iPhone stuff

Here are some of my favorite uses and applications for my iPhone.  It has been an amazing productivity improvement for me.  If you have an iPhone, what other apps do you use?

One thing I don’t do much on the iPhone is blog.  Anything that requires more than a couple lines of typing is too much. 

I wouldn’t have expected to enjoy reading the Bible and using the prayer list application so much, but for the last couple months I’ve used each 2-3 times per day.  I just pick a chapter then read it in the morning and before bed and often in the middle of the day. 


iPod — Of course, I use the built-in iPod a lot.  I can play Podcasts at 1.5x speed and listen to 2 hours worth of sermons and apologetics shows during my commute (40 min. each way) or just driving around. 

I play music for about an hour a day when working out — a unique mix of pop, rock, contemporary Christian, classical, a little country, Broadway shows, even a couple disco tunes (eek!) — basically anything fast-paced.

The headphones have a built-in microphone and it automatically stops and restarts the music when you take a call.  Very cool.

I like the button that lets you rewind 30 seconds on Podcasts.  They need a 30 second forward button was well.

Email — having work and home email so easily accessible has been huge. 

Phone (duh) — Works seamlessly and easily with the favorites screen, recent call, keypad, Bluetooth, voicemail, etc.  My company has a way to have my office voice mails sent to me via email, so no more checking messages while I’m away.

Notes — I never used this feature much on Outlook but since I always have my iPhone with me it has come in handy for to-do’s and store lists. 

Clock features — seems like basic stuff, but I like how easy it is to program the timer (for naps and stationary biking) and how you can program multiple alarm times then just turn them on or off.

Text messages — I don’t do a lot of texting, but I like how you can save previous texts to save time in selecting a contact.

Voice memos — this has replaced my mini recorder I use when I think of brilliant thoughts for my blog (sarcasm intended).

Contacts — I hardly use that feature.  I find it easier to jump to the Search function to find a contact than to page through the long list.

Camera — I haven’t taken many pictures but it is handy to have it with you all the time.  Haven’t taken any videos.

Applications (free unless otherwise noted)

Kindle for iPhone — In some ways this is better than the real Kindle, since you can use the touch screen.  The screen is smaller, of course. 

I like reading the Bible on here.  It is so easy to navigate and jump to the study notes.  It automatically synchronizes with your regular Kindle or PC Kindle software.

My Prayer Lists ($3) — This has done a lot for my prayer life.  You can put prayers in different categories and different time configurations (e.g., daily, M-W-F).  You get a new list each day or each time you shake the iPhone. 

With a huge prayer list it is easy to fall into the “can’t win, don’t try” mode where you don’t start because there isn’t enough time to get through it all.  But this way I use it multiple times per day.  It makes me much better at following up as well.  People appreciate it when they know they are “really” on your prayer list.

Logos Bible — great free program that I used multiple times per day until I started reading the Bible with the Kindle iPhone app.

Facebook — makes it very easy to stay up to date and upload pictures.

Google Reader — I can scan blogs and mark the ones I want to refer to later.  Big time saver.

Guitar toolkit ($10) — Tuner and chord finder – very easy to use!  Simplest way to look up chords that I’ve found.

Yelp — great tool for finding restaurants, stores, etc. based on your location.

Photoshop — a simple but useful photo editor. 

Doc To Go ($15) — Pretty slick program that lets you read and write Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.  Not for major editing, of course, but very handy for traveling.  This can make the difference in being able to travel without a laptop.

GPS Drive — It got good reviews but I haven’t used it yet.  Directions are free but voice commands will cost you.  The Maps app is good, too.

Shazam — provides the name of songs you are listening to.  You can be listening to the radio and it will tell you what is playing and let you buy it on iTunes.

SnapTell — sort of like Shazam except for books.  Take a picture of a book cover and it will tell you about it and let you order it.

Chipotle — lets you order and pay online so you just go to the register and pick it up.  Mmmmmmm . . . Chipotle!

My 24 — 24 Hour Fitness app — tells you class times (no benefit for me there) and locations (very handy).

