So, got your new iPhone? Congratulations! Now all you need are some apps to go with it. Read on for the 10 iPhone apps that I use practically every day.
1. Instapaper ($5)
Ever come across a long, juicy article on the web that’s a little too long for the iPhone’s web browser? Just save it to Instapaper, an app that formats lengthy web pages for easy reading on the iPhone’s three-and-a-half-inch screen. Just bookmark the online article you want to read, and Instapaper will covert it to a more readable format (complete with your choice of fonts, margins, and backgrounds) and save it to your iPhone’s memory, meaning you can sit back and read even without an Internet connection. Love it.
2. Reeder ($3)
Have a few favorite blogs that you follow on a daily basis? Keep tabs on them with Reeder, which syncs with the free Google Reader service, downloads the latest posts from any blog you choose, and stores them for later viewing on your iPhone. Reeder organizes your various blogs into easy-to-manage feeds, keeps track of unread posts, and automatically deletes the posts you’ve already read—and like Instapaper, Reeder saves its articles to your iPhone’s memory for offline reading.
3. Pandora (free)
The popular—and free—music streaming service offers an excellent app for the iPhone; just sign in to your Pandora account, pick a station (or create a new one), and let the music play. You’ll need an Internet connection (either Wi-Fi or 3G) to listen to tunes on Pandora—and remember that if you’re streaming over your carrier’s 3G connection, your data use will count against your monthly allowance from your cellular carrier (namely, AT&T and Verizon Wireless).
4. Netflix (free)
Have a Netflix streaming video account? If so, you can turn your iPhone into a mini film festival with the free Netflix video app—although again, as with Pandora, you may quickly burn through your monthly allotment of data if you stream videos over your iPhone’s 3G connection. If you’re using Wi-Fi, however, you can watch to your heart’s content.
5. Instagram (free)
The new camera app in Apple’s iOS 5 software update adds such handy editing features as cropping, image enhancement, and red-eye reduction, but you can add an extra layer of artistry to your snapshots with the photo filters in Instagram. The free app also makes it easy to share your pictures on Facebook or Twitter, or with other Instagram users—although you can also keep your photos completely private, if you wish.
6. Kindle for iPhone (free)
Don’t have your own Kindle yet? You won’t need one with Amazon’s Kindle app for the iPhone, which downloads your purchased Kindle books from Amazon’s online Kindle store and lets you flip pages with the swipe of a finger. The Kindle for iPhone app will also sync your bookmarks, notes, and the last page you read with any other Kindle devices you happen to own.
7. Yelp (free)
Exploring a new city or neighborhood, and want to grab a bite to eat? Just fire up Yelp, a free app that pinpoints your location and lists nearby restaurants, ATMs, banks, and other places of interest, complete with phone numbers, hours, and user ratings.
8. Evernote (free)
Don’t let those flashes of inspiration slip away. Evernote lets you jot down your ideas in a digital notebook (you can even attach photos, if you like), which gets automatically synced with the Evernote app sitting on your Mac or PC desktop, or on your iPad. And if you’re feeling social, you can share your notes on Twitter or Facebook.
9. Twitter (free)
Do you tweet? If so, you won’t want to miss the official Twitter app for the iPhone, which lets you post updates, attach images to your tweets, add GPS location info (only if you’re willing, of course), and scan the latest updates from your fellow tweeters. Twitter for iPhone can also send you “push” alerts whenever someone replies to your tweets or sends you a direct message.
10. Facebook (free)
If you’re worried about wasting too much time on Facebook, then avoid this app at all costs. The just-updated Facebook app for iPhone lets you post updates, “like” and comment on the updates from your friends, share photos and links, and even “check in” to restaurants, stores, and other places where you and your buddies happen to be mingling.
So, that’s my list of top-10 iPhone apps. What’s on yours? Post your suggestions below—I’m all ears.