It’s been nearly seven months since my last post talking about iPhone apps I love. I still use nearly all of those apps regularly (I’m a little burnt out on Bejeweled 2 at the moment), but it’s high time I shared more of my favourites with you*.
$3.99 (free version available)
This is my go-to notetaking app on my phone. I love that you can file the notes in folders by subject. There is also a “quick note” option for those scratchpad-style notes that you may or may not need later (there is an option to save quick notes as full notes until you choose to clear them).
There are multiple views for each folder: thumbnails, list, to do, detailed, diary, photo and calendar. It is also possible to set due dates/alarms for each of your tasks. You can also back up, sync or transfer your notes to Google Docs or Evernote.
I use this app all the time and I really only use the basic features. As you can see, I use Awesome Note to jot down little notes about things I’m thinking about on the go. (There are also folders for Sean and for recipes off-screen.) I still keep a paper notebook in my purse, but I find I use it much less than I did before I got this app. Totally worth paying for.
$1.99 (free, pared-down version available)
This mobile Delicious (the social bookmarking site owned by Yahoo!) client is one of the few (if not only) iPhone app that allows people to sign into Delicious with their associated Yahoo! ID. (If you use a Yahoo! ID with Delicious, you can only sign in with that ID and not with your Delicious ID. I learned that one the hard way.) It’s simple and does the job. View and add your bookmarks on the go, add links to Read It Later (more about that app further down). The Safari bookmarklet makes it easy to send links you’re reading in Safari to Delicious without emailling to yourself to access from your desktop. Simple but very useful.
While I still use Byline for most of my actual feed reading, I didn’t like that it couldn’t add, delete or organize feeds for me on my phone. Enter Feeds. It does all of those things, and is a nice little RSS reader to boot. It syncs with Google Reader or can be used as a standalone reader (nice if you don’t want to use Google as your main reader) Feeds has a clean interface with choice of colours (hey look! I’m using orange!) It also does offline reading, but since I like Byline so much, I haven’t used this feature much yet.
$4.99 (free version available)
Read it Later allows you to save any website for well, reading it later. It is available as a Firefox extension as well as an iPhone app. There is also a web version and unofficial (user-created) apps for Android, Blackberry and webOS, so you’re not out of luck if you don’t have an iPhone/iPad.
This is one of those apps that you don’t realize how useful it will be to you until you start to use it. I use it most when I’m reading something and find a link that I want to read, but don’t really have the time to look at carefully. Instead of emailling the link to myself for later, I can click on the Read it Later icon in my browser (or from the bookmarklet in mobile Safari, or from Echofon, my Twitter client of choice). Then, when I do have a moment, I can fire up my Read it Later list and catch up on my reading. Another great place to use this is when I am reading my Twitter stream and want to read the posted links. I want to read the links, but also want to catch up on the other 2034 tweets in my stream. Send that link to Read it Later and they’re there when I’m done. Read it Later syncs across all your devices once you have an account and if I make sure all the articles are downloaded before I go offline, I can catch up with my reading on the subway.
Then, once I’ve read the link for myself, I have the option of sharing it with Delicious, Twitter, Facebook, Digg and a whack of other places. I find I use my Read it Later list as a pre-bookmarking list. I may read the article once and decide I’m done and mark it read and never look at it again. Or I may decide I want to keep it and bookmark it to Delicious. Your usage may vary depending on what sites you use. The sharing options only come with the Pro version, and while this is one of the more expensive apps I’ve bought, the price is totally worth it.
This app pulls birthday information from your contacts and Facebook friends and puts them into an attractive interface. You can also add occasions for the people in your lives who aren’t in your Contacts or on Facebook (like my two year-old daughter). You can also pull holiday information from 44 countries and six religions – super-useful if you’re like me and never remember exactly what day certain holidays fall on.
The interface is clean and easy-t0-read and you can choose from several backgrounds. Push notifications are available (and customizable) and you can contact the birthday person directly from the app. Great for those “oh crap! it’s so-and-so’s birthday! I need to call/Facebook/text them. Where is their @#$% number again?” The whole app is very customizable. You don’t have to have all of your Facebook friends’ birthday information loaded into this app. (I use it for my nearest and dearest only). The help/troubleshooting and tutorial sections are very well done.
Momento is a diary/journal app that you can input “moments” into – brief thoughts you want to record. It also imports your “social moments” – your Twitter feed, Flickr pictures, Facebook updates and last.fm songs. While you may not think you need yet another place to track those moments, I’ve been really enjoying the calendar-style interface, which shows me just how social I’ve been. I’ve been using this app as a mini-diary for the things I don’t want to (or shouldn’t) share with the world. You can tag places, people, events or create custom tags. Photos can also be added to your moments. Finally the moment itself can be rated from 1-5 stars. I find I’m not using a lot of these features yet, but I’ve only been playing with this app for a couple of weeks. I’ve heard that beta testing is happening for the next version and I’m excited to see what’s coming in that release. Moments can be backed up into an XML plist file, which is readable by a text editor. You lose the pictures, but if you saved those in your Camera Roll, you should be okay.
Streaks is a motivational calendar that allows you to track how many times you’ve completed a goal by marking a big red X on a calendar. You can track multiple goals (each gets their own calendar) and there is a push notification option to see what your longest streak currently is. Right now, I’m using this app to track how often I’m blogging but you could use it for tracking exercise, diet or the days since your last smoke. This type of calendar can be very motivating so it’s nice to be able to create one on the go.
Free (pay version available)
The reason I picked up this app was because I wanted to do batch uploads to Flickr – the official app only allows one picture to go at a time. I like that I can control each picture’s set and tags individually. You can also set the pictures to be blogged or Twittered once the photo is uploaded. Simple, easy-to-use, and it works. A great app for all iPhone users who post to Flickr.
$0.99 (free version available)
I won’t go into big detail about this incredibly popular game. You fling birds towards pigs with the intent to squash them. It is very addicting and is totally worth the hype. I started with the Lite version and had to buy the full one so I could play more levels. Absolutely worth the 99 cents.
I like urbandictionary.com. It keeps me aware of how the kids talking these days. Slango is a portable version of the site that allows you to search for specific terms. I find it helpful when there’s a term in a book or online I don’t understand. It’s also useful if I just heard some kid say something that sounds filthy and I want to confirm it for myself.
That and the random word lookup often makes me giggle.
To all the other iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad users out there: what are your favourite apps? Tell me about them in the comments. I still have money on the iTunes cards I got for my birthday and now that you can use a gift card to pay for apps in Canada, it’s easier not to run up your credit card on iTunes.
*Disclaimer, no one paid me to review these apps, or gave me free apps to try out. These are genuine reviews of apps I use regularly that I paid for myself.