18 June 2011

Useful iOS Apps Recommendation

Those who're into current tech scene should be very familiar with the term iOS, referring to Apple's iPhone, iPod and iPad products. Although I started using iOS devices less than a year ago, but it doesn't need a long time to really appreciate how well the products are being made.

To start things off, I don't consider myself as an Apple die-hard fan, just that praising for things that managed to worked as good as advertised, and some added functionalities beyond my initial expectations.

Here, let me list out a few outstanding apps that I find it very useful and certainly helped me significantly of late. I believe everyone have their own favourite apps, so let me share mine.

(1) HootSuite [iTunes link] (FREE)


HootSuite is a social media client which able to manage multiple Twitter/Facebook accounts at the same time. I've been using their web browser client for some time so I find it rather native using their iOS app.

Most of the time I use it to browse through my Twitter lists, as I prefer to read in categorized columns instead of everything in a column (refer to Twitter.com's timeline).
Another alternative for HootSuite would be TweetDeck, arguably one of the most popular social media client out there.

(2) Dropbox [iTunes link] (FREE)


For those who had multiple devices (including computer) and frequently move along with files, Dropbox is an essential app that you shouldn't miss.

You're given a basic 2GB free storage on the cloud (Internet), and you can save/share almost any files you have on it. It can be accessed from their website, desktop folder (with plugin installed) or from mobile devices (even supports Android and BlackBerry too). The best thing is that it synchronizes among all the devices, should there's any changes made.

Nowadays I reluctant to use thumbdrive and as long as there's Internet connection, I'll just upload the file to Dropbox. No need to worry about infested with virus heh.

(3) Calendar (FREE)


You don't need to download it as it's already available in ever iOS devices as a native app.
What make this useful is when it's synced to your Google Calendar.

Nowadays I marked down every single events on Google Calendar and it's nice that the same thing shows up on my iOS' Calendar when I'm away from computer. Similarly, I can add any events on iOS' Calendar and it'll be synced to my Google Calendar too.
And not to mention, the multiple notification choices are pretty useful to remind me of any important events going on.

(4) iStudiez Pro [iTunes link] (USD 2.99)


In university, the lessons change every semester with different lecturers teaching different subjects, at different time slot and different classrooms. So, I use this iStudiez Pro app to help me manage the ever-changing university time-table.

Nifty features I like like it's able to notify you when and where's the next lesson, and able to sort out any assignments/exams' schedule neatly.

Although at USD 3 it's a little steep compared to other app, but keep an eye on it when it's available for USD 1 during special promotion period. 

The above 4 listed apps are mostly for productivity. Now the next 4 will be related to iPhotography (photography via iOS devices).

(5) Camera+ [iTunes link] (USD 0.99 limited time offer)


The most popular (paid) photography app on iTunes App Store, just take it a few spins and you would be glad that this app happens to patch up a lot of flaws of iPhone's native Camera app.

It's not that the original Camera app isn't good, iPhone's camera had took over the role as my everyday/casual camera from Canon IXY, but the boring static pic could be better with a few touch-ups using this Camera+ app.
A few samples of photos edited with Camera+.

IMG_3325 IMG_3221 IMG_3411
IMG_3234 IMG_3454 IMG_3543

If you've noticed, I like to use HDR effects. And if you may have noticed, a lot of pictures on this blog are edited from the same app as well.
It's now having promotion at just USD 1 so better grab 'em up soon! It's definitely worth it!

(6) 100 Cameras in 1 [iTunes link] (USD 0.99)


This app is made by the HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff whom I frequently visit his blog. This may be another photo editing app, but the variety of filters available make it very interesting especially when you combine multiple effects on a single photo. There's no end to try out all the effects, a very good exercise for creativity.

IMG_3479 IMG_3482
IMG_2907 IMG_2912

At the time being it's priced at USD 1 (originally USD 3), another good deal here. If you're bored of Instagram or Lomo, why not give "100 Cam in 1" a try?

(7) Adobe Photoshop Express [iTunes link] (FREE)


Known for their excellent computer-based graphic editing software, this Adobe Photoshop Express is a toned down Photoshop with a few very basic but essential functions (such as crop, rotate, contrast etc.) for photo-editing. True to it's nature, I mostly use this app for final touch up after playing with effects and filters from the above mentioned iPhotography apps.

(8) SimpleResize [iTunes link] (FREE)


It works great to lower down the pic resolution as a typical photo taken with iPhone 4 would be above 2MB and uploading it (without compression) takes a long time even on 3G network.

Once resized the pic, you'll notice significant faster upload speed and without compromising much of the picture quality at the same time. Besides the file size is significantly reduced too, talk about 2 MB VS 400 kB.  Helpful for those who're being charged based on the network usage.


So I hope that you might discover a few useful app that could be useful to you.
Having an iPhone doesn't bring the right to brag about it. If being utilized well, it can be a very powerful tool.  

At the moment I'm looking forward for the new iOS 5 update coming this autumn. A lot of core apps will be facelifted, further improving it's usability and definitely boosting productivity.
I'm happy that iPod Touch 3rd generation is included in this new OS update as well. 

If you have any favourite apps to share, feel free to leave a comment here~  :)

P/S: Might be considering making similar recommendation again solely on iOS games in near future.

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