CAUTION- Do this BEFORE upgrading  iOS or before getting a new iPhone
September 12, 2016 – 9:37 pm | No Comment

(Note, this article was originally published September 17, 2013 when the iPhone 5 was released.  It has been updated for newest iOS 10–steps haven’t changed since iOS7)
Whether you are buying an iPhone 7 or 7+ or upgrading to …

Read the full story »
Cutting Out Cable-Streaming Media & Home Networks

Can you live without cable TV? See my experience. How to get movies, TV shows, your videos, photos and music WHERE and WHEN you want it. What you need to stream.

iPhones, IPads, ITunes & Gadgets on the Go

iHow-to and iNews: How to use your iPhones, iPods, iPads, Android SmartPhones, MP3s, GPS…What they are. What you want. How to use it. Troubleshooting and tips.


Making photography and cameras simple. Explaining features to help you get your best photos.

Triathlon Training Technology -Fitness-Weight Loss

How to use technology for losing weight and training. Features, tips, and my journey toward an Olympic-length triathlon.

TVs, Home Audio and Home Entertainment

All about TVs, and home audio includes components like Blu-ray Disc and DVD players, and DVRs, TIVO, and anything else you hook up to your TV… Satellite, Antenna, Cable

Home » Featured, iphone, iPhones, IPads, ITunes & Gadgets on the Go, iTunes

Favorite & Essential App suggestions for your new iPhone

Submitted by on December 27, 2009 – 9:50 pmNo Comment

iphone appsA lot of people got an iPhone for Christmas and are in search of apps, so I thought I’d let you know my favorites.  I’ve tried out hundreds and below are my suggestions.  Just do a search in the iTunes store for them.  Most are under $2 or free.

(When you go to these links, click on the “available on iPhone App Store” button or look for another link to download in iTunes.)

MY MOST USED APPS (* = essentials)

  • Business Card– (1.99) scans business cards into your contacts.  It needs a little help but is much faster than entering all the informatio. It sure beats the $200 version of biz card scanners and works about the same!
  • Best Camera – (2.99) has cool filters to alter your photos for interesting affects.
  • *Facebook – when I’m waiting in line somewhere, I catch up on my news feed. Also, I can instantly post a photo or video from my phone.
  • Chase Mobile (free) – (or Bank of America or your bank’s mobile app) very handy to keep up-to-the-minute on what you have in your bank account.
  • Fitness Builder (9.99) – whether you are working out on gym equipment, or using an exercise ball, or resistance bands,  free weights, etc. this app will give you exercises that take advantage of whatever equipment you have. Simply tell the program what equipment you want to use (or no equipment, just body weight), tell it what muscles you want to work out, and build your own workouts. You can  track your repetitions each workout and train to get better.  Each exercise has a video that shows you the correct way to do the exercise.   This is a beefy program that got it right . It’s gone down in price–used to be $20–still, I can’t  use the excuse that I couldn’t think of an exercise for a certain body part, so I couldn’t workout. (I have other excuses.)
  • B.iCycle -GPS: (9.99) gives me mountain biking routes. Tracks speed, altitude, distance of trip, calories and much more –pretty accurate and great if you don’t have a speedometer/odometer on your bike.
  • Bump- (free) when you find someone who also has Bump, you simply bump hands and can exchange any or all contact info (say bye-bye to biz cards!)  Note: if one person is on wifi the other person must be too.
  • Flick Tunes – (free) Safe control of your iPhone music when you are driving  and listening to your music in the car. (I use an FM transmitter that broadcasts the music to a radio station.) This app makes it easy to “flick” to the next song, previous song, turn up the volume, pause or play the music.
  • Grocery Zen (may be called “shopper” now)  (1.99) an awesome grocery list that you just check off.  Gives you notice on your home screen (little red dot) of how many items you need.  You can add more items by aisle.  It really has been the best thing I’ve used for groceries.  I walk around the kitchen checking off what I need before I go.  And I always know exactly where my grocery list is (on my iPhone). (Note: I have heard of a new Grocery list program “Grocery IQ” that lets you scan UPC on the products you use…I’m checking it out so stay tuned.)
  • UPDATE:  I’ve tried GroceryIQ (.99) and love it even more.  I can walk around my kitchen and pantry, etc. scanning products I’m running low on, I can store my Safeway savings card, and I can choose and print coupons right from my iPhone to my networked printer.  loving it!
  • *Light -(.99)  no kidding!  Lights up your iPhone screen that emits about as much light as a flashlight. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve used it as a flashlight to walk in the dark or look in my trunk.
  • Kindle for iPhone (free, but books cost about $10)- bought this for my iPhone until I can get the real Kindle.  I have a couple of books that I wanted from Kindle and use on it. (Kindle is the e-book reader from Amazon where you can download books to read on the device.)
  • Money and the Law of Attraction – (3.99) for fans of Abraham-Hicks, their money cards on the iPhone. Live long and PROSPER!
  • Pandora radio (free)Pandora radio is an online site that lets you create a music station based on a song or artist that you like.  (I have a Jackson Brown Station and one based on the song “Feist” and more). You can hear music that you don’t own but is similar to the type of music you like.  Sometimes I listen to it when I’m out and about but I like to listen to it at home.  I run the Pandora app, connect to my stereo (with a headphone to analog audio –the red and white connections–accessory) and listen to Pandora so I can hear music I like, get new suggestions and not have to listen to the same old playlists.
  • Remote – if you have an Apple TV or have connected your computer to speakers (and you are playing from iTunes), and you are not near your computer, remote allows you to pick songs, playlists etc. from wherever you are in the house (if both are on wifi or home network). (Look for my upcoming blog on the EOS whole house music system.) Go to the site and you’ll get a better understanding of how it works.
  • Red Laser – (1.99) this has been awesome! Let’s say you are at the store (I used it at Best Buy and Costco)  you see some item, and you wonder if that’s a good price for it…open Red Laser, point your phone at the product’s UPC and it automatically checks online for the best price.  Now you can decide if it’s a good deal on the spot.  (Helped me to figure out that the salesperson was choosing the wrong box for a netbook too)
  • Run Pee (1.99) This app cracks me up.  Whether you have a small bladder or just drank several tequilas…If you go to see a movie and you have to pee, you can click on the movie and it’ll tell you the best time to go to restroom (will even run a timer with a gentle alarm if you start it when the movie starts).   Then, as you are walking back to the theater, click on what you missed (read it before you get back in the theater).  It also tells you if there is anything cool at the end of the credits.
  • Shazam – (free- but the red version lets you customize more) Love this!  This happens to me a lot…I hear a song on the radio or in a store or wherever and find myself saying “Wow… what is this song and who sings it?”  In the Shazam app, press “Tag Now” and Shazam “listens” for a few seconds then tells you everything about the song along with a link to buy it in iTunes (if it’s there). Only time it hasn’t worked is in a loud bar.  Also, only works with recorded music…not live performances.
  • Sirius XM – (free app but you need a Sirius subscription starting at $6.99 per month. $16.99 per month for all stations.)  now you can subscribe to Satellite radio and use your iPhone to play it.
  • Twitterific – so you can tweet on the spot, even post a photo.  You might want to look at the different Twitter apps to find your fave.
  • *Yelp This is my favorite restaurant app (also finds drugstores etc.)  I mostly use it when out of town to find a restaurant when I am out of town.  I’ve also used it to look up what others have thought about a restaurant that I’m standing near.  A cool feature is that you can press “monocle” in the “nearby” screen, then hold up your phone.  As you face different directions, it will list the restaurants in that direction.  After you have gone to the restaurant you can add your own ratings and reviews (you must register online to add reviews).  I’ll write about this more in a later blog.
  • 170,000 recipes Big Oven – (free- join the website for more features) great recipe finder.  Used it for Christmas dinner. Free.
  • Nike Plus – (this is preloaded on your phone but will only show up when you have a Nike plus transmitter active– you activate the transmitter by pressing it and then walking around.) The transmitter costs about $29.99 at sports stores or Nike stores and is meant to go inside certain Nike shoes.  I use a holder that attaches to my shoelaces. You can create workouts for time, distance or calories. Choose your playlist for accompanying music, start your workout, and Nike Plus on  your iPhone will be able to log your distance, speed, etc.  The Nike Plus site offers suggested workouts to train for 5K, 10K, or even marathons.  I’ve been using Nike Plus for years (with my iPod Nano) and now it’s easier on my iPhone. BTW…I can’t find which iPhone screen page it is on, so when I want to find the app, I go to the  search page by swiping my fingers left to right on home screen and type in “nike.”

