Top Ten | Essential iPhone Apps 2013
Essential iPhone Apps
I put together a list of what I consider the essential apps for iPhone 5 owners. Apps can be an expensive habit, so hopefully this information and my experience can help you avoid some of the experimental costs and cut to the chase. Please leave comments as to your experience with the apps and others you feel are worth a try.
This has become a staple on our iOS devices and takes away the frustration of hearing a song or tune on the radio or in a coffee shop and not knowing what it is. The app identifies almost any song via your smartphone’s microphone then provides you with lyrics that scroll along with the music. If you choose to, you can click to buy the song via iTunes or integrate into Rdio if you are a subscriber. You can also look up your search history later and acquire the song for your collection. It’s been around for a long time; I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. Great Application!
This is a game more for the kids when I’m in a pinch to keep them occupied. It’s a single player game that you focuses on ducking and dodging obstacles. The kids may get a little frustrated when they realize they just jumped off a cliff rather than turning right, but it’s great to see them determined to get better and go further, with the reward being upgrades and the chance to score more points. There are a series of new Temple Runs that have been launched some with movie tie-ins.
What can you say about Evernote that hasn’t already been written or said? Evernote is the ultimate productivity app and is an essential app for anyone interested in effectively managing their life. I use it to write notes to myself, create to-do lists and set tasks, as well as record voice reminders and sync them across all my devices (iMac, Macbook Air, PC, iPhone and iPad). It adopts the concept of notebooks that contain different subjects. For example, I have folders for each family member, work, home, my blog and many others. The ability to search Evernote is enhanced by the use of tags and the premium offering allows you to search within PDF documents. Like everything that is cloud-based, make sure your data is secure and that you have a strong password that you change frequently.
I like this app because it’s simple. It’s a nice compliment to Evernote to allow me to manage quick and simple tasks. There are lots of great task management apps out there, each working harder in order to provide something different to stand out. Clear, however, has taken a Zen approach – very simple. You would think that this was a native iOS application with no buttons to deal with, and the use of gestures to add, delete and complete your to-do list. It continues to get great reviews and they really don’t need to do too much to enhance the application beyond integration to SIRI and Location Services to perhaps replace the embedded reminders functionality on your iOS device.
Despite the strong competition out there, Dropbox is still the de facto standard for cloud-based cross-platform document management. Once I install this app on my desktop, any file I save in the Dropbox folder appears on all my computers and devices, whether it is my home computer, work computer (if allowed), or mobile devices. I have the ability to view within Dropbox or alternatively select to open the file within a selection of other apps. Of course, if I need to shares files with, say my Virtual assistant, I can quickly share a document or folder by simply forwarding a link. As always, security is key, and I have encrypted certain files using Boxcryptor which is installed on my devices and computers. I purchased the premium offering as you quickly run through the free 2GB, even if you gain some extra MB’s as rewards for certain marketing and usage activities.
I use this application ahead of my iOS’s camera application. Awesome Camera comes with a collection of filters and offers adjustable frame size, presets, textures and even borders for your images, all of which can all be layered to create one-of-a-kind images. I have the ability to post my pictures to all the major social networks and have set up one-tap sharing. You do have to use this as your default camera if you want to benefit from the functionality (because you cannot import a picture for processing from your camera roll). You can, however, transfer your “awesomized” pictures to your device’s camera roll and then share them immediately via iCloud. My family still gets a kick about how my photos on Facebook are posted in the “awesomized” gallery!
Google is aiming to chip away at Siri, potentially converting some iOS device users to its own side along the way. I use SIRI for the key functions it supports, but I use the Google Search application to open the gateway, both using voice and text searches to my Chrome browser and other Google applications loaded on my iOS device. Basically, it means that I can put Google Search on my iPhone’s main page and I don’t have to search through my apps to find the Google app I need.I find the voice recognition excellent and it also brings to my iOS device the Goggle functionality (which allows me to use my camera or a picture).
The go-to mapping service is all you need when it comes to navigation. It is infinitely better than the iOS maps and I’m glad its back.
This is an app that I use a lot each day. It allows me to access my Google Reader subscriptions in a newspaper-like interface, which is very reliable and super-fast at refreshing when new articles are posted. As I wrote in my article on automating Twitter, I star my favorite articles for IFTTT to automatically post to Instapaper and ultimately to tweet. Within Newsify I can star top articles, and if I choose, share directly to various social networks ane e-mail links or full articles straight to my Buffer app for scheduling. I looked at a lot of newsreaders and after testing I determined that Newsify was the app for me with its functionally rich, attractive UI and a great usability.
TThis is one of the most useful utilities on my Mac and iOS devices. Let’s face it, we all have a lot of user accounts and passwords and it’s easy to get lazy and use the same password everywhere. I store all of this information in 1Password, where they are organized, encrypted, and protected. Now the real benefit, especially on an iOS device, is the ability to leverage in-browser application in 1Password and simply click once from the application to login.
The new user interface, both for devices and computers, is very slick and user-friendly. The application has built in categories that can be leveraged to speed up the initial entry, including: Bank, Credit Card, Database, Driver’s License, Email, Identity, Login, Membership, Outdoor License, Passport, Reward Program, Secure Note, Server, Social Security Number, Software License, and Wireless Router. You can also use the browser-based add-ons to add logins to your database as you initially logon, creating a new record or updating an old one.
Now, 1Password doesn’t store the information in their cloud; they ask you to leverage your own file-sharing service, in my case, Dropbox. The application ties to your Dropbox account on all your computers and devices, stores in an encrypted format and syncs when you logon or make changes. I have never encountered a sync problem and my data is safe.