Top 5: Noah's Five Favorite iPhone Apps (October '09)

Noah Kravitz
 from Oakland, CA
Published: October 26, 2009

Apple's iPhone OS App Store has something like 100,000 apps. Many of them are junk. Here are five I've been using regularly for long enough now to call them my Fave Five. (Yes, I own an iPhone - I had to buy one to review it. No, it's not my only phone. Yes, I'm a fanboy. No, I'm not a fanboy.)

1. RunKeeper (Free) & RunKeeper Pro ($9.99) -


RunKeeper Pro is my favorite iPhone app because it gets me off my duff, away from the screen, and doing something healthy. I've always hated running, or at least I had until I tried RK and RK Pro. The app uses iPhone's built-in GPS chip to track your outdoor activities, whether you're running, walking, skating, kayaking, or getting pushed around in a shopping cart. The free version works just fine, while the paid Pro version adds nifty features like programmable voiceover status updates that actually help motivate me to run five more minutes or another half mile or what have you.

RK Pro is, dare I say, better than the Nike + system because it integrates with a website that shows Google Maps of your activities complete with time, speed, and elevation info. The maps are editable and the RunKeeper team is constantly improving both the apps and the website. Highly recommended for the iPhone-toting fitness buff - or anyone (like me) who needs a geeky toy to get them out into the fresh air.

2. Remote (Free) -

If you're going to buy an iPhone, do yourself a favor and buy into the whole (arguably evil) Apple ecosystem. Apple's Remote app lets me control my iTunes-based music devices from my phone. Which means I can control my Apple TV from my iPhone. And sense my Apple TV is more or less an overpriced, dead-man-walking music server at this point, Remote has made my dream of a low-power, monitor-less, remote controllable music server true at last.

Hey, I never said these had to be your fave five apps. I've always wanted a music server I could control from a handheld remote without the need for a computer. Now I've got one.  Woo-hoo!

3. TweetDeck (Free) -

Odds are there's a better Twitter client for iPhone OS (like Tweetie 2, perhaps?) but so far I've been too stuck in my ways to find one. I tweet way, way, way too much - follow me @PhoneDog_Noah !!! - and so I'm constantly using TweetDeck while on the go. I like how the iPhone version replicates the column-based UI of the desktop app, and I like the myriad features available to power users. I'd write more, but I gotta go tweet ...

4. FIFA 10 ($9.99) - EA Mobile

FIFA 10 annoys the heck out of me because iPhone's touch-only controls are lousy when it comes to sports and action gaming. But EA Mobile did a good enough job on the game itself that I can't put it down. Between all of the teams, all of the modes, and the fact that the refs are totally biased against me and my perfectly legal slide tackle challenges, FIFA 10 makes footie on iPhone loads of fun. Even if the silly platform really needs a D-Pad and some buttons.

5. The Weather Channel (Free) -

Apple's weather app has proved more or less useless when it comes to forecasting the weather in Oakland, CA. Weather Bug has been a bit better. But TWC has been best of all. And I think it offers radar and videos, too, not that I ever get past the 36-hour forecast tab.

There's also a $3.99 version called Weather Channel Max, but I'm not that into the weather. I mean I am that into the weather, just not into thinking about it via an iPhone app.

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