Latest in App store

Image credit:

Our Favorite Apps: Stuff that stayed on our phones in 2009


As the year draws to a close, we thought we'd shine a spotlight on some of the favorite apps we used this year. These are the "sticky" apps, the ones that lingered on our iPhones after we gave them a preliminary spin. There's so much on the App Store, good, bad and indifferent; here are a few suggestions for items that deserve your attention.

  • iAssociate [$1.99] Hugely challenging and long-term fun, this Funny-Farm-style game makes you brainstorm out associations from a core word or phrase. (Original TUAW review) -- Erica Sadun
  • TrailGuru [Free] Not a perfect app but a very handy one to keep track of your neighborhood walks. I love the way that TrailGuru lets me post my maps after each walk, keeps track of my average and max speed, and how I can break the walk down into laps. That really helps since I tend to walk in mile-long circles. -- ES
  • Twittelator Pro [$4.99] I use Twitter a lot when I'm away from home, and Twittelator Pro from Stone Design just keeps getting better. When Twitter changes, Twittelator Pro is usually the first app to support the new features. -- Steve Sande
  • Dropbox [Free] In case you haven't already figured it out, I'm a Dropbox fanatic. The iPhone client is fast, free, and makes it easy for me to view, share, or delete files on all of my machines. (Original TUAW post) -- SS
  • Doodle Jump [$0.99] All work and no play makes Steve a dull boy, so I have my share of games on my iPhone. As the App Store ad warns, Doodle Jump is addictive. My top score isn't that great, but Doodle Jump keeps me coming back for more. -- SS
  • BeejiveIM [$5.99] When we're out on the go, we always want to stay connected to each other. Beejive offers many IM features that allow us to do this, including its recently-added group chat support. -- Joachim Bean
  • MoodAgent [Free for now] A great little app for creating playlists based on a variety of criteria like tempo, sensuality, mood, etc. Similar to Genius, but I find its playlists to be more apropos in most situations. (Original TUAW review) -- Brett Terpstra
  • Instapaper Pro [$4.99] My ultimate read-later collection. Save pages to it from any browser (including Mobile Safari), then read text-only or full versions of them when you're good and ready. It can also output .epub files for Stanza, but the built-in reader has some excellent functionality. (TUAW Friday Favorite) -- BT
  • Stanza [Free] My favorite e-book reader. It's free. 'Nuff said. -- BT
  • Bookmark [$2.99] An audiobook sub-system for iTunes. It lets you place bookmarks, always saves your place, stays on when the app is closed and lots more. I use it every day. (Original TUAW Review) -- David Winograd
  • Boxcar [Free] Given the choice between burning SMS messages to get updates from Twitter and other networks, or using Boxcar to control notifications and give me just what I need... well, it's a keeper, even with the additional costs to support more web services. -- Mike Rose
  • Evernote [Free] We talk about it all the time, but it's because we use it. Evernote gives you a PDF viewer, document management, notes with geolocation, and all without hassles or aggravation. (Recent TUAW coverage) --MR
  • Radio Paradise [Free] There are plenty of streaming audio apps on the store, many with more flexibility and more music discovery power (much love, Pandora), but none with the homemade goodness of the Radio Paradise app. You can instantly mark or buy tracks you like, and the sleep timer feature + the AirCurve acoustic base = bedside music nirvana. --MR
  • Roambi [Free] This data visualization app isn't going to entertain you on long trips or sing you to sleep, but give it your business spreadsheets or sales projections and watch the fireworks. Roambi's ability to drill down into large data sets should wow your colleagues at the next quarterly status meeting. With a $99 Roambi Pro account, you can pull data directly from a Google Spreadsheet for the ultimate in cloud charting. --MR
  • Fast Contacts [$1.99] earned a spot on my home screen with a couple of key features Apple forgot in the vanilla contact app. Two useful features: contact sorting in numerous ways (even location) and an event list that will alert you to birthdays (provided you input them). -- Victor Agreda, Jr.
  • Sally's Spa [$2.99] is one of a multitude of time management games, but it's been a keeper on my iPhone. I picked it up back when it was on sale for 99 cents, and it was worth the money. The graphics are very nice, and updates further tweak the game's responsiveness. The only downside is the battery drain. -- Megan Lavey
  • Currencies [$1.99] was indispensable when I visited my fiancé in the UK in October. The application has a nice interface and is easy to use to switch back among multiple currencies. There are many converters out there, but this one proved to be the most responsive. -- ML
  • Lose It! [Free] is the best food and exercise journal you can find for the iPhone, especially for the price. The latest version only adds to it by allowing you to share your progress online. It's easy to update and, since you're likely to have your iPhone with you whenever you're eating or exercising, it's hard not to forget to update your food or exercise log throughout the day. -- ML
  • Sportacular [Free, Pro available for $1.99] There are a bevy of apps on the App Store designed to give you the scores for your favorite teams when you need them, but this one's the best -- it's quick and easy to use, has a full playing field of features, and hits a home run with free, customizable push alerts whenever you want them. The Facebook integration and social features (discuss games with others online, or chart your predictions over a season) are just extra points on the board. -- Mike Schramm
  • I am T-Pain [$1.99] Ok, yes, it's a joke. But the iPhone has been a breeding ground for innovative music applications, and this, the little app that automatically autotunes your voice to line up with a surprising amount of background music choices, actually appeals to all musicians, from the corporate desk jockey who just wants to yell out "shawwty!" after a hard day at work to the indie musician who wants a cheap autotune sound for their LP. It's a professional piece of software hidden in a very casual product -- an app that's perfect for the iPhone platform. -- MS
Of course, we want to hear your top picks and can't-live-without-em apps as well... let us know!

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr