Friends on ADN (app.net) have asked me to list my favorite iOS apps. Ugh. I'm not sure why, but I think it's because I'm a self-proclaimed "App-Whore"; I love to discover new, fun apps and tend to grab as many as I can, even when they do the same things. Perhaps so others can save some money or discover new, fun apps. I'm not sure.
It's important to understand I am not a reviewer of any sort and neither am I a technical person, but I do know what I enjoy. So here is my list of favorite apps and I'll only give details to the App Store paid-for stuff. Okay, I'll try to be pithy and not bore you too much, but if you bail on this post now I won't hold it against you (well, I will, but I won't tell you about it.) All links open in a new browser tab - not iTunes - and clicking an image will show a larger version, if that's your thing.
Twitter: I have far too many Twitter apps. Osfoora, Echofon, Twittelator Pro (Neue is beautiful but buggy as hell), Tweetbot, Twitterrific (no longer available) and more. Most of these are pretty much defunct (no updates in ages) and part of that is probably Twitter's apparent hostile attitude toward developers. So I was surprised to see a new version of Twitteriffic (version 5) be released. I'd given up on the others and just gone with the Official Twitter App until I grabbed Twitteriffic 5 - my new favorite. It doesn't have all the fancy features as other apps, but I find I rarely use those at all anyway. I like the large fonts and display in Twitteriffic, so it's my favorite and the one I use. Tweetbot is my runner-up favorite. The rest have been deleted off my iPod and relegated to the app graveyard, whose names shall forever never be mentioned again hence.
App.net (ADN): Twitter has become (and was always intended to be) just a micro-blogging service where people post pithy comments or news and whatnot, rarely actually discussing stuff (@Replies, etc.) Some would think ADN is a "clone" of Twitter but that is farther from the truth than anyone can realize without actually using the service (I have three trial invites if you're interested - tweet me @BashfulPixie on Twitter). Unlike Twitter there is no "official ADN app". The service embraces and throws all user interaction to third-party app developers. There are a few free apps for ADN, but the majority are paid-for apps. because the AppStore doesn't have a means for allowing demos (other than free with paid in-app purchases) it becomes difficult to try-out these ADN apps. Here's the bitch of it though: the Twitter ports to ADN are known because you've likely used them on Twitter (the Tweetbot port called Netbot is why I joined ADN). However it is these Twitter ports that are the worst of the bunch! These developers are doing sloppy work with the "build it and they will pay for it" attitude. The Twitter ports are buggy. Save your money. Only buy native, built-for-app.net apps!
For ADN apps I have Netillator (so buggy it's unusable - no link!), Netbot, #Pan, Watercooler and Felix. I want to evaluate the new Postite, but it's not available, yet. These are listed in the order of me preference, with Netbot my least favorite and Felix being my highest recommendation. Actually, I'd rank Watercooler above Felix because it not only displays both ADN and Twitter timelines, it has a beautiful interface (my favorite by far at this point). However, the Watercooler developer is building it more or less for himself (according to an e-mail) so updates will be far and few between. I think of it as "risky" maintenance-wise). As for Felix I also really like the user interface, but I prefer the original UI, not the newer UI; for example: having to tap twice to reply to a post (either by tapping the post to see the detail then reply or tapping the profile picture and choosing reply, etc.)
Facebook: The official FaceBook app suffices. All the third-party stuff I've used has since gone broken or functionally defunct. Save your money.
Tumblr: I've blogged on and off over the years and have used Blogger, WordPress and such. But Tumblr is, by far, the most fun and easiest to use. It's my go-to blogging platform for my whimsical, who-cares?-blogs. Though it gives the appearance of being a "social" platform it really isn't. People can "follow" your blogs but there isn't much in the way of social interaction. When playing with Tumblr on my iPod Iv'e tinkered with the official Tumblr app (the newest update I understand is now native and works better) but I've always preferred Tumblita. Tumblita is one of the very few "full-service" Tumblr apps available for Tumblr. All the others are just image viewers or some other simplified partial experience. For a full Tumblr experience, including a full dashboard view and function along with creating and uploading posts to your Tumblr blogs, Tumblita cannot be beat. It supports multiple accounts and multiple blogs per account and is very robust. The interface os nice and easy to use (except for the OS X version: eew!). Tumblita rawkes! And to answer someone's question who asked me: sorry: no horizontal (landscape) mode for blog posts - only in portrait mode.
