Even though I’ve had my iPhone for quite a while now, I continue to be amazed at the sheer range and depth of application offerings available for it. Even when there were ‘only’ 20,000 apps available, there was always something available to solve the need of the moment. Now there’s over 133,000 apps, the sky’s the limit.
One of my favorite examples was while having coffee with my friend and minister. He was bemoaning the fact he had the Bible installed on his smartphone, but that it wouldn’t let him read anything past about Matthew or Mark. Sure enough, I was able to find, download, install, and show him a copy of the Bible on my iPhone, with 6 translations, in about 2 minutes. There really is, an app for everything!
So here are some of my own ‘top’ apps for the iPhone, based on my current activities:
Want more? Try these:
- Air Sharing Pro
Incredible tool and perhaps the most powerful app I have on my phone. As a WiFi accessible external drive it provides conventional foldering and document viewing not otherwise available on the iPhone. It also functions as a web server, complete with login capability, letting you do file sharing. This is useful for teams needing an impromptu workgroup file server, perhaps while preparing demos out of a conference/hotel room, or coffee shop. It even let’s you send document to a printer if configured. And, I’ve only scratched the surface…
- Bing & Google Search Apps
These apps are very similar tools for streamlined use of their respective services. Both let you either key in your query or use voice input. Even though they have strong similarities its interesting how different hey are.
- Google’s search app loads noticeably quicker. Raising the phone to your ear, it automatically switches to audio input, then starts ‘thinking’ as soon as you lower the handset again. Works very well.
- Bing’s search app take longer, but it has a far more pleasing interface, showing you Bing’s daily image. One thing I really like is Bing will accept voice input via my Bluetooth earpiece if I’m using one—Google will not.
- I enjoy using Bing’s search app more. If I’m in a rush, I’ll use Google’s.
- Tweetie & TweetDeck
Here’s a pair of well-recognized tools for Twitter users. As with the search tools, which you use at a given moment depends on the moment.
- TweetDeck is hard to beat. Very functional, syncs your search/list/group columns with TweetDeck on your PC. While it is very good in its own right, being able to have a PC-equivalent version, that you can sync columns with, is very effective. Good for extended use.
- Tweetie is also good though not as feature-rich, making for a much quicker launch. There are times when you want quick, simple, and effective. If all you’re planning to do is a tweet (or two) and then move on, Tweetie’s the way to go.
- The Weather Channel
What’s to say. Works well, delivers more weather info in the palm of your hand (e.g. hourly or 10-day forecasts, animated radar, and more) than you could get 5 years ago watching TWC for an hour. Want entertainment, do multiple refreshes during a major spring storm, and watch the 10-day forecast go wild:).
- Facebook / LinkedIn
Current iterations both work much better than earlier; especially in LinkedIn’s case.
- WordPress 2
If you use a WordPress blog (self-hosted in my case), this is a good-to-have. Supports creating Posts and Pages. Most important, let’s me manage and reply to comments while on the move.
- WiFiFoFum (WiFi Scanner)
This delivers a basic WiFi ‘scanner’ functionality to your iPhone. Useful in scanning relative location of WiFi hotspots in your vicinity. Provides both tabular and radar display modes, and whether they’re secure or not. Can be helpful getting a better picture of ‘what’s around you’ than simply looking in the iPhone WiFi table. You can also use the app to connect to an identified hotspot without having to go through the iPhone’s own WiFi settings interface.
This is similar to the notion of ‘beaming’ contact information to others’ phones at a meeting. Both iPhone users must run Bump on their phone. The sending party selects the contact info to share, and then they ‘bump’ their phones together. Neat idea, fun when it works, which isn’t often enough for me. Worth a mention though…I’d like to see the concept work better.
Share your favorite iPhone app with us. We’re all on the outlook for useful apps—half the battle is just knowing they exist.