One year, 56,000 apps, and over a billion downloads later, Apple's iTunes App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch celebrates its first birthday.

To mark the occasion, we're taking our Picks of the Week, where a few of us from team TiPb, bloggers and forum crew alike, bring you our current favorite, funnest, most useful apps, and giant-sizing it to cover the whole year.

And what's more -- the editors from SPE network join us in picking their favorite iPhone and iPod touch apps of the year as well. Love. Up.

So what are our picks of the year? Find out after the break!

TiPb Staff Picks of the Year

Chad's Pick: BeejiveIM

There are a lot of apps I could have chosen for this, but I think one of the biggest has to be Beejive. With the advent of Apple's Push Notification service and the SPEED of the iPhone 3Gs, Multi-tasking Instant Messaging has become a thing of the past. This application is robust and very configurable. If you aren't using software 3.0 you can even have Beejive send you emails when someone replies. You can also add custom backgrounds, colors and more. Oh, and it supports many services as well from AIM to Facebook. [$9.99 - iTunes link]


Chris' Pick: At Bat 2009

I mentioned this app in the podcast, and truthfully, this app gets used on almost a daily basis. For any baseball fan, it is a must have. Aside from a few missing features (like not listing league leaders, or more detailed stats pages) this app allows you to follow live audio broadcasts for any game, and even features live streaming video for a couple of games each day! For people who are not in the same market at their favorite team, this app is a must. Follow the game live, listen to it live, and watch video highlights. They have also begun offering a new feature - a quick (10 minutes or so) recap of the game with video highlights. [$9.99 - iTunes link]

Runners up: Flight Control [$0.99 - iTunes link], Texas Hold'em [$4.99 - iTunes link]

MLB at Bat 2009

James' Pick: Twittelator Pro

Twitter on the iPhone is like Peanut Butter and Jelly...they just work very well together. Twittelator Pro has all the features I need and them some. [ iTunes link]

Runners up: Peggle [$4.99 - iTunes link] and iTunes App Store App. [iTunes link]


Jeremy's Pick: Pocket Tunes

Pocket Tunes gives you a ton of free radio and you have the ability to listen to everything Sirius XM has to offer including Howard Stern (with subscription) - unlike the watered down Sirius XM application. [$9.99 - iTunes link]

Runners up: BeejiveIM [$9.99 - iTunes link] and iTunes App Store App. [iTunes link]


Justin's Pick: Shazam

One app I always have on my phone no matter what. It's also led to me listening to music, tagging it, and buying it all on my iPhone! [Free - iTunes link]

Runner up: BeejiveIM [$9.99 - iTunes link]


Matt's Pick: Brothers In Arms: Hour of Heroes

I know not everyone uses games, but this game is incredibly unique. I chose BIA mainly because I think it was the first application that showed what the iPhone was capable of processing. It also seemed to me that the controls are somewhat close to that of other FPS games. The uniques use of vocal narration accompanied by a significant amount of sound effects and multiple roles help make the user become fully immersed in the game. [$4.99 iTunes link]

Runners up: G-Map [$34.99 - iTunes link], MyWeather Mobile [$4.99 - iTunes link]


Rene's Pick: Google Mobile App

Your bring it up to your ear, it activates, you speak, and it gives you results based not only on what you want, but where you are. There are glitzier apps in the store to be sure, more popular no doubt, but this was the first app that made me think it was time for Star Trek to start being jealous of us. "Computer!" indeed. [Free - iTunes link]

Runners up: Apple Remote [Free - iTunes link], Twitterrific 1.0 [Has been replaced by v2.0 - $3.99 - iTunes link]

Google Mobile App

Special Birthday Bonus: SPE Editor Picks of the Year Casey Chan's Pick: Yelp.

You can always find a great place to eat or see the coolest places around you with yelp. Especially when you're hungry and wandering the streets of San Francisco after Macworld =) [Free - iTunes link] Yelp Kevin Michaluk's Pick: F1 Timing - 2009 Starter Pass

It's effing awesome. I actually hold my iPhone in my hand while watching the races on TV. we need this for BlackBerry! [$2.99 - iTunes link]

picture-17 Matt Miller's Pick: Evernote

Evernote gives me a global tool (across all my devices, Mac, and PC) to capture all my thoughts. The recognition is absolutely amazing and you can take photos of all those post-its and find everything later. [Free - iTunes link]

Runners up: Pandora [Free - iTunes link] and AT&T Navigator [Free + subscription - iTunes link]

Evernote Editor-in-Chief Dieter Bohn's Pick: BeejiveIM

Stupendous IM support on multiple platforms, push notifications through an elegant workaround before push notifications were official, and not afraid to charge what the app is actually worth. [$9.99 - iTunes link]

Runner up: iTunes App Store App. [iTunes link]

beejiveim_30_0101 Phil Nickinson's Pick: Tweetie

Most used for me. [$2.99 - iTunes link] [Phil totally broke format and actually listed a half dozen #1s, including Paper Toss. Wheels on the Bus. Koi Pond. Scribble - Rene] [Gimme a break. I've got a 3-year-old! - Phil]

Runners up: Facebook [Free - iTunes link]. Pocket Tanks [Free - iTunes link]

photo3 Rene Ritchie's Pick: App Store

No, I don't really get a second pick at the app store, but in summation -- and on behalf of everyone here at TiPb and the smartphone app ecosystem as a whole -- I'd like to wish the iTunes App Store an APPY ANNIVERSARY. May you continue to grow in quality as you do in quantity, and may this year bring more changes to make all of our experience, developer and user, better and brighter.

Hopefully we ain't seen nothing yet! App Store turns 1

Your Pick?

You're part of team TiPb too, so what's your pick? What app was your Pick of the Year?