Favorite iPhone apps

The iOS apps installed om my smartphone.

Some of my friends recently bought an iPhone and they often ask which apps they should install. Last year I made a list with “Mac apps for switchers”. Here is my “Favorite iPhone” apps list.

Free apps


It has been around for ages and is one of the first apps I installed. Shazam records a few seconds of a song you are listing to in a pub, a party, on the radio… analyses the recording and tells you the artist, title and album. It even keeps a list of all your recordings and links to the iTunes or YouTube version. For me, it’s a great reminder of which songs I liked. Shazam works great if there isn’t too much background noise, but I can hardly blame Shazam for that.


Another classic one. The first app installed on my phone and still on the home screen. I hardly ever use the Facebook website anymore, checking the latest status updates and photos from my iPhone is what I need, and this app does this without all the annoying requests.


You can make calls (over Wi-Fi, 3G and EDGE are not supported) or chat as you would expect. It’s promising and the test we did was impressive (switching between desktop and iPhone), quality was great as well, I almost never use it. There are no background applications on the iPhone, so you need to have Skype running to receive calls and that’s where it goes wrong. I still hope they will add push notification support so that you get a pop-up for an incoming call and can open Skype only when you need to.


Not my favorite application from a design perspective and only useful when you happen to be in Belgium, but the data is good. It shows a map of the Belgian highway network with a traffic incidents overlay, showing roadworks, accidents and traffic jams. I know, this should be included in Google Maps, butit isn’t (yet). Let’s hope this app will be redundant in the future.

WiFi Checker

Scans for wireless access points and checks if the open ones have a free internet connection (and not some “pay here” holding page). It is useful to find some internet juice when abroad. This one is not iOS 3 ready (yet). This was the only app of this kind at the time so I should check again if there aren’t any better alternatives available today (WiFiTrack for example).

Paid apps


Tweetie is a €2,39 Twitter client. It’s well designed, fast and supports multiple Twitter accounts. I like its simplicity and speed but there are free alternatives if you want: Twitterrific or TweetDeck. Birdhouse looks nice as well, but I haven’t tried it yet.

Flight Control

Something different: a game! You must draw lines from the planes to their landing strips and make sure they don’t crash into one another. It’s as simple as that. You can choose between multiple airports and there is even a multiplayer mode but it’s simplicity that makes it great. No learning curve, lovely graphics and addictive as hell. Firemint released their sales results in : in less than 2 months they earned $700.000! Impressive for a €0,79 app.


Things is a task list app; I use it to keep track of things I must do. There are hundreds of these apps in the App Store, but Things Touch is the iPhone version of its bigger brother Tings for Mac which I already use. I like it but €7,99 may be a little too expensive for what it’s worth.


A €2,39 finance app I use to keep track of my expenses. The design looks good and it’s nice to use. Same comment as for Things really, I use Cha-Ching for iPhone as I have been using the desktop version for a while and syncing is what I want. Cha-Ching is still a little buggy, and they change their design more as they change the code (so to speak) but I’m using the beta so shouldn’t complain. Check Squirrl as well, it’s comparable to Cha-Ching.