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Must-have iPhone and iPod Touch Apps For Newbies

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It’s WebWorkerDaily’s fault that I’ve bought an iPod touch (s aapl). (That’s my excuse, anyway.) As I looked at potential subjects to write about, I kept seeing cool apps, and I need to be able to test them, right?

But why not buy an iPhone, or a Palm Pre, which I’d had my eye on for several months? The Pre seems to be a good phone, but it doesn’t yet have the apps that the iPhone does. And the monthly fees for Pre service are considerably higher than what I’m paying now. The iPhone’s monthly fees are even higher, and many folks I’ve talked to don’t find it to be a very good phone.

So, keeping my current phone and buying an iPod touch seemed like a good compromise. I can get good Wi-Fi coverage in most areas where I live, so I’ll be able to go online, even without the phone function.

Many of my WWD colleagues already have iPhones. Aliza has recently written about good apps for web workers. Dawn’s shared her favorites, too. But with the holidays coming up, here are some of my ideas for apps to put on that brand-new iPhone or iPod touch:


  • eBuddy. A multi-service instant message client for MSN/Windows Live (s msft), AIM, Yahoo (s yhoo), Gtalk (s goog), ICQ, Facebook Chat and MySpace Chat. Supports multiple accounts on the same service. Versions for web, Android and other platforms also available. Free.
  • Facebook. A well-designed way for Facebook users to keep up with their friends while on the road. The app has had its issues, but they are apparently fixed now. Free.
  • Gist. Scott and I have both found Gist useful, and the Gist iPhone app does a pretty good job of presenting a lot of information in a small space. Free.
  • LinkedIn. This app keeps LinkedIn users, er, “linked in” from their iPhones and iPod touches. The latest upgrade adds some nice features, including an inbox for LinkedIn messages. Free.
  • Nimbuzz. You can use this app to make inexpensive international calls over Wi-Fi. The app also includes a chat function, but it’s pretty rudimentary compared to eBuddy. Free app; rates for calls vary.
  • RingCentral. If you’re a RingCentral user, you can use this app to manage your phone messages and more. Free for RingCentral users.
  • Tweetie. There are lots of Twitter apps, but so far, I like Tweetie the best. It has a clean interface, and supports multiple Twitter accounts. Thanks for the tip, Darrell! $2.99.
  • Waveboard. Mobile access to Google Wave. Will hopes for better access soon; I imagine that this app will become more sophisticated as Wave does. $0.99.

File and Idea Management


Just about every news source also has its own iPhone/iPod touch app these days. So far, I’ve been impressed with the ones from NPR and from some news outlets that have used the PodCurry platform.

Password Management

I’ve barely begun finding fun stuff, but I think I’m off to a good start with the Google Earth app, and TriPeaks Lite. I’m sure that I’ll find more, but I really need to get back to work now. Happy holidays!

What iPhone or iPod touch apps would you recommend for new users?

22 Responses to “Must-have iPhone and iPod Touch Apps For Newbies”

  1. halifaxhomeless


    Jailbreak and you will have so much more fun. Ifile (allow you to look through the file system and also to move files around), backgrounder (pick what stays on in the background including music), categories (folders on the springboard) just to name a few of the apps that run on a jailbroken ipod touch.

  2. Why did you switch from SplashID to 1Password or LastPass?

    I’ve been trying to choose one, and SplashID seems like its more focused on storing all types of confidentional info (credit card nums, drivers license, insurance, etc)

    Where as 1Pass and LastPass focus a lot on the auto complete, web login from the browser functionality (which I’m not super interested in)

    Does this sound about right?


  3. Another awesome twitter app for the iPhone is NatsuLion.

    awesome twitter app for iPhone that is: free & open source. Crazy stuff. Never shows up on the searches for ‘twitter’ though so not many people are aware of it.

  4. Hi,

    Here is my list for France:

    – Keeper : safe for login & password iPhone.

    – ShoeBoxed : for your expenses.

    – Dailytask et TaskWise .

    – SNCF Direct :for french railroad

    – Get it Done : To Do List.

    – Linkedin

    – Go Daddy : for domain.

    – BUMP : change contacts.

    – Interpret : translation.

    – WebWag : RSS feed graphique.

    – A tips : tips for iPhone.

  5. My recommendations would be:
    – Read it later
    – Wikipanion
    – ZIPcodes
    – Echofon
    – WordPress
    – Xing

    Not to forget some games that make the iPhone/iPod look “really” cool to non-iPhone owners:
    – Labyrinth
    – Waterslide
    – Aqua Moto

  6. I have the following recommendations:
    – Remember The Milk (RTM)
    – Make a link to gmail on the dashboard
    – Skype
    – Koredoko (see the locations where you took your iphone photos)
    – HeyWAY
    – Flickr
    – RSSPlayer (very nice podcast app)
    – Shazam

    If you have a jailbroken phone:
    – SBSettings (quick access to 3G/Wifi switch)
    – Lock Calendar
    – Backgrounder
    – MxTube
    – Five Icon Dock
    – Flashlight
    – Maps Enhancer
    – Notifier
    – SMS helper
    – Winterboard

    But you have some excellent recommendations as wel!

  7. Rajwinder Hundal

    ipod touch,,apple has provided so many best features in it.we cannot find these features in other players. BUT only problem with ipod is that everytime i have to take a backup if i want to add new songs or other data,,that is really annoying.. :(

  8. I’d be very interested to hear whether anyone has found a “nice and elegant” (to use your very apt phrase) solution to website bookmarking. I have used delicious for a while on a PC but I find the iPhone (well, in my case, the iPod Touch) app clunky – too many steps involved and it doesn’t offer suggestions of the tags you’ve used for other sites, only the tags other people have given for the site you’re looking at.

  9. You have a nice list of apps, but I have an issue with the Google Wave app. The app is a waste of a buck. According to the info page of Waveboard app “it’s just a front end for Google Wave… shows the standard web presence for mobile devices.” When I first got Wave I added a bookmark to my home screen. This is free and easy to do. You can see the bookmark here

  10. These are great suggestions! :D

    I’d also recommend Flixster, Pandora, TED, and Shazam as must haves.

    We’re working on making our iPhone app, App Popular, a must-have for iPhone/Touch owners. It assists with app discovery.

    Also, for the interior designer and anyone planning their living space: Mark On Call.