One of the great things about being the newest member of the Gear Diary Team is the opportunity to be in touch with the terrific people who make this site what it is. It’s about as nice, supportive, interesting, and eclectic of a group group as you’re going to find anywhere. The fact that everyone on the team has slightly different interests and needs when it comes to technology makes it all the more interesting.
Not surprisingly however, there are a lot of us who are currently using an iPhone or an iPod touch. Heck, this past summer even Windows Mobile ninja Doug Goldring went to try out a Touch in order to “see what all the fuss is about”. (Funny, he still has it and the snide comments about iPhone fans have pretty much disappeared.)
I asked everyone to share their top 10 iPhone applications. The results are an excellent, non-scientific list of the best and most useful.
What was, perhaps most interesting, was the degree of overlap. As different as we, and our mobile technology are, many apps appear on multiple lists. Here’s a quick list of the overlap (with links to reviews over on whatsoniphone.com).
So which appear at the top? –
A few observations and our complete lists after the jump…
Wayne pointed out that a large number of these top applications (especially when you look at all of our complete lists after the jump) are free. Second, it struck me how few of these applications are games. Clearly, at least for us, the iPhone functions as a productivity tool and as a replacement for many of the things that we would otherwise do on a computer.
Also (shameless plug) we’ve been running a contest over on whatsoniphone, and later tonight we’ll be publishing similar lists from a few of our readers. At the same time, we’ll be announcing a huge “End of 2008″ giveaway competition.
1. eWallet – This is a program that I can’t live without. The day I added it to my iPhone was the day that I realized my iPhone was now the kickass PDA I had always wanted it to be.
2. Safari – No other browser on any other PDA even comes close; the browser experience on the iPhone puts every other one to shame.
3. eReader – It made my day when this application was added to the iPhone! I have 500+ books in the eReader library, and now I can add even more.
4. Remember the Milk: This is the todo list that I can’t be without; it is how I stay on track…as long as I remember to check it.
5. Evernote: This is where I sort out all of my random thoughts (and photos), and it is the notepad that the iPhone should have included in the first place.
6. Twittelator Pro – Best Twitter client I have found on any platform!
7. Facebook: Social networking at its best, and implemented perfectly on the iPhone.
8. Around Me – Sometimes it’s nice to know where the nearest Starbucks or publisc restroom might be located…
9. Kings Corners (iliumsoft game) – This game is totally addictive. I was a big fan of Pyramid (another counting card game) forever, and this one has totally replaced it.
10. Anything else I feel like trying on any particular day would be #10.
1. Facebook – An absolutely perfect example of how iPhone is kicking the ass of every other mobile provider on the planet. Compare the relatively new iPhone application to the more mature Facebook applications for BlackBerry and Palm which have been out FOREVER and made exactly zero point zero improvement in functionality. Along comes iPhone and I can easly see all the Facebook comments people have made about my odd ramblings, chat in real time to friends, upload photos quickly (somthing the others do but require that you send from your picture mail app). This is the single best testimony to how iPhone became so popular so quick. It’s all about the apps. Anyone can make a touch screen. Getting applications that truly utilitize the functionality is quite another matter.
2. Twittelator Pro – This Twitter client is the single best choice for the iPhone. It isn’t perfect – for example sending pictures from within the application is hit or miss (more miss than hit). I just chuckle when I read about the newest Twitter client for iPhone because quite honestly they all look like garbage stacked up against Twittelator Pro. Some of the key features I like to use: Bookmarks (review all the tweets of your favorite twits), groups, trending topics, easily read replies and search for tweets. Awesome.
3. Amazon – This native application has only been out around a month and already I use it when I’m comparison shopping. I have one click ordering enabled and if I find an item cheaper on my iPhone I’ve started ordering it while right inside the store. I love that I can take pictures of items and upload them to Amazon and a team of worker bees somewhere classifies my item and sends me back a link to the place I can buy it on Amazon.
4. Orb Live – I have been waiting like forever to get Sirius Radio to create an iPhone client (or any remote client that supports all their channels). My BlackBerry has an XM Radio client that offers an ultra limited selection of stations for $8.99 per month. Instead, because I’m a subscriber to Sirius, I pay Sirius $ 0 extra per month and bought the ORB for iPhone for $9.99 (one time). What Orb does is take an audio (or video) source on a connected computer (Windows only) and redirect the stream to the Internet. Then you log in from your mobile phone and watch movies, TV or listen to your MP3 or Internet Radio. In my office I’ve setup Sirius Satellite using the free uSirius application to stream via Orb. The qualify of the audio is superb and XM/Sirius and go ahead and whistle past the graveyard while twiddling their thumbs for another year. I’m streaming (legally) the audio 24×7 to my iPhone and BlackBerry and Sirius isn’t seeing an additionial cent.
5. Weather Channel – It’s free. The weather radar is great. The forecasts are great. What’s not to like. Oddly the application is free for iPhone but is a $50/year add on for BlackBerry users. This is now my main weather application on iPhone.
6. USA Today – I love USA Today. The application has just launched but already has replaced NY Times and AP as my most referenced news application. The integration to Weather Channel is awesome. Great program that I refer to several times per day.
7. Fox News – This is not an application. Rather Fox have created an awesome web site that is perfectly tailored to the iPhone. I’ve had this bookmarked saved to my iPhone since forever. It’s probably the only application I always, always, always read first thing and last thing every single day.
9. Station Stops (Metro North train schedule into and out of Grand Central Terminal)
1. ToDo – I’m a master of using lists to get things done. It needs to be easy and simple, as I rather be productive than mess around with managing data. The app integrates with Remember the Milk should I go there one day. As for managing recurring tasks, ToDo provides exactly the necessary prompting to live a disciplined, task oriented lifestyle with ease.
