I almost never use my iPhone as a phone. Maybe 150 minutes per month. But I use it as a mobile computer constantly.
To make it to the home screen of my phone an app has to truly be utilitarian. Rather than flipping through pages or searching or digging through folders, a home screen app is something I want easily available.
The bottom bar
The are sacred spots. And a non-Apple app has yet to get there. Texting, email, camera, music. These are my most used items.
The home screen, all app are free
Phone – I leave it on the homepage so that it still feels like a phone. But for a left-handed guy this is the worst spot on the home screen.
App store – I’ll admit it. I check the app store a lot. I like to get updates, what can I say?
Calendar – That thing runs my life. It synchs my work calendar and my Google calendar together. I don’t know how it works, but it is magical.
Twitter – I’m still bitter that I paid a few bucks for Tweetie 2 and then Twitter bought it and made it free. But this is, by far, the best and most stable Twitter app I’ve used. It’s a lot faster on iPhone 4. Which helps because I check Twitter several times per hour.
Facebook – I like the app almost as much as I like the web version. The app is solid. I just wish I could do more page admin functions.
Settings – I’m always playing with settings. Turning a notification on or off. Or, more likely, helping someone figure out their settings.
Maps – I use Google maps a lot. Why? Because I suck with directions.
Safari – Yeah, this thing has a web browser. Crazy, I know!
Google reader – I like to keep up on the blogosphere. For time managements sake I often look at Google reader while I’m on the train or in transit from point A to point B. I wish it had a simple “save to Delicious” plug-in. One day.
Mint – Mint tracks all of my families personal finances. This app and the service itself just keeps getting better.
Evernote – Any time I think of something that I am afraid I’ll lose, I jot it down in Evernote. Blog posts, shopping items, to-do list, product ideas, things to say, and the early alpha of any idea… all get put in Evernote. Once I synch the notes from my phone to the cloud, I can then get that same note in the desktop app for my Mac. Love it!
Clock – I set timers for myself constantly. I know, I’m weird.
New York Times – I love the Times and I love their app. I use a bunch of news apps that I keep in a folder. But the Times has earned its spot on my homepage.
MailChimp – Are you kidding me? Mailchimp is my right leg. It has quickly become one of my most valuable tools as a social media guy. They’ve got another app coming out soon that just might replace this app… or maybe the Chimp will have two coveted spots?
Photos – I like to take pictures and videos with my phone. So keeping this app handy is practical.
Dropbox – When I work on my laptop, most of my valuable documents get stored in Dropbox. Dropbox is a cloud-based (free) application that allows me to have my important files on my computer, on my phone, and in the cloud… available whenever I need them, however I need them.
What about paid apps?
It might look like I don’t buy apps. I do. I just haven’t found a paid app that could replace these that are currently on my home screen. I like to keep the home screen full of utilities. So things move around based on what I’m doing in life. Traveling a lot? Tripit is going to sneak up there. Football season starts? I’m going to guess the Notre Dame app will be back on the home screen. You get the idea.
What are apps that you use that I should give a try?