February 2, 2012

15 top iPhone apps for work, play & creativity

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Posting to Facebook Groups from HootSuite

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, social enterprises, cause organizations, NGOs, business professionals, educators, students, journalists, general public.

Shonali BurkeThe other day, my brother sent me a message asking me what apps I was currently using on my iPhone. As I went down the list of my frequently used apps, I realized there are a lot that some of you may not know about.

So I put together a list of my 15 top iPhone apps for you, in case you have been evaluating your own use of apps. Some of these might be new to you, some not, but either way, I hope you find the list helpful.

While these apply only to the iPhone, several reside on my iPad as well, and some of these can be used on Androids and BlackBerrys. Most of them are free; I’ll tell you when they’re not. The apps generally fall into the categories of communications, productivity, social networks, photography and video.

 

Viber: Call and text for free

1This might be a new one for some of you. Viber is a terrific app — both for iPhone and Android — that lets you call other Viber users free. It’s really easy to set up, and once it syncs with your Contacts, it creates a separate list of people who have Viber installed as well. So when you want to contact them, you can IM them, just as you would ordinarily, or call them. Viber uses your data plan, so if you don’t have unlimited texts that come with your plan, it’s a terrific option. It uses wi-fi or a 3G network to connect — there may be charges if you use the latter — and the sound quality is incredible.

Path: Share life with your loved ones

2I joined Path quite recently, and have been enjoying it. It bills itself as “the smart journal that helps you share life with the ones you love.” I don’t post very frequently, probably once or twice every few days, but since I’m keeping my network over there relatively small, I find it provides a more intimate feeling than blogging out to the whole world. And I still get a kick out of Path’s visualization if you tell it you’re going to sleep, or have woken up. It’s also cool that you can post to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr, or any combination of them, if you want to.

Beejive for GoogleTalk: Gtalk on the go

3I learned of this app from Ray Richman, and I love it. It’s free. Beejive for GoogleTalk basically lets you G-chat — as you would from your Gmail interface — on your phone. Beejive has a bunch of other apps as well that I haven’t tested, but I do like this one a lot.

HootSuite: Cross-post to your networks

4HootSuite has great apps for both the iPhone and iPad, so I have it set up on both. I like that I can use my multiple profiles even when I’m not at my computer, and most of its “regular” functionality is contained in its apps, such as scheduling tweets, posts and so on. Hot tip: In HootSuite’s desktop version, specifically with Facebook, in addition to setting up profiles for your personal and business page (or pages you manage), you can also set up profiles for specific Facebook groups you participate in regularly. I saw this a few weeks ago and it is a boon! However, you can’t do this from the apps. I don’t think that’s such a big deal, and you’ve probably already seen that if you reset some profiles in your “main” HootSuite account, the apps won’t automatically sync them, you’ll have to do so manually.

Tungle: Easy scheduling from the road

5I’ve long been a fan of Tungle, and it finally introduced an app for the iPhone last year. It’s as easy to use Tungle’s iPhone app as it is to use the desktop version, and that’s not something you can say about all apps.

Skype: The ultimate communication tool

6Skype has become the de facto way I communicate with my family and quite a few of my friends, and I suspect you do as well. It’s also how I’ve done interviews. The call quality is great most of the time, and you can’t beat the price of free.

Tumblr: Post photos to a blog

7I set this up recently after embarking on Project 366. I did so because the photos I take are almost always from my iPhone, so I wanted to see if I could post directly to Tumblr from my phone. And, of course, you already know you can. When I was reading the app reviews, I saw a number of complaints, but so far at least, it’s been pretty easy to post to Tumblr from my iPhone, and that includes the caption, tags, short URL, etc.

Facebook: Carry your friends in your pocket

8It wasn’t that long ago that Facebook introduced its own app, and it works pretty well as you post comments, post status updates or photos, like brands and all the rest. Crashes at times, but what app doesn’t? If you have the new Timeline, you’ll notice that it appears on your mobile device as well, which is pretty nifty.

Camera+: Edit and share your photos

9I learned about this from my trainer, Grant Hill. It is absolutely terrific! There’s a free version, but I bought the 99 cent Camera+ app, and it works beautifully. There are a ton of editing options, and you can also share your photos to social networks or via email directly from Camera+ if you want. I highly recommend it.

PhotoSync: Sync photos instead of emailing them

10The $1.99 PhotoSync app is just brilliant. Once you buy it, install it on your iPhone and computer (and I have it on my iPad as well, and no, I didn’t have to pay again). What this does is let you wirelessly transfer photos, which is great – no more cables or emailing photos! You’ll need to make sure the app is open on each device you’re syncing from and to, and you have to enable location services, though I haven’t found that to be a problem. It works quickly, and I haven’t had a single issue. In addition to photos, it transfers videos well, too. And, you can send photos to Flickr, Facebook and a bunch of other sites if you want to.

