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10 Essential Apps for iPhone

by Scott Hoffman on June 18, 2009

So you just got your new iPhone 3Gs, and want to know which apps (applications) are essential. I have tested many (and I mean hundreds) and these are the 10 that I use regularly. (Updated 7 essential Halloween apps post is here)

TWCThe Weather Channel (Free) – this app does a great job of giving you detailed information about the weather. It can be localized by zip code or city, and can store multiple locations. The Weather Channel app provides great detail about the weather, including humidity, UV index, Sunrise and Sunset times, maps and videos. Most importantly it will give you hourly, 36 hour and 10 day forecasts. It has a “share this” button which easily allows you to send the weather report to your friends (most useful I found this past ski season in determining if trips to Vermont were going to be epic, or epically bad.) Why is a weather app essential if there is one that comes with my iPhone? Because the built in weather app on the iPhone doesn’t come close to providing the amount of weather information that the The Weather Channel does. Click here to go to iTunes to get this App now. By The Weather Channel

FlixsterFlixster (Free) – this app, brought to you by the same team that built Flixtser.com is one of the best apps for fans of movies. It uses the built in location services on your iPhone (you can disable) to tell you what the new theatrical release are, and where & what time to see them. The application is tied in with Flixtser.com you also get, movie information, synopsis, and running time. My essential feature on this phone is the instant reviews, because the application is tied in with Flixster, movies ratings and reviews by 7,000,000 other movie lovers are available right through the app. Click here to go to iTunes to get this App now. By Flixster

SportacularSportacular (Free) – Sportacular is a sports fans dream (and in my opinion easier to use than the newer ESPN branded app.) Sportacular provides you with fast, up to the minute access to scores, standings, stats and news for most major sports. Plus, make game predictions and share comments with fellow fans. I find this app essential, as I am an ardent Miami Dolphins fan, who lives in NY. My opportunity to view live games over the past 15 years has been slim to none (unless the Dolphins were playing the Giants or the Jets) Sportacular allows me to follow the game in their play by play mode, while still sitting with my friends and family who are watching the local NY teams. Click here to go to iTunes to get this App now. By Citizen Sports

YelpYelp (Free) – I love discovering new things. Yelp, which started as a community created “best of” guide app is essential for me. It uses the location services (you can disable) and tells you what the best businesses near you are. Yelp’s restaurant system is the highlight for me, using the Yelp iPhone app allows you to find restaurants that are close to you, that are open now, that are within certain price ranges, and can be filtered based on cuisine. This is essential for me, because I travel a fair amount, and I am a vegan…while Yelp helps me in hometown of New York, it is essential for me when I am in a city or town that I am unfamiliar with. Click here to go to iTunes to get this App now. By Yelp

FacebookFacebook (Free) – this application is a very good assimilation of the Facebook.com experience, all in the palm of your hands. If you are active on FaceBook, then this is an essential application for you. There are also iphone versions of Linkedin and MySpace, but both are not nearly as robust as the FaceBook iPhone application. Click here to go to iTunes to get this App now. By Facebook

TwittelatorTwittelator (Free and $4.99 for the Pro Version) – Disclaimer, if you use Twitter, read on…if not, what are you waiting for? This is the first application that I ever paid for, and it (and Twitter) have become essential for me. There are a lot of Twitter applications available (and one of my favorite desktop clients TweetDeck released an App today) but Twittelator is the Gold Standard. The team behind the application is constant improving the tool with feature additions and updates. There is almost nothing that Twittelator can’t do that you can do from you desktop or laptop. In conjunction with the iPhone 3Gs launch they justed added this list of new features; Audio and Video Tweeting, Subgroups, Offline tweet composition, drafts and saving tweets are features unique to Twittelator Pro. Click here to go to iTunes to get this App now. By Big Stone Phone

TodoToDo (Free and $9.99 for the Full Version) – If you use lists to organize your life, then this application will be essential for you. Todo is a powerful tool that makes task management simple and fun. Use Todo by itself or synchronize your tasks to the web or your desktop using a popular online todo list like Toodledo or Remember The Milk. Todo helps you focus on what matters most and allows you to integrate the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology or your own. The essential part of this app is that it syncs with iCal, which allows me to get reminders on all those important tasks that need to be completed (I reminded myself to write this post with Todo.) Click here to go to iTunes to get this App now. By Appigio

PandoraPandora (Free) – Pandora Radio is your own personalized radio now available to stream music on your iPhone. Just start with the name of one of your favorite artists, songs or classical composers and Pandora will create a “station” that plays their music and more music like it. This has become an essential way that I listen to music, especially when I am away from home. The service works over the 3g network, although the quality of the music is slightly better over WiFi; when you are driving down the road, or on a train, or waiting at an airport, just pop in your ear buds, and discover some new music! Click here to go to iTunes to get this App now. By Pandora

WolfGang's VaultConcert Vault (Free) – If you love live music, Concert Vault for the iPhone gives you free access to the world’s largest collection of live concert recordings right in your pocket. Concert Vault for the iPhone lets you listen to the Vault’s latest additions, most popular concerts, and any of our radio stations playing hundreds of songs from thousands of concerts spanning the 1960s through today. The app syncs with Wolfgangs website so all your playlists and favorite concerts from the website play right on your. Like Pandora, Wolfgang’s Vault offers full support over WiFi, 3G and EDGE connections on the iPhone, with advanced automatic bandwidth detection and stream adjustment. Click here to go to iTunes to get this App now. By Wolfgang’s Vault

pocketgodPocketGod ($.99) – If you have children between the ages of 6-12 than this essential app will keep them out of you hair, although they will always ask for your iPhone. Pocket God is a game that allows you to create very cute animated people at will and then torture them to your heart’s content. Feed them to sharks, strike them with lightning bolts, throw them into a nearby volcano (it’s actually an acquired skill) and, if you feel especially generous, feed them by cracking coconuts on their heads. The game creators have been pushing out an update (or “episode”) about once a week. Recently, Episode 10 introduced vampirism. (Tap the moon to create a bat which turns islanders into vampires.) Disclaimer; some parents may think PocketGod inappropriate for children, I strongly encourage you to check out the content before giving your children access to this game. Click here to go to iTunes to get this App now. By Bolt Creative

Big thanks to my good friend Scott Sala, who will be sporting a new iPhone 3Gs tomorrow. I hope this list helps you decide which apps to start with. As an aside, last night I had to re-install my factory settings while upgrading to the iPhone 3.0 OS and these are the 10 apps that I reinstalled immediately.

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11 thoughts on “10 Essential Apps for iPhone”

  1. travis

    twitter is retarded, just like you and your worthless list. pandora is the only useful thing on here. Have fun with your website dedicated to facebook updates.

  2. scotthoffman

    Bill, thanks for the comments.

    I haven't found an essential app that is specific to the shopping/recipe list function. If you find one let me know.

    I currently use ToDo for all my lists. In a recent upgrade they released two new kinds of lists, Checklists and Projects. The checklist function allows you to create on list, let say, “Groceries” and then have list ToDo entries under it, “so Milk, Butter, Eggs, etc” all separate. As you complete the underlying ToDo's (grab the eggs) they clear off the list, but the master Checklist stays until all the ToDo's are completed. The Project, allows you to nest both ToDo entries and Checklists under it.

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