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.
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.
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).
- 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
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.