Must-have iPhone and iPod Touch Apps For Newbies

It’s WebWorkerDaily’s fault that I’ve bought an iPod touch (s aapl). (That’s my excuse, anyway.) As I looked at potential subjects to write about, I kept seeing cool apps, and I need to be able to test them, right?

But why not buy an iPhone, or a Palm Pre, which I’d had my eye on for several months? The Pre seems to be a good phone, but it doesn’t yet have the apps that the iPhone does. And the monthly fees for Pre service are considerably higher than what I’m paying now. The iPhone’s monthly fees are even higher, and many folks I’ve talked to don’t find it to be a very good phone.

So, keeping my current phone and buying an iPod touch seemed like a good compromise. I can get good Wi-Fi coverage in most areas where I live, so I’ll be able to go online, even without the phone function.

Many of my WWD colleagues already have iPhones. Aliza has recently written about good apps for web workers. Dawn’s shared her favorites, too. But with the holidays coming up, here are some of my ideas for apps to put on that brand-new iPhone or iPod touch:


  • eBuddy. A multi-service instant message client for MSN/Windows Live (s msft), AIM, Yahoo (s yhoo), Gtalk (s goog), ICQ, Facebook Chat and MySpace Chat. Supports multiple accounts on the same service. Versions for web, Android and other platforms also available. Free.
  • Facebook. A well-designed way for Facebook users to keep up with their friends while on the road. The app has had its issues, but they are apparently fixed now. Free.
  • Gist. Scott and I have both found Gist useful, and the Gist iPhone app does a pretty good job of presenting a lot of information in a small space. Free.
  • LinkedIn. This app keeps LinkedIn users, er, “linked in” from their iPhones and iPod touches. The latest upgrade adds some nice features, including an inbox for LinkedIn messages. Free.
  • Nimbuzz. You can use this app to make inexpensive international calls over Wi-Fi. The app also includes a chat function, but it’s pretty rudimentary compared to eBuddy. Free app; rates for calls vary.
  • RingCentral. If you’re a RingCentral user, you can use this app to manage your phone messages and more. Free for RingCentral users.
  • Tweetie. There are lots of Twitter apps, but so far, I like Tweetie the best. It has a clean interface, and supports multiple Twitter accounts. Thanks for the tip, Darrell! $2.99.
  • Waveboard. Mobile access to Google Wave. Will hopes for better access soon; I imagine that this app will become more sophisticated as Wave does. $0.99.

File and Idea Management


Just about every news source also has its own iPhone/iPod touch app these days. So far, I’ve been impressed with the ones from NPR and from some news outlets that have used the PodCurry platform.

Password Management

I’ve barely begun finding fun stuff, but I think I’m off to a good start with the Google Earth app, and TriPeaks Lite. I’m sure that I’ll find more, but I really need to get back to work now. Happy holidays!

What iPhone or iPod touch apps would you recommend for new users?