I got my iPhone right before BlogHer last year. I had been putting it off because I had a $200 cancellation fee with Sprint that I was unwilling to pay. I finally couldn’t take it any more because there is a lot of iPhone talk on the Internet. Have you noticed?
I am overwhelmed with how much I love this thing, and not just because of the fun factor and getting in the club. I am so much more organized now that it was totally worth that stiff penalty. I know that a lot of people complain about AT&T service, but I have not had problem one.
Before I got my iPhone I kept hearing people say OMG, PLEASE STOP SAYING APP! and thought I would never be that much of a nerd. I guess that word is irritating to a lot of people. I find myself saying app at least five times a day now and I am unapologetic. I show total strangers apps I have on my phone. They are grateful. If you know me in real life, I have undoubtedly irritated you with all my app-talking. If I suggest one to you I will feel personally slighted if you don’t immediately download my app recommendation.
Here’s what I do on my iPhone, more or less in order of importance. I hope you find these apps useful, and by that I mean download them or I will pout:
1. Check my email. This comes with the iPhone. Just add your email account in the settings app.
2. Put all meetings, appointments and kid stuff/deadlines on my Google calendar and set alerts. This also comes with the phone, but I use my Google account calendar and it gets synced when email does. This has changed my life. I used to miss a lot of appointments.
3. Text my mom, friends and babysitter. There are a lot of text applications, but I prefer the default messages app already on the phone.
4. and 5. Check on Twitter. I use Echofon. It’s free, easy to use and has all of the Twitter lists on there as well. When I see someone tweet what could be an interesting article, I use Read it Later to, you guessed it, read it later when I have more time. I will fall straight down the rabbit hole if I don’t focus on one thing at a time. When you download Read it Later, you will get a prompt to save an article when you tap on a link in your Twitter app. I also use Tweetdeck but I can’t use Read it Later with it as far as I can tell.
6. Shazam songs on the radio. There is a free version, but I paid for Shazam Red. Twenty percent of the $4.99 price goes to fight AIDS in Africa. This coolness will listen to a song that is playing when you tap Tag. It records a snippet and matches it to the song. You never have to wonder what a song is again! It even works in noisy casino bathrooms, right Janet?
7. Play the scrabble game Words with Friends. If you like scrabble, you will love WWF. I play with my mom, the girl at my nail salon, my step-daughter, Maria, and some other peeps. Just find out your friend’s username and send them a game invite. I’m counting on this app to keep me from getting Alzheimer’s, because I don’t do crossword puzzles and Sudoku makes me crabby.
8. Play Bejeweled. I love it and it’s free. I’m too cheap to pay for Tetris. My daughter is great at it.
9. Distract my cage-fighting kids with the Smack Talking guinea pig. He records what you say to him and then repeats it in squeak speak. Adorable. My kids will listen to the guinea pig even if they won’t listen to me.
If the pig fails me I go with Would You Choose… They get a kick out of the quirky questions in the categories of gross-out, hilarious and bizarre. They even take turns and wait for others to answer. It’s magic.
10. Read blogs on my Google Reader. When I’m away from my computer I can check my reader on my phone. Basically, lines are meaningless to me now. It’s an opportunity to catch up.
11. Listen to Pandora radio. This one is truly amazing. You create an Internet radio station based on an artist or song you like. Your radio station will then play that artist and song and other similar music it thinks you will like. I prefer Pandora to buying iTunes songs because it’s free and I discover new stuff I wouldn’t even know to look for otherwise. Can’t say enough. Seriously.
12. Check the forecast on AccuWeather. I like the radar feature. The Weather Channel is also great.
13. Instantly find out the price of a house for sale. Realtor.com and Zillow both use your location to pull up the prices of nearby houses for sale and listings sold, complete with pictures and realtor info. Just make sure you pull the car over first. I make myself sick checking the falling real estate prices in my neighborhood.
14. Keep all my loyalty cards in CardStar. A friend turned me on to this brilliance. You input the barcode number of all your store cards and it creates a scannable image. Then you don’t have to carry them with you. I used to be annoyed by loyalty cards, but I’m considering getting more since this app makes it easy to keep track of them. It’s very cool.
15. Read the news. For $.99 you can buy the Info Junkie app. It has the major news outlets, gossip blogs, sports info, tech news and weather all under one app. You can even add the urls of other sources you would like to read on this app and delete the ones that don’t interest you.
16. Find stuff I need. I use Around Me to find businesses nearby. I use Flixter to find the movies that are out and where they are playing. Both give you maps to the location.
17. Pay bills. I use my bank’s app to check my balance and pay bills. Most large banks have their own app.
18. Educate the young’uns. I am amazed at the quality of the educational apps for kids of all ages. Here are a few we use. KidCalc, The States, See Read Say, Pocket Phonics Lite and Kids Math Lite.
19. Take better photos. I’m a novice photographer, but I use Camera Plus to zoom and add flash, and Photoshop Mobile to enhance the pictures I take. They are both free and make a huge difference in the quality of phone pics. You can upload pictures from Camera Plus directly to Facebook and Flickr.
20. Look for new and fun apps in the App Store. Even more apps!! The new Genius feature in Featured apps is addictive. It recommends new apps to you based on the ones you already have.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. I’m a little app happy, and I’m dying to get your recommendations!