With the new phone, I’ve restarted my quest to find the most useful (and/or most entertaining) applications. I’m extremely cheap, so I tend to stick with the apps which are free most of the time.
I decided to put most of the apps on my new phone that were on my old phone though some just didn’t make the cut. Here’s what I decided to re-load onto the new phone:
- Pandora: Provides the ability to use the Pandora music service away from your PC. Pandora is probably my favorite way to listen to music online, as it creates a playlist based on an artist or song (or series of artists and songs). I have a bunch of different playlists I go between from Britney Spears to John Coltraine to Reba McIntyre to Leonard Bernstein. You can also choose to play a mix of songs from all of the “stations” you’ve created and, in the new version, play stations by genre. The software “learns” what you like through an easy thumbs-up, thumbs-down system. Matt’s been using the same station for two years and it’s really got his tastes down-pat (except when it randomly plays a very traditional country song for my classic rock-loving guy).
- Yelp: Oh, Yelp. Your reviewers and their emphasis on restaurant decor and service may annoy me, but your app is wonderful. Whenever we travel, we always use the app to find a good place to eat. Not excellent outside of major cities but even small town South Carolina has a few reviews left by visitors.
- Open Table: Avoid phone calls to restaurants by using this app to make reservations. It uses your location to find places nearby but also lets you search other areas. Great for when you really want to go somewhere for dinner and want to get an idea of how busy they are (AKA if only a 9:00 reservation is available when you check at noon, you probably want to go another night). There’s also a whole point system for making (and keeping) reservations that I think you can cash in at some point for a gift certificate.
- Weather Channel: The free version tells you the weather in your current location or anywhere in the world, including my favorite feature, “hour by hour”. No fancy radar maps in the free version, though it’s great for answering the “Should we drive or take the Metro to dinner?” question.
- Words With Friends: There’s also a paid version of this though I have zero clue what the difference is. The app lets you play a version of Scrabble with friends or random strangers. My friend Steph and I have played several of the worlds slowest games over the last two months via this app.
- Flickr: Pretty simple – let’s you take and post photos to your Flickr stream and let you view the photos and activities of your friends. Much better than having to connect your phone to a PC to upload. Can be finicky but I still love it.
- Twitter: I’m addicted to Twitter so I’m happy they bought the company that originally created this app. (Have also heard TweetDeck for iPhone is pretty decent but I don’t need all that added mess.)
- Knit Minder: Automatic counter for knitting. Keeps track of three different counts (like rows until next decrease, repeat of lace pattern, and total numbers of rows knit). Nice and simple.
- iMapMyRun (free): I use this to map out runs. It uses the GPS to tell where you are and (duh) where you’ve been. Syncs up with mapmyrun.com which isn’t my favorite site for tracking runs (now that Alison showed me RunningAhead), but it’s still decent. I like that you get a little map of your run and pace average after and current location, total time, distance, and pace as you run (if you could look at it and run at the same time, which I can barely do). The free version doesn’t control your music so you have to leave the app to do that but, hey, you should be concentrating on your run, not your music.
After looking around online, there’s quite a few apps I’ll be adding soon:
- ESPN ScoreCenter: I’m not super into sports but sometimes it would be nice to know just how badly the Orioles are losing. I often get asked for sports scores by those without smart phones (or slower ones) so this is worth putting on my phone, albeit on the fourth or fifth home screen.
- Cube Runner 1.5: Anyone have a Mac back in the day remember Spector (or something like that)? This really reminds me of that game I used to play on my Dad’s work laptop. I got pretty good at it but, sadly, haven’t played it since ninth grade or so. Oh, memories of poorly drawn graphics of a 2D landscape.
- Drop Box: Access your documents from anywhere. I already use the website (which gives you 2 Gb of free data storage for life) so this’ll be a great companion.
- Google Earth: It’s Google Earth ON MY PHONE!
- NY Times: No clue why I’ve never had this on there before, but adding it give me an easier way to catch up on news, without having to use the NPR app (which I think I forgot in my earlier list, add that one to your phone, too).
- Wikipedia: For all those times I want “proof” that Matt is wrong.
- Photoshop: Yep, for your phone. Gives you the ability to crop and do minor edits which, really, is all I ever use the real version for, anyway.
- Tripit: Just foward your travel confirmation emails (airplane flights, hotel, rental car, etc) to the service and you’ll get a handy little list on your phone of when and where. Matt uses this already and has found it extremely helpful. Better than having to search through your email Inbox to find those pesky flight confirmation numbers all the kiosks seem to want nowadays.
- Trundle: It’s on my list but I cannot remember what it is. A game, maybe?
- Amazon: Good way to find out if maybe you should wait and buy that book online versus a brick and mortar big box store. Or to quickly figure out if the book is still in print.
- Slacker Radio: Like Pandora but the playlists are built by music professionals. Another way to get good music on your phone.
- Tap Tap Revenge: A stupid version of Dance Dance Revolution or Guitar Hero. Perfect for my poor hand-eye coordination.
What apps do you guys have on your iPhone (or Blackberry or Android or..)?