Today is the day that many 1st time iPhone users have been waiting for! Starting today you can walk into a Verizon Wireless Store or Apple Store and walk out with an iPhone running on Verizon's network. Since many of you will be first time iPhone users, I thought that I would put together this list of Must Have Apps. Make no mistake about it, with hundreds of thousands of great Apps on the App Store it is very very very very hard to limit a list to just 10. I took the approach of "which Apps do I use the most?" "Which Apps are not as obvious as others such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., that the user will go grab anyway?" "Which Apps would I first install on a new iPhone?" and lastly "Which apps provide functionality that's just simply not in one of the built-in Apps?" So in no particular order here's my list:
I follow all my favorite sites via their RSS feeds. Unfortunately the iPhone doesn't have a built-in dedicated RSS reader App. Reeder is my new favorite RSS App. It syncs with my Google Reader account and this means that if read a story on my iPhone or my computer or my iPad it's marked as read so that I don't have to read it again on the other devices. Reeder has a nice clean UI (user interface).
Although the iPhone has a built-in notes App it's pretty basic and doesn't offer FREE wireless syncing unless you have a supported IMAP account/Mac Mail, etc. I can't seem to make one of these must have lists without my readers telling me that it's incomplete unless I list Evernote. So here ya go 🙂 All jokes aside Evernote is a great App that allows you to sync notes wirelessly with your computer iPhone and computer. You can access the notes, photos, voice memos, etc. anywhere you have access to web browser as well.
I wouldn't be able to function without my To Do List. Sadly the iPhone doesn't have a to do list app built-in and while there are some great Todo list Apps out there (yes I have Things too 🙂 ), my preference is Appigo's Todo. Todo has a simple interface with syncing capabilities to your computer and the cloud. I started using their cloud based service and love it. It allows me to manage my To Do's anywhere I have access to my iPhone, iPad or the web.
Adobe Photoshop Express
While the iPhone is equipped with a nice camera and decent photo management and sharing abilities, it doesn't have any built-in photo editing capabilities. There are tons of photo editing Apps for the iPhone. Adobe Photoshop Express provides most of the basic editing features with a clean touch interface that users will want and best of all it's FREE. You can share your edited photos on Facebook, Twitter, Email and Photoshop.com with background uploading.
The built-in Google Maps App is great! While it does give you directions from point A to point B, it doesn't give you turn-by-turn voice directions and it requires a data connection to work. Navigon MyRegion Apps provide you with true turn-by-turn voice directions and the built-in maps mean that you don't have to have a data connection to use the App. There are tons of great features in this App and the reason I'm recommending the MyRegion version is that most of us don't drive all over the whole country. These Apps are moderately priced for your particular region and if you ever need either of the other two regions you can add them on at any time via an in-app purchase.
Get the Navigon MyRegion Apps for
$29.99 UPDATE! Navigon Apps are on Sale in honor of New Verizon iPhone owners $14.99
My setup above is:
Yes the iPhone has a built-in calculator and yes you can probably figure out the tip in your head. However, I prefer to use CheckPlease. It's my new favorite Tip Calculator. I like it because it has a clean UI. You can enter the default tax rate so that you're not tipping on the tax and you can of course split the bill if needed. Best of all it has one tap rounding up/down.
Any security expert would tell you that it's dangerous (maybe even stupid) to use the same password for everything that you do. Yet we do it all to often because it's easier than trying to remember a bunch of different passwords. One day I realized that I was using the same password in too many places and that if anyone ever got that password they would have the keys to the kingdom. Not only did I change all my common passwords to be more secure, I also started using 1Password (which has dual levels of password protection) to manage them all. 1Password syncs with your computer as well as Dropbox.com and is one of my favorite all time Apps. I love it!
CardStar is my answer to carrying around all those retail loyalty tags on your keychain. In many cases they can scan the CardStar generated barcode right off the display on your iPhone. I use it all the time at places like CVS. Just enter the tag number for the particular retailer and then you can leave the actual tag at home. It's also great for keeping track of membership numbers in general.
This is one of the best and most addictive games I've ever played. The concept is simple (albeit silly), you use an onscreen slingshot to launch (angry) birds through the air to breakup/destroy the structures containing the pigs. If you're thinking "this makes no sense", you're right. However, once you start playing you won't be able to put it down. You have been warned.
Entertainment Apps – WARNING: cop out alert
Remember when I said that it was very very very very hard to keep the list to just 10? I was serious and I just couldn't do it. There are just too many cool Apps in the entertainment category worthy of being on this list that I had to pick more than one. Here are just a few Must Have Entertainment Apps that you'll want to check out:
Movies by OneTap
I want to know one thing: What time does the movie start? I've already decided which movie I want to see. I go to the same theater all the time. More often than not, other Apps require you to tap too many things to answer this basic question. OneTap Movies lets you assign your favorite theaters and then with one tap you can see what the show times are for the current movies.
Shazam allows your iPhone to identify the song that's currently playing in the air. You're at a party, walking through a mall, listening to the radio, etc. and you want to know "what's the name of that song?" Just launch Shazam and tap the screen and Shazam will sample the song. It will then send it up to their server and come back with the results. More often than not it can identify the track that's playing and in most cases even allow you to buy it right there on the spot from iTunes.
Netflix is reinventing themselves by turning their DVD based business into a streaming one. If you have a Netflix account you can stream thousands of movies and TV shows directly to your iPhone over the internet.
Pandora Radio is hands down the best app for allowing you to listen to streaming music that matches your tastes. The more you use it the better it will get at playing just the music that you like. You set up custom stations by simply picking the artists that you like. It will play songs by that artist as well as ones that are similar. Give the songs a thumbs up or a thumbs down and it learns your tastes.
Wanna learn more about your iPhone?
Don't forget about my Best Selling iPhone Book 4th Edition. This book will help you get up to speed quickly on your new smartphone.
Get it here on sale for about $15.