Saturday, January 01, 2011

JW's Favorite iPhone & iPad Applications Of 2010

2010 saw an explosion of apps in the iOS ecosystem.  Just as I did in 2008 & 2009, I'm compiling my list of favorite apps for the platform, with lists for both iPhone & iPad.  Here are the ones that enriched my days over the past year.

iPhone Apps

Daily Apps

Google Voice
After a year in App Store approval purgatory, Google Voice has proven to be a nearly one stop shop for my on device communication needs.  It's completely replaced the Phone app & Messages app on my phone for calls & SMS messages.

A wonderful RSS reader app.  I live in this app every morning while I have my coffee to catch up on all of my Google Reader feeds.

The front end to all my banking needs.  Being able to deposit a check just by taking pictures of it with the iPhone's camera is fantastic.  And the funds are available immediately to boot!

My favorite of all the location based check-in apps.  I started using this just before SXSWi 2010, and have continued using it daily since.  The design aesthetic of this app blows Foursquare away, too.

The 800 pound gorilla of the location based check-in apps.  I check-in with this app everywhere I go, too, if just because that's what most of my friends use.

This is what Tweetie morphed into in 2010.  I much prefer to post my social network updates with this app instead of the Facebook app.

A really cool journaling app that pulls in your activity from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Gowalla, Foursquare and other services.  It's fascinating to look at your activity across all services on a calendar layout.

Google Latitude
Ashley & I use this app on our iPhones to check on each other's location without having to send a SMS or make a phone call.  Now if I don't see her online after her morning commute, I can just pull up her location on Latitude to ensure she made it safely to work.

Wow Apps

LogMeIn Ignition
I can remotely control all of my computers directly from my phone with this app.  Start a download on my desktop PC while waiting at the dentist office?  No problem.  Troubleshoot my in-law's computer while standing in line at the grocery store?  Sure.  It's really slick.

An augmented reality app that corrects my color blindness in real time.  My feel good app of the year.

Find My iPhone
Allows me to locate my iPhone & iPad on a map in the event I misplace either device or they are stolen.

Since I save all of my work files at my new job to Dropbox, being able to access them across MacBooks, iPhones, & iPad has turned out to be very convenient.

Weekend Apps

Gas Cubby
Logs all of my automobile maintenance activities and tracks my gas mileage.  An indispensable tool if you're a commuting data geek.

This is the front end to my house stereo system.  I can choose which music to pipe from my desktop computer upstairs running iTunes to the two Apple TVs & two Airport Expresses connected to speakers throughout the house.

TuneIn Radio
This gets me access to the college radio stations at both Tulane & Auburn, and lets me tune in to sports talk radio in New Orleans to keep up with the Saints.  Also not bad for listening to the Ibiza radio stations during the summer.

Keeps me on track with the laundry schedule on weekends by allowing multiple timers with quick on/off switches.

This app is where I do all of my brainstorming/outlining for blog posts.

I prefer this app to most of the other news apps from a design standpoint.  The iReport feature is a nice touch, too.

ESPN Bowl Bound
For a college football junky, this app was a must have this bowl season for keeping track of bowl schedules and score updates.

CBS Sports
I had the chance to watch several SEC football games live on my iPhone while out & about thanks to this app during the fall.

Favorite Games

Angry Birds
I was late to the party with this game, but it certainly lives up to the hype.  Who knew estimating the trajectory of a slingshot could be so addictive?

Cut The Rope
Another game that renewed my appreciation for physics.

Words With Friends
The asynchronous nature of this Scrabble-esque game is what keeps me playing.  I can wait days between turns if need be.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
As someone who cut his teeth on the fighting game genre with the original Mortal Kombat, this game is too much fun.

The Incident
A delightful game done in an 8 bit style.  Very addictive.

Fruit Ninja
This game became a giant time sink over the holidays, but I just couldn't put it down.  It looks great on the iPhone 4's Retina display, too.

Sonic 4 Episode 1
It's a little tough to control via the on-screen controls, but I'm able to look past this shortcoming to play Sonic on my phone.  So cool.

iPad Apps

Pinball HD
As close to owning an actual pinball machine that you can get without...owning an actual pinball machine.

Fruit Ninja HD
The multiplayer mode on this game is terrific.  Slicing fruit is therapeutic.

Still the best way to interact with Facebook on the iPad.

Air Video
Perfect for streaming video from my desktop PC upstairs to my iPad.

Having the entire TED talks catalog in portable form is great.  The ability to download talks for offline viewing is even better.

I prefer this app over iBooks for viewing and managing my collection of PDFs on the iPad.  The password protection feature is handy, too, for storing financial documents securely.

ESPN ScoreCenter XL
My constant companion on the couch throughout football season.  It's like having the entire ESPN sports ticker in your lap.

I actually tried out the iPad version of this app before the iPhone version.  In each case, it's my preferred way to interact with all my RSS feeds in Google Reader.

Turning your Twitter & Facebook feeds into futuristic eye candy has never been so much fun and functional.  This is how I casually peruse both services.

Paired with the Pogo Sketch stylus, this is how I take notes whenever I attend townhall meetings at work or lectures.  You can even export your notebooks and sketches as PDFs.


That does it for this year's installment.  Check back on the blog this time next year for my 2011 picks.

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