The essential iPhone apps for new iPhone users

Dec 21, 2009
Tech

So, you’ve been put on the nice list this year, and Santa decided to get you an iPhone. Soon after getting it out of the box, you’ll realize how customizable the iPhone can be. However, navigating the world of iPhone apps can be overwhelming. With so many to choose from, how do you decide which ones to get first? […]

So, you’ve been put on the nice list this year, and Santa decided to get you an iPhone. Soon after getting it out of the box, you’ll realize how customizable the iPhone can be. However, navigating the world of iPhone apps can be overwhelming. With so many to choose from, how do you decide which ones to get first?

The best way to start, of course, is by downloading the new Appolicious iPhone app.  After that, check out our list of the essential apps for new iPhone users.

iPhone apps to keep everything running smoothly

First and foremost, your new iPhone is running great just out of the box, and since you’d like to keep it that way, your first download should be the System Activity Monitor. This iPhone app will keep your phone running in top shape, and also allows you to see what’s taking up your memory and then free it up. The app costs only $2.99, which is way better than waiting in line or on the phone for tech support.

iPhone apps for Internet navigation

One of the best things about owning an iPhone is getting online with a mobile phone browser that is easy to use. Since you’ll be spending some time on the world wide web, here’s a few iPhone apps to keep you busy. I’d recommend downloading the Google Mobile App. It’s free and it will make your Internet searches as easy as pressing a button. The iPhone app also features search by voice, which allows you to search for things like movie times fairly hands-free, which is helpful when walking or driving.

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Wikipedia Mobile (Free), is another good time saver for the Web. Just pull up a wiki page with a touch of the screen. Wikipedia is great for a quick check up on what’s out there. Don’t know what’s-his-name who plays That Guy from the sitcom last night? Chances are Wikipedia does.

iPhone apps for staying in touch

Your new iPhone will give you a ton of ways to communicate with your friends and colleagues. Besides making a plain ol’ phone call or sending a text message, you can stay in touch by using the iPhone app version of your favorite social networking sites. FacebookLinkedInMySpace, and Flickr all have a mobile version, and they’re all free. There are several mobile Twitter clients, the best free one is Echofon for Twitter. The iPhone apps all work like a slightly-simplified version of the full site and allow you to post new pictures, comments, and tags on the go than you ever thought possible.

iPhone apps for getting information

The iPhone can get you the most current news in seconds. For the weather and what’s going on in your neighborhood, there’s Local News, Weather, and More. The name says it all. This great app is free and will give you movie times, lotto numbers, sports and local news. Political junkies should check out Huffington Post app (free) for keeping up to date with what the blogs are saying. If you are on the other side of the political aisle, try Conserva – Fox News, Drudge Report + MoreThe New York Times (free) app gives a constant stream of updated news stories. You can browse news by latest, most viewed, and can also search for stories, save them, and email them to a friend. The NY Times iPhone app also allows you to link it to your Twitter and Facebook pages with the touch of a button.

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Music Fans: It’s more than just an iPod

The iPhone has more for music junkies than just the installed iPod. Music fans can download any number of really cool music iPhone apps, but I have some favorites for you to take for a test drive. The first is Pandora (Free). I still haven’t found a better Internet radio station. Pandora uses a song or artist that you’ve entered and then plays songs which are similar. It’s a great way to learn about some artists you might not have otherwise known. Also, for all music fans who have ever listened to the radio and wanted to know who that song was by, there’s Shazam (Free). Just hold your iPhone towards the music source and like magic you’ll get the name of the song and composer in seconds.

There is no shortage of great programs at Apple’s iTunes App Store. Search around and find a program that’s just right for you. New apps are loaded every day, and there’s always something new to try out. These handy suggestions should get you started and will show you all the iPhone can do without breaking the bank. Remember, lots of iPhone appa come as a lite version as well, which gives you a chance to try it out before you purchase it. So, good luck and good downloading!

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Matthew Hendrickson

Matthew Hendrickson is a freelance writer and Editor and Chief of Jettison Quarterly. He lives in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood and has a degree in journalsim from Columbia College. He has written for the Chicago Journal, The Chicago Reporter, and ChicagoTalks.  His three-part story about lead poisoning rates in Chicago was featured at Propublica.org and IRE.org.

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