lookey! There is some crazy blog stuck in at the end. Don’t know how that got there. (But notice how it has it’s own iPhone link icon, OF COURSE.)
Red Laser is really useful for several things. 1. Use it as a comparative shopping tool by zapping the UPC code of ANYTHING and seeing what it is selling for all over the web. 2. Use it as a magic trick, by doing this in a bar to freak all your friends out.
Urban Spoon and Open Table will help you find restaurants near you, which is awesome when you eat out as much as we do. Restaurant Nutrition and Go Meals also come in handy when you want see how many calories you are consuming at common chain restaurants – but get ready to go screaming into the night. Grocery IQ is a helpful shopping list app, while AllRecipes (pulling from their site) and iFood are great and helping you figure out what to do with the food you cook. However there are trillions (OK, maybe not trillions – but a lot) of food/recipe/nutrition apps out there. What are some of your faves?
Food Scanner and Daily Burn work with the Daily Burn site, to help you meet your nutrition and fitness goals. I am super impressed with this site and the apps. Food Scanner will scan the UPS of a package similarly to Red Laser, but bring up the nutritional content, which allows you to easily input how much you ate of that particular food. So simple!
iHandy Carpenter has measurement tools, like a leveler, as if I am ever going to use such things. Again, sometimes having an iPhone is just about proving to other people what the iPhone can do. Convert will take feet to meters, dollars to yen, Fahrenheit to Celsius, etc. Now, if it would only convert calories to air.
I have mentioned before that my company builds health education web sites. So, we are always checking out health apps. Here 4 are my staples, though: Medscape, Pocket First Aid & CPR, Pediatric SymptomMD and Glucose Buddy. I am also diabetic so the last one is great for sharing my stats with my doctor.
Skype. Hmm. I have it here for emergencies but I haven’t jumped on the Skype party van like some people. [For those who don’t know, you can make calls over the internet. Neat! But, you also have… a… phone…] Since I hate talking on the phone anyway, it might be a while till I embrace Skype.
My two weather apps: WeatherBug and The Weather Channel. Honestly, most times I use the default iPhone app at the front. Although I would LOVE for that app to display the current temp for my city, similar to how the calendar shows the date. Hint hint, Apple.
Here is a trend you will be seeing in 2010, blogs having their own apps. Two friends and kick ass folks did it in 2009: TechStars and Dave Taylor, so, of course, I have their apps. Plus, they are *useful.* Very important when thinking of making an app from your blog. (Meaning, don’t expect a Greeblemonkey app any time soon.)
Four translation apps I like: iSign Lite, Talking German Phrasebook, Lastminute.com Spanish (sorry, looks like that one is not in the store anymore) and Translator for all sorts of languages. Little known fact: I used to be fluent in both German and Spanish. Now I have to look everything up on my iPhone.
Not to mention Who Has The Biggest Brain, which connects to my Facebook (I’m #12 among my friends, yos!) and Brain Challenge, which doesn’t connect to anything except how funny talking head avatars are. I just started Words With Friends, which is like
crack Scrabble that you play at your own pace from one iPhone to another. It’s kind of creepy, actually.
You know what Mad Libs are. Now try having your 7 year old type them into your iPhone while you drum your fingers on the table at dinner.
And the Voice DemodulatorsTM. (I just made that term up. I have no idea what they are called.) Voices, Smack Talk, and I Am T-Pain. If I were to pick one, far and away I choose Voices. Different choices for changing your voice, and the ability to send immediately to Facebook, Twitter or email. All three of these are the cause of many soiled underwear for my family.
From the LAUGHING, people. Sheesh.
And when you get sick of singing, you can always play the flute through Ocarina. And listen to people around the world playing the flute. On your iPhone. Seriously.
ONE LAST thing to mention on this page – Sonic Lighter. For that ONE TIME you need it at a concert.
Here starts the KID ZONE of my iPhone. Meaning, the apps that entertain
me when no one is looking my son. I am NOT going to describe each page, you can search for these and see if any work for you. But, what games do you guys like?
P.S. Many of the apps I linked to have a free or Lite version, keep an eye out!
One last note: This is a completely unsponsored post. None of these companies or Apple provided the apps or iPhone, nor any money to me.