Many people out there have some kind of an iOS device. Whether it be an iPhone, iPad, or an iPod touch. There are so many apps on the App Store, (more than 700,000) many of which are free. So why would you ever need to buy any apps especially if there are free alternatives? Indeed I know people that have had iPhones for years & haven’t purchased a single app. But, if you are like me you spend a lot of time using various apps from the App Store. There can be a pretty big difference in design and usability between apps that are free and apps that are just a buck or two. Sure if there are two or more apps that do similar things & you rarely open them, the free app will probably be preferable to the paid app. However, if you use an app everyday sometimes just spending a few dollars on a better app can be a huge benefit. Also, there are some paid apps that don’t really have free alternatives. Some of these can be a real joy to use and you would never experience them if you refuse to put any money into the app store. Think of it like this, you probably spend close to $100.00 a month on your cell phone bill if not more. For a fraction of that monthly price you can have a really enjoyable experience with some paid apps. I would encourage you to read reviews of any app before you buy it though. There are tons of subpar apps both free and paid on the App Store. I quickly just want to write about a few paid apps that I think are definitely worth the money they are asking for and that I use everyday.
- Reeder – Reeder is by far the best RSS reader I have ever used. What does it do? You simply add any website or blog that you read regularly to Reeder and it will keep track of everything posted to that site for you. That way you will never miss another article from one of your favorite websites. It will also cache these articles for offline reading. It is a very intuitive app and makes great use of gestures. It is an absolute joy to use and I open it multiple times everyday (Note – this app requires a google reader account, which is free.) Available for iPhone ($2.99) & for iPad ($4.99)
- Tweetbot – OK why in the world would you want to pay for a Twitter client when there are so many free ones including the official app? This one basically comes down to, how much do you use twitter? If you are a very casual user you will probably get by with the free official app. But if you are a pretty heavy user Tweetbot is head and shoulders above everything else. Beautiful design, tons of features, (Muting Specific Users!) great gesture controls, multiple timelines, & awesome sound effects make this the Twitter client. Available for iPhone ($2.99) & for iPad ($2.99)
- Downcast – I listen to a lot of podcasts. Apple themselves offer a free podcast app. It sucks. I have had so many crazy crashes and lost data when I used it to ever recommend it. Downcast however, has been close to perfect for me over several months of heavy use. You simply search for and add whatever podcast you like in the app and it will keep track of them from there. It gives you a ton of options for how and when to download new podcasts, how many podcasts to keep and when to delete old ones, & like Tweetbot has great sound effects. This is probably my favorite app in the App Store. It is available as a universal app for both the iPhone & iPad ($1.99)
- Fantastical – This is a relatively new app for the iPhone but has been a much loved calendar app on the mac for quite some time. What’s great about Fantastical over other calendar apps is it’s natural language event creation. It can be a real chore entering in calendar events into the regular calendar app but with Fantastical you simply write in exactly how the event is in your head. For example you could type – Dinner with my wife at Applebees at 630 to 730 tomorrow night. Fantastical will take that sentence and put all of the information in the right places for you. It makes for a much better calendar experience and has gotten me to keep better track of my life with it’s simplicity. It is available for iPhone ($1.99)
- Delivery Status Touch – This app is terrific if you order a lot of things online. They support pretty much every delivery service. You simply add your order information (Who you bought your item from, order #, tracking #, etc.) to the app and it will keep track of all of your packages and update itself every time you open the app. It is a lot more convenient than constantly copying and pasting tracking numbers into various websites over and over. It is available as a universal app for both the iPhone & iPad ($2.99)
These are just 5 apps that I really enjoy and feel comfortable recommending. You could buy them all for around $21.00 and have them all for both iPhone & iPad. I have found in my 4+ years of using the app store that there are some apps worth paying for. Feel free to let me know if you have any that you would recommend. Until next time…..