Top 10 apps for your iPhone

TiPb checks out the best, most must-have apps to load up as soon as you get your new iPhone

Best iPhone apps for new users

Just get a new iPhone or iPod touch and curious which are the best, most must-have apps and games you need to install first? Want to really show off that Retina Display or take advantage of multitasking? Well read on for TiPb's top 10 most recommended, most must-have iPhone apps to get your started.

Note: This article has been updated for iPhone 4S -- check out the new top 10 apps for iPhone post to see the !

Just switch to iPhone or Verizon iPhone? Also check out:

Social apps: Facebook for iPhone

Best iPhone apps: Facebook for iPhoneFacebook is one of the most popular sites on the web, so any wonder it's once of the most popular apps on iPhone? Sometimes we suspect people live almost entirely in the Facebook app -- at least until the phone rings! Sure, you can go to Facebook's mobile site in Safari but the app offers so much more functionality, from picture uploads to easy Facebook Places and Groups access, it's earned its place on our home screens. [Free - iTunes link]

Also check out:

  • LinkedIn for iPhone, for business users. [Free - iTunes link]
  • Twitter for iPhone, for frequent tweeters. [Free - iTunes link]

Casual games: Angry Birds

Best iPhone games: Angry BirdsAngry Birds is the undisputed king of casual gaming and an addictive puzzler in the best tradition of the genre. Evil green pigs have stolen your eggs and your birds aim to get them back -- with slingshots, explosives, boomerangs, and other manner of weaponized avian fury. Kill all the pigs to clear a level, do it with style and earn the elusive 3-stars. It starts off easy but ramps up quickly as the minutes turn to hours. You've been warned! [$0.99 - iTunes link]

Also check out:

  • Cut the Rope for some physics puzzle fun. [$0.99 - iTunes link]
  • Plants vs. Zombies for relentless action. [$2.99 - iTunes link]

Communication/IM apps: Skype for iPhone

Best iPhone apps: Skype for iPhoneSkype for iPhone lets you make Skype-to-Skype calls for free, and if you have Skype credits, Skype-to-phone calls very cheaply. Thanks to the latest version of iOS, it can also run in the background so it can answer Skype calls just like a real phone (though it will decrease battery life). They're slow to update but they're the standard for VoIP (voice over iP) and a great way to cut down on phone bills. [Free/credits - iTunes link]

  • BeeJiveIM, if you just want chat, supports AIM/MobileMe, MSN/Windows Live, Yahoo!, GoogleTalk, Facebook, MySpace and Jabber [$9.99 - iTunes link]
  • Google Voice for iPhone lets you access your calls, texts, and voice mail. [Free - iTunes link]

Time management games: Smurf's Village

Best iPhone games: Smurf's VillageSure, the ultimate goal of building the best village is just the same as other games, but Smurfs’ Village also has a story line. After each level increase, there's dialogue and a quest, and also mini games you can play to earn more experience. The graphics are great and the gameplay is smooth. Smurfs’ Village is free but some items require smurfberries which are available as an in-app purchase. Smurfberries can also be used to speed up the growth of plants and construction of buildings. Universal app - download once, use on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. [Free - iTunes link]

Also check out:

  • Farmville to bring your Facebook farm to iPhone. [Free - iTunes link]
  • We Rule to build the perfect palace. [Free - iTunes link]

Productivity apps: Documents to Go Premium

Best iPhone apps: Documents to Go PremiumWhile the iPhone's screen is a bit small to handle all your business or school work, the ability to edit Office files on the go can be a lifesaver. Documents to Go Premium lets you create, read, and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files well enough to get the job done and will even open Mail attachments and sync files via iTunes or with Google Docs, Dropbox,, iDisk & SugarSync for the ultimate in mobile accomplishment. Universal app - buy once, use on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. [$16.99 - iTunes link]

  • Good Reader is a powerhouse for PDF annotating and file management. [$2.99 - iTunes link]
  • Evernote stores text, images, and audio for easy reference later. [Free - iTunes link]

Hardcore games: Infinity Blade

Best iPhone games: Infinity BladeEpic's Unreal 3 engine explodes onto iPhone with Infinity Blade, an on-rails sword fighting extravaganza with some of the best visuals we've ever seen. The story and gameplay are simple if not simplistic, you battle a series of monsters and their God-King over generations, growing your power, magic, and skill until you're strong enough to win. It might sound repetitive but it quickly becomes as addictive as it is gorgeous. Universal app - buy once, use on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. [$5.99 - iTunes link]

Also check out:

  • Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus for some CoD-style fun. [$6.99 - iTunes link]
  • Real Racing 2 for amazing cars and online play. [$9.99 - iTunes link]

Music apps: Slacker Personal Radio

Best iPhone apps: Slacker Personal RadioThanks to the latest version of iOS, Slacker (and Pandora) can now run in the background which means you can stream all the music you like while surfing the web, using turn-by-turn navigation, answering email, or pretty much anything you want. Slacker requires a subscription and is currently only available in the US and Canada. [Free - iTunes link]

