There are over 350,000 apps on Apple’s App Store for iOS devices, and everyone has their favorites. Just like everyone else, I’ve got some apps that I find essential, useful, and just plain fun. This post and the next couple will cover some of them.
In this post I’m going to cover the must-haves, the ones that I check several times a day. For the sake of time, I’m going to forgo the standard pre-installed apps like Safari and the App Store itself. Here they are, in no particular order:
Pulse News Reader
This app is fantastic. The interface is sleek and intuitive, and it’s easy to customize the content with anything from RSS feeds of your favorite blogs to your Twitter or Facebook feeds. I use this app all day.
It’s Facebook. Do I need to say anything else?
The Weather Channel
This one’s in the top row of my news folder on my iPhone. I check it every morning and afternoon.
There are many flavors of Twitter clients out there, but I like that this one allows me to easily create lists of people so I can separate people I know from people I don’t. I’ve made some categories to make sorting through the sheer tonnage of posts a little easier.
I love this app. For those of you who aren’t familiar, you create a “station” on this music app based on an artist, song or genre that you like, and it finds a bunch of music that goes well with your choice. It’s a great way to find new music, and best of all, it’s free. I can’t recommend this app highly enough.
I admit it, I’m a sports guy. Mostly NFL, but I’m a fan of all the local teams, and this app makes it easy to check the scores, standings and news related to your favorite teams across pro and collegiate sports. Great app to have if you missed a a game and want to check out the final results, box score and analysis.
I like games, but I have some criteria. The games I like need to be quick, casual and simple. I’ve got too much going on throughout the day to be able to invest any real time into a game on my phone. I’ve got some of the popular big games on my phone, like Madden NFL and Civilization IV, but I simply don’t have the time to play them. Fruit Ninja separates itself because you can figure it out in less than 10 seconds, and it’s good addictive fun. Fruit flies up in the air and you have to slice it with your finger before it falls. End of story. Fast, simple and fun.
Easily the best solitaire game in the app store. Tons of games, simple, elegant artwork, and instructions that are pretty straight-forward on the games you haven’t played before. Great app when you have a couple of minutes to kill and don’t want to get wrapped up in anything.
I’m a word game addict. I have a folder on my iPhone dedicated just to word games. The king of that folder is Scramble. It’s concept is pretty much the same as Boggle, where you have a grid of letters and make as many words as you can by connecting adjacent letters. I love it. Another good game if you’ve got some time to kill. The only downside is that the dictionary they use is too big. It’s pretty much a guarantee that there are words that you’ve never heard of, and some that you might even think are not words at all. If you can get past the fact that you’ll never get 100% of the words, you’ll enjoy this game.
This is a great speech-to-text tool. Right from the built-in menu you can send your note directly to Twitter, Facebook or the email app. You can also copy it with one tap for pasting into the app of your choice. So if you haven’t quite got the knack of typing on the on-screen keyboard, or if you don’t want to take the time to type one-handed, you can let Dragon Dictation do all the work for you.
So that’s it. Share your favorite apps in the comments.