In May, dealnews reached out to to Jamie Young, Editor in Chief at AppAdvice.com, and asked her to whip up a dream list of apps for the new iPad. She rose to the task, with eight great apps that make the most of the iPad's Retina display and iOS 5.1.1 platform
Now it's time to sort through the hundreds of thousands of iPhone apps, and choose the standouts for productivity. Once again we turned to Young, and she happily obliged an encore. As it turns out, she doesn't just write about the world of apps — she spends a great deal of personal time looking for Apple-based ways to improve her efficiency and organization, whether she's cranking out documents or managing errands. This self-described "wordsmith with a passion for technology, gaming, and sarcasm" is as up on the world of apps as anyone we know.
Launch Center Pro allows you to start other apps from within it, an attribute Young finds essential because being OCD with organizing her home screen, this app "makes it look nice and very functional." Those proficient with Launch Pad Pro essentially create button-pushing shortcuts, where you can set the brightness on your flashlight, or in Young's case, redeem promo codes for the App Store. "You can also send mail or text messages, and knock out multiple steps with one action," Young says.
Introduced in April, Drafts acts like Launch Center for your written text. "You can just start typing, and you have a list of actions you can do with it: you can Tweet it, message it, or send it to other writing apps." You can also send documents in Drafts to Dropbox, or to journal apps such as Day One. Simplicity meets versatility in this must-have app.
If you're a power tweeter, this app is for you. Tweetbot for Twitter enhances the Twitter experience via custom sounds and animation. "It's designed awesomely, and you can easily keep track of multiple conversations," Young says. "My favorite feature is the list management in TweetBot; no [other app] comes close." And for keeping those Twitter twits at bay, the mute feature allows you to block people, hashtags, and key phases. Tweetbot was also recommended by Young on her iPad list in May.
There are a zillion apps for managing money, but Mint.com Personal Finance may be the most user-friendly of them all. The latest version allows you to create new budgets and edit existing budgets on the go. "Even before I had an iPhone I used Mint.com," Young says. "Their app is free, their service is free, and I've never used anything else. I love it; it looks great on the iPhone and even better on the iPad."
Whoever thought of this app deserves a medal: Capture solves the vexing problem of your iPhone reacting too slowly to shoot video on the spot. "As soon as you open it, it starts taking video," Young says. "If you've ever [wanted] to start taking video, but missed the moment, this is the app." Do note that the first time Capture opens, there are instructions to read through.
Droplr allows you to share images, documents, files, and links. It lets you move an image from your phone to your computer in no time. "This app also uploads text links, and then you can pull them back down later." You can send links to Twitter, Facebook, or email them; Droplr has a link-shortening function, too.
As far as apps go, OmniFocus isn't cheap. But for Young, this task management app is priceless. "It's very overwhelming at first," she says, "but a lot of people who are into getting things done really love OmniFocus. It's worth it for me because you don't just put tasks and to-do lists in it, but links and photos. It reminds me to do everything from put out the trash on trash day to finish massive work-related projects."
Instapaper allows you to save web pages for later, offline reading. "When I see articles during the day that I want to read, I click a button in my browser, and it sends them to Instapaper," Young says. "Then it doesn't matter if I have WiFi or not, I have them in Instapaper and you can read them whenever you want. It's a magazine of articles you've curated because you've collected them yourself."
Do you have any favorite iPhone apps that you just can't live without? Sound off in the comments.
Front page photo credit: G Captain