My Favorite Free iPhone Apps

I am by no means an Apple fanboy.  I grew up (well, if you say that I didn’t start growing up until I was 25) with WinTel boxes.  But I have an iPhone that I really like and use for a lot of things in my life.  There are two things you should know about me:  I am cheap, and I love efficiency.  That said, here are my favorite FREE iPhone apps:

Waze – Waze is a crowd-sourced, real-time navigation app.  Other Wazers (users of Waze) can report traffic, accidents, weather, police, speed cameras, construction, etc., and Waze tells you about the incidents before you see them.  It also know about more streets than any other navigation device or app I have ever used.  Wazers make Waze aware of new roads by driving on them and then confirming those roads online.  Once confirmed, they become available to all Wazers.

WhiteNoise – I spend a lot of time in hotels, and I like a little white noise to sleep to, so I don’t have to hear the elevator ding or the doors slamming in the hallway.  Additionally, I do not trust the hotel alarm clocks, nor do I have the patience to figure out how they work, set the alarm, test it, and then set it for when I really want to get up.  WhiteNoise provides a nice variety of sounds, an alarm, a timer, and when it is running, it is an easy-to-read clock.

DropBox – If you are like me (in any way) and use more than one computer, you NEED DropBox.  You can drag your important files (anything) into the DropBox “folder” and it will synch them into the DropBox cloud.  Then, you can get those files from your iOS device, your OSX device, or any device where you can get to DropBox on the Web (which is just about anywhere).

Mozy – Mozy is a cloud-based backup system that just works.  And it has an iOS app that lets you retrieve your backed up files onto your iOS device if you need to.  Sometimes, something that just works (that doesn’t make you think about it) is just what you need.

Shazam – Have you ever heard a song and wondered “who is this?”  “what is the name of this song” or “what album was this from”?  Well, Shazam knows.  And it also knows lyrics to a LOT of songs and can follow along as the song plays (karaoke anyone?).  The next time you are chaperone at a middle school dance, you will thank me that you downloaded Shazam.

pwSafe – I don’t know about you (seriously, I don’t have any idea who is reading this) but I have a TON of usernames and passwords that I am supposed to magically remember.  Well, pwSafe makes it seem like you can actually do that.  It lets you keep track of usernames and passwords in a secure file that you can access using only one password.  It has a desktop app also, and for a small fee, you can sync your pwSafe database between your desktop and your iOS device.  Life Saver.

GasBuddy – Remember how I said earlier that I was cheap?  Well, GasBuddy lets you find the cheapest gas close to where you are.  Need I say more?

Trulia/Zillow/Redfin – I LOVE being somewhere and seeing a house for sale and knowing how much it is selling for.  These three apps provide you with this information, as well as pictures and other goodness about that house.

Honorable Mentions:  Concur (expense reporting), Starbucks (find nearby Starbucks, use your Starbucks card, download free songs and apps), IMDB (like Shazam for movies and TV shows), and Find My Phone (yes, I know it is built-in, but it is a cool and useful app for so many different reasons).

Those are my favorites.  If you have an app that you LOVE and can’t live without, please leave me a comment to I can check it out.  Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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About Tim Smeltzer
I am a husband, father, and technologist. While I am very much interested in almost all technology, my current area of specialty is secure mobile messaging. You will find me blogging from time to time on mobile technology - what I think is cool, what I think is not cool, and how to do things. Please be nice if you leave me comments. I am really trying to help!

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