ESPN Sportscenter — easy to keep up with scores

Yahoo! page — I quit using this and just use the ESPN, Weather and Stocks apps to keep up on that sort of thing.

Wikipedia — I’m not a big fan of them for anything remotely controversial, but it can be a handy app.

Dictionary.com — haven’t used it much, but handy to have.

Flixster — Movie theater locations, times and reviews.  Very easy to use for the 3 movies I see per year.

Flashlight — I downloaded this as a joke then actually needed it 30 minutes later when I dropped a nail while hammering something under my desk!

Things the iPhone is missing: Tethering to laptops so they can connect to the Internet and capability to use Adobe Flash Reader and a couple other softwares.

And they need to improve the battery life!  An auto charger is a must for me.  Mine couldn’t make it through a whole day on one charge.

I hope the Droid does well and provides some much needed competition for Apple and AT&T. 

0 thoughts on “iPhone stuff”

    – totally agree on the 30 second Forward button
    – also hoping that Android or others provide good competition for Apple

    Some of the other apps I’m using:
    – ToodleDo. I’m a to-do list person, and since Outlook todo lists don’t sync directly to the iPhone, I’ve moved to this. I use this more than any other app other than the standard ones, both on the iPhone and via the online Web interface.
    – Dragon Dictation. Trying this out for longer texts and short e-mails. Mixed results, but we shall see..
    – TweetDeck. I’m not a Twitter addict, but manage an account for work. Tweetie also seems good.
    – Qik. Just played with it thus far, but basically provides video capability on my old 3G.
    – AroundMe. Google works fine if you know what you are looking for, but this has proved very useful for finding things during travel.
    – Logos, Bible Gateway. NET bible, YouVersion. Like you, I find the iPhone as a good reading platform, but I just can’t stick to one Bible app yet…
    – InsideRedbox. Not great, but since RedBox doesn’t have their own iPhone app, despite my pleading.
    – i.TV. Decent TVGuide-type app.
    – Wikiamo. My default Wikipedia access.


  2. I’m fairly new to the iPhone as my wife just got me one for Christmas (I’m one of the ‘message-averse’ non-consumers that companies love to hate), but I use

    AccuWeather – good for weather updates in multiple cities. If you do a lot of international travel, this can be really handy and save you from freezing your toes off because you flew to Canada wearing sandals before you had it….

    Newegg – My non-consumerism dies on the altar of a new project – building a computer from the ground up in my living room. Absolutely the best prices on the web, shipped within a day or two to your door.

    Logos – haven’t had any complaints yet

    Wall Street Journal/NYT – My journalist fried loaded these onto my device when I asked him what the best apps were. Figures.

    Skype – turns an iPod touch into an VoIP phone. Handy for free calling from the UAE to Canada.

    Pro Hockey Live – I’m Canadian, eh?


    1. Thanks, Adam. I don’t follow the weather much but it is handy to see multiple cities so quickly.

      Looking forward to trying the Skype app. I would love to be able to contact friends in Kenya and my wife has a good friend in Norway she’d like to call.


  3. When I read about all the IPhone apps you use, I am reminded of the TV show Star Trek. The versatility of the IPhone compared to the original TV series Star Trek communicator is amazing. We have truly outpaced what was imagined as advanced technology for the 23rd century.

    But while this wonderful technology has allowed us to access the world from our fingertips, it has also allowed the world to intrude further into our lives increasingly you are never really “away from the office”. Cell phone alerts interrupt movies, conversations, worship services, and driving. I have even caught my adult children texting from the dinner table when they visit. I think we will continue to adjust to both the advantages and the disadvantages these devices bring into our lives.


  4. You don’t have tethering in the States? We do in Aus, but dependent on your carrier it could cost extra. It would be great to have and my current carrier offers it, but they want to charge me $15 p/m for the privilege of drawing down on the fixed data allowance for my plan – yes, they charge me to use the data (by tethering) I’m already paying them to have!

    Interestingly, there are no additional charges if you use tethering on a Blackberry with the same carrier on a similar plan. There’s no technological difference to justify charging for one and not the other.


    My most used apps are:

    Tweetie – paid – for Twitter. Handles multiple Twitter accounts (yes, I have about 5!).

