A bunch of my friends have recently gotten iPhones, and since I’ve had mine for about a year now, many of them have asked what my favorite apps are. So may I present my favorite, most useful apps! (Games are coming later)
Let’s start with Social Media
No surprise that Google would put out a great mobile app. It’s got a voice search feature and is pretty well-integrated with the full range of Google apps (mail, reader, ect., including the Maps app that comes on the phone). Keeps you connected and informed – everything you need to thrive on Web 2.0.
Again, probably a no-brainer, but Facebook’s app just gets better and better with each update. They just added a geo-tagging piece, presumably to compete with Foursquare. A few (very) minor complaints aside, this brings the full functionality of Facebook to the iPhone in an intuitive, beautiful interface.
Twitter: Echofon or Twitter (duh)
I used Echofon for quite a while (the pro version is $5), and I like it a lot. I recently started using Twitter’s own (free) app, and it’s definitely comparable – especially for free. If you’re a regular Twitter user, these apps are the best two options (with TweetDeck a close runner-up).
This is a reader app – it syncs like a dream with Google Reader. It’s a bit pricy, but fantastic. The interface is beautiful and intuitive and the sync is quick. It’s easy to customize and syncing it once a day lets you read your posts anywhere you go, even when you can’t access wifi or 3G. Oh, and it’s a snap to send posts to friends and colleagues. I tried several free reader apps before I broke down and bought Byline, and it’s well worth the price.
And now for productivity and lifestyle!
If you own a Mac, I’m pretty sure your iPhone and computer have a mystical, incestuous relationship where they’ll read your mind and transfer whatever you need back and forth. If you have a PC (and yes, I’m refraining from making jokes here), transferring files can be a bit trickier. Enter Evernote! Evernote is an excellent note-taking app that incorporates voice, picture and text and syncs it all with the desktop app (you can find here). I use it to jot down sermon ideas, create shopping lists, and books I want to buy later. You can do pretty much anything with it. Which is why it’s awesome.
Couch to 5K
This app is designed to take you from couch potato to 5K runner in 10 weeks. Amanda and I are only in week 2 of the program, but the nicest thing I can say about it is this: I hate to run. Hate it more than almost anything (except cats). And yet I can still imagine completing this. The interface is great, well-integrated with the music player and the stepped program is easy to use. Well worth the $3. If I can do it, so can you.
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m not exactly a gym rat. I’ve always hated exercise, and lifting weights is no exception to that. iFitness is a great gym companion. It’s got tons of exercises, well-explained and easy to track and chart.
A big part of a healthy lifestyle is eating well, and if you’ve never counted calories, it can be tough. Lose It! is a simple app that’s easy to use and lets you figure out basically how many calories you’re taking in in a day. And since you can add in a surprisingly wide range of exercises, along with how many calories you’ve burned, it’s fun and easy to keep track of the goals you set for yourself. Again, well worth the small price.
Long story short: this is the best app to find new places to eat. We’ve been frustrated since we’ve moved to Dayton because it’s been difficult to find good, local eateries. No longer. Thanks to Yelp, we’ve found tons of great out-of-the-way places, and with the added social networking features (geo-tagging, reviews, friends, etc.) it’s easy to share the best (and worst) of our finds.
If you like to cook at home, this app is indispensible. Easy to find delicious recipes, rated by ease of preparation. The app prepares a shopping list for you and then guides you on an easy-to-follow, step-by-step cooking adventure. If you have even a modicum of cooking skill, do yourself a favor and discover some delicious meals starting now!
Delicious. Simple. It finds the nearest Chipotle (or you can tell it to go to your favorite) and sends your order. You get a pick-up time and you’re good to go. Show up, skip the line and leave happy. It’s that easy. I’m shocked more companies haven’t jumped on this band-wagon, but kudos to Chipotle for taking full advantage of the beauty of the smart phone!