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What’s On My iPhone — Part One

Bobby Travis

This is a post by Bobby Travis, who wrote with me at 40Tech from 2009 through 2012. Bobby has since moved on to bigger and better things, but I've left all of his great contributions up on the site. - Evan
Bobby Travis

image As I’m sure many of you are now aware, I recently caved and bought myself an iPhone. Gone are my days of Windows Mobile mediocrity — I now join the movement of Apple users — at least until I get bored of their proprietary whims and move on to the questionable privacy of an Android phone. In any case, I’m here with the rest of you now and have immersed myself in the wonders of the app store while doing my best to spend as little money as possible. So far, in my two weeks of iPhone ownership, I have acquired over 50 apps and am using five pages of my springboard. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share what those apps are, page by page, along with a micro-review. Please feel free to share yours with me in the comments!  Here’s Page 1:

Springboard Page 1

This is where I keep my quick access apps.

Camera (stock) — Most of the time, the regular camera/recorder app does all I need it to do. I do have Gorilla Cam on my testing page of my springboard, and I’ll talk about it more when I get there (it adds zoom, a level and some other features), but so far, stock has been working just fine!

Qik Video ($1.99) — This is a cool liitle video recorder that has some cute bells and whistles and, more importantly, a Zoom feature. Zoom, even though it lowers the quality, is a must when you are stealthily recording the antics of a near-2 year old.

Photoshop Mobile (Free) — Photoshop Online is a service I used on Windows Mobile as well. It is a great way to get photos to your various online services, especially if you have trouble with the Facebook uploader, which I often do. Great service for editing as well — and a great little app.

iTalk Lite (Free) — This app is perfect for audio recording on the go. The big button makes for easy access and the free desktop software makes for easy syncing to pc. You can also email files to yourself, or someone else, if you like.

Skype All hail a mobile version of Skype that actually works like a phone client! It even uses the proper speaker — the WinMo version did not. Perfect for your home wifi phone as well. Once Skype comes out with the 3G version (on its way, I hear) it will be perfect!

Facebook (Free) — This is the best mobile Facebook client I have used. It’s fast, easy to navigate and generally pretty accurate with the push notifications — not always, but not enough for me to lose the love for it.

Google Buzz (Free Shortcut) — I put this one on the springboard myself by using the bookmark options in mobile Safari that allow you to do so. I’m not sure where this Buzz thing is going, or even if I’ll stick with it, but so far it’s a good way to get quick access to all of my Google Services (sometimes the web apps are just better than the native app integrations, as you can use -all- the features).

Tweetie 2 Pro ($2.99 ) — As Twitter apps go, Tweetie 2 is pretty awesome. I struggled for a bit with the “pay for a Twitter app?” question, and even had TweetDeck installed for a bit (I need multiple accounts, you see), but Tweetedeck, while awesome and powerful was a bit too busy for me. After some throrough research, I went with Tweetie 2 only because I liked the interface better than its closest competitor, Echofon Pro, which costs $4.99.

Message Centre (stock) — I’ve had no need to get a new text messaging app yet, as I’ve yet to find one that (for me) does it better. Everything from a nice interface to easy MMS — add the iPhone keyboard and I now text more than I ever did before.

Google Wave (Free Shortcut) — Another great mobile web app from Google. I use Wave to collaborate with business partners and the like on the go. It loads in Safari quickly and the interface is pretty good overall, even though Wave is still in development.

Action Method Online (Free) — As some of you have probably read, I am fairly invested in my Evernote and GTD methodology. However, I am always looking for new and interesting methods to explore and fine tune my ability to actually complete the buttload of things I invent for myself to do. When I came upon Action Method Online, I wrote about it as an alternative for GTD and now I am playing with their mobile app as well. It’s pretty cool! Their Focus and Advisor features are for the iPhone app only and are worth checking out.

Evernote (Free/Subscription) – Evernote is the mother of all notes programs (we’ve written about it often), and the iPhone has the best version of the Evernote mobile app I have seen to date. Just the fact that it allows for native storage of the database for offline lookup is awesome. And it’s pretty too. If I keep using it like I do, I may need to shell out the $5 bucks per month for the pro upgrade.

reQall (Free/Subscription) — I was using the free version of reQall (we wrote about reQall here and discuss it in the comments here and here) for a bit and then just bit the bullet and went pro. Why? Because it offered Evernote integration and communicates directly with my Google Calendar (which I have synced to my iPhone calendar). And it only costs $24.99 per year. The eyes free memo recording (which is transcribed to text by reQall) is particularly cool, as is the way the service handles reminders when you have a lot of things on your plate. Highly recommended even in the free subscription.

Calendar, Contacts and Settings (stock) — I keep these where I can get at them quickly and easily, and have (so far) not needed more than the basics. The Calendar and Contacts sync with Google via MS Exchange and the Settings options have been more than enough for me so far. If anyone has a high recommendation for an alternative for either, I’m happy to hear it!

Google Mobile App (Free) — I had to add this as I like it enough that it’s now on my standard bar (the one that’s there on all screens and has the dialer, mail, Safari, etc.). I thought I would have to go Android to have the “search Google by voice” functionality, but Happy Days! it’s on the iPhone too. It also works as a decent jump off point to other Google apps as well. My only issue with this app is that it doesn’t support landscape mode. Small annoyance though, not a dealbreraker. Transcriptions are amazingly accurate, and the built in browser can save time, though I often use “Open in Safari” when I will be doing more than a quick scan.

There you have it. Page 1 of my springboard and likely my most often used apps (next to ComicZeal and Stanza, which I’ll talk about in another post).

What are your most often used or quick-access apps on your iPhone? Got any counters to the ones I mentioned above? Let me know in the comments!