Blogging: yes I use Tumblr, but most Tumblr blogs have a real casual feel to them. So for this blog, (Thought Strumpet,) I wanted a slightly more "serious" feel to it, and as I've said above I've used WordPress and Blogger and they're okay, but I don't like the way they work from the backside. The other options are all pay-for solutions. I wasn't impressed with LiveType or any of the others. I found SquareSpace by accident and balked at it's pay-for fees I did with the others. But after some research I figured I'd go for it for a year and I really like it a lot for it's ease-of-use and the moxie it has (I've learned with ADN: Paying for something gets a far better experience in whole). What's fun about SquareSpace is their SquareSpace for iOS app: very nice and easy to use and carrying the same moxie and style as the service itself. However, if you use Tumblr (for long-form writing) or WordPress or Blogger or several others you might be interested in Blogsy (note: iPad only!) Blogsy is probably the best all-around long-form blogging app for iOS. Unfortunately it's iPad only, but that makes sense: I can't imagine writing long-form posts on the iPhone (or iPod) tiny screen. (Sorry: no screenshot for this as I don't feel like lugging out my ancient iPad 1st generation just for this.)
Social fun: what good is social without the fun things, like Instagram? Ugh, NO, I do NOT use Instagram. But I do use (sometimes) three other fun little "social" tools:
Tweegram: this is a "Instagram" like little utility, but instead of ruining your pictures with crappy-looking filters and abusing everyone you invite to see it, Tweegram places your most profound, society-changing quips into themed backgrounds, where you can then share the picture (a-la-Instagram-ish) through Twitter or FaceBook or email or whatnot. Because I don't use FaceBook any more and spend a lot more time in ADN than Twitter I haven't used it a lot. Too many steps to get the shared images over to ADN. But I might start doing it a little bit using my CloudApp app (below). Or also perhaps share to Tumblr then share the Tumblr link or something. Tweegram supports sharing to Instagram, FaceBook, Twitter, E-mail and your Camera Roll.
CLIPish Pro: the idea of Emoji is pretty big. But what about big emoji? CLIPish Pro is just that: big emoji. Or rather, it is a libray of thousands (literally) if meme and other interesting clips. The app is basically a large visual database of clips that you can quickly share to your social network as an image attachment. CLIPish Pro supports Twitter, FaceBook, Tumblr, Text Message, E-mail, saving to camera roll or even directly as your iOS wallpaper, even copying to your iOS Clipboard. This one is fun and I need to remember to use it more often.
Hide My Message: this one falls into the "not at all useful but could be fun" category. The idea is to create your super secret message then share it through your social network. The message is presented in an image and put into the cloud, the URL is what is being shared. However, a password must be entered before the message is revealed, which you pass around through different means or otherwise separately from the URL you are sharing. Below is a screenshot of the app, here is the URL for my secret message: http://bit.ly/YgX4AI Have a go to see what the result looks like. The password is "password". Hide My Message shares with SMS, E-Mail, Twitter and FaceBook. I used the "email" option to set-up this example.
The Cloud: Finally, I'd like to share my favorite cloud app: CloudApp. Well, that's not the app, but rather it is the service I prefer. I know many prefer YFrog or TwitPic and so on. I prefer CloudApp (GetCloudApp.com) - and no, it is not a competitor to DropBox or SkyDrive, which are designed to be live "back-and-forth" cloud services. CloudApp is designed to be a repository for sharing with others. I like CloudApp because it supports just about any kind of file and it works with MS Windows, too (web version). However, for iOS there are a lot of "CloudApp" apps, but most aren't very good. It took several tries to find the perfect CloudApp app and it's called ClouDrop. It's ridiculously easy to use and will upload or download anything. And I like that you can quickly grab the short-URL of any file in your CloudApp library, even the super-secret private files. In fact I've been using ClouDrop to very quickly upload all the screenshots in this post, then linking them from my SquareSpace compose window. Click, click, done. If you use CloudApp then get ClouDrop: it is my favorite, most-used "utility" on my iPod. Oh, and for you diehard DropBox fans: there's a ClouDrop for DropBox, too (though I just use the official DropBox app myself). And in both of these, you have the option, when uploading mutliple files at once, to have the app "zip" them into an archive file. Seriously awesome app!
OKAAAAYYYYY! That's my "social apps" post. My next posts will be 'photo apps', 'news and reader apps', 'reference apps', 'productivity apps', and my 'useless but fun apps'. But not necessarily in that order!
If you've made it this far, ummm, thanks!