Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Favorite 32 IPhone Apps of 2011

Apple reports on their App Store website that there are over 500,000 Apps available for use on one of their wireless products such as the iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Last year we shared the Top 30 apps that I had on my iPhone at this postAnother year has come and gone and I'm still using an iPhone 3GS, but there are plenty of new Apps that have been discovered to brighten an old phone's day. 

This year we highlight the Top 32 Apps, so we cover the top two screen views on my iPhone, since each screen fits 16 Apps. 16 of these Apps were on the list last year, while 16 are new to the list in 2011.  Apps are categorized into 8 groups of 4 Apps which reflect rows on my personal iPhone. Apps appearing for a second year on the list are marked with an *. If you want to learn more about any of these Apps please click on the link provided in each App name for the App's presence on iTunes. I recommend all of the Apps from this list.

Before we look at the Top 32 list, here is a video of my favorite App of 2011--Flipboard. I like it because it combines my interest in research, news, and social media with an awesome design.

You'll find Flipboard as a top app in my News section below.

Communications and Contacts
  • Group: SMS, Mail*This App organizes contact information of people and businesses. It allows contacts to be put into groups and is a step above the contact App provided by Apple.   
  • iWife*This App allows a husband (like me) to call his wife with the touch of one button without having to dial the number. It acts as a speed dial to the programmed number for a wife.
  • My Dad. This App functions the same as iWife (see above), but there is a speed dial set for my Dad's phone number. 
  • Text Free + Voice*This App is great for sending and receiving texts in a way that avoids extra surcharges from ones cellular carrier. It is a great way to text free. The New York Times calls this App,"the fastest, most reliable, and easiest to use."
Calendar, Notes, and Lists
  • Awesome NoteThis is a great App for storing notes with a very colorful interface. A helpful feature is it can back notes up with Google Documents. This App was awarded to the App Store Hall of Fame in 2011.
  • List Master*This is a powerful App for creating lists and can be customized to fit a variety of purposes. It has a comprehensive search function that is very helpful for large lists and there is now a website that one can backup data from the lists to.
  • Pocket Informant*.  The App had a significant overhaul during 2011 and it continues to be the best App for syncing calendars with others. It also has a to do list incorporated into the application.
  • Shopper*This App contains grocery lists that can be synced with other iPhone owners to communicate purchasing needs on the go.
  • Bible*.  This App by You Version provides access to many different versions of the Bible, including audible options.  It also has a social option. Over 35 million people use this signature Bible App. 
  • iDevoteThis App provides a daily devotional to read both in the morning and evening. It also has a lot of extra features such as memory verses, Bible reading plan, and Christian news. Verses in the App are all in the English Standard Version of the Bible. 
  • Pocket Prayer ProThis App has the best structure, in my opinion, for organizing and remembering personal prayers. It also has some written prayers already included in the App.  
  • Reformation Study Bible (RSB)This App contains the entire English Standard Version of the Bible and has the study notes that are contained in the full version of the Reformation Study Bible which was edited by R.C. Sproul.
Social Media
  • BloggerThis is the official App for Blogger, where bloggers like me can edit (or create) their blogs. 
  • Facebook*The native Facebook App is still simply the best for accessing the popular social network. 
  • Google+This is the native Google+ App, a social media network born in 2011. Google+ has experienced phenomenal growth in its first year of availability, buoyed by it's concept of Circles to target messages.  
  • Twitter*The native Twitter App is still simply the best for accessing the popular social network. 
Finance and Special Utilities
  • BillMinderThis App can be set to remind user when they have a bill due and how much it is for.
  • ChaseThis App helps a customer work with Chase bank accounts. Some of the great features are the alerts that come when transactions that exceed a certain amount go through, and the ability to pay bills and transfer money to accounts directly from the App. One of their trendsetting features is that you can take a picture of a cheque and make a deposit form your phone without going to the bank. 
  • Jot Not Scanner Pro*This App acts as a scanner so the picture taken of the image can be turned into a pdf and transmitted to someone or place through a variety of options. (At the place I work everyone knows that I always have a scanner with me in my hip pocket if they get into a pinch.)
  • MapQuest 4 MobileThis App acts just like a GPS but without the price tag (it's free).  It provides audible directions to a programmed destination and will recalculate if it needs to. 
  • Car Minder*. This is a great reminder App when vehicle maintenance is needed, to record repair history, or for completing a gas log. It has the capacity to track multiple vehicles. 
  • GedView*. This is a must have App for an genealogist to be able to store genealogy records right on the iPhone. It is very versatile and has a lot of ways to organize geneaology information.
  • iLogger*This App does the work of many other log Apps. It is great for tracking diverse information and has a lot of features that can be customized. 
  • MyStuff2*. Last year MyStuff was on the list. This App had such a large overhaul in 2011 that the developer renamed it to MyStuff2. It can be used to track the things such as clothes, appliances, books, etc. One can take pictures of them and record important information as to the age and description of items. It has the same developer as iLogger (see above).
  • ConquestThis App is a game is played like the classic "Risk" game, but it has 36 different worlds to play in. The Developer has provided several updates during the year where new areas are added.
  • NetflixThis App allows one to access their Netflix account and watch movies directly on the iPhone. If one starts a movie, the app will continue where it was left off watching. 
  • TuneIn Radio Pro. This App provides access to over 50,000 radio stations around the world. It uses a very user friendly interface to search subjects and it will also recommend stations based on one's iTunes listening history. 
  • Yahoo! Sportacular Pro*The mother of all sport Apps. It gives live scores from any sport and it can be set to send in game alerts when ones's favorite teams are playing. 
  • AP Mobile. This Associated Press App provides notifications of breaking news and has sections for local news. It also links to, my personal favorite.
  • Autism News ReaderThis is an extensive list of news items related to Autism. I use this for researching for my blog called Autism Light. 
  • Drudge Report. This App covers news from the Drudge Report website and sends notifications of breaking news that Drudge gives his famous siren.
  • Flipboard. This is a fantastic App for with a pleasing interface for quickly viewing diverse news articles as well as integrating articles shared by friends on one's social media pages.  It creates a personal magazine based on the users interests and social media contacts. 

I am frequently looking for better Apps, so this top 32 for 2011 reflects a moment in time that can be fluid. 2012 promises to be another year of change. If you have a favorite App that is not mentioned here than feel free to mention about it in a comment to this post so that others may read about it.