Update: Check Out Summer 2009’s 10 Best, Must Have iPhone Games
The iPhone has come a long way since its inception. It broke barriers with its touch screen, web apps, and, finally, native apps. With over 15,000 apps available, it’s hard to decide which ones are worth your while. I’ve spent my fair share of time (read: a lot) downloading iPhone/iPod Touch apps and, long story short, I’ve uninstalled a good portion of them. Why? Because they either sucked or I never used them.
For your benefit, below is a list of the 25 best iPhone apps and links to get them on iTunes. In my testing, I was also tasked with jailbreaking my iPhone to discover the best of the underground app world (thanks, Eric). So here’s the list, in no particular order. They may not be the “best” or top rated, but they’re my take on what might be the 25 best apps for the Gear Patrol reader… and isn’t that what matters?
Best Pandora iPhone App (um… the only one): Pandora Radio has to be one of my top used apps. When I’m getting bored of listening to what I’ve crammed on my iPhone or just looking for some new music, I open Pandora, enter a name of one of my favorite bands and bam! Pandora creates a station that plays their music or something in the same realm. The service works well over 3G and EDGE and is in the must-have department.
Best iPhone Google Search App: Google mobile is the world in your pocket. With voice search and a “my location” feature, you can find all types of joints within your vicinity. Need to know what the name of those plastic tips on your shoe laces are? Ask Google mobile (I’ll save you the trouble, they’re aglets).
Best iPhone RSS Reader App: Simple design,clear interface, and you can import your RRS feeds from Google reader. Yes, it’s that simple. RSS and efficient-reading junkies need look no further.
Pageonce – A Personal Assistant
Best iPhone Organization Tool App: PageOnce is a cool little app that lets you access various accounts all in one spot. Credit cards, Swiss bank account, Netflix, bills, and whatnot. It pretty much gives you a little summary of what you have going on all over the interwebs. Logins and passwords are securely stored and, if you lose your precious, you can log onto the site and have your content blocked from peering eyes. A $10 premium version of Pageonce is also available that provides detailed financial info, transaction/balances summary screen, 4 digit pass-code, and removes the ads.
Best Integration of iTunes App: Remote allows you to control your iTunes from your iPhone, which is pretty freaking iCool. Paired with an Airport Express and you can have music piped through your whole place. Now, when you bring a lady over you don’t have to go over to your stereo and pop in a CD. Instead, discretely open Remote on your iPhone and get that playlist going, son!
Best iPhone Apps 6-10 on next page
Best File Sharing Tool iPhone App: Mount your iPhone to your PC/MAC as a wireless drive and drag and drop files as you please. It has the ability to view files in many formats and is compatible with most popular OS’s. Now you don’t have to worry about losing that 30gig, tiny-ass thumb drive cause you used it in a vending machine.
Best Movie/TV/Listings iPhone App: One stop shop for movie listings, theater locations, previews, and the almighty TV guide. Browse through TV listings in your area based off your provider and the user generated content lets you know what’s up.
Best (Only) Facebook Addicts iPhone App: I like using this app more than I like actually logging onto Facebook from my PC. Simple, clean, and without all the other mess cluttering up what you’re really trying to look at.
Best iPhone Photo Enhancer App: Camera bag is a must-have if you use your iPhone to take a lot of pics. It allows you to spice up your pictures using different styles of emulation. Miss the white borders and saturated look of your pics when getting crazy with the Polaroid? Yearn no more…
Best Twitter iPhone App: I’m all about keeping things simple and clean. There are various Twitter clients out there and, after using most of them, twitterfon did it for me. I just can’t imagine checking out what’s going on with our new Twitter feed at @GearPatrol without it.
Best iPhone Apps 11-15 on next page
Best iPhone Sports and Stats App: All Sports, all Scores, all Stats, all at your fingertips. Just don’t tell your buddy with the gambling problem about it, he’ll be hitting you up for the Lakers score every 5 min.
Best DJ and Beatmaker iPhone App: Have aspirations of producing or just making fly-ass beats? BeatMaker is pretty much the app to beat. Inspired by professional drum machines, samplers, and sequencers, BeatMaker has the whole nine. You can use samples from preloaded sound-banks, make your own, or cop one from a feature artist. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but, in my opinion, one of the best apps out there.
Best Music Discovery iPhone App Riding the elevator and trying to figure out who the composer is to the fabulous music feeling your ears? I don’t know if Midomi would be that good at recognizing the lame tune invading your airwaves, but it’s pretty good at recognizing anything else. Hum it, sing it, hold it up to the speakers at Pottery Barn (WTF?), and Midomi will search it’s databases magically and give you the skinny.
Craigsphone – Craigslist for iPhone
Best Craigslist iPhone App: Saw a cutie in Starbucks and had a “moment” then are like “Damn, I should have said something!” while you’re walking down the sidewalk sipping on your coffee fantasizing about the possibilities? If this has ever happened to you, then it’s time to whip out your phone a post that missed connection and let fate do its thing. The CraigsPhone app lets you browse the ever-addicting Craigslist, for well, whatever.
Best Flash (Without A Flash) iPhone App: This app is designed to enhance your photos by reproducing the effect of a camera flash. I take a lot of pics with my iPhone and get pretty aggravated when I have a good shot but it comes out crappy due to bad lighting. iFlashReady improves your ability to take good pics with its innovative algorithm and is definitely handy to have.
