iPhone app recommendations – free apps

The iPhone is now an approved device for Best Buy corporate users, which is excellent. Even better, personal phones can now be attached to corporate email/calendar, which is a huge improvement.

The result is that we’re getting new iPhone users, and several of them have asked me to recommend iPhone applications. Therefore I present the following list, which does not purport to be exhaustive, of iPhone apps that I find worth having around.

Free Apps

Google Mobile App – Google search (including voice search, which works well), Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Reader, and more. It’s Google on your phone. Essential.

Pandora – play Pandora streams on your phone. If you’re not using Pandora, you’re missing out – it’s the best music discovery engine in the Milky Way Galaxy. Essential.

Facebook – Facebook on your iPhone. If you use Facebook, the iPhone app is really neat. Useless if you don’t use Facebook, though.

NYTimes – NY Times headlines and stories. Ad-supported. Excellent for catching up on current events when you have some downtime.

Urbanspoon – The first app that convinced me the iPhone was something special. Location-aware listings of restaurants, so you can find the ones near you. Couple that with reviews/ratings and menu information, and you have something really neat. Unlike Yelp, which is unfocused and therefore (to me) useless.

myWireless – the first app that *should* have been released for the iPhone. It lets you monitor usage and adjust rate plans and features as needed. My daughter got a cell phone over the weekend (not an iPhone!) and I went through 175 text messages in four days, so I upped my text messaging plan using this app. Very hand.

myLite – it’s both useful (you can go with a plain white screen so your iPhone is a light source) and entertaining (it has a lighter screen).

Now Playing – find movie showtimes near you. Really handy for that instant-access-to-information moment that makes you so happy to have an iPhone.

Sportacular – Sports junkies rejoice; box scores, schedules, standings and more for a wide variety of sports.

OpenTable -Dinner reservations made incredibly easy. Last week I made dinner reservations for two on the way to the car and was seated 15 minutes later.

RunKeeper Free – If you run, RunKeeper is really handy – handy enough that I bought the paid version, but since there’s a free one, give it a whirl. If you don’t run, skip it.

Bing – Alternative to Google; stronger map/direction features, not as many app integrations.

Gowalla – I’m still trying this one out; see my previous blog post on location to get a sense of my feelings. I think there’s a lot of potential, but location itself is not enough. Gowalla is trying to do more on top of that, which may work. Worth trying.

Paid apps are coming in the next post.

2 thoughts on “iPhone app recommendations – free apps

  1. Jeff Tidball

    Instapaper is a must-have for read-me-later caching of long web articles. Both paid and free versions exist. Frictionless integration with web-based Instapaper and NetNewsWires.

    Simplenote kicks the hell out of the native notes app, with painless syncing to dashboard widgets and web service.

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