  • Spotify for streaming music in Europe. [Free - iTunes link]
  • Shazam to figure out what you're listening to. [Free - iTunes link]

Photography apps: Photo FX

Best iPhone apps: Photo FXThe iPhone is the best camera because it's the one you most often have with you, but sometimes the photos you take with it will be rushed, a little dark, a little light, or otherwise a step or two away from perfect. Photo FX and their hundreds of filters and special effects can help fix that. It can't work miracles but it can make the difference between a shot you save and one you throw away. [$2.99 - iTunes link]

Also check out:

  • Hipstamatic brings old-school feel to new world pictures. [$0.99 - iTunes link]
  • Flickr for iPhone lets you store and share all the shots you take. [Free - iTunes link]

Utility apps: Find my iPhone

Best iPhone apps: Find my iPhonePreviously you had to pay for MobileMe to get Find my iPhone but now it's free to everyone. Just download the app, set it up with your iTunes ID, and if you lose your iPhone (or it gets stolen) you can GPS locate it, make it beep or display a text message, remote lock it, and even remote wipe it so no one can get access to your personal data. Whether it's under some papers on your desk, back at the restaurant you just left, or in some bad guy's hands, Find my iPhone does just what the name says. Universal app - download once, use on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. [Free - iTunes link]

  • Skyfire is a web browser that lets you watch some Flash videos on your iPhone. [$2.99 - iTunes link]
  • RedLaser scans barcodes and finds you the best price online. [Free - iTunes link]

Location/GPS apps: NAVIGON MobileNavigator

Best iPhone apps: NAVIGON MobileNavigatorGet full fledged turn-by-turn driving directions on your iPhone so you can keep your eyes where they belong -- on the road. NAVIGON provides on-board maps which means it's a huge download but it keeps working in areas where there's no data coverage. You can buy regional, country, or continents at a time, and there are also options for live traffic updates, parking directions, and enhanced panoramic views of the surroundings. [Various - iTunes link]

Also check out:

  • Gowalla lets you "check in" to locations, keep track of your and your friends' locations, and earn badges for being there. [Free - iTunes link]
  • Yelp provides restaurant, gas station, bar, and pretty much any type of business location and recommendations. [Free - iTunes link]

Your top apps?

So there you have them, our top 10 best iPhone 4 apps to get you started. Be sure to check out our Picks of the Week and iPhone App and Games Forum for more recommendations, and if we missed any of your favorites leave them in the comments below!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Just get an iPhone 4? Here's what you need next!

Next up →

Pre-order iPhone 4 cases, chargers, and other accessories and save 10%

Reader comments

Top 10 apps for your iPhone


Pandora and TomTom works fantastically now that they have multitasking abilities! Nice post :)

I was curious, I reviewed the Top 5 Travel Apps that you did in April of this year ( I noticed that you mentioned Navigon (I am not including AT&T's, since there's a monthly fee).
However, in this one, you mention TomTom. I really am liking the look of the TomTom, but was curious, is the new maps (2011, 2012, etc.) going to be included as an App Update, or will it be an in-app purchase?
I am awaiting a response from TomTom, but was wondering if anyone here knew.

Baba Booey!!!!...It's good to know that TiPb are followers of the Stern Show as well...maybe now he'll break down and get one, because he sees how much he loves his iPad already...

Twitterific 3.0 (Universal Binary) is out now as an alternative to Twitter for iPhone that is iOS4-ready.

I'm not that impressed with Angry Birds. I mean, it's a cool game, but I didn't think it was THAT awesome. Surely not awesome enough to be top seller for this long and get this much coverage... but I guess being $.99 and getting some press probably helps that too.

Anybody havin a hard time downloading apps?? Facebook finally downloaded but won't open

I agree with ack154 regarding Angry Birds. It was fun for a while and I open it occasionally to play a round or two but I don't understand why it's so popular.

I think they named TomTom because the TT 4.0 update has already been released and we're still waiting on Navigon (which doesn't work much if you have the 3D maps installed). Maybe version 1.6 of Navigon will bump up their desirability factor.

There is one inaccuracy with this article with respect to TomTom. After speaking with various powers that be, it seems that the GPS with doesn't fully work as explained without a 3G service.
Essentially i would like to trade up my iPad WIFI for thie iPad WIFI+3G with NO data service just to benefit the built in GPS for TomTom, however all my experimentation has failed.

Angry Birds has the opportunity of looking AWESOME with the new Retina Display, I was actually looking forward to it, but it still looks like crap on the iPhone 4. Please fix the graphics.

hey! wait a second?! how come you have a... i dnt know how to say it but its on the top right bar on the screen??? HMmm(jailbrocken??)

I love angry birds! they keep coming out with new levels and gobs of new stuff. love it each time the little red icon say I have an update :) I read about a cheat on that said that on level 2-8 you can get a bonus egg that unlocks a hidden feature but it doesn't work? Anyone know?