Best iPhone Apps 16-20 on next page
Best “sell your shit quickly” on eBay iPhone App: Get your eBay on from your iPhone. I mostly use this app to eBay items and price compare, which comes in pretty handy at saving me some loot. “You want how much for that Cuda?” “Shit, there’s one for 7g’s BIN on eBay, sucka!”
Best “Is this restaurant any good?” iPhone App: Your connecting flight from Dallas is canceled and you’re stuck in a hotel in the middle of BFF. Now, you’re looking for a place to enjoy some libations. Well, whip out Yelp and look for the nearest dive or tequila-serving burrito joint. Use Yelp to look for places to shop, eat, drink, read local reviews, then post one yourself. Also comes in handy when you’ve come across a place and wonder if it’s worth the food/drink adventure.
Best “Damn I miss my original GameBoy iPhone App: Does this classic even need an intro? Tetris has been updated with new features and crazy power ups. Waiting in line at the DMV has never been more productive. Though, one can’t help but remember getting to level 87 on the original GameBoy, eyes dry as hell, jumping up and down with finger fury. Good times.
Best “Where the hell should we eat tonight?” iPhone App: You’ve seen the commercials and you know what it does. Shake your iPhone and you’ll get a food recommendation. Beats sitting around hungry or standing in the parking lot after a movie trying to figure out what’s for dinner.
Best “potty humor is still hilarious” iPhone App: How could I not write a list without including an awesome meaningless app that’ll provide hours of fun. Rip a juicy one and blame it on the dog. The best feature of this app? The app description itself is worth a read.
Best iPhone Apps 21-25 on next page. Warning: they’re only for jailbreaked iPhones!
Best Jailbreaked iPhone Apps
As I mentioned earlier, I jailbreaked my iPhone to find the best of what’s “not” out there. The apps I’m about to get into now aren’t official Apple approved apps, and it takes some hax0ring of your iPhone to gain access to them (including the installation of Cydia), but don’t quote me boy, I ain’t said s#!t.
Here’s how to jailbreak your iPhone for the Mac or PC. Gear Patrol, does not condone jailbreaking your iPhone. Yes, there are a lot of interesting utilities and apps out there, but doing this immediately voids your iPhone’s warranty, not to mention you run the risk of bricking it, something that sucks even more.
So… with my journalistic quest in mind (or Eric’s request), I felt compelled to cross the line to bring to you what lies on the unofficial side of iPhone apps.
WinterBoard (Jailbreaked iPhone Only)
Best Customization iPhone App: This app allows you to customize your iPhone to no end. Want to set that sweet pic of one of our gear girls as your wallpaper, check. Want to hear Borat go “Wawaweewoo” every time you get a text, check. Want to text widescreen on a carbon fiber keyboard, check. Full stop.
Cycorder (Jailbreaked iPhone Only)
Best Video Recording iPhone App: This is a video recording app for the iPhone, if you can’t tell. If you didn’t know the iPhone was capable of this awesomeness, well it is. Cycorder shoots at 6-15 frames per second and uses MJPEG compression. The quality isn’t great (to be expected), but just think of the possibilities…
Snapture (Jailbreaked iPhone Only)
Best Camera iPhone App: This is the way the native camera app on the iPhone should have been created. Apple has been slacking. Snapture adds advanced features to your iPhone’s picture-taking capabilities like: digital zoom, B&W mode, auto-rotation, and burst mode.
iPhoneModem (Jailbreaked iPhone Only)
Best Modem Tethering iPhone App: iPhone modem allows you to tether your iPhone to a PC and use it’s access to the interwebs. For those situations when you’re nowhere near civilization, but for some reason have cell service, iPhoneModem will allow you to use every last drop of that 3G service you so dearly pay for with AT&T. Now, if only there were an EVDO version.
iBlacklist (Jailbreaked iPhone Only)
Best “Um, you shouldn’t have seen that text” iPhone App: Have you ever been in a situation where someone is checking out your iPhone and all of a sudden and text comes up with 160 ridiculously inappropriate characters? Yeah, that type of text. Now your friend, girlfriend/wife, or boss has seen it in all its glory. Not awesome. iBlacklist is a handy app that lets you do all types of things, from hiding SMS notifications (worth the effort of admission), to sending your uncle Rasmussen straight to voicemail. I could write a whole article on the dandiness of this app… check it out.
25 Best iPhone App Runner Ups on next page
5 Honorable Mention Apps:
Shazam (Free): A fantastic, quick, and easy to find any song you want. Anywhere. Anytime.
iHandy Level (Free): A gorgeous looking set of tools (only the level is free) that makes your iPhone a handy around-home tool.
WhatTheFont (Free): Ever see a cool graphic or text and wonder what font it is? This tool will make the process of finding out simple.
Solitaire Free (Free): It’s unfortunate the iPhone doesn’t come preloaded with some decent games. At no-cost this one’s good to have.
Tap Forms ($4.99): Spreadsheets are boring as hell, but they do come in useful. Tap Forms helps you create databases of anything from your personal finances to an inventory of your music collection.
Bonus: Gear Patrol Home Screen Icon
This isn’t an iPhone app, but its still awesome, and free. Make sure to grab the Gear Patrol icon on your iPhone screen. Visit gearpatrol.com on your iPhone, bookmark the site, and hit “add to home screen”. The GP cog should automatically show up for you. If you add it to your main page and check daily, all the better.
Are there any iPhone or iPod Touch apps you can’t live without? Make sure and let us know below in the comments.