This past June I purchased my first smartphone, the iPhone 4, and it is a pretty awesome device. I think people who have had a smartphone for a while forget how little you can do with a basic cellphone.
I love this phone for many reasons, but it is especially nice to have for the 70 minute train ride I take to and from NYC five days a week for my internship. The other day for example, I was able to pay my phone bill (paying your phone bill with your phone makes it almost fun), request a book from my library and read all the blogs i subscribe to on my google reader. The iphone allows you to actually do productive work while on the train and now I don’t have to worry about those things when I get home.
The iphone 4, like most Apple products, was really simple to learn how to use. I’m sure I still am not using the phone to its full potential but I have a lot of fun learning about new apps I can download to constantly make my phone more useful and fun for me to use.
Today I thought I would make a list of my Top 5 Most Useful iPhone Apps. This list is made up of apps I had to download from the app store (they did not come with the phone) and I find them useful. I will create another post later to talk about my favorite fun iphone apps.
1. Feeddler RSS
There are a lot of blog reader options out there that can automatically connect to your Google Reader subscriptions. In all honestly I randomly picked this one out of the app store based on the number of stars it had based on customer reviews. (Those stars really help!) I have had no complaints with this reader. It organizes things nicely, doesn’t crash and loads quickly. I use this every morning to catch up on new posts!
2. The Weather Channel
Sorry if I am stating the obvious here, but this is a great app. I know Apple Weather comes with the phone but this app organizes things nicely with tabs for Current, Hourly and 10-Day forecasts. It has also been surprisingly accurate.
3. Ride MNR
If you ever find yourself riding the Metro-North Rail Road this app is AWESOME. It has all the departure times for all stations in the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven Rail lines. It sure beats those paper pamphlets from Grand Central that seem to get updated every week.
4. My Verizon/Chase Mobile
Obviously if you use another bank or cellphone company you would download those apps accordingly. This is just to highlight how awesome it is to have a mobile bank app and apps to pay your bills. Paying bills via phone is super easy. Just make sure you include a passcode on your phone and always log-out after using one of these applications.
Shazam is something I have been waiting my whole life for. It allows you to record a quick 5-second clip of a song and magically manages to figure out the song name and artist. Until this app I was the person who would frantically look for a scrap piece of paper in my handbag or write notes in my phone trying to catch a few broken lyrics so I could google search them later. This app works pretty consistently and has even been able to pick up some slightly obscure music. I even tested it out on the “Bedroom Intruder” Song and it recognized it. If you download the free app you can only search for 5 songs per month, but for $3.99 you get unlimited searching for 1 year- a price I though was rather reasonable.
All of these apps are rather popular and easy to find through a quick search of the Apple App store. They have made my iPhone experience more useful and therefore more enjoyable, and I look forward to discovering even more useful apps in the future.