iPhone Apps I Recommend, 2012 Edition.

I was really impressed with Robert Scoble’s ‘system‘ last year of whittling down his apps to his top 100, by deleting any he hadn’t used recently. (I forget what the exact criteria was, I think it was if he didn’t use it in a certain month, he deleted it.)

Whilst I haven’t gone through the same rigorous routine and admittedly my method isn’t scientific at all, I thought I would write a new post about my 50 top recommended apps of 2012. I wrote a post in August last year, but things have moved on a bit since then!! (And i’ve actually noted my top 60ish!).

This time, I have followed Scobleizer’s method of categorising the apps and also giving a tiny blurb about what each one actually does. The ones in bold are ones that I really, really like.



FacebookDoes it need an explanation
TwitterCommunicate, Microblog, keep up with what is happening in the world
Pinterest“Pin” things you like to boards, “repin” others “pins”


Runkeeper – Use the GPS to track your route, your speed, pace, distance. Share and compare with others. See if you are improving. Get live updates as you exercise.
Fitocracy – Use game mechanics and good ol’ competition to get fitter! Get points, badges, awards and bragging rights!


SkypeVideo chat, IM, Voice chat.
ViberViber allows you to call other viber users using data/wifi instead of using ‘minutes.’ Best part – no usernames needed – just their mobile phone number.
Facebook MessengerUse the chat/message function by itself. Group messages, etc.
SparrowA great email replacement app, especially for gMail users. Handles multiple gmail accounts, labels, stars etc. The official google Gmail app is good too.
VoxerTurn your iPhone into a walkie-talkie! Often easier than trying to write a text message
GroupMeCreate a group and communicate with them via group messaging.

Geo & Location

FoursquareCheckin to locations, find friends recommendations and “tips” of things to do/try at that venue. Earn points & badges for checkins, checkin the most per month and be the mayor. Many businesses offer real life perks to the mayor. (e.g. Here)

WazeInstead of paying $80 for a proprietary maps app, why not get a free one that has been crowdsourced? As everyone who has the app installed drives around, the maps are uploaded and updated to the waze server. But thats just the start – because all these users also update traffic, police, hazards, accidents. This allows you to pick your route based on where the traffic is best!
Traffic AKLJust incase you want a giant overview of Auckland Traffic. Work out where the motorways are clogged, plan your route accordingly.
Find my Friends – Check where your friends are at, location wise


George FM – Listen to George FM wherever you are
NatureSpace – Soothing sounds of Nature that are totally immersive. Excellent for concentration, meditation, or sleeping.
JazzRadio.Com – Listen to 18 different channels of Jazz music. Free and Paid plans.
Spotify – Any music, anywhere. See Spotify.com
Flicks – NZ Movie times, reviews, announcements, blogs, etc.
Audible – Listen to Audiobooks from Audible.com. If you want a version that uses the free Librivox.org recordings, try Audiobooks  

Learn / Information / Reading

FlipboardFlipboard is a visually awesome way to consume news. The latest headlines from any feed you want, as well as your facebook, twitter, instagram feeds. Stay up to date with developments in your area (fashion, technology, design), but in a way that is easy to use, easy to navigate, and very functional. Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed
LinkedInMore than simply a network of CV’s, LinkedIn also has excellent articles related to different fields – nonprofit, technology, management, parenting, design, architecture
KindleRead eBooks. Syncs with your amazon account on all devices
NZ HeraldThe NZ herald, iPhone app


InstagramTake a photo, add a cool filter, post. Simple. 40 million users can’t be wrong!
iMovie – Shoot and Edit videos on your iPhone. Vimeo is also great
Snapseed – Edit photos in so many ways it’s crazy. Crop, straighten, adjust hue and saturation, add filters. Share to instagram, facebook etc….
360Create a 360deg, movable image of your surrounds. Here’s one I prepared earlier. If you are on a device with a Accelerometer, you can move your device and it will move the image – like you are there!
Camera+ – A camera app with a whole bunch more features than the native one. Timer, burst mode, ISO etc….


Kiwibank (the BNZ and ASB apps are also good)
TV Listing – Get a listing of what is on each channel right now, or get a list by channel. Supports push notifications too
Powershop – See powershop.co.nz – save money on power. Use the iPhone app to update your meter reading so you only get billed for what you use
TransitTimes – Get bus, ferry and train times
Shazam – Hear a song you like but not sure who sings it? Simply “tag” it with Shazam which matches it against an online database and lets you know who sings its.
iTunes Remote – Control iTunes from your iPhone.
Vodafone – Check your account balance and remaining minutes, text, data etc.
IMDb  – Search the entire IMDB database for reviews, actor bios, plot synopsis etc
Orcon – View your balance and usage.
Invy – Find a date / time that works for everyone to meet up
Convert – Convert things!
Keynote Remote – Running a presentation from your mac? Control it remotely with your iPhone
Car Music – A great app for controlling music whilst driving. Much nicer and easier to use (while driving especially) than the native music player.
AccuWeather – An international service that gives you highly specific (location wise) weather reports
Flashlight – use the flash on your iPhone as a torch!
LogMeIn – Install the client on your computer and then log in to your computer remotely via the iPhone
Splitwise – Keep a tally of who owes you what, (or vice versa) and then record payments as they happen. Also split a bill between a number of people, or track a group account (like a flat kitty). 

Getting Things Done

Agenda – A great calendar replacement. Better features, better layout, better UI.
Evernote – Evernote is a fantastic note taking service that is very, very powerful. Use it for university and taking notes in class / lectures, storing recipes, webpages for research. All your notes are available online.
Trello – See Trello.com – Organise anything, with anyone. Trello is simple, lightweight and visual.
Podio – See Podio.com – Project management for teams, with all sorts of add ons. We also use Teambox (Teambox.com)
Dropbox – See Dropbox.com – Have all your files when you need them, and in sync everywhere. Save it once, it updates everywhere. Basically becomes the file system for your iPhone
Toggl – Time tracking software. See Toggl.com
30/30 – A daily planning app that keeps you focussed on what you were trying to achieve!
Attachments – Categorises and organises your gmail attachments so they are right at your fingertips!
Google Drive – Have access to your Google Drive files directly from a native app. Manage permissions, editing etc.


TripIt – Great for having your itinerary on your phone. Simply email your itinerary to plans@tripit.com
Kayak – Get flight information (delays, gate changes etc) on your iPhone
AirNZ mPass – Use your iPhone as your boarding pass


Subway – Ditch carrying a subcard around and just use the app. Further, order your sub from the app and then skip the line!
Hello Vino – Get wine pairing recommendations for food
Countdown – Search supermarkets, find what Aisle a certain thing is hiding in, create shopping lists etc.


Sleep Cycle – Sleep Cycle measures your movement during the night (using the Accelerometer in the phone) and then wakes you up when you are in a light sleep rather than a deep sleep.
Civil Defence – Get civil defence alerts, and check in with loved ones to let them know you are safe

1 Comment

  1. nice DJ … some i didnt know of GBY

Leave a Reply