What's on Your iPhone?

As we all know, Apple's got this thing called the App Store that was opened up to users who bought new iPhone 3Gs or upgraded their existing iPhones to software Version 2.0. Six days after the AppStore launch, I've settled in with a core set of applications that are quickly

As we all know, Apple's got this thing called the App Store that was opened up to users who bought new iPhone 3Gs or upgraded their existing iPhones to software Version 2.0. Six days after the AppStore launch, I've settled in with a core set of applications that are quickly becoming a part of my everyday routine. Below is a quick list (complete with a grade) of what I am running at this moment.

On the iPhone right now:

Remote (A+) -- I had been looking for a good solution for controlling my iTunes without having to look at the PC. After trying out a bunch of paid solutions over the last few years, thanks to Apple, I've finally gotten a nice solution for free. I can redirect iTunes to remote speakers with Remote. Love it. (free)

Pandora (B+) -- I've been listening to Pandora for a couple years now, and have built up some finely tuned music profiles. Now I can take those custom channels with me wherever I have network connectivity, which is great. Unfortunately, Pandora can't run as a background process, so if I want to check my e-mail, I lose Pandora. Even worse, when I go back, I lose the song I was on. (free)

Facebook (C+) -- Decent for creating a new status update, checking in on contacts or starting a chat. Not so good for more rich media-based activities at this time. (free)

Twittelator (B-) -- I'm fairly new to Twitter, so I am sure that this opinion will change as I get more familiar with this app and the service as a whole. But after an afternoon trying Twittelator versus the free version of Twitterific, I found I liked the layout and organization of Twittelator better. (free)

Jott (B+) -- One of many voice recording solutions available in the App Store, this one will send your voice note out to Jott's servers, which convert the recording to text (it takes a couple minutes). Then I can make the text a note or a to-do item. (free)

AIM (B) -- An AIM client ... Decent for quickly logging in and firing off a quick note to a Buddy List contact or for quickly changing my status. Not good for staying online continuously so others may reach me. (free)

SportsTap (A) -- An application that provides quick access to sports scores, statistics, transactions and standings. Choose the sports league you want, then quickly drill down to find fairly up-to-date accounts of what is going on. (free)

Yelp (B) -- Find restaurants near where I am right now, with the ability to drill down into Yelp's extensive collection of user reviews and ratings. The location integration works pretty well, even without GPS, but category searches have turned up some funky results. Like, if I'm looking for Vietnamese food, don't tell me about the Italian restaurant down the block. (free)

New York Times (B) -- A reader for the eponymous newspaper. Looks good on screen, but I've found it a little sluggish -- particularly over the EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution) network. (free)

Shakespeare (INC) -- The complete works of Shakespeare, right on your iPhone. I can't say I have actually used it all, but I like having it there anyway. I figure it will be good to have when I am waiting at the airport or standing around on the pavement while my girlfriend goes into the Hallmark store. (free)

Mocha VNC Lite (INC) -- I tend to use Remote Desktop more often than VNC, but nonetheless, I figure this will come in handy sooner or later. (free)

Speed Dial (A-) -- In the absence of an integrated voice-activated dial feature for the iPhone, I've been using this little app instead. Speed Dial presents you with a Brady Bunch interface (three by three squares), allowing you to assign a contact to each of the squares, which then display the photo you have on file for that contact. It takes only two presses to dial one of your Brady contacts -- one to open the app, the other to dial. Unfortunately, if you assign one contact's cell phone to one square, then that contact's work number to another square, both squares show the same photo. ($0.99)

Still in iTunes, but not synced to the phone:

Handmark Pocket Express (C-) -- An aggregator pulling together news, sports, weather, financial reports, entertainment, travel and horoscopes into one application. Unfortunately, many of the core applications are still not online. I wanted to use it to check on a flight arrival, but it just pointed me to a Web app. Thankfully, that worked. This one is on my chopping block, and usually lives in iTunes but not on the iPhone, unless I think I might need it that day. (free)

SpeechCloud Voice Dialer (D) -- A voice dial application that uses the network -- it tells you up front that it works OK over 3G or Wi-Fi, but is inconsistent over EDGE. Since I have an iPhone Classic, this is a problem, since I am most likely to use this app in the car and away from Wi-Fi. Over Wi-Fi, I found the name recognition to be passable, but the app can't deal with contacts with multiple numbers assigned. It will pull up all the numbers you have on file for that user, causing you to have to press a button for the right number. (free)