Now that I’ve had my iPhone for a while, I can officially say that it has made my life better. It really is a joy to use, and one of the first devices to be intuitive and all-in-one.
I use it for: journaling, keeping lists, scheduling meetings, listening to podcasts, emailing, facebooking, listening to music/making music, checking finances, watching the stars, administering remote servers, dictating notes, reading the news, text messaging, and sometimes I even use it as a phone 😉
So, in no particular order, here are my ten favorite iPhone apps that have made my life better:
- Pandora: This app lets you stream songs based on your musical tastes. You basically put in an artist and it creates a “channel” for you which is a collection of songs by that artist and others that are similar. So when I put in jack johnson, I get dave matthews and john mayer. It’s a great way to discover new artists as well, and if you like a song it makes it easy for you to buy it on iTunes.
- Gratitude!: One of the best ways to stay happy is to keep some kind of gratitude journal where you log five things that your grateful for each day. This little app makes it fun rather than a chore. It also has inspiration quotes that it displays. I feel happier already!
- Ocarina: I don’t use this app a lot but it makes my list just for inventiveness. It basically turns your iphone into a flute-like device. You blow into the microphone and press buttons on the top like a flute. There is even sheet music out there for it. I fairly easily learned how to play amazing grace on it by following some music. But the thing that puts it over the top, is that you can look a globe and hear others playing all over the world.
- Mint: Mint.com is *the* site to track your money on. It shows you your spending habits and it is so easy to use that I finally retired my copy of Microsoft Money. This app integrates with the site and shows you a subset of the info on your phone. Nice for seeing quickly how the bank balances are doing and getting alarms for crossing budget thresholds.
- GoSkyWatch: When I’m looking at the stars with the kids in the backyard, I always wished I could identify more constellations. Well, with GoSkyWatch, I can just plug in the direction I’m facing and it will show me all the constellation names based on my location and time of day.
- WinAdmin: This remote desktop client for the iPhone came in handy when I was on vacation at DisneyWorld and I needed to remote into a server to fix an issue.
- Facebook: I’m not a huge facebooker, but I love the fact that I can easily update my status and pictures while on the guy as well as quickly checking in with friends pages from my phone.
- Jott: Every now and then when I’m driving, I’ll get what I think is a brilliant idea, but I have no way to write it down. And we all know the typing into your phone while driving is dangerous. This app solves that problem by allowing you to talk into your phone and then translating your recorded message to text.
- NY Times: I’m not a huge fan of the New York Times, but they really nailed how to present news in an iPhone friendly format with this little app. It’s become part of my morning ritual to fire this up while drinking my coffee.
- Public Radio Tuner: I’m a huge fan of Car Talk and Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me on NPR. It always stinks if I’m out of town on Sat morning and have to miss them. Now, no matter where I am, I can use this app to find and listen to a public radio station.
Even though I’ve found some great apps, I always look forward to hearing about new ones so let me know what cool apps you can’t live without!
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -Arthur C. Clarke