We had a commenter (mas90guru – our friend Wayne from Gear Diary) mention recently that it would be interesting to hear what apps we’re currently running on our iPhones.
As we’re getting closer and closer to the iPhone 2.0 and App Store launches next month, this seems a good time to share what apps we’re using, which ones we use the most, and all that sort of thing. So I’ll start the ball rolling on this one, and if Dan or Brandon or any of our other contributors want to chime in, great.
One thing Wayne’s suggestion, and thinking about this topic, has made me realize is that I’ve got too many apps cluttering up my multiple home screens and it’s probably past time for a bit of Spring cleaning in this area. So I’m not going to try to mention every single application I’ve got installed. Rarher, here’s my quick rundown of some of my favorites on my iPhone right now, along with some comments on which apps are most used …
iPhone Apps Used Every Day
I try to keep my home screens organized in such a way that my most frequently used apps are closest at hand, on the first few home screens (taking the one with the built-in apps as the first one). So the two that currently get pride of place on the first screen for me (along with the default 14, which I’ve not moved) are:
VNotes – still love this app from Erica Sadun for capturing quick thoughts or notes and mailing them to myself etc. Recently I’ve been looking at whether moleskine may be able to replace it, now that it also allows emailing of voice notes
Xlaunch – another ‘Erica app’. This has remained my favorite quick program launcher for some time now. I prefer it to trying to use Categories or similar to reduce the number of icons. I like having the choice of just flicking between home screens or using Xlaunch to quickly find and launch a particular program.
My next screen full of apps is home to more of the programs that get used every day, or nearly that:
Twinkle – the native Twitter app with Locate Me features. More than a little flaky lately, but still my favorite Twitter app on the iPhone.
Boss Prefs – super handy utility for toggling on and off some of the iPhone’s core services (and several that are big potential battery drainers), like WiFi, Bluetooth, SSH etc.
DropCopy – a light, simple, and super useful app for quick and easy file transfer from the iPhone to my Mac.
Contacts – apparently this one is coming as a standard in the iPhone 2.0 software. It gives you an icon to launch your Contacts / Address Book directly, rather than having to go via the Phone app.
TimeCapsule – the iPhone’s first (and still the only) backup application. An essential utility and a huge timesaver any time you need to restore or run a new jailbreak etc.
iPhone Video Recorder – reliable video recorder program with a great file compression ratio, audio, and the ability to share vids easily to YouTube. The first iPhone app I have paid for.
Summerboard – as Brandon has reminded me many times, this is probably THE first app most of us with jailbroken iPhones put back on after a jailbreak, and one we’re all so much hoping to see over in the App Store. This is the program that lets you apply themes and wallpapers to your iPhone and really give it the look you want.
Geopedia – uses Locate Me to show you Wikipedia articles and Flickr sets specifically relevant to where you are.
Snapture – *much* better than the built-in Camera app on the iPhone, which I virtually never use anymore since installing Snapture. Snapture provides zoom, burst mode, timer, the ability to tap anywhere on the screen to snap a pic, and more.
Spring Dial – lets you place icons on the home screen to speed dial individual contacts.
Search – one of the first ‘killer’ iPhone apps, that plugged a big hole in the iPhone feature set – the ability to search contacts and calendar entries – and still a super useful utility, although this is another feature that is rumored to be included in iPhone 2.0.
Feeds – Provides local sync with Google Reader. This one has been improving and adding features of late, but still needs more in order to compete with Google’s excellent iPhone Optimized web version and – probably – a native app of their own come App Store days.
MobileFinder – native Finder (Mac’s Explorer equivalent) program for browsing and interacting with files and folders on the iPhone itself.
Mobile Flickr – the best (IMO) of a wide array of Flickr programs for the iPhone. Has the most features and is solid and easy to use. Allows not just for uploading pics to Flickr, but also lots of options for exploring your own and others’ collections.
weDict – powerful dictionary and encyclopedia framework program. This another well established leader sort of program for the iPhone. It’s great because it lets you install multiple dictionaries and encyclopedias (there are a good range available via Installer) and have access to all of them within this one app. I love having this around for those tough 5 year old questions my daughter is prone to ask at the dinner table
Fring – a VOIP app for the iPhone that also just happens to be probably the best IM client, working with just about all the major IM providers and doing the ‘running in the background’ thing better than any other I think.
Other Frequently Used Apps:
Here are some of the other native apps that I find myself using quite often, as well as some that I *thought* I would be using more often when I originally moved them to Home Screens 3 and 4. I won’t comment on all of these, as this is rapidly becoming a Tolstoy-length post:
moleskine – Much more powerful note-taking program than the iPhone’s built-in Notes app. Lets you organize notes into folders and sub-folders, apply themes to those, tilt the phone to move between levels of notes / folders, tap the screen to toggle the keyboard on and off, import .txt files, and add photos and voice notes. This one may well be moving up the charts soon, as it adds more and more cool features and may handle voice notes even better than VNotes.
Sketches – fun iPhone drawing app. My daughter and I both like playing with this one a lot. You can use ready-made filled and hollow shapes, use multitouch while drawing, draw on Camera Roll pics, and send your creations off by email or to Twitter.
Lexitron – Text Twist style (or Text Twist renamed) game of making words out of jumbled letters. This game has always been a favorite of mine, and this is a very strong version of it.
Pool – I like playing pool (or billiards) whenever there’s a table at a bar or restaurant, and this game is a great iPhone rendition of it. You can play against the computer or two-player, with very nice graphics and excellent controls.
Docs – a utility app for opening a variety of document types – like Word docs, Excel files, .pdf files, and others.
vNSea and Touchpad – for VNC connections and virtual trackpad controlling of your computer via the iPhone. Both have been frequently updated and are very cool apps.
Real Artist – simple app that lets you pull in a photo from your Camera Roll and then distort it in all sorts of crazy and comical ways just by touching and pulling it around. This is probably my daughter’s favorite iPhone app, and the first one that really grabbed her attention.
iPhoneHome – lets you set the home button double-tap to open any app you’ve installed or to various other useful locations. I currently use it to set the double-tap to open Snapture.
ruBooks = ebooks reader, based on the code from the original Books program. Lets you use the volume button for scrolling or even turn on auto scroll.
iFlickr – simple but handy program that lets you take a single pic and upload it quickly with a minimum effort to a configured Flickr account.
Web Apps / Webclips:
I know – this will seem like sacrilege to some jailbreakers, but there are a number of web apps that I find genuinely very useful and that I use very often, some every day. Some of these include:
Google Reader – still my favorite RSS app and getting better all the time with the Google team’s love for the iPhone and its latest beta version.
Remember The Milk – my favorite to-do list / task manager on the iPhone and online.
JiWire WiFi Finder – great tool for finding WiFi spots nearby.
Earthcomber – for finding good places to go.
Evernote – definitely an every day tool for note-taking, capturing images to etc.
Podcaster – for keeping up with favorite audio and video podcasts.
EIC – my favorite iPHone forum site.
iRovr – photo-sharing and socializing site. Lots of fun and easy to update / share photos to.
Wow, this was a much longer post than I thought it would be. It’s been fun drafting it, because it has forced me to think about which apps are really used often and which ones may be in need of a little uninstall action.
So there you go Wayne. Hope that was the sort of thing you were after. I’m keen to hear what all of you think – and to hear about which are your favorite / most used apps.
Who knows – maybe soon this will be sweet nostalgia for me, once I switch over to the 2.0 software and most or all of these are unavailable, or maybe even displaced by newcomers in the App Store …