What are your "must-have" iPhone or iPod touch apps—the ones you can't live without? (Figuratively speaking, I hope.) Please omit apps that come pre-installed.


  • One app per answer.
  • Use this format for the first two lines of your answer:
    ## [app name](link to website)
    [App Store](link to appstore)
  • Include short description.
  • Check for duplicates before adding new answers.
  • If you find a duplicate, vote it down and encourage its poster to upvote the original entry instead (and remove the dupe).

Please exclude iPad-only apps from here; there's Great iPad Apps for those.

Disclaimer: I know this type of question is controversial. However, great many people do find that properly implemented and curated CW polls can be useful. (If you are one of those who do not, could you simply consider ignoring this?)

closed as not constructive by bmike Nov 15 '12 at 22:36

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  • 1
    Why do people insist on downvoting in these types of questions. That's really in poor taste, I think. If you don't like something, just leave it alone. – Philip Regan Aug 31 '10 at 20:39
  • 2
    Hmm.. the price probably depends on the Apple store (e.g. for me prices show in Euros) Which price should we note? – Juan A. Navarro Aug 31 '10 at 20:56
  • @Juan: yes, prices vary and are in different currencies. I think the most "universal" for our purposes is USD; you can check the US$ prices for each app at appshopper.com. Over here we use the euro too, and I personally chose to put both USD and EUR prices e.g. in this answer. – Jonik Aug 31 '10 at 21:39
  • It's a bit silly to list prices here as they change pretty regularly. If somebody reads the description in the answer and is compelled to buy it, they can click through to the app store to see what the current price is. – bpapa Nov 28 '10 at 19:47
  • @bpapa: Fair point. Then again, it may have some value that readers can see right away whether an app is free or its (ballpark) cost. – Jonik Nov 28 '10 at 21:20

86 Answers 86


Doodle Jump

App Store

Doodle Jump™ is THE MOST ADDICTIVE GAME on the App Store. Enough said :)



App Store

Pocket lets you save webpages to read later, even without an internet connection. Ideal for those who have iPod touch but don't have access to Wifi. Also while travelling in subway, where 3g always goes haywire.



App Store (free)
App Store ($4.99)

A great twitter client with synchronization between the desktop version for Mac and the Firefox extension

  • Can you name anything specific that make it better than the official Twitter app? (I'm pretty happy with that one.) – Jonik Oct 17 '10 at 19:30
  • 1
    @Jonik: It's just designed much better and easier to read tweets. You can click links without having to click the tweet and loading it first. Plus on the trending topics you can see explanations, which I like. – DisgruntledGoat Dec 16 '10 at 15:10
  • I found Echofon to be the best Twitter app until the official one came along, and even then I kept it for notifications, but now that the official Twitter app has those, the only place Echofon wins out on is trending topics, explanations as mentioned above and IIRC you were able to select a region for the trending topics. However I've uninstalled it and just use the offical app now. – LC1983 Jan 4 '11 at 13:17

Mobile Mouse

App Store (1.99$)

Mobile Mouse instantly transforms your iPhone or iPod touch into an in air, wireless remote for your computer! Sit back and use this remote to surf the web, browse your photo library or control your music player from the comfort of your couch.

I use an old mac-mini as a Media Center and the combi Remote+Mobile Mouse apps is gold!

  • awesome app1 writing with it now ;) – Andrey Jan 12 '11 at 3:09
  • you should try JumiOne, tho I think it's still windows only. – cregox Jan 12 '11 at 7:46


App Store ($2.99)

A beautiful, minimal calendar app without peer.

Just go look. I defy you to not become more efficient with your calendar use.



App store (free)

You can keep a list of apps you want, and it will let you know when they drop in price.



App Store

Viber is a MUST-HAVE app. Lets you make and get free calls over 3G or Wifi even the app is not running. Notifies you when there is a call for you. Also gets your contact list and notifies when a friend installs VIBER. Sound quality is amazing even on 3G. I am talking to my best buddy living in Switzerland freely via Wifi from Turkey. And VIBER is a FREE app.

  • "...free..." Which brings up the question, how do they make money? – SilverWolf Jul 8 '18 at 12:35


App Store ($1.99)

It's the best Podcast-App in the AppStore, and handles Podcast much better than iTunes.

  • Download all Podcasts; automatically and in the background
  • Stream Podcast over Edge, 3G or WiFi
  • Continue where you left off
  • Support for iCloud


App Store (free)

Read .cbr and .cbz format comic books. All sorts of transfer options, including iTunes sync. Good, intuitive page flipping. Great in combination with the desktop version, which allows you to add all sorts of metadata to maintain your collection.

Works best on the iPhone's 4 retina display - no need to zoom!



(Not avaiable in app store; jailbreak required.)

Turns your iPhone into a wifi hotspot. Just great!


