For the benefit of those I know with new iPhones, here's a short series describing some of the many apps I have on my iPhone. I'm going to focus on apps which aren't built-in or completely obvious to service users (such as Facebook's app).

My most-frequently used apps


  • Bible - I find the best app of it's kind, for it's very large number of different versions that can be downloaded, most for free. It also has a large number of daily reading plans and the beginnings of some good note-taking capabilities that are shared with it's website version. (But as they only work when online, this isn't yet very helpful when in church, as few have public wifi yet.)
  • Instapaper - this is the app I use to read all those interesting longer web articles that I discover, many linked to from blog posts or tweets. My workflows make it very easy to save articles to Instapaper from those sources.
  • Paragraft is becoming my app of choice for writing on iOS devices. Like so many recent apps it's designed for writing plain text, or in markup languages such as Markdown that use plain text. If this makes any kind of sense to you, check out its website. (The others I've tried include Plain Text, iA Writer, and Simplenote, all of which have their strengths. Currently the main downside with Paragraft is it's rather incomplete Dropbox integration, but I know the dev is working on it.)
  • Atomic Lite is a free alternative to the built-in Safari browser, which has improved sharing services and tab handling. For example, it can post to Facebook and Twitter, not just email links.
  • iBank is the paid companion to the Mac OSX app of the same name. If you want to manage your finances digitally, this gives you a way of noting payments made on the spot, and seeing a summary of the state of your accounts. You sync the data with the main app from time to time. Not the only option, but it has the best integration with a desktop client that I'm aware of.
  • NewsRack is my chosen app for reading news (sometimes called RSS). I favour it over others (such as Byline) for its integration with Instapaper and Evernote.
  • I've written about Sleep Cycle before. It's my brilliantly smart alarm clock that tracks my depth of sleep waking me at the best time in my, err, sleep cycle.
  • Camera+ is a cheap alternative to the built-in camera app that ad some very useful additional features. After taking a snap you can crop and apply a number of other tweaks to it, such as changing White balance and exposure to account for being indoors, shooting into the light etc. And possibly best of all you can ask it to stabilise the camera, where it won't take the photo until it thinks you're holding the device steadily enough. It can't work miracles, but it sure does help.
  • GoodReader is heavily praised by the Mac Power Users team as the best way to deal with documents (notably PDF and Word documents) while mobile. It did take me a little while to get used to it's idiosyncratic interface, but combined with the magic of Dropbox is now the way I keep and read all documents that I need to use while mobile. (Yes, I'd like to have a single app that could deal well with documents, web articles, and plain text writing, but I've yet to find it. GoodReader comes closest as it can get and manage web articles, but it's very clunky compared to Instapaper.) And it's free.

In other posts I'll cover apps for Reference, Video, Travel and more.

AuthorJonathan Clark