    Mantis Bible Study – free – but only comes with the KJV. Has a dizzying array of other texts, dictionaries, studies, lexicons, etc. that you can purchase and download so has potential to carry an entire theology student’s library. The different modules integrate well.

    iXpenseIt – paid – expense tracking and budgeting app. This is a good value app for tracking both personal and business expenditures. Provides graphing, good interface and you’re able to export your data in csv format

    Quota – paid – allows me to keep tabs on my mobile phone usage. Tracks $s made in mobile calls for the current billing period, as well as the data allowance I’ve used, how many texts I’ve sent, etc. Might only be an Australian app.

    Facebook – free. For the obvious updates, checking of newsfeeds, etc.

    iTalk – free – I find this better than Apple’s Voice Memo (which currently has issues with recordings over a certain size – they disappear!). Bit of pain getting recordings into your iTunes, though.

    Cocktails+ – paid – handy if you dont’ know what you need nor what you’re doing in order to whip up dem fancy cocktails with olives, etc.

    Velvet Wine – paid – wine cellar organisation app. I don’t have that large a wine collection for it to be really useful, but it’s a nice app all the same and the best wine cellar app I’ve seen.

    Jobs – paid – tracks time you spend on certain tasks. Can organise projects / tasks by different clients and can run in the background if you need to use another iPhone app. Highly recommended to any freelancer (and it’s developed by an Aussie!).

    Random games … for the kids: Scribble Lite, Uno, TouchPhysics, SimCity, Majong, Monkey Ball, Doodle Jump, JellyCar 2, HoldEm (ok – that one’s mine!), Sally’s Salon, Brain Challenge, Cro Mag Rally.

    Me luvs ma iPhone!


    1. Matthew, thanks for the tips. Glad you mentioned the voice memos limitation. I was going to use that for a Sunday School lesson next week and might have lost it all.

      The tethering issue in the States appears to be a bandwidth issue. And yes, it is obscene that they’ll charge for it – probably $30 / month. My Smartphone included it, but at least everything else on the iPhone works much better.

      Re. the games – yes, all for the children, I’m sure!

      Sent from my iPhone


      1. Well, the voice memos don’t vanish entirely, but they will no longer be listed on the iPhone nor will they transfer into iTunes. This may have been fixed by now – I encountered this issue in May of last year.

        To recover any recordings that have “disappeared” you’ll need a free app called iPhone Explorer. It’s pretty much a Windows Explorer type app that lets you browse the folders and files sitting on your iPhone. You can then drag and drop files from the iPhone to your computer.


    1. LOL! I’m too busy enjoying the “Daughter #1 is home for a visit” and the “God blessed me with quick witted daughter” apps.

      Sent from my iPhone


  5. A couple of my favorites that have not been mentioned:

    IM+: for lots of different chat protocols
    Baby Signs: for when you’re a new parent and want to teach your kids how to sign
    WhatsApp: for chatting with other iPhone friends, so that you do not use texts or MMS, etc.
    1Password: best password app ever! both on iphone and the Mac.
    TWC: The Weather Channel
    Zenbe: So that you can sync your lists with your wife or other people, especially grocery lists.
    GoSkyWatch: for anybody that enjoys knowing the constellations etc
    Stanza: for all the free books you could ever want, plus ability to purchase those that are not free.
    Pandora: if you don’t know Pandora.. you need to get to know Pandora!
    PS Mobile: Photoshop Mobile, image editing
    Pzizz relax and sleep: it actually works pretty well to help you fall asleep
    Cheap Gas: to find the best priced gas wherever you are.
    Gorillacam or ProCamera: for an even better photo taking experience

    Lots of others that people have already mentioned and others that are nice, but not ones that I use all the time 🙂


    1. Rick, I tried Zenbe and love it! You can use it from iPhones or PCs. We have a grocery list that the whole family can update at any time. The other lists are easy to use. One of my favorite apps.


      1. Awesome! Great to hear that you like it so much. We use it all the time also and it really does make the whole grocery and household lists so much easier to maintain 🙂 Very cool 🙂


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