My Favourite iPhone Applications

I often get asked what my favourite iPhone applications are. Its hardly surprising considering the excessive number of application I buy and the amount I go on about it. I therefore thought it was about time that I compiled a list of my favourites.

One caveat before I begin my rundown of top 5 applications – I am a fickle creature and so my favourite applications change regularly. What you see here is a snapshot of my current setup. It will no doubt change in a week or two!

1. Omnifocus

Fav iPhone app: Omnifocus

I am a Getting Things Done addict. Its the only way I can stay on top of the ridiculous number of half finished projects I have. I am also a worrier so having a system really gives me a sense of control I would otherwise lack.

I started off using Omnifocus as a desktop application. It is designed around the GTD methodology and I would only recommend it to people who are serious about this approach. Also the iPhone application is far from cheap but for me it was worth every penny!

Omnifcous is not perfect (adding tasks to the inbox takes too long) but I use it far more than any other application and I could not live without it. If you feel out of control in your life, read Getting Things Done and then buy this app.

2. Evernote

Fav iPhone App: Evernote

Evernote ensures you have your notes wherever you are. They offer a desktop client (both mac and PC), a web client and an iPhone application.

You can add text notes, audio notes or images. You can tag the notes, sync them across all your clients and even capture images using the iPhone camera or web cam. However, the real power of Evernote is its optical character recognition. If you upload an image to the evernote server it will convert any text in that image into a searchable format. Very useful indeed!

3. Tweetie

Fav iPhone App: Tweetie

I have tried every twitter client available on the iPhone and Tweetie is by far the best for anybody serious about Twitter.

It allows the management of multiple accounts, access to entire conversation threads and offers a powerful search functionality. It also allows you to get detailed information on other users and to manage of your relationship with them. However, it is the interface I really like. It is clean, customisable and easy to use.

I cannot recommend this application highly enough.

4. Google Reader

Fav iPhone App: Google Reader

This is my only web based iPhone application. There are actually a number of native applications that integrate with Google Reader but none of them are as good as Google’s own application.

I need an RSS reader which syncs across my iPhone and laptop. Google reader does that and does it using a clean and fast interface. I love the way Google handle RSS and so wanted an iPhone app that works with that.

That said I would prefer a native application. Occasionally mobile safari chokes on the Google reader application and it often makes the page reload unnecessarily. Unfortunately all of the alternatives I have tried are slow and unresponsive. Either that or do not offer as extensive functionality as Google’s own application.

5. Mobile Fotos

Fav iPhone App: Mobile Fotos

My final choice of application was a tricky one. I could have gone for facebook, brightkite, speakeasy, yammer or any number of others. In the end I chose Mobile Fotos.

Mobile Fotos is an application for managing and uploading to your flickr account. It is extremely well executed and they have thought of everything.

It is incredibly easy to manage your own photos and to access the photos of your contacts. It offers a powerful search functionality and allows you to view photos in the same intuitive way you do with the built in photo application.

Best of all it provides the ability to share a photo through either email or twitter. As a heavy twitter user this has proved invaluable.


This is the tip of a very big iceberg of applications. It was a hard choice to pick my favourite five. For example, I had to leave out Yummy which is the best delicious bookmarks application I have found. I have also had to miss ‘Bible‘ which is a very well thought through application and Instapaper which has been a life saver on long plane flights.

Of course the application I am really excited about is the SlingPlayer for the iPhone. But I am just going to have to wait for that!

If you recognise that the mobile web is important and you need help deciding on a strategy, then book a mobile consultancy clinic.

Book a consultancy clinic or contact Rob about a more in-depth review.

  • You didn’t even mention any games? I find it hard to believe that some who likes to goof of as much as you doesn’t have a few games on there that you use more that those productive applications.
    Seriously now for those that only like the idea of GTD but with a simpler interface there is Things which has a cheap iPhone/iPod application and a desktop version. I tried Omnifocus but found it overwhelming. Things hits my needs perfectly. Oh and on the games don’t get tap defense if you want to get any work done anymore (at least that my experience).

  • Paul,
    For Google Reader, you might want to try Byline (£2.99). It’s a native app that syncs with Google Reader. It’s certainly not perfect (the ‘Mark All as Read’ button being all the way below the list of items – not a toolbar item) but if you’re a Google Reader user it’s worth a look.

  • @curtismchale – No games I am afraid. I am not really a gamer. Don’t really have the time. I occasionally play games but not on the iPhone.
    @Nik – I tried Byline – No good. Doesn’t provide an accurate count on the number of unread articles.

  • Interesting set of applications.
    I was also surprised not to see any games :)
    My personal choice would be Tweetie – good application! As for the rest, apart from the iPhone version of Google Reader, I havent tried them :(
    I think i’ll go get Evernote now though… the searchable text from uploaded images sounds so cool ! :D

  • Are we sticking to none hacked iPhones?
    If so then 1Password is great especially if you run the Mac software.
    AirSharing allows you to use your iPhone as a portable Hard Drive.
    WrdPress, a mobile blogging application.
    Shazam, find out what song you are listening too.
    Fring, if for nothing else it provides an MSN client.
    For hacked iPhones.
    WinterBoard allows for themes.
    Categories – allows for folders on the spring board.
    5 Icon Dock – Allows 5 Icons in the dock.
    Cydia – Install none approved applications and themes.
    Qik – Stream video from your iPhone to the net.
    CyCorder – Record video’s on your iPhone.
    Should keep you going for bit :)

  • Paul
    Have you ever tried ‘Remember The Milk’ as a task management/GTD application? In my opinion, this is an excellent package of which I have subscribed as a ‘pro’ member. They also offer an excellent FREE iPhone/iPod Touch app that won the Apple Award for the Best Iphone App in 2008.

  • My favorites:
    Things – todos, pretty good, but still using my plain old moleskin
    Byline – Google Reader
    Air Sharing – file storage / document reading
    Easy Relax Ultimate – relaxing sounds
    Music apps: DigiDrummer, Pocket Guitar, Mini Piano, Beat Maker (this one is awesome!)
    Games: Aurora Feint: The Arena, Aurora Feint: Tower Puzzle, Fieldrunners, Cube Runners (free), Darts (free), Sol Free (free)

  • I love Evernote for the text recognition. Makes it great for after meeting captures of the white board.
    Troy Malone

  • We finished developing our 17th iPhone Application today. And it’s ready to go live on the iTunes app store.
    Sam Shaw
    iPhone Application Developer

  • They are great apps, but since I have an android do you know if there’s an android version?

    • Anonymous

      I don’t have an android phone so I cannot really comment. However, I believe a number of these are available under Android too.