2011 was another great year for iPhone apps. With over 600,000 apps now in the App Store and the Android Market closing in fast at half a million, mobile applications will continue to drive our generation of innovative and disruptive technologies. A number of trends highlighted this year. For instance, tablet devices like the iPad are becoming more mainstream in households.
Social newsreading apps were immensely popular with the likes of Flipboard and Pulse, which lets users build their own personalized reading experience of their favorite content. Apple’s iPhone app of the Year award was given to Instagram, the wildly popular photo-sharing app with over 15 million users, despite being released the year before.
Below, I’ve chosen eight of my favorite iPhone/iPod Touch apps. They come from a variety of categories from utilities, to social networking, to games. Most are free to download, so I recommend checking them out if you find something new.
Editor’s note: The following is our first guest post that was written by Tony Hue of LonePlacebo. LonePlacebo and pinglio are apart of the Technology, Geeks, and Gadgets advertising network on Influads, which is how Tony and I met. If you’re looking for even more great tech articles, be sure to add LonePlacebo to your bookmarks and follow them on Twitter!
Flow is one of my favorite augmented reality apps to make it to the App Store this past year. This app lets you point your camera at any product and instantly view its Amazon product page. This could be useful when you’re out shopping and want to do a quick price comparison of products online. Sure beats using those crummy barcode scanning apps that never seem to work.
iTunes Link: Flow (Free)
If I told you that one of the most popular iPhone apps of the year with over 4.4 million users was developed by Microsoft, would you believe me? Photosynth is a free app that lets you capture gorgeous panoramic photos wherever you are, and lets you share them with your friends and family. Simply point and move your device’s camera and the app begins to seamlessly stitch together a fluid, interactive visual of your surroundings. Maybe Apple used Photosynth with the 360 degree panorama of its new Grand Central Station retail store.
iTunes Link: Photosynth (Free)
When Apple debut its personal assistant app, Siri, and made it exclusive only to the iPhone 4S, the search for viable Siri alternatives sprung about like wildfire. So far, the closest voice controlled app I’ve seen to match Siri is Dragon Go! by Nuance. Just like with Siri for example, you can ask Dragon Go! for “movie showtimes tomorrow” and it will bring you a listing of movies from Fandango. The only disappointing thing about this app is that doesn’t speak back to you. #foreveralone
iTunes Link: Dragon Go! (Free)
With the release of iOS 5.0, Apple packaged its very own Reminders application for us over-encumbered souls. Currently, that app resides in my “Crap Apps” folder, where a litter of other default applications that I’ll never touch but cannot delete, reside. With NotifyMe by PoweryBase, I’ve found my ideal reminders application. Until I have my own personal assistant (ahem, Siri), NotifyMe shall suffice.
iTunes Link: NotifyMe ($3.99)
A slew of social newsreading apps continue to swarm the iPhone and iPad market, but the one I love the most is Zite. Like most apps in its category, Zite lets you create a personalized social magazine of your favorite blogs, websites, and videos. What makes it better than its competition is that it learns what you like the more you use it and thus, deliver even better content you’ll enjoy. Check out my Zite review on LonePlacebo!
iTunes Link: Zite (Free)
Twitter for iPhone
This was a tough choice considering I was a devoted fan of Tweetbot. With it’s most recent version 4.0 update, Twitter for iPhone catapulted its way as my Twitter client of choice. Ignore the deluge of negative reviews on the App Store about the update making the app “far too simplistic and losing significant functionality.” I personally prefer the new version because it’s too simplistic. What it lacks in its feature set it gains in a responsive and intuitive user experience that I immensely appreciate.
iTunes Link: Twitter for iPhone (Free)
It still boggles my mind when games like Dead Space makes its way onto mobile devices. I’ve never played the console version of the series, but this game delivers as a third-person shooter. Mind you, this isn’t a game for the kiddies as there is plenty of gore and violence throughout. Just remember to play this game when there is daylight out.
iTunes Link: Dead Space ($0.99)
As an iPod Touch user, I have a strong affinity towards apps that offer offline mode. With Instapaper, the popular service that lets you easily save webpages to read later, you can access your reading list on the go, even in places without a wireless Internet connection. Even cooler yet, the app delivers a text-optimized view of your saved pages for faster reading without the need to zoom back and forth in order to read.
iTunes Link: Instapaper ($4.99)
What were your preferred apps of 2011? Feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments section below!