Apps for new users

Are you new to the iPhone or iOS? Have you owed an iOS device and been scared to look into the apps available? Looking at the App Store can be tedious. There are over 750,000 apps available in Apple’s App Store. Today I am going to look over some basic ones to help get you started. This would be part 1. Part 2 I will look into more advanced type of apps. One thing to note is that of these apps I am going to show you, they are all FREE(some require a paid subscription, others have paid upgrades available). Lets break them down in to categories.

Social Networking

The most obvious app to start with is Facebook. If you are a Facebook user then this is a must have app. You have access to your messages(there is also a separate messenger app), view your timeline, get push notifications when your friends comment on your pictures or posts. Everything you do from the website can be done from the app.

Twitter for iPhone is a basic app that shows you what you get from their website. There are hundreds of free apps available that offer other features. I personally prefer TapBot. It’s not free but looks better and has more functionality then the official app. After you set up Twitter, take a look at my other article on who to follow.

Find My Friends is a free app from Apple. It allows you to see where your friends/family are. Your friend also has to ave the app installed on their device and you must approve each other to follow. Its nice if you cant get hold of someone and need to know where they are. You can also get directions to their location with Maps and send a message. You can also be notified when your friend/family member leaves a location. Perfect for parents keeping tabs on their kids. One cool thing is that users with Siri are able to say “Where is my wife?” Wait a few seconds and Siri will respond with, here is Jane Doe’s (not really my wife’s name) location.


Pandora is my goto service outside of iTunes Match. It is free and you can choose the type of music you want to hear. You can like and dislike songs. The more you listen to the better it gets. There are commercials with the free account but that can be removed with a yearly plan for $36.00.

Spotify is another popular music streaming service that offers free and premium subscriptions. Free radio is limited to the US only. With the premium subscription you can sync your playlists for offline listening or online streaming of any song in their database.

iHeartRadio is an app from ClearChannel. You can stream over 1500 live radio stations(Think Z100, KTU in NY, NJ area) for free. You can also create your own station with 15 million songs available.


Letterpress is my favorite game on the iPhone. You are presented with a 5X5 board with letters in it. You have to make a word with the supplied letters. Once you make a word the letters change color. The goal is to have the majority of the board in your color. Its free with an in app purchase to unlock more features and works with your Game Center ID.

Angry Birds is available as a free app with limited levels and a paid app with all levels available. The object of the game is to smash the birds into objects to eliminate the pigs. There are several variants of the game, normal, Seasons, Space, Star Wars, Rio, all with the same concept but the strategy is a little different in each version.

Words with Friends is a word game a la Scrabble. You connect to Facebook to play games with your friends or play random opponents. You can also chat with your opponent. There is a free and paid version, the latter removes the ads.


Zite is an app I use everyday. I like it because you choose exactly what categories you want to read about. You can log in with Facebook & Twitter and Zite will pull info from them to help you chose categories. You can easily search and add new ones as you please. Once you start reading you can share the article with Twitter, Facebook, email, message. Want to read the article later? No problem, just send it to Instapaper, Evernote, or Pocket and it will be there waiting for you.

Summly allows you to scan news fast by reading summaries of the content. They have hundreds of sources producing articles for you to read and share. The sources are customizable so you are not stuck to sources you do not want to read.

CNN is, well CNN. They have push notifications so you can get breaking news as its happening. Video clips of live content are also available. (iPad Link)


Two obvious apps that jump out are Hulu and Netflix. Both require you have a subscription to use the app. If you subscribe then the apps are must have. If not, don’t waste your time downloading them unless you have a friend that will let you use their account.


There are a lot of photo sharing services available. My picks are Instagram, Flickr, Shutterfly, Photobucket and more. I use Photobucket all the time because it will auto upload your camera roll, original version, so you always have backups.

Adobe Photoshop Express is great for quick editing. It does a great job too.

Health & Fitness

If you are a runner then Nike+ is a must. It tracks your run using the built in GPS. You can share your run with Twitter, Facebook and Path. The app will also give you motivation during your run.

MyFitnessPal can track your food intake, calories burned and weight gain/loss. There is also a nice support angle, your friends. They can comment on your progress and help motivate you. The app also offers the ability to link with your Fitbit account and your Withings account. There are also other services/devices available but I chose these as I have knowledge & experience with them.


Love Starbucks? Their app lets you plug in your card info and you are good to go. They also had Passbook integration so if you are near your favorite store you card will pop up on the lock screen.

Dunkin’ Donuts also has a simialar app but no Passbook support yet.

Amazon’s app is a great way to shop if you are not near your computer.

Target, BestBuy, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens all have apps. You can choose your favorite store.

There are some basic apps to get you started. I am working on another list that will explore more apps and categories.


One thought on “Apps for new users

  1. Pingback: iOS Apps for Music | Danny's Blog

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