Flickr: Create photo albums from your phone

11It’s pretty easy to post your photos to Flickr using the Flickr app, though I find the tagging, etc., a bit laborious from the iPhone. Still, it does give you a way to create a Flickr album on the go, say, if you’re at a conference. And what photo sharing network is better than Flickr?

iMovie: Quick and easy video editing

12One of my goals this year is to do more video — using my iPhone. I’m getting more and more comfortable with iMovie, and purchased the $4.99 iMovie app not long ago. I shot this short video of my dog Lola meeting Snoopy over the holidays. Since it was already on my phone, I did some quick editing via iMovie, transferred it to my computer via PhotoSync, and voila. It’s pretty decent for quick editing, but it doesn’t have the full functionality of the regular iMovie software program. Still, for on-the-go stuff, it works.

The Weather Channel: Bring an umbrella?

13I know the iPhone comes with a weather app, but I like the one from the Weather Channel better. And yes, it’s free.

Weather Doodle: Making weather fun

14This is just lovely. It’s a really cute 99-cent app that turns your weather forecast into a cute, animated doodle. Even on a rainy day, I’m pretty sure Weather Doodle will make you smile. And hat tip to@sbc111, who pointed me to it.

Emojee Free!: Emoticons for every occasion

15If you like playing with different emoticons, this one’s for you. It’s free, and it gives you an astounding collection of emoticons, from a wide range of categories, that you can add to email, text messages and so on. However, be aware that only other iPhone or iPad users will be able to see them. Still worth a look, I think, and once you’ve downloaded Emojee Free! it will walk you through how to set it up.

There you go. Fifteen apps for your iPhone — and quite a few will work on your iPad as well. Most of these are free. Check ’em out and let us know what you think.

Do you have favorite apps that you use frequently? Do share, I’d love to learn!

Republished from Shonali’s Waxing Unlyrical blog.Shonali Burke  is a public relations and social media expert and consultant based in Washington, D.C. Her firm provides integrated PR for measurable results. You can connect with Shonali via her website or follow her on Twitter.

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16 thoughts on “15 top iPhone apps for work, play & creativity

  1. I have a few of those, but I’d also add Instagram, Twitter, Soundhound (there are always songs on the radio I like and this is awesome in detecting them), Fandango, Box, and the Ski Report. :P

  2. I have a few of those, but I’d also add Instagram, Twitter, Soundhound (there are always songs on the radio I like and this is awesome in detecting them), Fandango, Box, and the Ski Report. :P

    • Twitter for sure, and I just started using Instagram a few weeks ago and love it. Didn’t know about the others, Ifdy, thanks for sharing!

      • NP! I got a free subscription to Box… pretty convenient place to back docs/pics/music into, with a nice UI. And Soundhound has helped me win a lot of bets with friends. ;)

    • I have Instagram as well, but I didn’t know about Soundhound, Fandango and Box… thank you for those! Do you like the Twitter app better than HootSuite?

  3. I have a few of those, but I’d also add Instagram, Twitter, Soundhound (there are always songs on the radio I like and this is awesome in detecting them), Fandango, Box, and the Ski Report. :P

  4. Thanks, Shonali, for some more great apps. I have used Tungle.me for the past year, but sadly, it does not sync with Mac’s Lion operating system’s iCal. I miss the ease of use of Tungle.me and self-scheduling feature, and am hoping Tungle will soon address this issue.

    • I do like Tungle… I suppose I’m lucky in that I never started using iCal, so I guess I don’t know what I’m missing? I wonder if Tungle’s acquisition by RIM has anything to do with it… I hope not!

  5. A report from mobile app analysts Crittercism suggests that, contrary to the commonly held belief that Apple’s iPhone runs apps more reliably, it’s actually Android which features more stable applications. Crittercism surveyed crash reports on both operating systems for fifteen days from the beginning of December 2011 including data from 23 versions of iOS and 33 versions of Android.

  6. A report from mobile app analysts Crittercism suggests that, contrary to the commonly held belief that Apple’s iPhone runs apps more reliably, it’s actually Android which features more stable applications. Crittercism surveyed crash reports on both operating systems for fifteen days from the beginning of December 2011 including data from 23 versions of iOS and 33 versions of Android.

  7. Hi,
    This is a member of the Viber Development Team! :)

    Thanks for putting Viber on your list,and for the great feedback! :)

    If you have any question about Viber – please feel free to ask.

    Thank you,
    Viber Team

  8. Apps are what is needed to make your smartphone smart and unique.Im fond of app creating and find it really helpful to use site like snappii where i can build apps in minutes.

  9. Apps are what is needed to make your smartphone smart and unique.Im fond of app creating and find it really helpful to use site like snappii where i can build apps in minutes.

  10. This is a great “Best apps” list! You can either try these apps available on the App Store:
    1. Future Scheduler
    2. Location Alerts
    3. Photo effects Plus
    4. Photo Album – Photobook
    Nice apps check it out!!
    Best