WildBill's Blogdom

Mongo only pawn, in game of life.

iOS Apps and How I Used Them in 2010

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I became even more addicted to the damn iPhone in 2010. Moving from the iPhone 3GS to iPhone 4 with iOS 4 and multitasking actually made a pretty big difference in how I use the device.

So, in case there are other iPhone users who read this blog (all three of you), I decided to list some of the tasks I do with my iPhone, and list the Apps I use to do those things. If an app costs money, I’ll try to track down the price and put it in here, too.

  • Email:
    • The built-in Mail app is adequate to the task. It’s not awesome, and it’s missing a bunch of stuff I’d like to see (like Mark All as Read) but it works, and it’s free.
  • Web:
    • Again, the built in, default Safari browser works great for me. I know there are other options, but I don’t see the need to move to anything else.
  • Photography/Camera:
    • Here, I’m all over the map. I use the stock camera app quite a bit, but I also have amassed a huge collection of camera and photography related apps.
    • Camera+: My current photography-related crack. This app is great, as it’s got a bunch of cropping options, color filters, and all kinds of other whizbang stuff. Highly recommend this app. $0.99.
    • Instagram: It’s a photo app, it’s a photo editor, it’s a social network… I DUNNO WHAT IT IS! But it’s awesome, and lots of fun. Free.
  • Blogging:
    • BlogPress: This is my current blog app of choice. It’ll let you post to both WordPress and Blogger blogs, and you can manage multiple blogs from it. It supports multiple photo uploads from the app, and just works. $2.99
    • Tumblr: If you run a tumblog then there’s a free Tumblr app that works quite well. Supports multiple tumblogs, photo/video uploads, and all that jazz. Free.
  • Instant Messaging:
    • BeeJiveIM: I love this IM app. Supports multiple accounts at the same time, and just about every IM network you can imagine. It looks great and runs well. It’s not cheap at $9.99 (I got it on sale ages ago) but I can’t dream of having my phone without it.
    • Meebo: Nearly as good as BeeJiveIM, except free. If I was starting out new, I’d spend time with Meebo before investing the $10 in BeeJive.
  • Twitter:
    • The free “Twitter” app, from Twitter (it used to be called Tweetie) is excellent. For most purposes, this will work just peachy. My only gripe with it is that it refreshes DMs on its own schedule.
    • Couple that though, with Boxcar (also free) - it will give you excellent push notifications of tweets, and it’s infinitely configurable, works with multiple twitter and facebook accounts, and lets you see messages across accounts in one timeline.
  • Facebook:
    • Just get the free Facebook app from Facebook. Works great.
    • Also, Boxcar (see Twitter) will monitor and alert you for Facebook changes.
    • Echofon makes a Facebook app, but you want the Facebook one.
  • Foursquare:
    • The free Foursquare app is actually really good now, thanks to the latest update.
    • However, I’m also addicted to the free foursqWAR game. It layers a military style game atop Foursquare. Silly fun.
  • SMS:
    • The stock SMS app is adequate.
    • However, my phone’s jailbroken, and I’ve got BiteSMS going. Holy cow. Pretty darn nifty. If you’re jailbroken, definitely check it out.
    • Also, if you’ve got Google Voice, check out the free Google Voice app for GV-enabled SMS sending mojo.
  • E-Reader:
    • Stanza. Works great, will read just about anything, and it’s easy to put texts in the app. Free.
    • Nook. Barnes & Noble’s free Nook app for reading stuff from their online store.
    • Kindle. Amazon’s free Kindle app for reading stuff from THEIR online store.
  • Notetaking:
    • Evernote. This app is awesome for any kind of notes, and it syncs automagically with their cloud-based service. I can’t say enough good things about it. Free.
  • Voice Comm:
    • Built in phone app. Duh.
    • Skype. Free VoIP app. Crazy popular, though I have yet to use it. But I have it!
  • Image Manipulation:
    • Photoshop Express. Free app from Adobe that lets you do a TON of basic things like crop, resize, and color adjustment.
  • Documents:
    • Quickoffice. This $9.99 app will read Microsoft Office documents and spreadsheets and let you edit them as well, but it also syncs with Dropbox and Google Docs. Very handy.
  • System Admin tasks:
    • iSSH: I use this for SSH and X sessions. It’s $9.99, but it’s allowed me to kick servers from a restaurant before, so it’s money well spent.
    • Network Ping Lite: It lets you ping hosts. Free.
    • RDP Lite: Lets you RDP to Windows machines. Free.
  • Games:
    • Angry Birds. Just get it. $0.99.
    • Words with Friends: I haven’t played in a while, but it’s basically internet Scrabble. There’s free (ad-supported) and pay-for (ad-free) versions.
    • Plus a TON of other games.
  • Misc:
    • Shazam: Free app that identifies music for you. If you ever wondered “what’s this song that I hear playing in the store?” - get this app.
    • Flixster: Movie times, reviews, and such. Free.
    • Google Earth: Free app, just like your PC has.
    • ESPN Sportscenter: Free app to track game scores. Works VERY well.
    • Reeder: THE BEST RSS READER AROUND. I can’t stress it enough. $2.99 and worth it.
    • Flickr: Free app from Flickr, the photo service. Good stuff.
    • Netflix: If you have a Netflix account, this lets you stream movies to your iPhone. HOLY COW IT’S GREAT TO LIVE IN THE FUTURE.

That’s my top list of iOS Apps. There’s a bunch of lesser used apps I monkey with, but these are the ones I keep coming back to time and again. Hope this helps you with your app selection.