My iPhone 4 Home Screen


I love my iPhone 4. It does everything that I’ve wanted my phone to do for years. It has helped me be more productive, less impatient (since I now have something that helps me pass my time), more organized and less tied down to a desk and computer.

I have a few friends who recently got a iPhone for the first time and their first question is always the same: “What apps do you recommend I get and why?” So I decided to compile a list of my most used apps, the ones I keep on my home screen. Many of them are the default, pre-installed apps that come with the phone but I will try to explain why I still choose them over any other third party app.

Home Screen Apps

Messaging. (Cost: Default)
I text a lot. In fact it’s the primary way to get ahold of me. There are a few apps that I use more than texting though, and that’s why this app is not in my dock.

Voice Memos (Cost: Default)
Being a songwriter, this app has helped me write and save many ideas for new songs. This app has been invaluable. I used to use the Voxie app until Apple made this app a default app. Must say I like Apple’s app way better. All recordings auto-sync into my iTunes library. You can’t beat that.

ESV Study Bible (Cost: $12.99)
By far the best Bible translation and the best app to view it with. It contains the full Study Bible text and comes with many social networking tools. It also is constantly updating and improving. The UI is gorgeous and everything down to the fonts were carefully thought out. They also have a free version of the normal ESV Bible, which was my favorite Bible app. Some people like YouVersion, and I have it on my phone, but I rather have a app that doesn’t require cell signal or wifi at all. YouVersion also doesn’t allow for custom highlighting, multi-verse bookmarking or a notes section to write down my thoughts about a certain portion of scripture. This app has all of that. It also includes a full verse-by-verse audio version included with it. Priceless.

Posterous (Cost: Free)
This is my mobile blogging app. It’s a lot easier to use than the WordPress app even though it lacks many of WordPress’ features and is probably one of the main reasons I started blogging again. I open the app and it’s UI inspires me to write. That’s a sign when you know a blogging app is doing it right. I find myself drafting all of my blogs on my phone and then cleaning them up and formatting them on my computer. If I find myself with five minutes to spare and I have a blogging thought I can start writing immediately and save it until I can finish it.

App Store (Price: Default)
I look for new apps and constantly check for updates more than I check my email. If I had the money to buy any app at anytime, this would be in my dock.

Wikipanion (Cost: Free)
I love information so I love Wikipedia. Wikipanion is the best Wikipedia app I have found to date, and it’s free. They have a $5 premium app that I will probably be buying shortly.
This space is also one of my three rotating app placeholders. This place on my screen has held many different apps. Whenever there’s a new app I start using more frequently, this is the first app placeholder to get used. So that app has to be more important to me than Wikipedia. Good luck.

Instapaper (Cost: $4.99)
Holy crap! What did I do before this app?! Instapaper, along with Reeder, has given me the freedom to stay away from desktop/laptop computers. Whenever I am surfing the web on my phone, or reading a blog or seeing a link to a new site and I stumble across something that I want to read later when I have time, I just click a button and it sends all the text and pictures to Instapaper so I can read it offline. I can’t tell you the times I’ve been waiting for a long time somewhere that has no cell phone signal or wifi and I have opened this app to catch up on some reading. Helps me schedule reading things later so that I’m not distracted by what I need to do right away.

Reeder (Cost: $2.99)
This is my RSS reader and is the best one available in my opinion. It syncs with my Google Reader account and downloads any updated (or starred) blog post I haven’t read yet. This app probably has the best UI experience that I’ve ever seen. I used to use NetNewsWire Premium, but this app’s simplicity and design won me out.

Clock (Cost: Default)
Best alarm clock ever! It’s also a stopwatch and timer. Probably the best app Apple has ever made.

Maps (Cost: Default)
I use maps more for googling phone numbers than for directions, but it has directed me out of being lost in many major cities.

Settings (Cost: Free)
I use this constantly, if only to turn my wifi off when a place’s wifi signal isn’t working but is messing with my phone. That’s not a Apple issue (mostly). It’s usually the place’s crummy network setup. We do what we must.

Camera (Cost: Default)
I love taking pictures and videos. I use this app enough for it to be in a prime place on my home screen.

Calendar (Cost: Default)
Great calendar syncing app for all my Google calendars. I don’t use it much anymore though so I’m looking for it to change soon.

Shopping List (Cost: $2.99)
Beautiful shopping list app. They offer a free version but the ability to make multiple shopping lists (like one for Walmart, Publix, etc) AND the ability to sync them with other devices (like my wife’s iPhone 3G) made this app a must buy. It allows me to categorize things and will even calculate the cost of my grocery list.

Chronicle (Cost: $1.99)
I hate Apple’s Notes app. Due to note taking and my wife wanting something that she can write and journal in (and take sermon notes), this app has been the only choice we’ve had. There are several things I would improve with this app (like adding a highres logo!) but it is well organized and fills our note-taking needs well.

iPod (Cost: Free)
I’m a musician. I like music. Period.

The Dock

These are the four apps that I use the most on my phone. These are found at the bottom in my dock.

Phone (Cost: Default)

Mail (Cost: Default)
Unified mailbox for all my email accounts? Yes please! (I rarely use the websites anymore)

Twitter (Cost: Free)
My preferred Twitter client and arguably the best one. Twitter bought the best client there was (Tweetie 2 – which I owned) and made it their official app. Works like a charm. I swear I use this app every 15 minutes.

Facebook (Cost: Free)
The best and only Facebook app as far as I know. Helps me manage my fan pages, notifications, emails and helps me give updates and pictures to my friends.

I hope this has been a good look and a help for new iPhone buyers. What are your favorite apps?

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