5 iPhone Apps I Use Daily

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

As a loyal Verizon customer, it took me a while to make the switch to AT&T and the iPhone.  But when my previous phone bit the dust, I began looking at the iPhone a little more closely.  While the Blackberry is useful, I am also a loyal Apple customer, and knew the iPhone would probably be more compatible with the computers I use every day.  Also, the iPhone's monthly plans cost less than the Blackberry plans.  Why pay more to use a non-Apple product?  That's just ridiculous, in my book.  So I made my split with Verizon, bought the iPhone and had my number ported over to AT&T.  So far, so good.

The iPhone does all the main business stuff: phone, email, syncs your complete address book, etc.  The applications (apps), however, are what make it shine and set it apart from the other smart phones on the market.  (Disclaimer: Aside from the Blackberry, I am not really familiar with the other smart phones on the market, so this is going to be completely biased.  Roll with it.)  Here are five of the apps I use often and you can get them through iTunes:

Google Reader: I don't remember if this one was through the iTunes app store or if I found the link online, but it was free and it was different than the Reader app I had for the iPhone previously.  I prefer this one because it acts more like the Reader I use online, allowing me to star posts and scroll through new updates quickly while I'm waiting for appointments.  If you can't find this one in the App store, simply set your iPhone browser to www.google.com/reader/i and then create a shortcut for it. 

Twitterrific: This is an app for Twitter and I love it because of its simple interface.  I also hate being interrupted by text messages from Twitter, so I wanted something that didn't require me to use my texting service.  I can easily scroll through new Twitter updates and replies or direct messages to me are color coded so that I don't miss any of those either.  It makes updating Twitter on the go easy as well, which is half the point of Twitter anyway.  I use the free version which has small ads that I don't even notice (there is an ad-free version called Twitterrific Premium) and it works perfectly for me.

QuickVoice: True to Getting Things Done form, when I have an idea or thought about something I try to capture it so I'll remember it later by writing it down.  The built-in notes app on the iPhone is great for this. However, texting while driving is the equivalent of having more than two alcoholic drinks (plus is illegal in Phoenix and some other places), which puts the kibosh on that method should an idea come while in the car.  QuickVoice allows you to record short messages and save them for later, so you can still capture your thoughts on the go.  This app is also free of charge.

RingCentral: The RingCentral app is genius because it allows me to easily place outgoing calls from my business line right from my iPhone (which has a different, personal number) so that my business number is what shows up on the receiver's caller ID.  The app is free, but you do need a RingCentral account to use it.  It also syncs with my iPhone address book, which is my complete address book from my computer, meaning that I can dial anyone from my business line and don't need to sync those contacts twice.

Gratitude: This is a gratitude journal app that comes thanks to a recommendation from wedding photographer Laura Novak and was just released earlier this month.  It is 99 cents from Happy Tapper and is well worth all 99 pennies.  I am a huge proponent of keeping a gratitude journal, and this app allows you to do so easily and from anywhere.  It arranges everything by date, allowing you to keep an ongoing journal for each day, and also gives you the capability to email yourself each entry.  I honestly found myself pulling out my phone in the middle of Safeway when I saw blackberries on sale for $1 a package, and typing in that I was grateful to live in a place where fresh and healthy food is so readily available and affordable.  A little ridiculous? Maybe.  Important to notice the small things in life?  Always.

There are many more apps than this, including ones that track mileage and other business finances, but these are the five that I use on a daily basis. Do you have an iPhone? Which apps are your favorite?

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