It's that time of year again where I get to choose my picks for the Hottest, Baddest Apps of Year! There were certainly several great apps this year, but I had to narrow it down to this list of KILLER APPS! These apps are the Best of the Best and either are extremely useful, additively entertaining or really push the envelope of the iPhone/iPod touch platform. So in no particular order…

RedLaser

RedLaser is an amazing app from a technology standpoint and it was one of the hottest selling apps of 2009! With redlaser your iPhone becomes a barcode scanner that looks up the price of an item scan from multiple sources over the internet. They even added a "Local" category to find the item at local vendors based on your current location.

Comparison shopping has never been better! See my original review here. Get RedLaser from the App Store here:

RedLaser

 

 

Dragon Dictation

When it comes to speech recognition I usually have a hard time finding a product that actually works with my voice. Dragon Dictation works GREAT with my voice and allows me to dictate and convert it to text. That text can then be sent to the Messaging App, Mail or to the clipboard for pasting in any other app! It's a great piece of technology. See my video review here

You can get Dragon Dictation here from the App Store: 

Dragon Dictation

Navigon

When the iPhone 3G came out with a built-in GPS everyone waited patiently for a Turn-by-Turn GPS Navigation App. Navigon was one of the first to ship and while 1.0 was missing some key features, they quickly followed up and continued to follow up with timely feature rich free updates. I love their lane assist features and optional Traffic Alert features. 

You can get the Navigon App here from the App Store: 

MobileNavigator North America

DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition

As a professional photographer I shoot tethered to my MacBook Pro most of the time when I'm doing studio shoots. The DSLR Camera Remote App now let's me move away from the back of the camera and control everything from my camera and see the results! The addition of Live View and Nikon support has catapulted this app into one of the best apps and technologically advanced apps of 2009.

You can read my original review here. You can get the DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition here from the App Store:

DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition

 

Taxi Magic

Taxi Magic completely blew me away the first time I used it. I downloaded it during a break while at a business meeting. I fired it up and not only was able to schedule my taxi trip to the airport, but use the app to pay the fare/tip once I arrived. Amazing!

You can read my original review here. You can download Taxi Magic here from the App Store:

Taxi Magic

Tweetie 2

Yep! I’m into social networking and I just haven’t seen a better, more full featured Twitter client than Tweetie 2. This App takes full advantage of Twitter including the new Lists and Geotagging features. If you do Twitter, this is the app you want.

BTW: Follow me on Twitter :)

You can get Tweetie 2 here from the App Store:

Tweetie 2

i. TV

i. TV has come a long way since it was first introduced. These guys continue to drive themselves the produce the best app you can get for your entertainment needs. i. TV will give you your local TV and Movie listings. You can remotely schedule TiVo DVRs to record the shows you see in the listing over the internet. It will let you manage your Netflix queue and this latest version even allows you to remote control your TiVo over your WiFi network. Great job on this!

You can get i. TV here from the App Store:

i. TV

 

Photoshop.com Mobile

I take pictures with my iPhone and therefore I need to touch them up a bit before emailing or posting them. My app of choice for this is Photoshop.com Mobile. Great cropping, adjustments and effects. Not to mention that it’s super easy to use. See my tutorial video here on how to use this app.

Photoshop.com Mobile is a Free download from the App Store here:

 

Photoshop.com Mobile

CardStar

I hate carrying around all those little tags on my keychain.  However, I do enjoy the benefits and discounts that many stores are offering if you swipe your membership or frequent shopper card. When CardStar appeared on the scene I downloaded it immediately and had to try it. Basically you key in your membership number and it generates the barcode for scanning on screen. Then when you're at a checkout counter you scan your card for that merchant right off your iPhone/iPod touch's display. See my original review here.

You can download CardStar from the App Store here: 

CardStar

SlingPlayer Mobile

I'm a Slinbbox fan so quite naturally I was very excited to see the SlingPlayer appear on the iPhone. This app is beautifully implemented and not only let's you watch any source you have connected to your Slingbox, but it also lets you watch and control your DVR.  Although it's limited by AT&T/Apple to only work over a WiFi connection, I still find it useful to catch up on shows when I'm on the road. See my original review here.

You can get SlingPlayer Mobile for the iPhone or iPod touch here from the App Store:

SlingPlayer Mobile


Still missing in action

There were a few apps that I expected to see in 2009 that never surfaced. These are big companies and the strange thing is that in each case their competitors have native apps. Now I know in a couple of these cases 3rd parties have picked up the slack, but the problem is that a 3rd party app can never give you the level of access that an app coming directly from the company could. 

Delta Airlines - one of the largest airlines in the world still doesn't have a native app. I wouldn't mind this one so much if their mobile website was as good as the mobile.nwa.com site that they acquired when they bought Northwest Airlines. Hey Delta, United and American Airlines look at the Southwest Airlines Appl

Marriott Hotels – nope, they don't have one either. How could would it be to be able to find the nearest Marriott, book it, see your Rewards points, etc. Starwood on the other hand has done this well with theirs.

Hertz – you are my company's rental agency and no App. Funny though when I searched for the Hertz App, the Avis App came up in the results here.

TiVo – Yes, there are apps out there that let you schedule recordings on your TiVo, but only TiVo the company can give you access to your account. Although the i.TV app is great and the m.tivo.com webapp is good, nothing beats a native app directly from you TiVo!

Netflix - I constantly get people asking me "what's the best Netflix queue management app?" and while I like both i.TV and MovieFlick, it's definitely time for Netflix to have their own.

Dominos Pizza – Dominos still doesn't have an App that let's you place an order. They should look at what Pizza Hut is doing.

Comerica Bank – Not sure how big Comerica Bank is these days, but it's quite frustrating that they don't have a native app. So frustrating in fact that I'll probably move the one account that I have with them over to Bank of America who has a GREAT app!

Vonage – Yes, Vonage did come out with an App in 2009 however, the app totally missed the mark and that is it required you to setup a new account and fund it. They need an app for their hundreds of thousands of regular customers to be able to make calls using the accounts they already pay for each month. Do they honestly expect existing customers to pay another $24.95/month just to use this app on the go when they already pay for Vonage at home?

Apple Store – this is probably the most shocking one of them all! Apple has some GREAT apps built right into the iPhone and iPod touch. They also have some optional ones like the Remote app that are best of breed. I'm still shocked though that there isn't an "Apple Store" app that allows you to find the closest one to you, order Apple products, check the status of your order, schedule Genius Bar appointments, check repair status, check Apple Care expirations, etc. Rumor has it that an app is in the works, but we didn't see it in 2009. AroundMe gets credit for at least showing me the closest store, but that's not enough.

Let's hope we see these in 2010!

Speaking of Missing in Action, AT&T Tethering? How about it?

 

 

Also check out my Best of 2009: Top Gadget Picks

If you're into gadgets and technology (yes you probably are), then check out my top gadget picks for 2009 here.