2014 iOS App Recommendations
A refresh of my 2012 list, here's a ton of different apps worth checking out. At the very least they're great ways to use some of the iTunes gift cards you get during the holiday season.
They all have mostly the same feature sets. I have been impressed with the Microsoft Office Suite, and their new partnership with Dropbox, so I've been using them mostly.
- Google Docs
- Google Numbers
- Google Slides
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft PowerPoint
Cloud Storage Cloud storage/sync from several companies. Dropbox is a must have, as many apps continue to use it instead of iCloud for syncing settings or files.
- OmniFocus for iPhone - My favorite task/project manager, but it's expensive.
- Things for iPhone - a solid second place for me, and it's free right now on the App Store
- Microsoft OneNote - it's OneNote, but mobile.
- Documents 5 by Readdle - great all-in-one app for accessing cloud storage deals like Dropbox, Box.net, etc.
- Scanbot - a really gorgeous and fast document scanner for iOS. Does a solid job of performing OCR, and you can quickly upload the results to Dropbox, Evernote, Box.net, iCloud, etc
- PDFpen for iPhone - great for editing and annotating PDFs, adding fillable forms, dropping in your signature, whatever.
- Fantastical for iPhone - one of the earliest calendars to support Natural Language Processing, NLP lets you type in a regular human-readable phrase like "Lunch with Bob at 1:30 next Friday" and it parses the whole thing into a new calendar event.
- Sunrise for Google Calendar - Sunrise is a pretty cool app that does some intelligent scanning of your google calendar, contacts, and I think some Facebook integration to put together a really nice calendaring experience.
- Acompli - I've been using this a ton for work email, does a great job of hooking into Google Apps or Microsoft Exchange. Combines email, calendaring, contacts, and files attached to your email in one good app.
- Mailbox - acquired by Dropbox last year (?) Mailbox uses various clever gestures to help quickly triage your inbox.
- Gmail - it's Gmail.
- Inbox by Gmail - Google's new Gmail experience, where it intelligently parses and sorts your mail so you theoretically see more of the important stuff and the less important stuff like newsletters, adverts, etc get sorted elsewhere.
- Facebook Messenger - it's Facebook Messenger. Yep.
- SnapChat - all the cool kids use it. I'm smart_hero on there, I think.
- WhatsApp - haven't used this chat app myself, but it's very popular since it's available on a ton of different mobile platforms
- Slack - nerd chat
- Google Hangouts - replaced Google Talk, does video, text, and voice chat through Google Hangouts
- BeejiveIM - multiple protocols (AIM, MSN, GTalk, etc) chat app.
- Comixology - great way to read comics you buy on Comixology. Not-so-great an experience since they removed IAP for buying issues, but the website isn't terrible either, especially if you're using subscriptions to series.
- Pocket - grab an online article, video, etc and save it here to read later
- Instapaper - same as Pocket, just different design sensibilities. Used to be a very "indie" read-it-later app but was sold a year or so ago to Betaworks.
- Flipboard - my Google Reader replacement (RIP) Subscribe to categories or other user's content in a nice magazine-style interface. I am not so much a fan of their more recent UI changes but I'll deal.
- Tweetbot 3 - hands-down the best paid Twitter client on iOS
- Twitteriffic 5 - the second-best out there.
Pod catchers end up coming down to a matter of preference since they all do the same thing: grab a podcast and download it for listening/streaming. I even hear the stock Apple Podcast app is ok if you wanna get one for free or don't listen to many podcasts.
Password Managers & 2FA Security
I am a huge proponent of 1Password, as most people are tired of hearing; Competitors like LastPass and Dashlane also have apps available, and all three use TouchID and Safari Extensions to make it easy to manage and enter unique complex passwords into websites. Many 3rd-party apps have also built-in support for 1Password logins.
Two-factor authentication tokens if you have it turned on in Google, Dropbox, etc (which you should do!) I prefer Authy, but Google Authenticator and Duo Mobile are both solid alternatives.
- Google Authenticator
Lookout - Lookout is a neat, very basic MDM (mobile device management) service. You install a system profile and it acts as a sort of backup to Find My iPhone, including detecting when your battery is low and sending out it's last known location before it shuts off. It can also backup your contacts and make loud noises when you misplace it, though it's website.
- Deliveries - best package tracker app hands down.
- Drafts - fast place to write stuff, then decide what to do with it later, whether it's a tweet, an email, a Evernote note, all kinds of stuff.
- Clips - fancy clipboard manager that uses Notification Center as a pasteboard