Saturday, December 29, 2012

What's on your Front Page? or Jen's Top iPhone apps of 2012

What's on your Front Page?  
Your iPhone's Front Page that is.

Looking at my iTunes history, I've downloaded 294 apps over the past few years.  Currently, I have about 132 of these on my phone.   I purge the apps I don't use to avoid clutter.  I have the most useful apps on the front page, then I have them loosely organized by category.  I spend a fair amount of time learning the apps features, or trying out different apps until I find the ones I like.  I also often troll the Apps stores featured apps and read lots of app reviews.

I would say I'm a power user.  I hate a sloppy interface.  I like apps with a distinct purpose.  

Below are my favorite apps as of the end of 2012 in alphabetical order:

Flashlight -  I use this about once a week and the simple interface is perfect.  After launching, it acts as a flashlight without having to navigate anything, but can set different colors or use a strobe effect easily.  When a flashlight is needed, it is needed.  This should have come as a standard app.  Apple missed the mark here.

Georific - Geography quiz game that can be played alone or with a friend.  I like the different categories such as Capitals of the World, US Federal Capitals, Music and Entertainment (Who knew Rhianna came from Barbados?).  I also like that there are three levels so when I can't find anything in the Hard setting, I can go back to Easy.  A game that teaches is a total winner for me.

Pageonce - Link all your accounts and Pageonce lets you schedule or make payments, see balances and shows a calendar of when bills are due.  It tracks investments, credit card balances, bank accounts all in once place.  It has some good dashboard views to see where the money is going.  It tells me that I need to cook more and dine out less.

USA Today - This interface is updated fairly often and every time I cringe because I liked the old interface just fine, but I end up agreeing that the updates are good.  This is easy to navigate, gives weather for destinations that I specify.  A big complaint I have with some news readers is that sometimes the stories only come in a 'video' version and I prefer to read my news.  USA Today offers video, but usually also has text for the same story.  If you only read one News site, this is it.

Waze - It's a navigation app, it's a game, and it provides traffic and police alerts while driving.  This app is extremely well done with an excellent user interface.  It integrated with my bluetooth car radio seamlessly proving verbal turn by turn instructions and alerts such as 'Police ahead' or 'accident on shoulder'.  Plus you gain status and points as you provide alerts. This app collects your speed so you can see the average speed on the road ahead of you. All alert content is user provided.  I was disappointed by several traffic apps before finding this.

WordsWithFriends - This totally addicting game has not lost its appeal.  Zanga continues to make it easier to play with links to facebook and twitter added this year.  The updates have been subtle and useful.  I'm glad they haven't tried to change the original look and feel like some games do. I also really like (not related to the Zanga) for competing in daily and monthly tournaments.

Here is my home screen showing my most used apps:

Here are all the apps currently on my phone:

Tray - Phone, Safari, Mail, Calendar
Page 1 <Necessities> - Messages, Photos, Camera, Settings, iTunes, Weather, Music, Facebook, Maps, Pageonce, Passbook, Twitterific, Kindle, Flashlight, Google Maps, Foursquare, Lexeme, Words, Waze, USA Today
Page 2 - Clock, Contacts, Ancestry, Alarm Clock, Newsstand, Garmin onDemand, Starbucks, swacket, Truth or Dare, Podcasts, Find iPhone, Rowmote Pro, iBooks, OLO, QRReader, WordPress, Duilingo, Remote
Page 3 - Geocaching, BigOven, Stitcher, Shazam, Calculator, Compass, Notes, Pandora, Facebook Pages, Beatthetraffic, Food
Page 4 - Stocks, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Goodreads, Blogger, Skype, YouTube, Google Drive, Lync 2010, Facebook Messenger, TweetCaster, TweetDeck, Google+
Page 5 - <Games> Cut the Rope, Bejeweled 2, Doodle Jump, States and Capitals, Stupid3, SongPop Free, Scramble, WordsWorth, Puzzlejuice, Stack the States, 7 Words, Game Center, Georific, Atari Greatest Hits, Candy Crush
Page 6 - Word Lens, iDisk, Voice Memos, U of Delaware, Nook
Page 7 - <finance> PNC Mobile, Amex, e*trade, LevelUp, myTFS
Page 8 - <travel> OpenTable, UrbanSpoon, Alfred, Local, TV Diner, Zipcar, KAYAK, Trip Tracker, Marriott, Where, Roadside, TripTik, FlightTrack, SundayDrive, MAD Maps, Taplister, Parkmobile, TripAdvisor, Disney
Page 9 - Pic Collage, Lifecards, Postcard, Diptic, Gallery, PhotoTouch, Flickr
Page 10 - Reminders, Videos
Page 11 - AppStore

What are your favorites?  
How are your apps arranged?  
How long to you keep/purge apps that you don't use?

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