A week from tomorrow, Apple is going to announce the new iPhone5. At least a handful of the (Rock voice) millions… and millions… of techble readers will be purchasing an iPhone for the first time. Whether you are new to the iPhone or have been aboard since day one, I’ve come up with a list of my favorite iPhone apps both paid and free.
Note: I’m skipping games for now as that’s enough for it’s own post… which in time, we will do
iCatcher – I love me some podcasts. It is only appropriate that I start a list of my favorite iPhone apps with my single favorite iPhone app. I currently subscribe to 28 different podcasts that I listen to throughout the week. Apple released a separate podcast app that will become standard in iOS6. It’s light years away from matching iCatcher, though. The ability to 10-30-120-second skip, set a schedule of when to check for downloads, and much more. $1.99
Waze – I’m a little sad that this program is probably going to be replaced by the default Maps program in iOS6. Waze is considered a “social” GPS app. What is a social GPS, you ask? Quite simply, they use your data and user feedback to help make the program better for everyone. The first time I used it was this past April when I was visiting Orlando, FL for my best friend’s wedding. As I was driving to our hotel, the little app told me “Police ahead 1000 feet.” Sure enough, 1/4 mile down the road, there was a police officer scanning for speeders. The new Maps may prove to be superior, but there is no risk (aka – cost) to trying out Waze. Easily one of my favorite iPhone apps of all-time! Free
Spotify – Even if you don’t have the $10/month package (btw – you should), I prefer Spotify radio to others like Rdio, Slacker or Pandora. If you do shell out the $10/month, though, you’ll find that Spotify will change the way you approach music. I can’t imagine a reason to ever listen to terrestrial radio again and my cd purchasing has been reduced to only “absolutely must buy” cd’s. And for the record, yes, I’m still the dude that prefers cd’s to iTunes. Free (subscription recommended, though)
Echofon for Twitter – I’m not a huge fan of the official Twitter client. I’ve tried out a handful of other Twitter clients, but my favorite is Echofon. It allows me to manage my 6 different Twitter accounts from one program plus I really like how it handles lists. Free
Pocket – This app has changed the game for me. I love cruising Twitter for links posted by my favorite people to follow. The problem is the workflow of going to Twitter -> clicking on link -> read article -> go back to Twitter -> rinse & repeat is very cumbersome. Pocket allows me to click on the link, add it to “pocket” and continue cruising Twitter. When I’m done, I can look at my collection of 5-15 links and read them at my own speed. The stuff I really like I save for Friday’s “dot… dot… dot…” column which is much better than what I used to do (open a document, paste the link and title, save). I can’t think of a single reason for you NOT to use Pocket and it ranks high on my list of favorite iPhone apps. Free
1Password – 1Password strangely has some bad reviews, but I love the program. If you are anything like me, you’ve got a million different passwords. Using 1Password, I have to remember one single password to get me into the program. From there, I’ve got all of my passwords for personal/work along with any important information I like to have (insurance info, phones numbers to call in case I lose my credit cards, SkyMiles info, etc.) It’s expensive and there are other free versions out there, but I prefer 1Password. $9.99
Reeder – If you go visit websites and you aren’t “fed” your news, you, my friend, are a sucker stuck in 1998. Let me put it this way. You use Facebook, right? Would you prefer to get status updates, links, etc. from the News Feed or would you rather click on each individual friend to find out what’s new with them? Exactly. Setup an RSS feed with all of the places you like to visit and you can get the news and info that YOU want and filter all the rest. $2.99
Netflix – If you don’t know what Netflix is, I obviously don’t know how to help you out. If you have a subscription, but don’t have it on your smartphone, though, you’re crazy. Subscription required
DirecTV – I love the ability to remotely record things to my DVR. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve been at lunch checking out my twitter feed. I notice that a soccer game or the 1987 NBA All-Star game or random 80s movie is on. 30 seconds later, I’ve got it recording for when I get home. Love it! Free
LogMeIn – I used to prefer TeamViewer as a remote desktop app, but since the Mac version stopped working completely (for reasons unbeknownst to me), I’ve tried out and found I much prefer LogMeIn. Free
SlingPlayer – SlingPlayer is lucky to be on this list because of the ridiculous cost. The “HD” box retails at $250 and the app is $30. I got my refurbished “non-HD” box for $79 but reluctantly had to shell out my $30. Prior to some updates, this app stunk. In fact, for a while it was on my least favorite iPhone apps list. It still isn’t perfect, but it is much improved. Works awesome when you are on the same network. Plus, the ability to stream it to AppleTV is awesome. $29.99
BigLens – Instagram gets all the attention, but I think BigLens makes for better pictures. $0.99
TripIt – Cool concept. You link TripIt with your email account and it automatically creates travel itineraries. For example, if you book an airplane ticket, hotel, and rental car to Miami, FL for October 15th, it will create a new trip. Once October 15th comes around, it will give you updated flight info (gate, departure, arrival, baggage claim), directions to rental care place, directions to your hotel and much more. Free
Running2Win – I’m a huge fan of the running2web running log. In fact, I’ve used it exclusively as my running log for the past year. I love how thorough (or simple) you can be with your runs. The app can also be used as a GPS device for tracking how far/fast you’ve run. $0.99
Arseblog – A daily must read! I love both the news portion and the incredibly entertaining daily blog.
NBA Game Time – Last year, the NBA offered free streaming on digital platforms if you also purchased the NBA ticket. This led to me watching way, way (and did I mention WAY) too many games featuring the hapless Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, and Portland Trailblazers games until midnight on my phone. Besides the live games, though, I also was able to watch the highlights from Inside the NBA every Friday during my lunch break.