As Cam did just last week, I have endeavored to select the 5 most important apps in my life. This is no mean feat given the nearly 200 apps currently on my iPhone. To make it even more challenging, we’re picking only the apps we couldn’t live without, not just the awesome apps we have but don’t necessarily need. We are also not allowed to choose stock iOS apps because, well, we don’t have the choice to have them or not (much to the displeasure of some…).
I use the following 5 apps every single day, they are crucial to my workflow or mobile media consumption, and are essential downloads for me on any new iOS device.
1. Flipboard – FREE
I read a lot of content on the internet form a variety of sources. From Apple to tech in general to music to current events and more. Flipboard is a great news aggregation app that allows you to simply select the topics that interest you and it will will do the hard work to find and bring in the content from a number of sources around the web. The app then presents it all to you in a friendly magazine format for easy reading on the iPhone or iPad.
Further, you can link in your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram accounts (and more) to ensure that you don’t miss anything your friends share either making it a hub of all the content that matters to you. I use Flipboard every single day to keep up with a variety of topics. You can also save any article to your favorite ‘read it later’ service too which brings me on to my next choice…
2. Pocket – FREE
What happens when you see something that you want to read but you don’t have time to at that exact moment. Maybe you leave the tab open in your browser, save a bookmark or copy the link and hope you’ll come back to it. But it’s so easy to not come back to it later and simply forget about it. That’s where Pocket comes in.
Pocket is a free service that allows you to save anything you find on the web for viewing at a later date. What’s best is that Pocket strips out all of the ads and links that clutter web pages and presents you just the content you need to see from the pages you saved. Many apps integrate Pocket functionality (such as the aforementioned Flipboard), so you can save items in a couple of taps and all your saved pages are waiting for you when you open the Pocket app at a more convenient time for you.
3. Tweetbot 3 for iPhone – $4.99/£2.99
How would we all survive without Twitter? As strange as it may sound, Twitter has become an absolutely integral part of my personal and professional life. Although there are so many Twitter clients to choose from, including the official (and free) Twitter app, Tweetbot 3 provides the absolute best experience on the iPhone in my opinion. And when you spend almost all day using the app, it’s worth shelling out a few dollars for an app that is a joy to use. Tweetbot 3 has a beautifully designed and intuitive interface with all the features and functions of Twitter you could hope for. Just try not to get too addicted.
4. Pocket Casts – $3.99/£2.49
I listen to a lot of podcasts. I don’t really know when my obsession with podcasts began, but I absolutely love listening to people much more knowledgable than I discussing things I am interested in. I think it helps that there is an abundance of tech-related podcasts.
I initially started out using Apple’s own (and free) Podcasts application but the functionality and reliability issues caused me to look for alternatives — and I tried a few — but Pocket Casts provided the right balance of ease-of-use and features that proved perfect for my needs. I can manage all my video and audio podcast subscriptions in the app and make the most of playback options that aren’t available in all apps of its kind. Plus, there’s cloud sync to keep everything in check between my iPhone and iPad automatically. If you love podcasts like I do, then I’d definitely recommend Pocket Casts.
5. iStudiez Pro – $2.99/£1.99
As well as fulfilling my duties here at TiP, I’m also a university student (at least some of the time). Thankfully, iOS provides tons of apps for being productive in my studies but the one that I have stuck with throughout my time at university is iStudiez Pro.
It’s a great timetable and assignment management tool that enables you to schedule your time efficiently, plan ahead for work and keep a track of your GPA automatically. It syncs between the iPhone and iPad apps as well as the Mac app and is a solid companion app for school or college. If you need an app to keep track of your classes, assignments and exams that links in with you iOS Calendar app, then look no further. There’s a free (albeit limited) version too if you want to try before you buy.
What are your most essential apps? Leave them in the comments below or tweet me: @adamoram.