When everybody was anxiously awaiting the new iPhone 3G, I just sat there and said “nope, not gonna upgrade—I like what I have.” No, I wasn’t in denial or just being difficult. It’s just that when you don’t really go anywhere, there’s not much of a need for things like GPS. And EDGE is pretty sweet where I am, so the 3G wasn’t all that appealing.
Plus there’s the fact that I’ve been with AT&T ever since they were Cingular (and actually had their shit together), so I’ve got some sort of grandfathered super cheap family plan that I’m not too keen on parting with.
But the big reason is that us iPhone 1.0 kids still get the software upgrade. That’s what I wanted. The software.
I wanted APPS.
So, a couple weeks after upgrading to iPhone 2.0, I wanted to share some of my favorite iPhone apps.
(Note that all links are to iTunes App Store)
During the first iPhone 2.0 weekend, if I saw one more tweet that said “OMFG Pandora for iPhone is sooooo awesome!” I… well, I probably wouldn’t have done anything. I just sat there on my high Last.fm horse saying “so what, Last.fm is still better… even with no iPhone app!”. Then Last.fm released an iPhone app. And I was thrilled.
The Last.fm app allows you to listen to a radio station of your music library (tracks you’ve scrobbled before), stations based on any artist you like, stations based on any of your friends or neighbours (those Last.fm users with taste most similar to yours) libraries, and—of course—a station of only recommendations based on your listening habits.
I’ll save the gushing of how much I love the Last.fm service, because I’ve already done so here many times before.
- The app must stay in the foreground to keep playing. Would be wonderful if it kept playing in the background.
- Artist bios (which are user-generated and generally solid) being available in the app would be nice.
- I would like to sort my Last.fm friends by musical compatibility rating (this is also something I want to see in the web app).
Wow. I just found this one today and I’m in love. If you’re a Flickr user with an iPhone, get it. Right away. Everything’s here. View your photos. View your friend’s photos. View featured photos. View geotagged photos near you. You can even view and add comments to photos from within Exposure. This app is about as good as it gets.
There’s a free, ad-based version for free and a $9.99 version with no ads. To be honest, the ads are so unobnoxious there’s little reason to upgrade beyond supporting this fantastic developer. I’d have no problem with them cranking up the advertising level a notch.
- Judging by this Get Satisfaction thread, I’m not alone in wanting the ability to upload from Exposure to Flickr. Why not just email photos to Flickr? Because that compresses them to 640×480. I’d love to retain the camera’s 1600×1200 resolution.
Ah, the race to create the best Twitter app for iPhone. There’s Twitterrific. There’s Twittelator. But for me, it’s Twinkle.
Why Twinkle? It’s pretty, first of all. That’s quite important to me. I also like that it’s location-aware. I can see who’s tweeting near me (quite cool when I was recently on vacation). One limitation is that you only see the local tweets from those using Twinkle, not the entire Twittersphere.
- I do wish there was one dedicated screen for @replies (like it has for direct messages). Twittelator combines these, referring to them collectively as “Replies”. I’m cool with that.
- This one is a limitation of the Twitter API and not Twinkle, but I
will never be able to rely on a 3rd party Twitter app until they lift the restrictions on API calls. I don’t have Twitter open all the time, so just getting the last 20 or so tweets doesn’t work for me. For this reason, I use m.twitter.com to read tweets more than anything else.
Quite honestly, it’s AOL Instant Messenger. It works as advertised. In this case, no news is good news.
- My thumb is large. It really is. It covers about 18 iPhone keyboard buttons. Being able to type on the landscape keyboard helps me immensely. I’d love to see this added to the AIM app.
I’ve got this love/hate thing with Facebook. Let’s just say the iPhone app is 100% love. The profile browsing, while pretty click-heavy, is very slick. The message inbox is well done, too. I’ve always felt Facebook’s messaging system is it’s #1 feature. It’s so well done. The iPhone app even has chat, though I haven’t found myself using that yet.
- Not much… just let me type in landscape!
I’ll admit… this one makes the list without me really using it much yet. But the potential is awesome. Being able to reliably work on blog posts on iPhone will be a huge help. The WPhone plugin has served me well, but feels buggy (especially comment moderation).
This is a very early version of the app, though, and it does need some key features.
- Again… let me type in landscape!
- You can edit local drafts, but not saved drafts on the server. This is kind of a bummer—and weird since you can edit published posts that are on the server.
- Comment moderation, please?
- Being able to post and edit Pages (and maybe even tweak the theme code) would be nice.
I have been using some other apps, but they just didn’t quite crack my “favorites” list. Among those:
I was on vacation last week, so I had a bit of time to play with games. Most often, I played Aurora Feint, but when I installed the update, it blew away my saved game. I’m thinking I won’t have the time or patience to work my way back to where I was. Tap Tap Revenge is just… too cool. I also have played Jirbo Break a bit. Not bad.
For the Pre-Schooler
My daughter is 3 1/2 but is becoming an iPhone power user. She loves flipping between photos, exploring on the Google Map, or typing her name in the Notes app. As far as third party apps, she’s been enjoying Scribble, a very simple drawing game. She also has played JirboMatch (a memory game) and Bubbles (a very simple bubble popping time-waster) a bit.
I don’t know. I can’t help but feel a bit underwhelmed by the apps so far. I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but I’m not quite as excited as I thought I would be. I’m not really seeing any type of full featured word-processing apps or much productivity-wise beyond perhaps OmniFocus. iPhone definitely has the potential to be a viable platform, but I’m not feeling it is being taken advantage of yet. It seems that most of the innovation is in the gaming realm. That probably mimics the industry as a whole, but I’m not a gamer. I’d like to be wowed while being productive.
Again, I’m not sure what app it will take to do that. The WordPress app has the potential to be something along those lines. If the AIM app was actually Adium, I’d be far more excited. If the whole 2.0 update was a bit more stable, I’d be far happer.
So, what apps have been your favorites? What’s missing?