more notable apps–


  • AAA discounts
  • Cheap Gas – ever notice how the gas stations near the highway are 10 cents or more per gallon than the in-town stations? Find cheaper gas when you are on the road.  (You may have to drive a mile or two, though.)
  • I Want – while you are in a strange town need a parking lot? a pharmacy? movie theater?   “I Want”  is pretty good at letting you know what’s nearby.
  • Local Picks – by Tripadvisor.  Pretty good restaurant reviews.
  • Portland Art Museum – When you go to an art museum check out if they have an app.They may be using apps instead of those headsets now  We found this for the Portland Art museum (a search of the iTunes store shows the Louvre, iSmithsonian, the London British Museum, the Royal Museum at Naples and more. Quite cool to see an educational video on the art while you are standing in front of it.


  • Best Camera-see above
  • Panolab Pro – make panoramic shots out of a bunch of photos on your iPhone.  Works pretty well.
  • HP iPrint Photos: instantly print photos from your iPhone to a networked HP printer.  Works great!
  • TwinShot 3D – You can make 3 D photos on your iPhone–requires those 3D glasses with a red and a blue lens to view in 3D.


  • *Fandango – find movies nearby along with movie times, then buy your tickets right from your iPhone (you will have to go to a machine to retrieve them–must have the credit card you used online)
  • Moviefone – some like it better than Fandango — the “Buy tickets” button isn’t working on my phone.
  • Flixster – lists the new movies as well as new on DVD and upcoming movies. Connects to Yelp for restaurant suggestions near the theater and has a lot more info, reviews and photos than the other programs.
  • PhoneFlicks – just thought of something you want in your Netflix queue?  Use this to change it.


  • *Evernote – good both on iPhone or on your computer.   Sign up online.  You can clip parts of web pages or whole pages to the Evernote site where you can tag them then find them later.  Better than a bookmark because you can clip just the information you need.You can also take photos or add your own text and put them on Evernote. It can even recognize words in a photo so you can search for words on labels or in online photos.  One suggestion I’ve heard is to take a photo of someone holding their business card so you can remember their face.  And you can look up the info on the business card.  I use Evernote all the time to access all of those important photos, and web page information tidbits from my iPhone.
  • Mulitlevel – really works as a level (tool) especially if you calibrate it.  Crazy.


  • Doodle Jump
  • Finger piano – just fun to play
  • Pocket God — this is a cute and fun easy game.

I’ll be posting more about individual apps in the coming weeks so come back!

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.