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

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 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



App Store ($2.99)

The app itself is ultimately a "dumb client" for sending push notifications to your phone. Prowl is a service used to push arbitrary text to you. There are numerous services in the wild for leveraging it to send you NAGIOS and other alerts from monitoring software, Prey Fetcher exists to push posts, @'s, DMs, and list updates to you, and anything else you're capable of dreaming up.


Flashcards Deluxe

App Store (USD 3.99)

Not perfect, but possibly the best SRS app on the (U.S.) App Store.


Epic Win

App Store ($2.99)

This is a great app for task management. It's a lot more fun than Things, although not as feature-full it combines a To Do list app with an RPG. Beautifully designed and useful.



First and best real time video streaming on iPhone. 'nof said.



Brings multi-tasking to iOS 3 way before iOS 4 was born. It actually works even better than iOS 4, from my opinion, because it doesn't leave every app open (which can bring batter down quickly) but it does let you configure if you want to do that per app basis. In other words, you can configure which app you want to automatically leave in background.

  • As of 2018, background apps aren't just left open all the time (at least in more recent versions). They're suspended, and if the system runs out of memory, silently killed. – SilverWolf Jul 8 '18 at 12:40


(Available in Cydia; jailbroken only)

Automatically feed your location into Google Latitude.

  • Doesn't googles own Latitude cover this? – deiga Feb 21 '11 at 8:47
  • @deiga only on iOS 4 devices with multitasking enabled (iPhone 3G doesn't have it by default). Longitude works on any iOS 3 device, you can set the refresh rate up to 4 hours and I'd bet it consumes less memory and battery. – cregox Feb 21 '11 at 11:58


App Store ($1.99)

A dictionary, to put it simply. It uses definitions from Wiktionary, which I find both more concise & more helpful than those of Dictionary.com, for instance. More importantly though, it's got a fast, lean & intuitive interface. No superfluous features, but I never find myself missing any functionality. It's a joy to use, unlike any other dictionary app I've tried.



App Store (free, $1.99 to remove ads)

Textie provides free messaging between iOS devices a la SMS. If Textie isn't installed on the recipient device, the service will route the message to SMS on many US mobiles, & to email in every other case. Replies are delivered to Textie on the original sending device with push notifications. The icing on the cake is the slick, minimal interface.

WhatsApp is already on this list, but not only does it not integrate with SMS or email, but I've always found it to have extremely variable latency, from a couple of seconds to two days. Textie's latency has never exceeded twenty seconds for me.

  • So...how is this better than iMessage? It also routes to SMS if iMessage isn't available. (Plus, it's end-to-end encrypted!) – SilverWolf Jul 8 '18 at 12:41

MobileRSS Pro ~ Google RSS News Reader

Pretty self-explanatory. An RSS reader for Google Reader. Simple and well-designed.



App Store ($14.99)

Tool for managing academic journal articles. Syncs with the Mac App.


Site to Phone

Bookmarklet that lets you send the current page in your browser to your mobile device of choice.



App Store (Free)

Aggregates notifications from various services including Twitter and Facebook; the killer features of this, for me, are its integration with Buzz, which has no built-in iOS notifications, and Growl, allowing me to send notifications from scripts running on my desktop and get them on my iPod Touch.


Age Of Zombies

App Store (USD $2.99)

Pure awesome fun.



App Store ($5.99)

Another note taking system. Can also display HTML and RTF files, and you can sort notes into a hierarchy of notebooks.



App Store (free)

Post to your posterous.com microblog, especially useful for posting pictures and location on-the-go. Similar to twitter feeds, but a bit nicer to view photo galleries for your viewers. It can be set up to auto-publish to twitter, facebook, tumblr, etc.



App Store (free)

Just a browser wrapper to use gmail easily and quickly. I find this much better than regular Maill.app - too bad it doesn't have an offline version thus being slow and not as much reliable.

  • What is wrong with the regular Mail.app? Having Gmail setup through Exchange (m.google.com) works nice with push e-mail, contacts and calendar. Only labels do not work as natural as the web interface. – bouke Sep 20 '11 at 10:20
  • @bouke search doesn't work as good as gmail on mail.app - that's about half of my gmail usage, which is a big problem. - for the record, I do use it as you've pointed, and I keep hoping the search will get better. – cregox Sep 26 '11 at 21:22
  • searching is indeed a no-go with the Mail.app setup. I would also like to see that fixed. – bouke Sep 27 '11 at 8:29


App Store

This is errr... my app, but I couldn't find any rules on this one. Anyway, it is a really cool news app about Apple and other related stuff.


Grocery IQ

App Store

A great grocery list management app. Can be shared across users - so for example, I can add items at home on my iPad and the list is synchronized to my wife's iPhone while she shops.


Twitterific for Twitter

App Store

A great Twitter client for iPhone and iPad. Free/ad version and paid versions available.



App Store (free)

Zite is a free personalized magazine for your iPhone that automatically learns what you like and gets smarter every time you use it.



App Store (free)

Allows you to make completely free phone calls using your Google Voice account.


Opera Mini

App Store (free)

Opera Mini offers the fastest, most cost-efficient web-browsing experience for your iOS device today.

Of course, if data limits/costs are of no concern, just use Safari for the most beautiful browsing experience on iOS — but Opera Mini is perfect for travelling abroad, to keep data roaming costs to a minimum, or when you’re stuck with a slow connection.



App Store (free)

I feel like a bit of a dork for posting this but I find it quite useful and simple. It's just a list app. It keeps a repository of all entries you make so you can quickly add them back the next time you need it. Make a grocery list and check them off. The next time you won't have to type out items you've already used, just add them to a new list from the remembered items.



Car navigation with full offline maps for probably every country out there. TomTom is well known for their own car navigation GPS's, but this version for iphone can become very handy from times to times where you don't have one proper device.

  • Down-voted because TomTom takes your location and speed data and sells it to the Police. The Police then use it to set up speed traps or to use against you should you decide to take a ticket to court. – Bryson Jun 3 '11 at 17:43
  • @Bryson I wouldn't put my hand on fire for any company, but you're making a very bold allegation there. Can you cite some sources or make some sense of this? Plus it's not like any of those GPS apps are so reliable to be taken as an evidence in court, I'd guess. – cregox Jun 3 '11 at 17:54
  • 3
    Engadget had an article a couple weeks ago about it. TomTom sold data to the Dutch police force, who then used it to set up speed traps based on the speed and location data. TomTom said they were shocked that the police would do this. I'm not sure what else they expected them to use it for when they sold it to them. engadget.com/2011/04/27/… – Bryson Jun 3 '11 at 22:34
  • @Bryson I got the wrong impression from what you've said, and I think maybe you got the wrong impression from what happened too. It doesn't take your location to the police, it takes anonymous locations and speed data to them, and they retracted from doing it again because it was being used for speed traps. Again, I don't think they're that innocent, no big company is, but they also are very cautious on shooting their own feet like that. So, no, I don't think I agree with you on your worrying or protest - but thanks for bringing it up. It was an interesting view of the company. – cregox Jun 4 '11 at 20:10

LogMeIn Ignition

App Store ($29.99)

Remote control in which you can see the screen with free subscriptions and desktop versions. iPhone app costs quite a bit, but it's the best remote control for iPhone I've seem, and probably the first too. Works over web or within same intranet wifi.



Great app to publish entire websites from your iPhone in a few clicks.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .