TiPb checks out the best, most must-have apps to load up as soon as you get your new iPhone
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
Facebook 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
Angry 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
Skype 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
Sure, 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
While 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, Box.net, 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
Epic'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
Thanks 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
The 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
Previously 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
Get 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!
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