I’m continuing my “starter kit” series with another chunk of info I send friends. This time it’s all about iPhone apps. I was extremely excited to get my iPhone and quickly downloaded literally hundreds of apps within a few days (who am I kidding, hours). Here’s a bunch I enjoy. The list is unfinished and probably slightly outdated by now but enjoy!
You’ll want some type of flashlight app. I use one called LED flashlight that uses my camera flash and it’s quite useful. I’m pretty sure any of them would work fine though.
Music: Pandora is a must although I’m intrigued by Songza and it could replace Pandora for me. Turntable.fm is a really cool concept of social DJing. I’m a fan of having Shazam to identify music, even if it only works for me half the time. I was using GoMusic to access my Google Cloud Music, but that appears to be gone, Melodies looks promising to fill that void. The standard music player is decent enough and does have the advantage of iTunes synching.
Wikipanion is a good Wikipedia app. It’s faster than using the wiki website but has access to all of the content.
Navigation: I like Waze a lot. It gives you all the spoken turn-by-turn navigation with a little social twist that alerts you to construction, accidents and the popo. It’s leaps and bounds better than the stupid Maps app Apple includes and it’s free so you don’t have to shell out $50 bucks for Garmin or something.
Photos: The quality of the iPhone’s camera is outstanding. I don’t even know where my point-and-shoot camera is anymore. In terms of apps, Instagram is my favorite. All those hipster filters and easy sharing make it a must have. IncrediBooth is a fun photobooth app. DerManDer is an easy to use panoramic camera. Shoebox is a cool app that makes scanning old photos super easy. Piictu is a fun social network of images. You basically add to streams of various topics, it’s kind of a game and very amusing, even if you’re just browsing.
Check-ins: Foursquare goes without almost saying. It’s a wonderful way to explore your surroundings. I’ve got a blog post about getting started on foursquare if you’re interested. If you want to go beyond that, check out Untappd for beer check-ins and GetGlue for movies, TV and video game check-ins. GetGlue will even mail you the stickers you unlock. Cheers and Stamped are both beautiful apps that are kind of “I like this stuff” apps. Soundtracking is basically the foursquare of music and Foodspotting is for food. Most of these are also good for discovering things and many of them will push your check-ins to other social services if you so desire.
ESPN ScoreCenter is actually a very handy app. I’m not a huge sports fan but it’s nice to get score and game alerts for the Red Wings.
IMDB, pretty self explanatory and necessary to settle arguments.
Flixter for movie times, trailers and watching any Ultra Violet digital movies (you probably “accidentally” got one with a DVD) you may have.
News: I can’t sing the praises of Flipboard enough. It’s pretty, easy and fun. It’ll even bring your social media feeds. Alternatives are Pulse and Google Currents but neither is quite as visually pleasing as Flipboard.
QR / Barcode: I have something just called Scan. It does the job, although I rarely use it.
Video: Vimeo, Tout and Apple’s iTunes Movie Trailers are good apps. Tout is video snippet sharing, Shaq’s really into it. If you have a Netflix, Hulu Plus, U-verse, HBO, Xfinity (Comcast) or Showtime subscription, check out their apps and watch on the go.
Lots of stores have apps. I like the Best Buy (also check out their Reward Zone app), Target and Amazon ones. Google Shopper can be helpful to compare prices. There is a separate Amazon PriceCheck app that lets you scan barcodes in a store and see the Amazon price to compare. Walgreens is handy if you fill prescriptions or print photos there. You can do both right in the app.
Reading: If you’re into books, you’ll be happy to know you’ve got options. You may already be invested in some e-book service and they probably have an app. Apple’s got their iBooks, Amazon’s Kindle, and of course Barnes and Noble’s NOOK.
Google Translate is helpful and fun.
Tasks / To Do: Apple’s built in tasks doesn’t do a lot and you might need something more. It’s biggest advantage is integration with Siri. Try Awesome Note or Wunderlist. Both are pretty slick apps and I believe both are free. Some people like Evernote but I find it overly complicated. Lately I’ve been using Clear for it’s awesome interface.
Getting More Apps: A handy app to find on sale and free apps is called AppShopper. Discover Apps takes a look at your current apps and recommends new ones.
Foodily is a neat recipe sharing and browsing app.
RunKeeper is a good running/exercise logging app. It will even chart your activities with GPS. If you get it, be sure to link your account with foursquare on their website so you can earn special badges.
Skype is available and works.
Cards: Lots of cool greeting card and postcard apps. Postagram, Sincerely Ink, Apple’s Cards, Jiffygram, and Red Stamp, just to name a few. Most of them will let you create a card, then they print and mail it for you. Usually for a buck or three. A couple of them let you email or send a text of the card for free.
Games: I’ll do another post on games, there are too many.
There you have it. An intro to iPhone apps. Did I miss your favorite? Do you think my suggestions just totally suck? Tell me about it in the comments.