TiPb Asks: If you could only have 5 apps on your iPhone what would they be?

If you could only have 5 apps on your iPhone what would they be and why? We're talking App Store apps here, not built-in apps like Safari. For example, if I were stranded on a desert island (that just happened to have Wi-Fi and electricity to charge -- you know, thanks to Dharma) these would be my must-have apps:

  • Skype [Free iTunes] so I could call out for pizza or even hail a ship to rescue me.
  • Articles [2.99 iTunes] (Wikipedia app), so I could find out how to cure that sea urchin sting (the solution isn't pretty).
  • Twitter [Free iTunes] so that everyone would know how much I am suffering... or living it up on the island.
  • Instagram [Free iTunes] so that I could quickly post pictures to Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, because being on a deserted island is something you would have to see for yourself.
  • Chess [0.99 iTunes] because they say it takes a lifetime to master and I guess I would have a lot of time on my hands.

What apps would you simply not want to live without?

Georgia

Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, hosts the ZEN & TECH podcast, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Prime.

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There are 97 comments. Add yours.

Ski says:

I would prefer Facebook, Twitter, ESPN Scorecenter, ESPN radio, and Google. For latest on iPhone,iPod,Ipad,Apple,Android, Games and jailbreak visit www enews plus .com Thanks

Dan says:

lockinfo , golfshot gps, ipod , weather alert usa , navigon

Mikeyboy says:

Haha, navigon and golf GPS on a dessert island. Why for?

Mikeyboy says:

Dessert island, at least you will have something to eat!!!

gatorsrule2424 says:

Give me angry birds and I'm set for life

Guacho says:

Beejive, Pandora, Weather Channel, Google Voice, Ebay

Ty says:

1.Netflix
2.Fruit Ninja
3.VLC Player
4.Pandora
5.FML
If excluding all the built in apps

HungWell says:

If I could only have 5 apps, I would only need one: "Find Me a New Phone".

kritter217 says:

Nook, Facebook, USA Today, Netflix, Crystal Defenders

kayno says:

Netflix, Twitter, WhatsApp, Google Maps, Sirius XM

colton says:

Facebook, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Real Racing 2 & Siri.

E Pow says:

Facebook, Twitter, ESPN Scorecenter, ESPN radio, and Google

j7469 says:

Twitter, Slacker, Spark Radio, Starbucks Card, & Viper SmartStart.

Ryan says:

BiteSMS, mymi, iPod, Tweetings, email

Scorp25 says:

well, mine would be:
Twitter, Navigon, GoodReader, Reeder and Spending

uahero says:

Facebook, Weather Pro, ToDo, Skype, AppBox

cejay says:

You can tell who is jailbroken by the comments, hah.
I would have facebook, rhapsody, slingplayer, angry birds, and twitter (possibly a 6th app Talkbox, nice audio messaging system - free)

Mardin says:

Facebook, Apple Remote, Navigon, LogMeIn and B.Net Authenticator =)

Dreg Mogul says:

Twitter, Articles, Words With Friends, Doodle Jump and Zumocast.

clealsgirl says:

Tweetings, Facebook, NewsRack, Bejeweled 2, Evernote

Martin says:
  1. Echofon Pro
  2. Mobile RSS
  3. Words with Friends
  4. DB Navigator (German public transport info)
  5. WunderList ToDo
deadp1xel says:

Netflix, osfoora, napster, fruit ninja, skype

edgar says:

well in my case:
Skype, Rdio, Reeder, Twitter, Instagram

Ty says:

Why do people keep listing the built-in apps? LMAO... Read the criteria for posting.

(Copy of) Dev says:

If I could only have 5, I'd use web based things instead of apps where I could (so long, Beejive), keeping:
1) Skype - to videochat
2) Netflix - to have something to watch
3) Pandora - to have something to hear
4) Words with friends - my current favorite, to have something to play
5) Find my iPhone - so somebody can come get me off this %*&$@ island

Corlynn says:

assuming you aren't counting the built in un-removeable apps, my most crucial 5 are: Trillian, Consume, MyWi, AirVideo, iBooks. Most everything else I can do in Safari if I had to (twitter, facebook et al.)
in fact, I'm noticing a LARGE majority of the apps on my phone, are app replacements for web services I use frequently, because the apps are just superior. That and games for when I'm bored or utilities to make tasks quicker. But if I'm stranded on an island with only power and wifi, I've got plenty of time to do things the slow way :p
Now, if the question is I can only have 5 apps, period. Mail, Safari, iPod, AirVideo, and iBooks. In that order.

