iPhone Apps – What’s On Your First Page?

I am a big … iPhone captive. I’ve previously listed the problems I have with the iPhone, Apple’s App Store, AT&T, etc. But at the moment I wouldn’t trade it. (Next year may be a different story as the Android market matures. I do miss Verizon’s data network.)

But there a bunch of Apps I really like. I was going to try and list them all, but I have a life. Instead I thought I would list the apps the make it onto my first page.

To make it onto the first page, an app has to be something I use all the time; something I rely on. This precludes games, and most of the streaming media apps I do so love. Also, the awesome MLB At Bat app is not on the first page. So this list is informed by usage, which is not the same as value. (I bet I spend more time in WunderRadio than anything else).

So. What do we have here?

Quick Access – The Four Dock Applications

My Dock is pretty traditional. Phone, Mail, Safari are probably on everyone’s Dock. Instead of the iPod app though, I have Tweetie 2 (sometimes Twittelator Pro; something about the egg makes me laugh). I twitter enough to warrant it. Having Phone let’s me jettison Contacts from the front page, which frees up valuable space. Contacts is back on page nine.

The List

  • Calendar
  • Evernote
  • Camera
  • Messages
  • iPod
  • Google Maps
  • AccuWeather
  • 11C Scientific Calc
  • Amazon
  • Kindle
  • Wikiamo
  • Perfect Browser 2
  • BeejiveIM
  • OneTeam
  • Newsstand/Byline

The Explanations

Calendar is a must; I sync with my Google account and Calendar blends a bunch of different calendars into one spot.

Evernote is lovely; I use it as a note-taking app for all manner of things, from grocery lists to idea capture.

Camera, well of course. Even the fairly awful iPhone camera is good enough for lots of stuff, and most importantly I always have it with me!

Messages is still there, mainly because my wife is prone to texting me from her Blackberry. Most other folks IM me.

The iPod app is a bit of a malingerer; you can get to it via the home key double-tap, so it is a bit redundant. Still, even I use the iPod frequently.

Google Maps is used a lot as a generic geo search tool.

Of several weather apps I have tried, AccuWeather has stuck to the front. Weatherbug is nice, but somehow not quite as useful. I really wish Weather Underground had an app for weather of their own.

11C Scientific Calculator app is a personal choice. RLM Software doesn’t appear to have a 15C flavor for the iPhone, which is what I really want (I still have and use my meatspace 15C bought in 1984 at the Penn State Student Bookstore), but the 11C version is fast, works seamlessly in landscape or portrait mode, and doesn’t annoyingly beep like the HP apps. My 4th grader is baffled by RPN when I use it, which is fun.

Amazon’s app is really nice — I use it to buy things, obviously (I love Amazon Prime!). But I also use it as a customer review site when I am buying nearly anything. My only complaint is that you can’t by MP3’s via the app. I know you couldn’t download them directly to the iPhone, but several times I’ve wished to purchase an album with my phone and then download the mp3’s later. Oh well.

Amazon makes a second appearance with the Kindle app, which I find … sufficient. Not a Kindle however.

Wikiamo is my favorite dedicated iPhone Wikipedia app. There are several, Wikiamo was the first I liked. Wikiamo is where I go to answer all those random questions people ask.

Perfect Web Browser 2 is oddly named, but it is really fast, really stable, handles tabs well, and has a very nice full screen implementation. The recent update has jumped it past Oceanus in terms of utility. I need a second browser because of how much time I spend streaming background audio through Mobile Safari/Quicktime. When that is happening, you need a separate browser so as to not disturb things. Perfect Browser 2 is so much improved since the last update that it is a candidate to swap with Safari on the dock.

BeejiveIm has recently supplanted IMPlus as my main IM client. Works well, looks nice, doesn’t crash. The newest release claims group chat support. I need Jabber group chat support for work (my whole team relies on a persistent developer chatroom), but I don’t use BeejiveIm for that…

OneTeam is the best (only?) full Jabber solution. It is Jabber only, but it works really well. I am using 3.2.1, which has been submitted to Apple but is not yet available in the App Store. 3.2.1 fixed a bug with Openfire servers that was driving me nuts. My thanks to the OneTeam, er, team for their help in resolving this issue. For Jabber, OneTeam works fabulously.

Finally, I use Google Reader extensively for information consumption. For a long time I used Perfect Browser (or Oceanus, prior to Perfect Browser) to access Google Reader on my phone, but lately I have been bouncing between Newsstand and Byline. Both work well enough on a couple days testing, and both are much better than the browser experience.

In Conclusion, I’d Like To Thank The Academy …

A couple things to note. Clearly I have no issues with buying apps; paying $5 for an app means you skip a couple latte’s. Big deal. In one case, I am willing to pay a hefty chunk (the 11C calculator is a bit pricey). That model may not fit for you. Another thing that is obvious is that I use my iPhone as a phone pretty secondarily. Networked apps are much more important to me than the phone’s ability to call people. This is good, because as I previously noted the iPhone is a lousy phone.

Finally, as mentioned above, there are a bunch of apps further back that are really important to me, things like WunderRadio, Slacker, the new ESPNRadio app, and a bunch of others. But they don’t make the front page.

So, what’s on your first page?

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4 Comments on “iPhone Apps – What’s On Your First Page?”


  1. […] Continue reading here: iPhone Apps – What's On Your First Page? « Design By Gravity […]


  2. Hello,

    Thank you for your kind words.
    Note that with server side XMPP / Jabber gateways, you can use all protocols from inside OneTeam. That’s what I do and it works well 🙂

    • designbygravity Says:

      Yes, I could do that, but the relatively short push persistence for One Team is a problem; I leave Beejive up for 7 days. 12 hours is a pain for OneTeam.

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