Safety Light

When it comes to flashlight apps, you get what you pay for. I've tried a number of these, and the interface and technical capabilities are just right. Much, much better than the free ones. Also, it somehow manages to get the screen super-bright, lighting up an entire room without draining the battery like the new LED-using apps that have flooded the App Store. No battery warning to is this one.



App Store ($4.99 / 3.99 €)
App Store (Byline Free) (free; with ads)

Google Reader on the go. Byline will automatically bring you new content, putting thousands of RSS and Atom feeds at your fingertips. Even when you have no internet connection, Byline gives you instant access to complete web pages. It automatically analyses your feeds so that it can cache the ones with truncated content. This means all your news is there in full when you’re offline, and blazing fast to load when you’re online to boot.



App Store ($2.99)

Great app to track and manage finances.


Prizmo for iPhone

App Store ($9.99)

Though it is expensive (compared to other apps that is), this is OCR done right. Works great to capture some texts, quicker than using a scanner and can also be used to import business cards.



App Store ($2.99)

Streams almost any video or music from your Mac or PC to the iPhone and iPad. The Mac/PC is converting the source file on the fly. Playback generally starts after 5 seconds.



App Store ($0.99 / £0.59)

The best (and only) profanity generator in the App store. Always useful in the pub. Otherwise completely pointless but great fun.


Server Remote

App Store ($3.99)

Simple app to monitor servers, including uptime, running commands, load levels, and memory. Really worth it.



App Store (free)

Probably the best Wikipedia app in the AppStore. Easy navigation, nice article formatting, very fast.

  • Articles is probably slightly better, but out of the free Wikipedia apps, yes, Wikipanion is the best. – Jonik Nov 11 '10 at 10:51
  • There is also the new official wikipedia App, although having used both I'd be hard pushed to say which is better out of the official app and Wikipanion. – LC1983 Jan 4 '11 at 13:18

GoodReader for iPhone

App Store ($2.99)

Super-robust PDF reader with advanced reading, annotating, markup and highlighting capabilities, excellent file manager, TXT file reader and editor, audio/video player, Safari-like viewer for MS Office and iWorks files.

This is a great app for any documents organizer and good PDF reader. It also can unzip the zip files, as it's not natively handled by iOS. I use it everyday. It used to sell $0.99, but now they increased price.

  • Update: It's now a universal app, so it works on both iPhone and iPad! – SilverWolf Jul 8 '18 at 12:38


Enable using the camera from anywhere, even while screen locked. Just configure how to activate it (mine is double tap the lock button) and take photos really, really fast. Also configure the volume button to act as a shutter. It has few more great features such as being able to take one photo after the other really quickly, proper geolocation and camera meta data.
This apps is for jailbroken phones only.



App Store ($9.99)

My favourite calculator on iOS. The best feature is the optional RPN mode, but it's chockers with other goodies, a very capable tool. I've found it indispensable at university—unfortunately I still have to borrow a graphics calculator for officially invigilated exams, but when there's an in-class test sprung upon me, someone asks me to help them, or even in casual conversation when a question beyond my horrifically meagre arithmetical abilities arises, PCalc is great. It doesn't handle actual graphing, & it still handles statistics in the same horrifically bad way every physical calculator since the old HPs has, but the rest is fine: different notations, bases, button layouts, unit conversions, etc., & the (distressingly un-)usual logarithmic, hyperbolic, trigonometric et al. functions. A dedicated unit from TI, HP or Casio will completely outstrip PCalc but it makes the anaemic built-in calculator look like a child's toy.



Anki is software to help make it easier to remember things. It uses spaced repetition technology to make sure you only see the items you are having trouble remembering and the things you do remember you see less often. I can't imagine studying without it anymore. In particular it's been a huge help studying languages and I highly recommend it. The iPhone app is a companion to the desktop software and syncs through their servers. The desktop application is free, but if you find it useful the iPhone app is invaluable to studying on the go.



App Store (USD $3.99)

Stream Grooveshark, Spotify, Pandora or any other audio player from the computer to the iPhone.



App Store ($3.99/€2.99)

Together with its companion Mac application, let's you copy/paste from Mac to iPhone. Really handy. It also keeps clipboard data in your iPhone (example: you can copy an image from a website and keep it in Pastebot)



App Store ($4.99)

Create shorthand strings which expand into more complex statements. For instance, you can create a snippet such that typing ssig expands to


John Doe

123 Sesame St.

Anywhere, USA 12345


Snippets can include variable values, and quite a few other niceties. Many popular apps also support TextExpander, a list of which appears here. This is really useful for reducing the amount of typing repetitive or common phrases.



App Store ($7.99)

Allows you to SSH from any iOS device. I find it indispensable for doing C++ homework.


Major League Baseball (MLB.com)

Better than reading the sports page.




Simple calendar app that let's you create a "color diary." Also shows you phases of the moon.



App Store (€2,39)
App Store, Lite version (Free)

Plays almost every kind of video format, without having to transcode first. Transfer via iTunes sync or stream right from a web server. There's also an iPad version.

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