I was an early adapter of the iPhone, and I’ve had every one. Over the past three years, since the development of the App store, my favorite Apps haven’t really changed, just grown. Here are some of the ones that make my life easier, all are free:
iDisk- My iDisk is invaluable. It allows me to sync documents between my three macs, iPad, and iPhone. One function it allows me is taking notes on my laptop and saving them to the iDisk, then viewing them on my phone. So, when finals come around I can study anywhere. I also save PDFs of instruction manuals for things like my cameras and other documents that are handy accessible all the time. The iDisk is 20 GBs so this also allows me to expand the capacity of my iOS devices, I can throw movies and TV shows up there and not take up space on my device. (Downside, you have to be connected via 3G or WiFi to access the iDisk, and requires a MobileMe subscription)
Maps- Undoubtedly one of the best features of a smartphone is having built-in maps. But whenever I’ve been lost, the ease of use of the native Maps application helped soothe my anxiety about getting home. Don’t know where you are? That’s just one tap on the screen. It’s simple to take addresses from other applications and quickly jump to the maps application then route a course. Not having to do a lot of typing is key, because typically this App while driving. It may not talk to you, but it always gets you home.
The Weather Channel- Sorry, iPhone, this 3rd party App has you beat. While the native weather App on the iPhone is okay, The Weather Channel just blows it out of the water. I will say, the iPhone App is nice for checking the forecast in multiple locations. Frequent travelers will like the ability to just flick through different locations. However, the amount of information is seriously lacking. Where the iPhone App gives you a temperature and a cloud or sun icon, The Weather Channel gives you temperature, feels like, wind, humidity, UV Index, dew point, visibility, sunrise, and sunset. Basically, anything and everything you need to know about the weather. Videos, interactive maps, severe weather warnings— it’s got it all.
myAT&T- In my life, I have only been late on my phone bill ONE TIME and it was only by a day. I only knew my bill was late because of a notification from myAT&T, then I was able to pay right from the App. Now I’ve set up a notification for when my bill is posted so I can pay right away. This App also lets you adjust your rate plan, check how many minutes and text messages you’ve used, how many roll-over minutes you have, etc. Not earth-shattering, but pretty handy.
IMDb- The bet winner. What was the name of the girl in that movie? Who directed that one? The idea of IMDb isn’t new. The interface on the App is much better than on the Web site. It’s the only movie App you need, allowing users to check showtimes (sort by theatre or movie), trailers, track a ‘Watchlist’ and search through movies, celebrities, reviews, etc.
Starbucks Mobile Card- Forget your wallet? That’s okay, you can still get your fix. Starbucks now allows you to wave your iPhone instead of swiping a physical Starbucks gift card. This also allows you to track your balance, your stars, reload your gift cards and also combine your gift cards. (Downside: awkward in drive-thru situations).
Run Pee- Honorable mention goes to Run Pee, an App that tells you when to pee during movies. Run Pee allows you to set up push notifications for good pee times, tells you how long you have to take care of business, and gives you a summary of what you missed. Run Pee also tells you if the end credits are worth staying for.