Seth Wilkinson says:

Pandora
Pulse
Angry Birds
Skype
Twitter

Jeff Cormier says:

Rdio, Hootsuite (combines many social networks into one app), Instagram, Pulse, Angry Birds

ZackTanner says:

Angry Birds, Twitter, Foursquare, Google Voice, Sirius/Pandora (okay that's 6, but hey, two are music)

tahirismaeel says:

Netflix, Words With Friends, App Box Pro, Twitter, and Skype

Ron says:

siri, Weatherbug, Flight Track, Google Maps, Flixster

drbruster says:

1.- Google mobile
2.- Facebook
3.- Whatsapp
4.- Paper Toss
5.- Medscape

Jordan says:

Twitter, Foursquare, Madden '11, Google Voice, Instagram

Captain State The Obvious says:

I actually wouldn't take facebook or twitter because they have websites.

jugarte77 says:

iTeleport, Dropbox, VLC or OPlayer, BeejiveIM, Site-to-Phone (I know thats not an app)
Everything else I´ll do it with my iPad :-)

petaf says:

Podcaster, TiPb, BofA, CNN, Facebook

Pablo Seoane says:

I would really choose this 5: TwittelatorPro, StreetFighter IV, BeejiveIM, Skype & WhatsApp

Pat says:

BeeJive IM for texting Spain
C64 for Commodore 64 games from 1985 like Boulderdash II
Pianist for reference pitches
Sky Mobile TV for watching Man Utd live
Twitter

Kyle says:

I would have ESPN Radio, Netflix, Mobile Banking in AT&T, Remote, and Angry Birds.

cardfan says:

Already threads for this in forums?

Erick H says:

Pandora,VLC,Meebo,Find Iphone,Shazam

ward09 says:

Sling Player Mobile, Sirius, Wikipanion, Yellow Pages Canada, and Angry Birds. Just missing the cut: YouTube's web app.

RickyF says:

TuneIn Radio, Motionx GPS Drive, Reeder, Kindle, Audible

DJCHeez says:

Meebo, SlingPlayer, TuneIn Radio, Street Fighter IV, Golfshot GPS. Honorable Mention: VLC, Pandora

Chipper says:

Dropbox, VLC, LinkedIn, Chatter, BBC iPlayer web app

gwen says:

1.words with friends 2. facebook 3. tip star 4. pandora 5. audible (assuming that I still get to have email and calendar and itunes and ipod and photos/camera)

Watergate says:

lastfm
pocket informant
scanner pro
ipod
dragon dictation

CstDskSol says:

Being primarily a business user, I would say iDispatcher
Log me in
Team Viewer
Navigon
And iFishing because, let's face it all work and no play...

Jjb70 says:

Is there an option to give up all apps to be stranded on that same island? ;-)
Whatsapp,Slingplayer,Gps Drive,Mint,GoTasks

kona2010 says:

My first five would be: Beejive, Skype, Rhapsody, Skyfire, CNN.
Honorable mention: Air video, Netflix, Pendora, Scrabble, Google.

DubbDee says:

Pinger Textfree
ToDo
Mail
iPod
Skype (since I wouldn't be able to use the phone app)

FLskydiver says:

Words With Friends, iBooks, The Weather Channel, Planets (might as well learn the names of all those stars) and DirecTV (so I won't miss recording any good shows while I'm exiled).

Tony says:

Pockettunes, Slingplayer, Skype, MIWI, pageonce

Glenn#IM says:

FB- hopefully a family or friend will rescue me. Amplitube-I always have a guitar with me. How to Cook Everything-there has to be more than one thing to do with coconuts. Newsey-so I can read about the rescue effort, or the lack of rescue, and 2Do-need to keep organized while waiting to get rescued.

kingweb says:
  1. Slingplayer
  2. MyFi
  3. MLB
  4. still thinking (maybe Cydia)
  5. still thinking
Dyvim says:

Twitter, Reeder, The Weather Channel, iBooks, Navigon.
That would do me.
But I'd miss Infinity Blade, Facebook, and Dungeon Hunter 2.

