iPhone-i-fide Goddamn Hero

Last weekend I officially turned off my Android phone and felt the power in my hands as I began using an iPhone. As I wrote last time, it wasn’t a decision I took to lightly.

I spent a fair bit of time before my last post, and after, considering why the changing of Android to iPhone bore such weight for me. In some ways, I’ve tried to champion Android among my less tech savvy friends. I held up the openness, showing off my customized interface with unique icons and moving wallpaper. I constantly defended Android to my tech savvy friends who had iPhones. I even, for a short time, converted one to the world of Android only to see him return to iPhone ‘because it just works.’

The fact is that Android is following the path of Windows, becoming a more open OS and trading cost to the detriment of stability or smooth function. When a sizable OS change occurs, as did with their still-rolling-out Ice Cream Sandwich version, old phones are left in the dust. And unlike Windows, where users tend to cling to the versions they know and love, many Android fans lust for the next version. Why? Because it might do more better. The OS still feels unfinished.

So here I am, converted, happily using my iPhone. I would estimate that I spent roughly $50 on apps for the phone, from top notch games like Puzzlejuice and Ascension, to the best app for Twitter, Tweetbot, and on to other necessary apps such as ones used to help me eat healthier. It’s sad, because I’d happily weigh the best Android apps with the best iPhone apps and say that they will often match up excellently. But there are also arenas where Android simply falls flat. Tweetbot far outshines anything I found on Android, but on Android I found I prefer the selection of Reddit apps such as Reddionic (which is still in Alpha.)

In the first days I had the iPhone, I spent probably six hours toying with it and adding apps, here is the current list of apps I’ve downloaded.

Games

Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer – $4.99
I love this game and was always frustrated at being unable to play on my Android, so it was one of the very first apps I put on my phone. The game is a great game made by Magic: The Gathering pros.

Words with Friends – $0.99
I have had a long standing running series of games against my brother Adam, and I enjoy playing them so I needed the most popular version on iPhone. Though I am also like to get Scrabble. As for why pro? Well, I hate the ads.

Chess with Friends – $0.99
Same as with Words with Friends, enjoy playing with others and hate ads, so I pay the minimal cost to save me the frustration of interspersed ads.

Puzzlejuice – $0.99
Now this game, just don’t get it. Don’t put it on your phone. You’ll end up regretful and angry that I let you become addicted. It’s like that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Wesley plays that video game, or doesn’t play that video game and everyone else does. Whatever the plot was, it’s like that. This game is addictive and awesome. I’m curious how many hours I’ve sunk into it in the 4 days I’ve had my iPhone.

Bejeweled – $0.99
Old classic, great for passing time in waiting rooms without having to think too much.

Notable absentee: Tetris. Puzzlejuice fills some of my Tetris cravings, but I may succumb and send more money to Mother Russia EA.

Productivity

Wunderlist – FREE
Best productivity / to-do list app I’ve found. I loved Android’s AnyDO, but it hasn’t come to Android yet and until then I shall make do with Wunderlist. If AnyDO is a 9 on the scale, Wunderlist is an 8. Still strong, just not the app I know and love.

Evernote – FREE
Fantastic notebook app, stores pics, content etc. I’ll use it more now that I’m on iPhone, on Android I used more GoogleDocs.

Photography

Instagram – FREE
Instagram is great fun. Sort of its own social network, but more a fun camera app with easy and nifty filters for your photos.

Camera+ – $0.99
Another fun camera app, has some excellent features missing from the standard camera app including improved post processing and things like timer shot, or setting it to snap a photo when the volume peaks which is pretty cool (though I haven’t tested it yet.)

iMovie – $4.99
The most expensive app I’ve purchased, but also one that I am not sure was worth it. BUT, I also haven’t really tried shooting video on my phone yet aside from a few journal-esque videos.

Action Movie FX – FREE
Mostly silliness. Has some fun effects to add to your videos.

Health

Weightbot – $0.99
The best looking weight tracker app you’ll ever find. You have your portrait mode for entry, and then turned one way for stats, and turned horizontal the other way to see a graph of your weight log. Lacks the other feature I wish I could find in a good weight tracking app, which is allowing a second chart for body fat tracking. But that’s minor as no one else seems to have it.

Nike+ GPS – $1.99
I bought it, but RunKeeper is free and provides the same sort of functionality. I haven’t used this one enough to really be able to talk much about it yet.

