App of the Week: My Top Ten Most Used Apps

Categories: Tech

Almost five years ago, I was talking to a friend who had an iPhone. I swore up and down that after a failed BlackBerry experience in the mid-'90s, I had zero interest in another so-called smart phone. My friend said it would change my life if I got one. I was already a Mac user, so I figured if I were to purchase a smart phone, it would be of the iPhone variety. It's now four-plus years later, and my friend was right.

In some ways, it has revolutionized how I live my life. In others, it's created yet another time suck. But this technological Swiss Army knife has most certainly connected me in ways I never thought possible, for better and worse, and a big part of that is the apps that iPhone owners can purchase by the thousands. I have quite a few and figured it might be a good idea to list the ones I use the most.

This is not necessarily a list of my favorites, though all of these would rank pretty high if I made one. This also does not include any apps that cannot be removed from the phone (with one notable exception). I used the Mail and Message apps constantly, but those seem like a given.

I'd love to hear your most used. Drop them in the comments.

Shazam is magic.
10. IMDb
I'm a fan of connecting the dots, whether it be musicians who played on various albums or actors in film, so, naturally, I use IMDb liberally. As it has improved -- particularly in the ability to find television episodes by season -- I've used it more and more.

9. Yahoo! Sportacular

This is my favorite sports app and widely considered one of if not the best out there. Yahoo! has completely reinvented itself, going from being bitch-slapped in the search engine game by Google to one of the more well respected news outlets online, particularly in sports. There are a few interface changes I'd still like to see, but for pure get-the-stats-and-scores immediacy, there is no better app.

8. Shazam
Shazam is like magic to me. For most of my life, when I heard a song, I had virtually no way of finding out who it was. Now I hold my phone up to a speaker and Shazam tells me not only who it is, but the name of the song and the album it came from. Another click or two and I've downloaded it. If this were shown to someone in the '70s, they would think it was alien technology.

7. Evernote
If I were compiling a list of apps most used on my desktop computer, Evernote might be number one. On the phone, it is insanely usable and literally keeps my entire schedule organized. Ten years ago, my version of Evernote was Post-it notes on my computer monitor. Today I carry all my lists around in my pocket.

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Correction: The Facebook app WAS a piece of crap.  They released an update JUST YESTERDAY (same day this piece was's that for writer karma?) that actually works.  It's a big improvement over the old version; they've added some sorely-needed features (like a "share" button) and external web pages actually load and display now. "Update all" from the App Store and you will be pleasantly surprised.

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