On Friday, a 13 year old named Connor Mulcahey from Weston, Connecticut had the distinct honor of downloading the one billionth app from the iPhone App Store. In order to honor this occasion, I decided to list my five favorite iPhone apps.
Just a word before I do: I'm not a connoisseur by any means. I dip my toe in the App Store from time to time and find ones that serve me. I often find the sheer number of apps overwhelming to be honest, but I have found several that I use constantly. So here goes:
I love Evernote and I use it constantly in my work as a blogger, gathering interesting links and saving them to my various work notebooks. The iPhone App is an extension of the desktop version that lets you take a picture, say a voice note, or type in a note. I have been in the car, formulated an idea, stopped and entered my idea as a voice note and later written the blog post (as I explained here in Anatomy of a Blog Post). Evernote syncs your iPhone app with your desktop app and the Web version for constant harmonious access to your information wherever you are.
2. Night Camera
I found this one early on when I was at an outdoor event at dusk and I realized without a flash the camera was pretty much useless. This application holds the shutter open long enough for you to capture a picture in low light conditions. I've taken some beautiful pictures of the snow falling with only the street light to light the way.
3. Around Me
When you're on the road, this app is indispensable. It helps you locate restaurants, coffee shops, movie theaters and so forth based on your location. So if you are looking for a coffee shop in NYC, you open the App, click Coffee Shop and it finds the closest ones organizing them by distance. Clicking one lets you see the exact route to your destination. It's helped me many times find a place to eat or drink and it's very clever use of the built-in Google Map and GPS technology.
My 13 year old son found this one for me. If you hear a song and you don't know the artist, you open the app, hold up the phone and it finds the artist and album for you. It doesn't know everything, but it knows a lot and it's great when you hear a song on a TV show or movie and you want to know who did it.
5. Wolfgang's Vault
This app is a treasure chest of concert recordings from the 60s, 70s and 80s, and it has some incredible content including a concert I saw of Bob Marley and the Wailers performing in May, 1978 at the Boston Music Hall. You'll find early Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, J.Geils, Fleetwood Mac (before Buckingham/Nicks), Jethro Tull, Miles Davis and Humble Pie (to name just a sample) and if you don't want to listen to a single artist, you can listen to one of four Vault Radio stations. This is a true gem.
I know with only five, I've probably left out tons of good ones (even on my own phone), so I'll open it up to you.
Please leave a comment and share your favorites.