The real value in iPhones and iPads lies in the apps which allow us to be productive, creative, informed and entertained. Of the 94 apps I have installed on my iPhone and/or iPad, here are the 16 apps that make up the core of my mobile experience.
APPS I RELY ON EACH DAY
NewsRack – Thanks to Bryan Person for recommending this app to me. NewsRack is an RSS aggregator with a fantastic interface. Setting it up was a dream since it allows you to siphon your Google Reader config, complete with feed categories. This app works on both the iPhone and iPad which means I’m synchronized across multiple platforms and devices. I’m also able to follow links, leave comments and share articles in a number of ways.
GoodReader – I love printed books and swore I would be one of the last people on this planet to embrace an e-reader. Then Bryan Person introduced me to GoodReader – at the time for reading PDF documents I downloaded from the web. Besides being a great e-reader app, GoodReader allows me to organize my library. Newer versions of the app introduced annotation which I love. Sadly, not available for the iPhone.
Evernote – I’m a bit of a note-taking junky and find myself carrying notebooks, napkins and business cards, all scrawled with thoughts and ideas in various states of development. Over the last year, I’ve been using my iPhone more regularly to capture notes – sometimes in the Notes application, sometimes with voice recorder and now, more frequently with Evernote (despite being a veteran user). Evernote allows you to synchronize notes across multiple computers and portable devices using the Evernote service. Available for the iPhone and iPad.
OmniFocus – Jay West recommended OmniFocus to me as a great task/project management tool for freelancers a few years ago. I used it extensively for managing my own business and recently started using it again because of portability and the fact that I can run the app on both my iPhone and iPad, either or both of which are with me most of the time. All of my data is synchronized using my MobileMe account so I always have access to the latest and greatest lists. There’s an iPad version which offers an iPad-specific experience. However, I’m not ready to spend another $39.99 on this suite.
HootSuite – I became a convert from TweetDeck about 10 months ago. Besides being more efficient with memory and processors, I prefer the Hootsuite interface and its web-based service which allows me to have a common layout across all of my platforms — PC & Mac, all browser types and all mobile devices. The dashboard allows me to follow other streams and publish updates from multiple social media accounts including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and a recent upgrade includes language translation so I can keep up with people like @sgrandmaison and @deniscoderre — a great feature that seems to be missing from the web interface.
Analytics HD – This is a Google Analytics app I use to monitor my own sites and those of clients. All of the typical reports and charts are available. An iPhone version is also available.
IdeaWallets – This is a great tool for capturing and organizing creative ideas, recommended to me by David Bradfield. I’ve found it to be a fantastic tool for brainstorming, free thinking and developing creative projects. If only it could generate another hour or two each day! Available only for the iPad.
AudioNote – This is another app recommended to me by David Bradfield. It’s like a keyboard version of my beloved Livescribe pen. AudioNote allows me to type notes and record what’s going on at the same time which means I only need to type keywords (like cues) rather than complete details, allowing me to concentrate more on the discussion than on capturing it. The notes and recordings are time-synced so I can go back at a later time and listen to the recording from cue points. I’ve found this to be amazingly valuable for brainstorming sessions, meetings and conferences. Available for the iPhone and iPad.
The Globe & Mail – The Globe & Mail news app is by far the best among Canadian print media apps I’ve test driven. I appreciate they’ve made it possible to download news to read offline (great for air travel). Sadly, there’s no online sharing capability.
APPS I USE SEVERAL TIMES A WEEK
Pages and Numbers – These choices are a bit obvious. However, I’ve been working on a number of reports lately and appreciate having a feature-rich portable word processor and spreadsheet combination. iPad only.
CBC Radio – Before I became a committed iPod user, I loved my iRiver portable media player. Besides being able to play music, it had a built-in mic, mic/line input and an FM radio receiver. The CBC Radio app does one better. It allows me to tune in to any CBC radio signal (from any region) or television program (audio only) and listen wherever I am. Streams can be selected by live broadcasts and on-demand programs. There’s even a Favourites capability so you can easily flag the shows they love. iPhone and iPad.
Euchre 3D – I confessed to my daughters that I skipped the odd college class to play Euchre with friends some 20 years ago. We were on vacation and taught them how to play. They became quick experts on the strategy and my enjoyment of the game was reignited. So I sought out a Euchre app and got my after hours fix when I needed it. I’ve actually downloaded the free “lite” version and find I’m able to ignore the ads that appear. iPhone and iPad.
Flipboard – Flipboard injects a fun experience into following Twitter and Facebook. I learned about this one from the Marketing Profs. It creates a magazine-on-the-fly of your social network streams. You can also comment on and share content. iPad only.
WordPress – It’s by no means perfect and Safari on the iPad pretty much negates the need for it, however for the WordPress app is handy on the iPhone and is ideal on both devices for offline blog writing (like when on an airplane). iPhone and iPad.
Night Stand HD Lite – I’ve never understood why the iPad doesn’t come with a clock (with a built-in alarm) like the iPhone does. I found this one about a month ago and love it. It’s pure eye-candy and does the job I want it to. iPhone and iPad.