My Favorite iPhone Apps

I am often asked what are my favorite iPhone apps and why. There are many apps I like but there are relatively few that I like and use all the time. The collection below represents those apps that I use all the time and enjoy using. They are in no particular order but they are my favorites. I hope you’ll find yourself using them and enjoying them as I have. Note: some of these apps are also available for the iPad, too.




Shazam Encore

What does it do: Ever heard a song but didn’t know who sings it or on what album it can be found? Just tap Shazam and it’ll listen to the song and compare what it hears against its massive song library and it’ll tell you. It’s amazing! 500 years ago, this kind of technology in the palm of your hand would’ve gotten you burned at the stake! The Pro version costs more but allows unlimited tagging and is, in my humble opinion, worth every penny versus the free version.






Car Care

What does it do: Car Care allows you to keep track of your vehicle’s maintenance and mileage records. I’ve been using this app longer than almost every other app on my iPhone with exception to Shazam (see above). Not only does it track your mileage and record your maintenance history, it also allows you to set reminders for yourself as to when your car is due for maintenance (i.e. you’ll get reminders saying that it’s been X months or Y miles since your last tire rotation or tire balancing or oil change, etc.). One of the main reasons I keep using this program is its author, Karl Becker, consistently updates it and he listens to suggestions from users as to how to improve it. If you the least bit interested in keeping track of your car’s maintenance and mileage, this is the app for you. There’s a nominal cost but it, too, is worth every penny.






Flashlight

What does it do: Have you ever been to the movies and dropped something only to wish you had a flashlight the item? If so, this is the app for you. It will allow you to turn on the iPhone 4’s LED flash on for as long as you need it. You can also choose to illuminate the iPhone’s screen instead of using the LED flash. Please note, though, that the LED does use a fair amount of battery so you’ll want to using it sparingly. Although this app is no replacement for your Mag-Lite, as long as you have your iPhone with you, you’ll have a flashlight! It’s free. [NOTE: The usefulness of this app has been negated by Apple iOS 7’s built-in flashlight app.]






CheckPlease Lite - Tip Calculator

What does it do: It’s a tipping calculator that allows you to quickly figure out what you should tip the waiter/waitress that’s serving you. You can select the tipping percentage and you can choose to have it round up (or down) the amount to the nearest whole dollar. It also allows you to easily divide the bill and appropriate tip across the number in your party. There’s a pay version and a free version – the free one works for me.






Dragon Dictation

What does it do: Dragon Dictation allows you to speak to your iPhone and have it transcribe what you speak into editable text that can be, among other things, emailed or sent in a text message to someone else. It’s not flawless but it’s close. It does a good job of transcribing what you’re saying when you cannot take a moment to compose a message using the keyboard. It’s free. [NOTE: The usefulness of this app has been negated by Apple iOS 7’s built-in dictation feature.]






Amazon Mobile

What does it do: With this app, you can search for things on Amazon, buy them, or add them to your wishlist, as well as add items to your cart to purchase later. You can even view your Gold Box deals! Long story short: if you ever buy things from Amazon and want to be able to do that with your iPhone in the palm of your hand, this app’s for you! It’s free.






eBay Mobile

What does it do: this app will allow you to search for things on eBay, research completed items, bid on items you’ve found, and add things to your watchlist. If you buy and/or sell on eBay, you need this app. It’s free.






Fandango Movies - Times & Tickets

What does it do: If you’re a movie buff and like to take in the latest movie, you need this app. You can enter your Zip code or allow the Fandango app to find you using your iPhone’s built-in GPS capabilities and it will display a list of the available movies in your area. You can also search by theaters instead of by movie titles. You can also set the maximum distance you’re willing to travel and the app will show you the closest movie theaters or movies relative to your present location. It’s free.






Peggle

What does it do: In the modern vernacular, this game is “a complete time suck.” Yeah, it’s addicting! For a while there, I was what is known as a “Peggle Widower” as my wife was playing Peggle every free moment she had. Need I say more? The game reminds me of the video equivalent of pachinko. Get the paid version and find a comfortable spot to play because you’re going to be for a while!






Quickoffice Pro

What does it do: This app allows you to wirelessly copy all sorts of files to your iPhone so that you can refer to them later. You can copy Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, photos, and PDFs, among others to your iPhone. You can also email any of those files to anyone right from the palm of your hand. How cool is that? If I’ve had a nickel for every time I’ve used this app, I’d be a very rich man. Get the paid version as this app’s utility will more than pay for the price of the app itself.






RedLaser

What does it do: RedLaser allows you to scan an item’s Universal Product Code (UPC) which is also known as its barcode. It will look up that item and provide you with a brief description but, most importantly, provide you a list of all of local and online retailers selling that item as well as the price for which they are selling it. Very handy app to use when you want to make sure you’re getting a good price on an item. It makes comparison price shopping easy and fast. It’s free.






Shopping List

What does it do: This app is overwhelming at first, but I have found it to be the best shopping list app out there.  The thing about Shopping List is that you have to think about how you're going to organize your items before you can start using it.  Be patient and give yourself a chance to like this app before you judge it. It’s not free but worth it as it’s a lot easier than writing your shopping list down on a piece of paper.






Yahoo! Sports (formerly “Sportacular&rdquoWinking

What does it do: You can track all of your favorite sports teams (e.g. professional and college as well as international sports clubs) so you’ll know not only who they’re playing but when. You can look up any current scores as well as historical ones. Find out your favorite team’s standings and the team’s roster. Very handy! I use the free version and have just learned to tolerate the small banner ads. If you love sports but don’t like banner ads, get the paid version.






Theodolite Pro

What does it do: Quoting the app developer’s website, “Theodolite is a multi-function augmented reality app for the iPhone that serves as a compass, GPS, map, zoom camera, rangefinder, and two-axis inclinometer. Theodolite overlays real time information about position, altitude, bearing, and horizontal/vertical inclination on the iPhone’s live camera image, like an electronic viewfinder. Uses are endless, and the app is great for hiking, boating, hunting, golf, sports, sightseeing, photography, and navigation. The app is used by surveyors, geologists, architects, engineers, military personnel, competitive sportsmen, and search and rescue workers around the world.” I find more and more reasons to use this app every time I use it. I have the paid version...it’s very, very cool!