What’s on *your* iPhone?

This is for the ben­e­fit of friends with iPhones–to get a feel for what sorts of appli­ca­tions I have installed and how I go about orga­niz­ing them.

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These are the appli­ca­tions I use all the time and always want handy. They include:

  • PCalc — A nice engi­neer­ing and programmer’s cal­cu­la­tor. When the phone is upright, it’s a reg­u­lar cal­cu­la­tor; when it is on its side, it is a real sci­en­tific calculator–not the crappy one that ships with the iPhone. You can choose between RPN or stan­dard order-of-operations-with-parentheses, you can switch between bases (dec­i­mal, hex, binary, octal), you get all sorts of func­tions, unit con­ver­sions, and con­stants. It’s a real cal­cu­la­tor.
  • Mail, Calendar, Clock — We all know these. I use the clock as a wake-up alarm in the morn­ing and as a tea-timer later in the day.
  • VNC — For remote-controlling Mac, Linux, and Windows boxes at home and around the office. I ponied up for the full ver­sion instead of the Lite one.
  • Weather, Photos, Camera, Maps — Again, stock apps
  • Whrrl — to quickly locate and read reviews of busi­nesses (usu­ally restau­rants and bars) around me or around town
  • Yelp — much like Whrrl; seems to work bet­ter for “find places near me” whereas Whrrl seems to work bet­ter for “find places near that movie the­ater over there”
  • Urbanspoon — a slot-machine-style restau­rant picker. You have wheels for loca­tion, food style, and price. Let them spin or lock them in place, shake the phone, and out pops a restau­rant sug­ges­tion.
  • Evernote — At first, I was not sure that I would ever use the desktop+web Evernote ser­vice. Now I find I can’t live with­out it. It’s basi­cally a set of note­books that are syn­chro­nized between a web ser­vice, a desk­top appli­ca­tion, and the phone. It’s great for quickly cap­tur­ing notes on the phone or copy-and-pasting things from web­pages to send to the phone. Last night, I used the main com­puter to find a recipe, pasted it in the Evernote desk­top app, then car­ried the iPhone into the kitchen and used it as a fancy recipe card.
  • Brightkite — This isn’t an app, but a short­cut to the iPhone ver­sion of their web­site. Location-based stuff, like Dodgeball would have been had Google not killed it.
  • Twitterrific — If you use Twitter, you need this. I don’t use it enough to have bought the paid ver­sion; I’m still using the ad-supported free one.
  • NetNewsWire — The desk­top ver­sion of NetNewsWire syncs with the NewsGator web-based news reader, which syncs with this iPhone appli­ca­tion. If I mark an arti­cle as read or flagged in any one place, it syn­chro­nizes every­where.

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These are use­ful apps or apps I’m eval­u­at­ing to be use­ful, but I prob­a­bly do not use them every­day.

  • App Store — Stock appli­ca­tion
  • Pandora — Holy crap, this is a nice client for the Pandora “per­son­al­ized stream­ing radio sta­tion” ser­vice
  • AOL Radio — I hon­estly haven’t used this more than show­ing it off to peo­ple. It’s radio. You can get local sta­tions or ones around the coun­try. With sta­tion IDs and ads.
  • YouTube — Stock app
  • MySpace, Facebook, AIM, Pownce — Dedicated clients for all of these ser­vices. Nothing spe­cial. I actu­ally don’t use them very much at all.
  • Exposure — A slick inter­face to Flickr. Especially nice is the “show me pho­tos geo­t­agged with loca­tions near where I’m cur­rently stand­ing.”
  • BoxOffice — movie times and loca­tions
  • Remote — Control iTunes from afar
  • Cocktails — a fancy data­base of alco­holic bev­er­ages.
  • WordPress — write blog posts from the phone.
  • GeoHash — If you know the xkcd comic about geo­hash­ing, you know what this is for; oth­er­wise, I can’t ade­quately explain it here.
  • GeopherLite — A sim­ple “I am here; I want to be there” GPS appli­ca­tion. It gives you your lat­i­tude and lon­gi­tude in plain num­bers (some­thing most apps hide from you) and gives you dis­tance and direc­tion to your tar­get. It loosely inte­grates with the Geocaching web­site.
  • 1Password — An exten­sion of the 1Password desk­top appli­ca­tion (for securely stor­ing pass­words, credit cards, notes, and mail­ing addresses).

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  • Bejeweled 2 — I had this on the Treo and loved it. I’m glad they made an iPhone ver­sion
  • Platinum Solitaire — A fancy set of soli­taire games, with gam­bling and achieve­ments and fea­ture unlock­ing. The first ver­sion was slow to load. Their most recent update speeds this up, but it’s still a lit­tle slow to load. It’s not slow enough that I’d risk spend­ing money on a dif­fer­ent soli­taire app, though.
  • Sudoku Unlimited — A great lit­tle basic Sudoku game. I tried the Electronic Arts one and Platinum Sudoku–both of which were slow to load (13 sec­onds for EA and some­thing like 15 or 20 for Platinum.) That was entirely too long for a game you want to bust out, fill in a few num­bers, and put away a minute later (15 sec­onds is a quar­ter of your time wasted watch­ing a load­ing screen!) The Sudoku Unlimited inter­face is quick to load and easy to use. It offers sev­eral skins. The default yellow-pad-with-post-it-notes skin was gim­micky at first, but I’ve grown to like it a lot.
  • Aki Mahjongg — A super-fast Mahjongg soli­taire. Highly rec­om­mended.
  • Aurora Feint — a Bejeweled-like game with the promise of being a massively-multiplayer game. Lots of peo­ple rave about it. I’ve yawned about it.
  • HaHaHa — A pro­mo­tion for The Dark Knight; you take a photo and can add Joker makeup to it.
  • World 9 — It uses the motion sen­sors such that when you jump, you get a Mario jump­ing sound effect. That’s all it does, but I have got­ten hours of enter­tain­ment from it.
  • Dizzy Bee — A fun gravity-based game. You spin the phone around and a lit­tle round bee rolls around, col­lects fruit, and avoids mon­sters.
  • PhoneSaber — Much like World 9, you swing the phone around and get light saber noises

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Stuff I don’t really use.

  • Settings — Well, actu­ally, I still use this a lot. I just pushed it off to the last screen.
  • Calculator — Why use this when I have PCalc?
  • Notes — Why use this when I have Evernote?
  • Stocks — Why use this at all?
  • Contacts — This is just an undeletable short-cut to a screen in the Phone appiTunes — I’d rather buy my tunes from the desk­top. Or from a non-DRM’ed ven­dor.
  • 3D Sense — It scans and decodes 2D bar­codes. Useful, but not everyday-useful.
Posted in: Dear Diary iPhone

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