MyFitnessPal – FREE
I’ve been using this to track my daily calories which I eat and how many I burn while working out. A great app with a huge directory for calories in foods, and an online website it integrates with.

Media

Downcast – $1.99
A fantastic podcast app for downloading and managing them on your iPhone. Huge directory, smart playing, lots of features. I use it for my daily commute and sometimes while working to listen to my favorite podcasts.

Netflix – FREE
Watch Netflix. Makes sense to me.

TwitchTV – FREE
For watching gamers stream games on their iPhone. I have a guilty pleasure of watching Starcraft 2 streams without owning or playing the game, and also Magic: The Gathering streams have picked up and are gaining steam. Great to watch them while on the treadmill working out.

Pandora – FREE
For when I need radio music. A general guideline of music and off we go for aural pleasure.

TED – FREE
For inspiration and awesome videos from the TED conference. Easy enough.

Xfinity – FREE
For controlling our home DVR box while out and about. I admit I thought there was some more TV streaming capability when I installed it but it’s functionality will still come in handy… eventually?

HBOGO – FREE
Watch Game of Thrones on my iPhone? Yes please.

News

AP Mobile – FREE
Seems to be among the best news apps on the iPhone, it’s ad supported but they aren’t full screen or anything like that.

The Onion – FREE
The older I get, the more I enjoy the Onion. Having it mobile is handy and good for an awkward laugh in an elevator.

ESPN Scorecenter – FREE
This is largely a direct equivalent to the app I had on Android. Good for tracking the scores I most care about.

Read It Later – $2.99
Fantastic for syncing and reading interesting articles on the phone. Good for the morning constitutionals and other such times.

Shopping

Amazon – FREE
Being an Amazon Prime member, being able to place orders quickly when out and thinking about it is a fantastic utility.

Amazon Price Check – FREE
Amazon does it again. I can’t bear to spend extra money on something i can as easily order from Amazon for free shipping.

eBay – FREE
I do very little impulse shopping on Ebay but there are times when I’m trying to find something or curious how things are doing, or also for monitoring auctions I’ve bid on if I go out and about.

Oink – FREE
Like Yelp, but for the things inside restaurants or stores. It’s the brainchild of Kevin Rose’s latest business Milk, developing mobile apps. It’s a good app though it still is struggling to catch on as a service and so it can be hard to find places which have rated items unless you’re in a metropolis like NYC, San Francisco etc.

Yelp – FREE
Like Oink but for rating the businesses as a whole, not the things inside them. Unlike Oink, it does have a big following and can be quite good to learn about locations or businesses.

Money

Bank of America – FREE
Say what you wish about the bank, but the app is fantastic and makes my life quite a bit easier in terms of making sure accounts are what they should be.

Paypal – FREE
I don’t use Paypal much, but it comes and goes in spurts for side business or something.

Square – FREE
The main thing I use this app for is for sharing the cost of a meal. Got a friend with a card and I have cash, then I’d use this to swipe their card while I pay the bill. Easy, simple, straight forward.

Social

Tweetbot – $2.99
This is the best Twitter client on iPhone and the difference is stark. Allows multiple accounts, a clean and responsive interface. Leaps and bounds above any Android Twitter clients.

Facebook – FREE
A good way to access Facebook, it does have some problems in showing new content with it being slow to load updates for comments.

Google+ – FREE
I don’t do a lot on G+ right now, but it’s good to have. I do miss the autosync of photos that G+ provided on Android.

Pinterest – FREE
I’m still wrapping my head around Pinterest, but it is pretty and a good diversion from time to time.

Path – FREE
Another social network I’m still learning, but the app is quite good.

WordPress – FREE
I use this only to post photos and videos to a small private blog I share with a small group of confidants. Does its job well!

Misc

Gmail – FREE
A great app for my email. Much preferable to using Gmail through the iPhone mail app.

Dropbox – FREE
Ahhh Dropbox, how I love thee. Such a great app.

New York Times – FREE
Why isn’t this Media? Because it’s not classified as an app. It shows up on the Newsstand in the phone. And the free version lets me scan the headlines and see what’s the news from the grey lady.


And there you have it, an in depth look at the apps on my iPhone. Hopefully I shared some which you haven’t seen or used before!

But, are there any I missed?