Essential apps for the iPhone – UPDATED

Here is a bit of a follow up to an original post on the same topic from 2009. You might also be interested in my post on mac apps.
This page on general iPhone tips is pretty handy too.

1ST PAGE:

I keep my home screen in a fairly default app arrangement. Not sure why, perhaps it’s an OCD issue or my fingers have just learnt where all the main apps live. The only thing I have replaced is the default Music app with Instacast which is a fantastic little podcast player that lats you stream and download podcasts over the air independent from iTunes.

2ND PAGE:

Page 2 is reserved for my most used / every day apps… just one flick away from the home screen.

Twitter:
The official Twitter app. Used to be called Tweetie. UI is great. Swipe over a tweet for a quick shortcut to options.
The best alternative is probably Tweetbot, but I’m not really into the over the top UI crap.

Reeder:
Reeder is fantastic if you are into Google Reader. The UI is beautiful and you can cache a whole heap of unread stuff to read while you are offline. Great for travelling. Swipe a story to star it.

Instagram:
Instagram is by far my favourite app. It a photo sharing community that enables you to friend and share within the app, but also send the photos out to Twitter or Facebook. There is a whole bunch of really inspirational stuff going on there. Particularly in Brisbane.

Facebook:
We all know what that is about. I often delete it off my phone when I realise I am playing on there too much… :o
Once again a far nicer interface then the real website in my opinion. Right below it is the FB Messenger app. This is great if you need to curb your FB usage, then you still get inbox messages without the distractions of the other crap.

Pinterest:
Another great find of 2011. It’s a visual bookmarking tool that I use to categorise inspiration images, but can be used for any purpose you like really. This app lets you look up your pins on the go.

Beehive IM:
Instant messenger app for Google Talk, MSN, AIM etc. Always been reliable. Verb is a nice alternative.

Skype:
Doesn’t really require an explanation. VOIP over 3G or WiFi. Also lets you send SMS from your phone number if you like too.

Dropbox:
Dropbox is amazing. Install it here on your computer and it setups a folder called ‘Dropbox’. Anything you put in here is synced to the ‘cloud’ (internet) and is then available on any other computer (or iPhone via this app) you install Dropbox on.

Instapaper:
A tool to collect and read long articles you find on web pages. A small bookmarklet in your web browser adds the article’s text to Instapaper, which is then available for you to read on the iPhone via this app.

Plaintext:
A note taking app that syncs with text files in a designated folder via Dropbox.

Dropvox:
Audio recording app that is much better then the built in Voice Memo app I feel. Its super simple, you open it up, press record (which works in the background) and then uploads the small audio file to a designated folder in Dropbox.

Monocle:
The fantastic magazine now as a 24 hours radio station. This app plays it live, time shifts it and will send to the Hifi via Airplay.

Oh and the Travel folder is just full of stuff I am using at any given time while travelling to a certain destination. Currently there are a few Japan Rail and Tokyo Metro apps in there.

3RD PAGE:

This page is still full of good apps, but I use them less often. Here are a few selected favourites…

Oz TV:
Probably the best tv guide app I have found for the iPhone. IceTV is good if you have a TV tuner with built in IceTV functionality for scheduling recordings on the go.

AirVideo & Plex
Both allow you to stream channel BT content from your computer to an iPhone, iPad or AppleTV without re-encoding file formats. You install a small server app on the computer and it handles the live conversion. AirVideo lets you navigate folders of media by folder and filename. Plex is a bit more sophisticated and retrieves metadata on the media files and constructs a navigation system based on this data – name, genre, date etc. The best thing is if you have a cheap AppleTV box connected to your TV. You choose what you want to watch on the phone and just ‘send’ it to the TV via AirPlay.

Remote:
Apples app for letting you control iTunes or  an AppleTV via your iPhone. Great for a party situation so you can keep your lappy in a back room. If you use the iTunes DJ playlist, multiple people running the app can add tracks to a ‘request’ queue.

TV Forecast:
A great little app that lists the upcoming air dates of your favourite TV shows in whichever country they screen first. Great so you remember to grab them on channel BT.

Autostitch, Photosynth, Snapseed, Photoshop Express & PicFrame:
All great little camera apps you might like to play with. The first two are for doing panoramas, the rest for manipulating images.

BT:
If you are using Transmission on your computer, enable the web interface. To add a website to your Home screen, visit the page in Safari and tap the Go To icon at the bottom of the Safari window. Tap Add to Home Screen.

4TH PAGE:

Consume:
Great Australian made app to monitor the usage of your accounts such as your home ADSL, mobile phone cap / data usage, car flow tag, loyalty cards and other services.

Pocket Weather:
This app is an Australian replacement for the supplied weather app on the 1st page which seems to be fairly inacurate, particually for forcasts. Pkt Weather uses data direct from the Australian Bureau of Metorology (BOM) and inclrudes animated radar images.

Analytics:
I manage quite a few websites and this app serves up all the Google Analytics traffic data presenting it in an easy to digest UI.

Convertbot:
This one has an awesome animated user interface. Converts just about anything. Be sure to go into the settings and activate some of the hidden conversion options… only the common ones appear by default.

FTP on the Go:
Really useful while traveling to make small changes to code in websites for clients.

Wikipanion:
At the pub disagreeing on a fact? Wikipanion is a great mobile interface for the wikipedia.org site.

1Password:
Nice little app that syncs with the desktop version. It’s a place to keep all your passwords, serial numbers, ftp logins etc etc and have them with you on the road. All the data is encrypted and you need to enter a pin and password to access the data.

Tick:
This is the iPhone app for the web service at tickspot.com that I use for tracking time for work projects. Nice to be able to enter your time while out and about.

Thats about it for my list of current apps that I use on my phone. Hope you find one or two that are useful for you as well!

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