Ten (or so) Essential Apps On My iPhone

iPhone 5

Here are the apps I use most on my iPhone. Once again I have to say I’m fairly quirky so your mileage may vary.


TaskPaper is used for lists of all sorts. The ease with which I can create them on my Mac and have them replicated on the phone and iPad and the joy of a text format make this an essential. See my posts tagged TaskPaper for my reasons why (and a bonus AppleScript to add tasks to Reminders).


I went looking for an app that would allow me to quickly log events and Tio is it. The free version allows you three different events but the paid one allows up to nine, the last three are actually timers. It’s perfect for logging when you took medication, I also used it on my last attempt to give up cigarettes. You press the button and the time date and button pressed are logged and you can easily look at the log. The event log can be mailed to you for easy analysis on your computer.


A good calculator is essential and Pcalc is one of the best. It supports a tape, multiple registers, a bunch of constants, a bunch of conversions (including currency conversions using downloaded rates), and rotate your phone sideways for math functions and the four most common numerical bases.

Silver Service

If you live in a large city you need a taxi booking app and in Sydney I like Silver Service cabs. The app is easy to use and I always seem to get a cab promptly.

World Clock 2 lite

This is to make sure I don’t phone my brother at three in the morning or phone home at the same time when I am travelling. There may be other clocks that will display multiple time zones but this is the one I use. It can easily show four time zones and local.

TextExpander, Dropbox, Evernote

These three are now considered essential on all my compute devices — phone, iPad and Macs.

TextExpander gets a bit of a workout on the phone as I have a bunch of good little snippets for sending SMSes and emails, much more than on the iPad.

Dropbox is a total godsend. As much as possible gets saved to Dropbox on all my devices. Dropbox is capable of opening text files and PDFs from within the app itself as well as providing a sync point for many other apps.

I keep on trying to find a note taking app that is easier and quicker than Evernote that syncs across phone, pad and Mac as well and supports MultiMarkdown but I ain’t found it yet. If you’re listening Evernote what I’d like is a tiny little app for Mac and iOs that worked just like nvALT that saved the notes in a special Evernote Notebook called “Scratch”. I’d still need Evernote but a lightning fast note taker would be good.

Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter

While my iPad is a device for creating as well as consuming my phone is a social device, it’s used to keep in touch with people. To do that I use Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter. I like the game natiure of Foursquare, it’s tips are getting better all the time, particularly in Sydney. Snapchat and Instagram also fall into this zone but I only use Snapchat with my daughter and I’m only just starting out with Instagram.

TuneIn Radio

TuneIn allows me to listen to my favourite radio stations anywhere I am. Unfortunately it doesn’t allow me to listen to the cricket.

Reminders, Clock and Maps

I’ve put these at the bottom of the list because they’re used all the time but I rarely actually open them on the phone. Reminders get set on my Mac or by Siri and I’m always using Siri to set alarms in the clock. I also find it much easier to find a location or get directions by asking Siri.

So that’s my list, what’s yours?


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