Jackson says:

Mondo points for the LOST reference!

  1. Well this would have been plants vs zombies up until about 30 minutes ago, so fruit ninja.
  2. Starwalk so I can know what I'm looking at.
  3. Facebook because I have a problem.
  4. MLB at bat for whatever year this happens.
  5. Nike + GPS. Maybe not the most useful on a desert island, but I use this app all the time!
SteveC says:

In no particular order...
1) Pandora
2) Skype
3) Kindle
4) Geocaching (Hide a cache + post the coords = rescued in NO time!)
5) Weatherbug

Rene R. says:

Reeder, Evernote, 2Do, eReader, Facebook

Rickg13 says:

Kindle, Netflix, linkedin, angry birds or civilization, and maybe FB

Ody says:
  1. NYTimes
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. Wikipedia
  5. NextBus DC
Pinny says:

My most used 3rd party apps are:
1. Atomic Browser (can do basically everything)
2. PlainText (speedy Dropbox editor...great for GTD lists)
3. LoseIt (trying to get healthy)
4. Instaviz (incredible program for mindmapping and flowcharts)
5. Textfree (gotta love unlimited free texting and crystal clear VOIP)
Twitter? Facebook? Seriously?

niko360 says:

It's got to be
Viber (VoIP)
Call of duty zombies
IBooks
Pushme.to (free texing)
Street Fighter 4

Binja says:

MyWi(jailbreak)- the single greatest app ever created. At least, for those with unlimited Data. WoW works just fine. I use about 200 GB's a month and AT&t has never said a word. Probably cause I live in the boonies and everyone else is on Verizon out here.
Evernote- so handy it hurts.
SleepCycle Alarm- cause it's nice to feel great when you wake up.
GeoCaching- this is the best use I have found for having a smartphone. It justifies the $100 a month entirely on it's own. My kingdom for an iPod touch with GPS.
Flashlight(jailbreak): for those of us on a model without a flash, this is a lifesaver.

muhjohnson says:

Who cares! I guess you losers have nothing else better to do. I mean really, really?

Ragge says:

I guess I would´nt keep the iPhone... Lol
But stranded on an island with Wi-Fi, I think I would go with:
iReal SMS
Facebook
Palringo
AwesomeNote
Bakery Story

JonnyGerman says:

Hipstamatic
Awesome Note
Textfree
Skype
Iris Photo Suite
Instagrammers - why on earth would you choose that over Hipstamatic when you've only got 5 apps? Don't you care about quality at all?

BillyB4 says:

Recorder - It's an okay recording app, but that built-in phone call recording has been a real plus for me.
VoCal Voice Reminder - I use this app all the time.
Fox8 Flash - This is the app for channel 8 news here in Cleveland. It's enabled with live news streaming so I can watch the news while away from a TV.
Netflix - It's getting better with the streaming and selections. Beats having to run out to the video store or trying to find a Redbox.
JotNot Pro - Had to use it a few times already for faxing documents. Works great. Very convenient.

Avenged110 says:

1) Tilt to Live because I have a strange addiction
2) Netflix because its only going to grow selection wise, and because we all need movies, right?
3) Twitter because I can
4) Facebook because it's Facebook
5) Pandora for endless music streams...

nicole says:
  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Pandora
  4. FeeddlerRSS
  5. YouTube

I was going to say Yelp & Flixster but if I'm trapped on an island I can't see much use for those. ;)

Frank says:

1) Facebook
2) 8mm (extremly cool videoapp, realtime-editing)
3) Skype (video-calls from everywhere)
4) iOutBank (Online-Banking from everywhere)
5) Inception (my own soundtrack in realtime)

Tom says:

It's a useless question. If I could only have 5 apps on my iPhone, I'd buy a different phone.

Geddy says:

Silly. It's just a hypothetical scenario.
Read some of the replies. Some very good app ideas here.

NEO2126 says:

not to rain on anyone's parade... but do we even get signal on this island? how do any of these apps work with no service? that being said, facebook, the weather channel, mail, flashlight, ipod.

NEO2126 says:

i never read the entire article... :::face slap:::

Tyler Woodfin says:

Only 5 you say? Hmm... this is in no particular order, but:
Netflix
ooTunes
Reeder
PlainText
Facebook

Karolisk says:

Facebook;Doodle jump;lastFm;TomTom;hipstamatic

Seth says:

5 Apps I cant live without - Netflix, DropBox, Awesome Note, Instagram, 1Password
Honorable Mention - Wunderlist, Twitter, 8mm, Pastebot, Hipstamatic

Y4n says:

Mustache groomer
Snowmelter
ilazyapp
Prison maker
Sbsettings (the one w/icon)
This is all pretend, right?

jnjewlz says:

Strictly Business - Real Estate
1. Dropbox
2. LogMeIn Ignition
3. PlainText
4. Genius Scan+
5. 360

Rapid says:
  1. facebook
  2. ebay
  3. sky sports news
  4. fantasy football manager
  5. whats app
Nicolas says:

1.facebook
2.GPS
3.whats app
4.skype
5.cydia

Carlos Oliveira says:

In no particular order:

  • Facebook;
  • Camera+;
  • Articles;
  • Byline;
  • Angry Birds.
Ian says:

• Appigo's Todo - task management is essential, without this I couldn't keep track of everything I do.
• Silvio Rizzi's Reeder - keeps me up to date wherever I am.
• Codality's SimpleNote - love the web sync option. Have tons of notes I need to refer to regularly, and generally don't need fancy text formatting or images.
• 1Password - always need to log into various services and networks and such, and with this I have all my access details handy anywhere I go.
• 1Torch4 - having been caught without power in the recent floods in Queensland (whilst on holidays!) this came in handy getting across a flooded field at night. Of course I put the iPhone in a ziplock bag to protect it before venturing out in waist deep water!
Honourable Mentions:
• OzWeather
• CarbonFin Outliner - really useful for basic outlines and mini-project management
• iCollect Movies Pro - I have a nice movie collection and this helps keep track of it all
• AroundMe - saved us a few times getting back to Brisbane, finding petrol stations and detours to avoid flooded roads
• Campos Fix, Melbourne Coffee, Beanhunter - what can I say but COFFEE !
• Various medical and chemistry apps - useful in my area of herbal medicine and teaching herbal medicine and chemistry
• iDisk or DropBox

Jermjerome says:

Well, as I am very social active person, the first two apps would be:
1) FACEBOOK
2) TWITTER
Then, because I am a big fan of photography, the next two in line are:
3) FX PHOTO STUDIO
4) PERFECT PHOTO
And finally, 5) ANGRY BIRDS. Cause it's just very fun and cool)

Manuel says:

1) Runkeeper
2) Facebook (2nd, cuz its also accessible via safari)
3) Camera+
4) White Noise (cant sleep w/o it)
5) Tilt to live

Manuel says:

1) Runkeeper
2) Facebook (2nd, cuz its also accessible via safari)
3) Camera+
4) White Noise (cant sleep w/o it)
5) Tilt to live

Shon says:

This is a fun poll. Can you take iPad instead of iPhone? Even if not, my top 5 apps will be: Wiki, Facebook, Fifa, Fx Photo Studio, Hipstamatic

Crypton says:

1) StreamToMe (UI is nicer than Air Video, and it supports audio and photo streaming)
2) iBooks (even on my iPhone, reading on iBooks is OK for me)
3) LogMeIn Ignition
4) AppShopper App (IMO the single best App-finder and -tracker app)
5) Progressive Alarm Clock (I just love how smoothly I wake up with it).

Geddy says:
  1. Bible (You Version app is my fav.)
  2. FB (Indispensable)
  3. The Weather Channel
  4. LED light (Flashlight, very handy)
  5. Bass Tuner (Assuming I also have my bass on the island too)

Plenty of great app ideas posted already. Thanks.

mister papi says:

Thanks for all the awesome suggestions on here... If it were me stuck on an island these would be my 5... In order of frequent use...
1. Facebook-Cuz I wanna keep in touch with friends.
2. Pandora-Cuz I love music 24/7.
3. Twitter-Cuz I wanna know what people are up to.
4. Dragon Dictation-Cuz I'll get tired of typing with my thumbs.
5. Instagram-Cuz it's free and it loads to Twitter and FB quickly.

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