By: Hillel Fuld
Yes yes, we have all heard the numbers and they are ridiculous. The only thing 450,000 iOS apps give me as a consumer is a whole lot of confusion, especially in light of the fact that no company has really cracked the app discovery challenge. There are so many iOS apps out there, a new iPhone user literally does not know where to start.
Back in the olden days, I used to visit the App Store every day to find new and exciting apps, either in the Free section or among the apps featured by Apple. I have stopped doing that as it has gotten seriously overwhelming and 200 apps on my iPhone is more than enough.
Having said that, there are some apps on my iPhone that I use regularly and could not live without (well, I could technically live without them, but my quality of life would significantly decrease) and I figured you would want to know what they are.
The following are five apps I have on my iPhone that I use regularly and are definitely worth the download:
1: Echofon: The number of Twitter apps I have on my iPhone is borderline ridiculous. I mean an entire folder of apps that tweet is just insane. Having said that, my Twitter addiction is no less ridiculous and I need the Twitter app that I use to not hold me back. I have tried em all. Tweetbot, Tweetdeck, Tweetings, Maha, Osfoora, Tweetfire, Weet, and yes, Twitter. Each app has its advantages and disadvantages, but after all my tests, Echofon Pro comes out on top every time.
It is the fastest and more feature-packed Twitter app out there in my experience. There is of course a free lite version if you don’t want to pay the $4.99 and are not bothered by some in-app ads. If I were you, I would try out the free version and if you like it as much as I do, shell out the five bucks, you won’t regret it. Download it here.
2: Facebook Messenger: Whether or not the Facebook Messenger app will kill SMS or not, is up for debate. What is not up for debate is that among all the UI changes Facebook makes and all the new apps and features it releases, this one is a keeper. I downloaded it as soon as it was available and with the exception of one time, the app has worked flawlessly and done what it was supposed to.
If you have not yet downloaded the free app, and are a Facebook user (who’s not?) you are going to want to check this out. That is, assuming you are ok with appearing online all the time. Of course some people have issues with Facebook Chat so this app is not for them, but in my case, it has proven to be very convenient and I am a fan of the UI. Download it here.
3: iLlumination: The App Store has way too many flashlight apps, and that is a fact. Like Twitter apps, I have tried many of them and iLlumination somehow managed to stay on my iPhone. At the end of the day, this app is a flashlight so there is only so much I can say but it definitely has just the right amount of customization to make it a sticky app.
You can define that the flashlight is turned on as you launch the app and you can define the color of the light itself. You can also make the light flash like a strobe and many other options. There is of course a free ad-supported version or a paid one with no ads. Download it here.
4: QuickPix: For an app to replace the default Apple solution on the iPhone, it has to be really good and QuickPix is. The app has replaced the default Camera app on the iPhone and primarily for one reason. It is fast, super fast! QuickPix launches seconds before the Camera app would and includes almost all the same features and more. There is a video and camera mode, you can reverse the camera to the front facing one, and you can define settings like Auto Flash, Exposure, and White Balance.
There are also features not supported in the Camera app like the ability to snap a photo while taking a video or the ability to take photos in Burst mode at a speed you are not going to believe. To be honest, it has been giving me some issues since I upgraded to iOS5 but that is a beta version so no complaints there. Download it here.
5: Meebo: As you might have noticed, 3/5 of the apps on this list are social but I guess that makes sense given the amount of time I spend on the social Web. When it comes to IM apps, like Twitter apps and flashlight apps, they are a dime a dozen. There are so many of them and I have tried them all. Some of the great IM apps I have tried include Fring, IM+, Nimbuzz, imo, and many others. Yet, somehow when I need to send an IM, Meebo is my go-to app.
It supports well over 100 networks including the big ones like AIM, Yahoo, Gmail, Facebook, and more. It does NOT have Skype but I have not found an IM app that does. Meebo loads fast and has been the most stable solution I have found in the last year or so. Oh, and it is free. Download it here.
You think that was easy? Choosing just five apps to recommend out of hundreds? It wasn’t, but all five are great apps in terms of what they offer and how they offer it. I could have listed many more apps for you like Viber, Tango, Linkedin, Flyscreen, Daps’em, WhatsApp, Songify, and NetTalk, but I chose not to. Oh, crap!!