Home Starting From Scratch: My Top 10 Desert Island iPhone Apps

Starting From Scratch: My Top 10 Desert Island iPhone Apps

The life of a technomad cyclist (that’s me) can be hard on an iPhone and a couple weeks back, my phone had had enough. With the case coming apart at the seams and the on/off button no longer functioning, I trod to the Apple store in search of a quick fix. Luckily, I’d only had the device for one month shy of a year, so the nice folks at Apple promptly handed me a new one.

Somewhere along the lines, though, I managed to mess up the restore process and lost every app I’d had installed. Rather than going off the deep end, I took the turn of events as an opportunity to see what apps really mattered in my day-to-day iPhone use. Two weeks later, these are my results.

After some quick reorganizing to stick all those iPhone apps I never use (don’t you wish you could just delete “Stocks” already?) in a junk folder, I vowed I would keep all of my apps in the order that I downloaded them. I also vowed that I wouldn’t simply go about and try to recover the apps I could remember – I would wait until the moment I needed an app and then, and only then, download it.

As I left the Apple Store, I remembered an event I’d heard about earlier, but where was it again? Echofon, the iOS Twitter client, it turned out, would be the first app on my new phone. And what would I do with the rest of my night? Oh yes, Facebook you were a close second. And where was that great burrito place down the street? Where were my notes again? Ahh, Evernote, I knew it wouldn’t be long.

From there, the downloads came quickly, but naturally over the next day or two, before slowing to a trickle. I checked in with Foursquare, searched for a Pho spot with Yelp, snapped some pics of Wikipedia’s birthday party with Flickr and so on. (For those of you wondering, here’s why Beluga is on my top 10 list…and if you haven’t tried Plancast, it’s essential for finding out what’s going on where.)

Since then, I’ve added on a couple more, such as Hashable, the Twitter-based introduction and contact tracking app, Posterous, the simple blogging platform, and ReadItLater, the time-shifting TIVO for text on the Web. But there you have it. There’s my two-weeks-later, must-have list of iOS apps.

I know, I know. I’m a minimalist. I’m missing out on the hundred other apps I had on my phone before that fateful day…but until I find that moment, the one where I pull out my phone and think “I really need to…” I just won’t download it.

Think about it. If you only had ten apps to download, what would they be? Would they be admittedly-intriguing apps like Shazam or EveryBlock, or would they be the same old, mundane, world-changing apps like Twitter, Facebook and Google?

Tell us your top 10, stuck on a desert island apps in the comments below.

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