My Top Ten Apps as The iTunes App Store Turns One

It’s been a banner year for Apple, the Mac, iPod, iPhone and especially the App Store. With over 56,000 apps available today and well over one billion downloads before its first birthday, the App Store is fundamentally challenging our notions of what we can expect from our cell phones. There has never been a more exciting time to be a part of this revolution and witness firsthand how it will enhance our lives.

It is hard to believe that it has been one year since the iPhone 3G, the App Store and MobileMe launched.

I purchased the iPhone 3G on July 12, 2008 and downloaded my very first app from the App Store the very same day.

After restoring my data from my previous iPhone to my new iPhone 3G and setting up MobileMe to sync all of my contacts, emails, calendar appointments and Safari bookmarks, I downloaded PhoneSaber (now called LightSaber after all appropriate licensing and legal obligations had been satisfied with the rightful legal owners of the Star Wars mobile franchise).

Since that time I have been entertained, kept well informed of current events in nearly real time, connected with even more people around the world through various social networks and have been able to accomplish so much more from my phone – all thanks to the App Store!

Here are the top 10 applications that I use daily on my iPhone and that I cannot live without.

1. Epocrates: This clinical medical reference app is invaluable in my daily practice. A free version is available to use as a very complete and simple-to-use drug reference, including information such as dosing, adverse reactions, pictures, drug-drug interactions. A premium version named Epocrates Essentials requires a subscription fee but adds to the already comprehensive drug reference with features such as peer-reviewed disease content and evidence-based treatment options, complimentary, alternative and over-the-counter drug information, infectious disease treatment guide, lab test ranges and interpretations.

2. NetNewsWire: A very simple and elegant RSS reader for the iPhone. I keep up to date with any and all news items whether they are related to Apple, to my own professional specialty or to current events in general.

3. Evernote: A terrific mobile implementation of your “external brain.” Remember anything and everything no matter where you are via text, audio or photos. Your notes will automatically sync with Evernote on the web and even your Mac or PC, thereby allowing you to access your information from a myriad of sources. The really cool thing about Evernote is the almost magic-like character recognition performed on its servers that gives you the ability to search text in any snapshot photo you take and put into Evernote.

4. Tweetie: A very cool, full- featured twitter client for the iPhone (also available on the Mac) from atebits. This app allows me to keep up with the latest tweets while managing multiple twitter accounts, post and repost tweets, follow and un-follow people, upload pictures to TwitPic, and many more features. Also a great tool to keep your patient or clients abreast of important information regarding your practice or business.

5. The New York Times: The 2009 Mobile Award winner for best news application. You are able to access The New York Times’ latest articles on or offline for free, through a delightful and user friendly interface. My favorite has always been the Op-Ed page (section) which delivers great writing that to this day allows me to learn new words and hone my own writing skills.

6. iTip: Of the multiple tip calculators available on the App Store, this one by palaware, in my opinion, lets you input your information and obtain results rapidly. A clean and direct user interface is a necessity to take care of the bill quickly to ensure your attention doesn’t waiver from your clients or referral sources too long during your power lunches.

7. Google Mobile App: I’ll be candid about my search engine preference, it’s Google. If I need to find something, I look to Google for the answers, or at least the direction where I might procure the answers. This app integrates nicely into the Google Maps app and its slick implementation of voice recognition and location aware features makes it indispensable particularly when I need to find a colleague’s office.

8. WordBook English Dictionary and Thesaurus: A fantastic dictionary and thesaurus for only $1.99 that doesn’t need an internet connection to present you with the information your looking for whether your composing an important email or editing a document on the go on your iPhone. Other features include more than 220,000 definitions, word origins, thesaurus with word links connecting hundreds of thousands of words together, full audio pronunciations in multiple voices and much more.

9. Shazam: For most of my childhood and early adult life, unless the DJ or a knowledgeable friend told me the name of the song and the artist singing it, I could not track it down to buy it. Fortunately, this app, which is way cool, will listen to the song you want identified and spits back the name of the song and the artist who sings it. Not only does it work like a charm, it also gives you direct links to buy that song. Definitely a must if you don’t have time to watch music video channels to figure out who’s who in the music industry at any given moment.

10. Instapaper: This app, by Marco Arment, makes it easy to save articles from my Mac or my iPhone for offline reading in an optimized iPhone display layout. Whether you find the article on your desktop, laptop or iPhone/ iPod touch, the article will be saved and made available to you for offline reading later. There is a free version and a Pro version selling currently for $4.99. Both are easy to use and work very well with some additional perks available for the paid version.

So there you have it! My top ten iPhone apps that I downloaded this year and have had much pleasure using them.

I am very eager to see what new apps will be coming along this year, especially with the release of the new iPhone OS 3.0 as it opens up a whole host of pretty incredible possibilities that will be limited only by the developers imagination.

What apps do you own that are a must have for you and why?

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