I was sick of reading useless app lists of “top 100 must have apps” of apps I really didn’t need to have. So here are the apps that I actually use. Most of them on a daily basis. Leave a comment if you have a better suggestion for an app in any of the categories I mention.
Find iPhone - This is a Free feature of mobile-me/iCloud, this app has instructions on how to set it up, but ultimately is just a ‘radar’ app. Set this up and hope you never have to use it.
Plain Text - Note taking app with dead simple interface and Dropbox sync. The Dropbox sync seals the deal for me.
Instapaper - For reading stuff later. Partners with a bookmarklet on your computer. Click to save the page to the app in a stripped down version (no formatting or ads, like news print).
RedLaser - Scan ALL the barcodes! Also does internet lookups when the barcode is identified as a product. Oh QR Codes too.
Alien Blue - For your Reddit.com fix. Hands down the best mobile reddit browser. Disappointing that its not a unified iPhone/iPad app.
Beluga - Group messaging, but it requires a Facebook account. That being said, its my favorite way to do groups on the go.
Foursquare - So you know where I am!
Photo and Video
Instagram - Dead simple photo sharing. Pro Tip: if you add a location to the photo it will check you in on foursquare too.
DerManDar - Panoramas made easy and most importantly doesn’t require a plugin like flash or silverlight to view the result (e.g. microsoft’s photosynth)
Postage - Turn pictures into digital postcards for email/twitter/fb. I use this to share moments with my family who don’t use twitter or instagram.
Eye-Fi - Uploads pictures straight to iPhoto like its magic. (May be replaced with iCloud)
Vivino - Wine catalog made easy. Snap a picture of a wine label and some image recognition will id the wine. Love it for trips to Napa/Sonoma.
NYTimes for iPad - I prefer the iPad app for my news fix, all but the Front Page and Videos sections are behind a paywall.
Netflix - Watch ALL the movies!
CrunchyRoll - Netflix for anime.
HBO GO - If you get HBO you can use this app to get unlimited access to all their past premium offerings.
Google Tv - Way better for every day use than the Logitech keyboard.
FlightTrack Pro - Flight updates and notifications. Hands down the best tool to have while flying.
iCaltrain 2011 - Schedule for the SF bay-area train schedule.
iBART Live - Schedule for the SF subway.
Google - Quick access to google’s mobile products and, of course, search.
Amazon.com - Since I bike everywhere I tend to use Amazon.com for purchases if I don’t need it now. Amazon has a great mobile product and that helps make the next day shipping deadline in emergencies.
WootWatch - Need to check woot.com on the go. I’m a graphic-t addict!
The best games
(I’m not going to go into detail for each one, just go check them out)
Red Alert - RTS
Critter Crunch - puzzle: Stop the slowly lowering wall of bugs by eating them.
Bubble Bust! - puzzle: Bubble Bobble clone
Tiny Wings - arcade: happy birds!
Sounddrop - music game
de Blob - arcade: paint the world!
Aki Mahjong - puzzle: mahjong
Apps I use less frequently
Prompt - SSH for the masses. Not uses frequently, but has saved my butt a few times when the server was down.
Remote - iTunes remote. As I switch to my AppleTv for music this app has less use for me
Qik - Live video streaming to YouTube or Facebook. I use this to share my meetup that I host.
Wordpress - For quick blogging on the go.
This American Life - Once a week, the best hour of the week. I started doing this via podcasts+AppleTv. The app is still great for road trips.
TripIt or TripDeck - Trip itinerary visualization. For when you are Flying, then renting a car, then going to a hotel, then a different hotel, then on a boat, then renting another car, then flying back. These apps will make your life easier.