The iPhone is blessed with a staggering selection of innovative and novel applications, many of which can easily consume hours of your time. Apple’s App Store has thousands of games and entertainment apps of varying quality, and a great selection of genuinely useful utilities that can be invaluable for anybody trying to become more productive.
Finding the essential apps amidst the glut can be a challenge so here are the Top 5 productivity apps for the iPhone, which are available in the App Store.
Springpad is a fine example of how to-do lists, tasks and notes can be implemented superbly on the iPhone. Despite similarities to Evernote, Springpad is arguably more useful as it intelligently adds extra detail to notes and assigns them automatically to appropriate categories.
Photos can be inserted into notes, and there’s a helpful option to scan barcodes to obtain information from the Internet. As expected, it’s possible to synchronise with other devices or even the Springpad website, and on the whole it’s of the most convenient and easy-to-use task oriented apps for the iPhone.
Reeder is a simple but effective RSS reader to manage web-based news feeds, which acts as a front-end to the Google Reader service.
The interface is clean and unobtrusive, which streamlines the task of managing and viewing the overwhelming daily flood of RSS feeds. Every subscribed feed to can be assigned to user-defined categories such as Technology, Business News or Travel, and items that pique your interest can be “starred” to read later.
Reeder will also please anyone with a penchant to share content on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Delicious, and if you use Reeder on the Mac or iPad (no PC version is available), they stay in sync thanks to your Google Reader account.
Even though Apple’s iCloud network-based storage service has grabbed the headlines recently, Dropbox is perhaps the most popular and best known alternative.
The iPhone app works just like the Mac and PC counterparts, acting as a remote shared disk for all your files, documents and other media so it can be accessed anywhere and kept synchronised. Copy any local file into the Dropbox folder, and it’s immediately uploaded to the cloud and available everywhere you have the app installed.
To use Dropbox is completely free, however storage is restricted to a paltry 2 GB. Valuable extra space — up to 100 GB — can be obtained as an in-app purchase and smaller amounts are awarded incrementally for every referrals. As a simple and painless method to keep content seamlessly updated on every device, Dropbox fulfils its purpose splendidly.
Evernote is a free iPhone app that can help anyone with a lack of time to organise their ideas and make copious notes and to-do lists.
As well as detailed notes, you can take photos and create voice reminders, all of which can be searched quickly to find the relevant information and kept in sync with your PC and smartphone. Admittedly, there are scores of decent alternatives to Evernote in the App Store, but it’s consistently one of the most popular and highly rated productivity apps for the iPhone. Considering that it’s free, it seems churlish not to try it.
The iWork suite comprises three separate iPhone apps (Pages, Numbers and Keynote), which as a whole provide everything needed to write documents, create spreadsheets, and produce compelling presentations. Each application provides nearly all features you would expect such as the ability to format text and insert pictures, tables and charts, plus the built-in themes will make your work appear more attractive.
Pages is perhaps the most useful of the iWork apps; anybody that uses the full desktop equivalents on the Mac will appreciate the familiar aesthetics, and thankfully most of the features have been included in the iPhone version.
iWork apps export to PDF and Microsoft Office formats, and can share files with any computer running iTunes, or sync with Apple’s iCloud service. iWork doesn’t have the most advanced capabilities by any stretch, but the individual apps are indispensable and as a complete package it’s a recommended download which is pretty hard to beat.
This was a guest post by Simon of Best Mobile Contracts, the UK’s leading mobile phone comparison website.