Great list of apps for our nice iPhone 4's!
I also just released a new application that is for the iPhone 4 only that takes advantage of a new technology for monitoring locations without high battery usage.
LocationMinder on the iTunes App Store allows you to set simple location based reminders. The location can be set by searching for a business, by address, or manually on a map. This reminder is then delivered the next time you are near that area. The advantage is that it uses a new technology only in the iPhone 4 that continuously monitors your location without the high power of GPS. The application also does not need to be running to receive the reminder. I would love some feedback on the application. You can find it here at this link-

Great post! I have been wondering for a while exactly how you might start improving their own The company position and now i know. Nevertheless, i would would rather invest my time on more productive duties.

I have an iPad and have a question. How do you uninstall apps? Sometimes I download apps that turn out to be less than I thought. I'd rather get rid of them.

To Carolt, just maintain your finger on the app until it starts shaking and a black circle with an "X" appears on the top left corner of the app, press the circle and the app will be deleted from the iPad.

i would like to see more apps that arnt also on android. dont try to convince me to switch when every app you say i need i can already do.

If you just got an iPhone and you'd like a few more suggestions in addition to the excellent ten identified in this article, might I suggest:
Twitter (free
Fruit Ninja (game, .99)
iBooks and/or Kindle and/or Stanza (ebook reader, free)
Flixster (movie info., free)
Cut the Rope (game, .99)
Yahoo Sportacular (sports scores, free or paid pro version)
PS Express (photoshop app, free)
Wallpapers (wallpapers for the iPhone 4, free)
Dropbox (online file storage, free, and a must-have to be sure)
Articles (wiki app, $2.99)
Reeder (rss feed reader, $2.99)
Instapaper (read web pages offline, $4.99)
WebMD (medical info., free)
YP Mobile (yellow pages, free)
Amazon mobile (free)
eBay (free)
Google Mobile (search the web on your iPhone, free)
Remote (if you have Apple TV, for example, free)
Brightest Flashlight Pro (use the flash as a flashlight, .99)
Certainly there are more great apps, but here's some to get you started on your new phone.
--Rob Terry

Hey Rob,
I need the best navigation map application with voice guidance for Qatar. Can you suggest me better one.

I love this era of information , you ca find absolutly anything on the net, just wanted to thank you for the effort of writing this!

sgro77777 on September 21, 2011 hey buddy i liked froeaitvd and subbed:) i would reallly appreciate it if i won the microsoft points thanks<3

I spent 7 min writing a comment and when I finally finished something went wrong and my comment was lost. So now I will keep it short and straight to the point. I find something interesting to read on your blog every time I visit it. Respect!

This site is full of vital information for iPhone app developers and users. I’m sure many of those who visit this site will also like it. Congratulations to the administrator and owner of this site. This will give more information for the development of the iPhones industry.
The iPhone industry is now a multi-billion industry. I’m sure the millions of users of the world will always need more information, developments and news iPhone apps. The current development is amazing and more and more iPhone developers from all over the world also enjoy their creations because of the great potential to sell to the billions of users around the world.

Electro beats, Nano studio, Video booth, X-plane, Fast&Furious, iTriage, MSN messenger, Cam Wow, FisheyeLens, agree about skype and find my iphone.

Air Video Server so you can access your movie library at home by way of streaming it live over 3G or WiFi.

if you click edit, you can select the emails you want to delete, then at the bottom of the screen just click Delete selected

App: Heytell
Almost like walkie-talkies
Another Trick: talking in all CAPS LIKEE THIS how you do this is double touch the caps button
Turn off auto correct : just go to settings it should be somewhere in there done it before but forgot

You can definitely see your expertise within the paintings you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

Hi, i feel that i noticed you visited my weblog so i got here to return the favor?.I'm trying to find things to improve my website!I assume its ok to use a few of your concepts!!

Yeah, it sholud work on every iPhone 4 without any extra work It's other iPhones I'm not sure about cos' haven't tested. If they don't, it's no biggie and is easy fix.

Nice post. I was watching continuously this website and I'm impressed! Extremely useful info especially the last part I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular info for a long time. Thanks and best of luck.

Generally I don't learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, very nice post.

Hi, I would like to add an application that I really liked its name is Rock & Boulder, it has very good graphics, great music and the best is that it allows to use all ten fingers to play!!

I would also add Bibo to the list. Bibo is a drink search, rating and sharing app. Use Bibo to see all the drinks that are available around you. You can search for specific drinks too! When you see a drink that looks interesting to you tap it to get detailed information like the image, distance, and the rating of that beverage. Rating is super simple too, take a picture of it and rate it based on presentation, taste and strength.

Navigon is still around? They pioneered "reality view" but my gps from them shipped without a traffic antenna, they cheated me out of my rebate and my ac charging adapter was for power in Germany. This ap is overpriced compared to the alternatives.