Tom’s Top 5 Apps of 2011

2011 was the year I joined the iPhone family. I have to admit that this phone is the best phone I have ever had. It really meets my needs and has a very intuitive user interface and abundance of apps. I gave it a good test on my summer cycling tour. I was able to blog, post YouTube videos, browse the web, track my route, respond to email and much more. It sure beat carrying my netbook.

After nine months of use, I have assembled a good size collection of apps. In this post, I am highlighting the top five apps that stand out from the pack. If you are interested in the apps that I used while on the tour, you can check out a few posts from my bicycle touring blog: an overview of the apps I used on the tour and a review of the apps after the tour.

Cyclemeter

Cyclemeter is a comprehensive and easy to use app that tracks my bicycle rides. It assembles a nice set of statistics on distance, speed, etc and builds a Google Map-like view of the route. It uses GPS technology. You can track your performance on routes you commonly ride. It will publish the start and end of the ride to your social networks. I know it has many more features I have yet to explore. I would like to track the miles I cycle weekly, monthly and annually. I have not used it to track but I believe that it can. Looks like a snowy day research project for me. If you are a cyclist with an iPhone, you should use this app.

Facebook

I have to admit that having Facebook on a smart phone is handy. I like the ability to post a photo while on a ride, vacation or just bumming around town. I like being in contact with the people in my social network. Even with the quirks in the user interface, it is an indispensible tool. Facebook has been giving the mobile app more features and power. It is still not as full featured as the browser app. I look for this to change in the coming years as all web applications move full functionality to their mobile apps.

Tweetbot

This year I became a more frequent tweeter. About five years ago, I heard Guy Kawasaki, former Apple evangelist and venture capitalist, speak at a conference on how indispensible this tool would be. I came home and downloaded the app. It never made much sense to me. As the smartphone age exploded, it became more indispensible. It is a great tool to share information in real time mode to a wide audience of people in your social networks. Many mobile apps try to make Twitter easier to use. I have settled on Tweetbot. It does a nice job of automating Twitter features in a mobile setting.

Camera+

Camera+ is without a doubt a must have app on your iPhone. It far extends the Apple Camera app delivered with the iPhone. It gives you Photoshop-like control of editing and enhancing photos in an easy to use interface. Try it and you will never use the default app again.

Blogpress

As you are reading my blog, you are aware that I am a blogger. I tried a variety of mobile blogging apps as I prepared for my bicycle tour. This app really met my needs. I use WordPress as my blogging platform. The WordPress mobile app lacks flexibility and features found in this app. Blogpress meets the test of a full featured mobile blogging app. It can post multiple photos and videos in a post. At the same time, it can organize the photos in most of the popular photo sharing sites. It has nice integration with YouTube. It gives you a nice mobile blog management center. This gets Tom’s 5-star rating for whatever that is worth.

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