The other day, my brother sent me a message asking me what apps I was currently using on my iPhone. As I went down the list of my FUAs (Frequently Used Apps), I realized there are a lot that I simply assume everyone else is using—but maybe not.
So, I put together a list of my 15 top iPhone apps. Most of them are free; I’ll tell you when they’re not. And this is only for the iPhone, though several are on my iPad, too. Some of these can be used on Androids and BlackBerrys as well.
Skype has become the de facto way I communicate with my family and quite a few of my friends. It’s also how I’ve done interviews, and I suspect you do as well. The call quality is great—most of the time at least—and you can’t beat the price of free.
This might be a new one for some of you. Viber
is a terrific app (for iPhone and Android) that lets you call other Viber users free. It’s easy to set up, and once it syncs with your contacts, it creates a separate list of people who also have Viber installed.
That way, when you want to contact them, you can IM the person (just as you would ordinarily), and/or call. Viber uses your data plan, so if you don’t have unlimited texts that come with your plan, it’s a terrific option. It uses wifi or a 3G network to connect—there may be charges if you use the latter—and the sound quality is incredible.
3. Google Talk from beejive IM
I learned of this app from Ray Richman
, and I love it. It’s free. Basically, Google Talk
lets you G-chat (as you would from your Gmail interface) on your phone.
has great apps for the iPhone and iPad, so I have it set up on both. I like that I can use my multiple profiles even when I’m not at my computer, and most of its “regular” functionality is contained in its apps, such as scheduling tweets/posts, and so on.
In HootSuite’s desktop version, specifically with Facebook, you can not only set up profiles for your personal and business page (or pages you manage), but also set up profiles for specific Facebook groups you participate in regularly.
However, you can’t do this in/from the apps. I don’t think that’s such a big deal, and you’ve probably already seen that if you reset some profiles in your “main” HootSuite account, the apps won’t automatically sync them; you’ll have to do so manually. Not a big deal, though.
It wasn’t that long ago that Facebook introduced its own app (finally), and it works pretty well. Sure, it crashes at times, but what app doesn’t?
If you have the new Timeline, you’ll have noticed that it replicates on your mobile device as well, which is pretty nifty.
I set this up recently after embarking on Project 366
. I did so because the photos I take are almost always from my iPhone, so I wanted to see if I could post directly to Tumblr from my phone. And, of course, you already know you can.
When I was reading the app reviews, I saw a number of complaints, but so far it’s been pretty to post to Tumblr from my iPhone, and that includes the caption, tags, short URL, etc.
I joined Path
recently and have enjoyed it. I don’t post frequently—probably once or twice every few days—but since I’m keeping my network there relatively small, I find it has a more intimate feeling. It’s also cool that you can post to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr (or any combination of them) if you want to.
Photography and Video
I learned about this from Grant Hill
. It is absolutely terrific. There’s a free version, but I bought the $0.99 Camera+ app
, and it works beautifully. There are loads of editing options, and you can also share your photos to social networks or via email directly from Camera+ if you want. I highly recommend it.
The $1.99 PhotoSync app
is brilliant. Once you buy it, install it on your iPhone and computer (and iPad, if you like).
This enables you to transfer photos wirelessly, which is great—no more cables or emailing photos. You’ll need to make sure the app is open on each device you’re syncing from/to, and you have to enable location services (but I haven’t found that a problem). It works quickly and, so far, I haven’t had a single problem.
In addition to photos, it transfers videos. And you can send photos to Flickr, Facebook, and a bunch of other sites.
It’s easy to post your photos to Flickr using the app, though I find the tagging, etc., a bit laborious from the iPhone. Still, it does give you a way to create a Flickr album on the go (from a conference, for insance).
One of my goals this year is to do more video using my iPhone. I’m getting more comfortable with iMovie, and purchased the $4.99 iMovie app
a short while ago.
I’d taken a short video of my dog Lola meets Snoopy
that plays “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” over the holidays. Since it was already on my phone, I did some quick editing via iMovie, transferred it to my computer via PhotoSync, and voila.
It’s pretty decent for quick editing, but it doesn’t have the full functionality of the regular iMovie. Still, for on-the-go stuff, it works.
12. The Weather Channel
I know the iPhone comes with a weather app, but I prefer the one from the Weather Channel
. And it’s free.
13. Weather Doodle
This is just lovely. It’s a $0.99 app that turns your weather forecast into a cute, animated doodle. Even on a rainy day, I’m pretty sure Weather Doodle
will make you smile. (@sbc111
helped me find it.)
14. Emojee Free!
If you like playing with different emoticons, this one’s for you. It’s free, and it gives you an outstanding collection of emoticons from a wide range of categories, which you can add to email, text messages, and so on.
However, only other iPhone/iPad users will be able to see them. Still worth a look, I think, and once you’ve downloaded Emojee Free!
it will walk you through how to set it up.
I’ve long been a fan of the scheduling platform Tungle, and it finally introduced an app for the iPhone last year. Tungle’s iPhone app
is as easy to use as the desktop version—and that’s not something you can say about all apps.
Do you have favorite apps that you use frequently? Please share.
Shonali Burke was named to PRWeek’s inaugural top “40 Under 40″ list of US-based PR professionals and is considered one of 25 women that rock social media. In addition to running a successful agency of one, she is the founder of the popular #measurePR Twitter chat and Adjunct Faculty at Johns Hopkins University’s M.A. in Communication program. She blogs at Waxing UnLyrical, where a version of this story first appeared. Follow her on Twitter @Shonali.