Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top Apps

Top apps for iOS. A must-have guide.  

With over 500,000 apps on the iOS side alone - it’s no easy task staying on top of them! And if you just scored an iPhone or iPad for Christmas you may feel overwhelmed.

I am constantly asked, “What are the best apps?” I think a better question would be, “What are the apps you use more than once?”  Here are my top picks and the ones that are consistently in my arsenal: 

(A number of these picks have been my faves showcased throughout the year on CBS, CNN, and Fitness mag)

Marble Mixer, $0.99 - $1.99 (iPad)
One minute on the clock - see how many marbles you can get in the hole as the board rotates.  Each corner of the iPad can be a different player and marbles are denoted by color.  It's like Hungry Hippos and it gets more fun as time starts to expire and the board spins faster.

Wurdle, $1.99
Two minute word search with multi-player capability.  My sister and I have been known to play this for about 40 games straight.  It's got a Boggle vibe and is made for competitive people.

Escape Rosecliff Island (for iPad), $1.99
My whole family spent the entire Fourth of July beating this game on 4 iPads.  It’s the ultimate picture search with 25 different boards on a haunted island – it's not easy and the accompanying eerie music is sweet!  Only one downside – weak ending to the game, which was a bit of a downer, but I won't spoil that for you.  And PS – it's from PopCap, the makers of Bejeweled, so you know it will be both good and addicting.

Bejeweled 2, Free - $0.99 (On sale)
The obvious classic.  If you haven’t played this yet - must download.  

Mint, Free
The ultimate app and website for tracking your expenses.  Sometimes you don't realize where you are spending until it is visually mapped out for you in a pie chart.  Effective for budgeting and notably also uses bank level encryption.

Glympse, Free
Send anyone a link on their phone, Facebook or Twitter for X amount of time showing your location.  Great for business meetings or just meeting up with friends, allowing them to see where you are.

ZocDoc, Free
One of my faves of the year.  ZocDoc is a free app and website that allows you to search and book available doctors appointments within your area (using your smartphones GPS).  Most appointments are booked within 24-48 hours (clearly beating the average 3 week wait time) and you can search by specialist, insurance provider, and sort by reviews.

Find My Friends, Free
Apple's version of seeing where friends and family are at all times.  Each must have an iPhone and enable the feature.  I like this for parents who want to track their kids.

AroundMe, Free
I love Siri, but I still use this app.  Find out where ATMs, restaurants, bars, etc., are located around you.  You can also manually search – I often use this when I am traveling to find places like “UPS Store” or “FedEx”.

Houzz, Free
Need interior design ideas? Look no further.  Houzz has over 200k photos broken down by room and submitted by professionals.  Awesome because you don’t have to spend $5 on a magazine and only get a few clippings.  There are over 20k pics on bathrooms alone … and you can create your own digital clip book and share ideas with friends.
FunnyCall, Free or Deluxe version $0.99
I really like to mess with my friends with this app.  Before you place a call, you can change your voice to Chipmunk,  Auto-tune, Looping, Cyborg, etc.-- and only they hear it on their end.  I personally love the Echo option -- it really irritates people and you get to play dumb.

8mm, $1.99
The must have for taking video.  Capture videos that look like they are from 1920, 1970, etc.  Instantly make any clip look like the Wonder Years.

Camera+, $0.99
The must have camera app.  I use this about once a day.  Easily apply filters like Black & White, Vibrant, Sunkiss’d, Hipster, 70’s etc.  You can also add borders, jack up the clarity and of course share or save to camera roll.  

Diptic, $0.99
A great way to create a photo collage (number of collage options) to save to your camera roll or share.

Strip Design, $2.99
Cool way to create your own comic book like photos.  Fun backgrounds and effects to choose from.
Ghost Capture, Free or $0.99
I’ve been using this for over a year now and it still geeks me out... simply add ghosts to any photo.  You can change the transparency and make it look pretty realistic - must try.
Not sure why I like this app, but I seem to use it pretty consistently.  Create postcards with your phone’s photos from holiday to beach effect and share via Facebook, email or text.

MobileMonet, Free or $0.99
Create monet pictures that look like they came from a vendor at Disney World.

Barcode Scanning (TheFind, RedLaser, ShopSavvy, Amazon Price Check), Free
I'll be honest, I personally don’t use barcode scanning apps a ton, but they are increasing in popularity and I find the idea rather interesting.  In short, if you want to do comparison shopping in a store, you can simply scan the UPC of the product.  It will pop up stores within the area and the pricepoints of the product to ensure you are getting the best deal.  I recommend using TheFind.  
*Kid Tested!

Talking Tom,  Talking Hippo, Talking Larry, iKitty, Talking Ladybug, Free
All of these are great options for kids and if you haven’t heard of them you are probably living under a rock.  Anything you say is repeated by the cartoon character and you can save and share your own animation.

Crazy Piano, $0.99
This is a silly one that has different characters making piano sounds.  
I Hear Ewe, Free
Not sure why my niece loves this one, but she loves to point out the animals and hear the noises – additionally, rather educational. 

Berenstain Bears Learn to Share – $3.99
My niece also loves this one – she flips through the pages over and over again.  

Beauty and the Beast Storybook Deluxe App, $6.99
An expensive but awesome app.  Includes the read-aloud story with bites of animation, song and also simple matching games and mazes.  Great for kids ages 3+.

Baby Scratch, Free
Turn your baby in to a hipster! Let your toddler play DJ on the interactive turntable.  

Baby Piano, Free or $1.99
Fairly straightforward – Baby Piano is a virtual keyboard.  Each key is associated with a different animal that reacts when a key is pressed.


  1. I wish there was a setting in FunnyCall that would let me talk as fast as you.

  2. haha, theres an app for that called producer in your ear. :)



Copyright © 2012 Katie Linendoll