2. Jott – My favorite killer app, as it transcribes a short voice recording into text and sends a handy email or text reminder to get it done. As a handy productivity tool, it’s very useful to make short notes or recall off the brain inspiration moments especially while driving.
3. Shazam – I’ve always been frustrated with hearing a great song on the radio and never knowing the artist or song title. Shazam is the perfect app for identifying songs from commercials, NPR bumper music and even mall music from overhead speakers. The YouTube integration is a bonus!
4. eReader – I have amassed a large collection of eBooks way back when to read on the Tapwave Zodiac or Palm Treo phones. Needless to say, I was ecstatic to have the same access to these titles on an iPhone. Whether reading business books, Dave Barry or David Sedaris, the large screen and interface on the iPhone has made mobile reading a joy again.
5. Twitter – Do you twit? It’s the modern day version of passing notes in class without the interruption of IM. You should Twit, but it can be a bit annoying when I see multiple twits from the same person. I like the premise of keeping up with friends and others that I follow throughout the day. However, I don’t care for receiving twits with crazy jokes or useless pictures. Oh yeah, no cussing please.
6. YPMobile – The iPhone version of YELLOWPAGES.com. (Disclaimer – I work for AT&T). I demo this app to our clients. It’s great for finding local businesses, with mapping and contact retention features. There is also a page listing relevant local events of interest.
7. AroundMe – This handy app identifies your position and aggregates listings for the nearest bank, restaurant, gas station, and other businesses of interest by category. There is no need to do a search – works well when you’re in an unfamiliar location to find surrounding businesses.
8. Facebook – What a great interface for the iPhone! I just may rev up my Facebook status on a daily basis.
9. SolFree – Playing Baker’s Game is way too addictive which constantly keeps me in check not to go for the harder gaming stuff; thus no Wii, XBox or PlayStation is allowed in my house.
10. Safari – Browser works great and has all of my bookmarks from my iMac. Sweet!
1. Safari. Opera is great. Safari is just plain better.
2. USAManual. OK, seriously, almost every historic document of the US in one handy place. Love it!
3. eWallet…yeah, what everyone else said.
4. FaceBook. Just awesome. Maybe even better than the desktop interface. Maybe not, but close.
5. Todo. Best task list manager ever. And it syncs with Toodledo.
6. Evernote, for all of the reasons which have already been said.
7. Airshare. Just an amazing way to store and access any document.
8. WordPress app
10. Now Playing
1. Evernote- If I could only have application this would be it. With Evernote I can take written notes, voice notes, grab pictures, etc. But it is more than a note-taking app. Now that my EyeFi WiFi SD card is linked to my account, all of my pictures automatically go into my Evernote account. All of my web clippings go into my account. In a large percentage of my professional resource Library is now in my account (after having been scanned by me). Increasingly, in fact, the majority of the files that might otherwise one access on my computer or on my iDisk are in my Evernote account.
2. Jott- early on and went between Jott and ReQall. Both are excellent but I ended up settling back on the Jott. The reason? I find Jott’s iPhone application simple to use and that is what I need when I want a quick note transcribed. The fact that Jott works with Evernote and Toodledo mean that three of my top productivity applications are now fully integrated with one another. In addition, as Jott also allows me to access my RSS feeds, making it a news source as well.
3. Apiggo’s ToDo/Notebook- I tried almost all of the to-do applications and I kept coming back to this one. It’s powerful, stable, and is constantly updated with new functionality. It integrates perfectly with Toodledo making the iPhone even more an extension of all of my other computing. It just works flawlessly and Appigo give’s great customer service. well. AND, it integrates with Jott etc means that everything becomes part of a larger system.
4. Google- This application just blows my mind. The fact that I can put my iPhone to my ear, say what it is that I’m looking for, and have the results brought back to me never ceases to amaze me. Last week I was teaching one of my high school groups and I was trying to make a point that they have at their fingertips the entire world of information in a way that previous generations didn’t and to prove my point I asked them to give me a subject, picked up my iPhone started the Google application, repeated their words and show them the results. It’s freaking unbelievable.
5. Byline- The RSS feeds to which I subscribe have become an important part of my professional and my online life. I tried just about every RSS reader and, while I don’t find this to be perfect (I don’t like the fact that the next post button is in the upper right hand side of the screen — it may sound silly but it’s the wrong place), it is the best I’ve seen. The fact that it fully integrates with Google reader means that it too becomes an extension/replacement of my computer.
6. Pandora- Love it. Just love it. Not only do I enjoy listening to the radio again thanks to Pandora, but it has introduced me to a host of new artists.
7. Twittelator Pro- More and more I find myself using Twitter to communicate with a certain circle of friends — particularly the people with whom I do a lot of my online writing. By far of this is the best application for it. I find it to be rock solid, offer a very nice UI and allow you to track multiple accounts if need be. If you use Twitter this is the app to use.
8. Beejive- I also do increasing amount of my interaction by IM. The iPhone is a decent enough phone and a good e-mail device. Having this applicationprovides the last piece in the triad. There are a number of IM applications out there but I like the features on Beejive best and the off-line notification system is superb. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Yes.
9. eWallet- the iPhone is the one thing I know that I have with me all the time. I might leave the house without my wallet or my keys (if I’m not the one driving) but I never leave my house without my iPhone. It’s for that reason that it makes sense for me to have all of the most pertinent information I might meet with me all the time but to do that any to make sure that the information is secure. eWallet is the application for doing it.
10. i.TV- I like watching TV. I like going to the movies. I’m loving Netflix. This application lets me get all the information I might need for all of them. One application to find out my television listings, add items to my TiVo list, check what movies are currently playing, and manage my Netflix queue. That’s pretty amazing. Love this application.
Agree? Disagree? I/we’d love to know.