Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > Entertainment/Gaming/Gadgets

The Top 10 iPhone Applications

Apple may not have yet opened the iPhone and iPod Touch for full application development, but that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of great Web-based applications out there. In fact, there are so many choices that it might be difficult to discover some of the best. Ryan Faas separates the wheat from the chaff for you with his list of the 10 most powerful web applications for iPhone owners.
Like this article? We recommend

Like this article? We recommend

Although Apple has not made the iPhone an open platform for developers, the company has strongly encouraged development of Web-based applications for the iPhone.

Apple’s interface guidelines and iPhone Developer Tech Talks have led developers to create an abundance of online iPhone applications.

From instant messengers, to to-do lists, to application organizers, this article lists the 10 applications that every iPhone owner should have bookmarked.

JiWire Wi-Fi Finder

Although you can access all the iPhone’s Internet features by using AT&T’s EDGE data service, being limited to 2.5G speeds means that even checking your email can be slow (to say nothing of surfing the Web or watching videos on YouTube).

Connecting to the Internet using Wi-Fi almost always delivers dramatically better performance. On-the-go JiWire helps you locate wireless hotspots around the world. Simply type in a location or zip code, and you’ll get a list of free and/or paid networks nearby.

JiWire’s service has been around for a while, but now offers a specialized interface for iPhone users to make finding hotspots easy (it even integrates with the iPhone’s Map application to help you locate hotspots).

Glide Mobile

Glide Mobile isn’t an iPhone-specific application (the service works with many mobile platforms), but one of its features does fill a big gap for iPhone users: word processing.

Glide is an online office and collaboration suite that allows users to create, edit, and share all kinds of documents including word processing documents, websites, photos, contact lists, calendars and more.

Some of the features in the suite aren’t available in Glide Mobile yet, but word processing is—and it offers users the ability to create and edit documents from an iPhone. Those documents can later be converted to Word, RTF, or PDF on your computer.

Glide also offers a sync application to sync the contents of your online workspace to your Mac. While not the perfect word processing solution, it is the most viable option currently available for the iPhone.


If you’re looking to save money when you fill up your car’s gas tank, Gas.app is your new best friend. This easy-to-use application, designed to mimic the look and feel of the iPhone’s built-in applications, lets you find the gas stations with the lowest price anywhere in the US.

Just enter your location or zip code and browse the results for the lowest nearby price. Like JiWire, Gas.app also integrates with Maps to help you find gas stations if you’re not sure of their location.

For anyone who travels for work, a great companion to Gas.app is iPhone Miles, which is an easy-to-use mileage tracker.


Another great application that is designed to fit in with the look and feel of the iPhone’s built-in applications is Movies.app. Movies.app lets you browse all movies showing in all theatres in your area on a specific date. You can browse by theatre or simply by a list of movies.

Movies.app integrates with Maps for location information and also links to trailers and IMDb information for each movie.

It even lets you buy tickets online via MovieTickets.com.

Google Mobile

Although not iPhone-specific, Google’s mobile suite (to which iPhone users are directed by default when visiting Google.com) is a great set of tools for iPhone users. It provides easy access to almost all Google’s Web-based tools including Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Reader, Google Notebook, Picassa, and more. If you use any of Google’s tools, Google Mobile is a great tool.

Not all Google features are supported in Google Mobile. Google Docs are currently read only and other Google office tools aren’t available at this time. Likewise, access to Picassa is read-only; you can’t modify your albums or upload pictures. Another example is that Google Calendar doesn’t offer monthly and other advanced views.

One very useful feature, however, is Google Notebook, which allows access to any notebooks you create through the full-featured Google Notebook and also allows you to create Mobile Notes, which you can later access from any computer using your Google account. Given the lack of ability to sync notes from the iPhone’s Notes application with a computer, this is a great feature.

Google Reader is also a great tool. Although the iPhone, through Apple’s .Mac servers, provides an RSS reader (if you bookmark an RSS feed on your computer and then sync those bookmarks, opening that bookmark on the iPhone will automatically trigger the reader), it isn’t as fully featured as Google Reader, and it doesn’t provide a method for syncing read or flagged status with a computer. Google Reader offers it and provides a single reader for use on your iPhone or any Internet-connected Mac or PC.


iPhlickr brings a simple and streamlined interface to browsing Flickr on the iPhone. The interface is extremely similar to iPhone’s YouTube application.

iPhlicker supports browsing your photo collection (which is great if you don’t want to sync your entire photo collection to your iPhone), recently uploaded photos and interesting/featured photos, as well as search capabilities (including search based on tags and username).

For features such as commenting and favorites, iPhlickr allows easy access to the actual Flickr site from any image. If you’re a Flickr fan or user, you have to check out iPhlickr.


A built-in instant messenger is probably one of the most surprising omissions of the iPhone. Many developers have taken up the charge of providing iPhone users with IM applications. Of the available options, Mundu beats out the competition.

Mundu allows users to chat using AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, and Google’s GTalk through a clean and intuitive tabbed interface (one tab for login/logout of each service, one for contacts, and one for chats).

Chats display as speech bubbles, much like Mac OS X’s iChat or iPhone’s Text application. If you want to IM from your iPhone, Mundu is your best option because of its interface, stability, and the fact that it will let you chat with users on all four services at once. (Most iPhone IM applications support connection to only one IM service at a time.)


Listingly is a great online list manager that now offers an iPhone web application. Listingly can be used to create to-do lists, grocery lists, wish lists, and freestyle lists.

Listingly can also group items into categories (in fact, Grocery lists are smart lists that group similar items together automatically).

Although you need to create lists from a traditional web interface, once a list is created, it can be fully managed from the iPhone.

With its support for various types of lists and its ability to share lists with other users, Listingly offers a great list-management package for the iPhone that goes beyond simply providing basic to-do or shopping lists.


The two biggest challenges to taking advantage of the various iPhone applications are finding them and organizing them. uPhoneHome helps you do both.

Using an interface similar to the iPhone’s home screen, it provides icons/links to a large selection of iPhone applications. You can sort the list by date and category to help you find specific types of applications or to find new applications that have recently been released.

You can mark the applications that you use regularly as favorites by tapping the star next to each icon. Favorite applications are displayed on a separate screen so that you can easily view and access them without hunting through the entire list.

When you launch an application from uPhoneHome, your favorites are displayed, along with a home icon to return to uPhoneHome in a frame at the top edge of Safari’s display for easy access.

If you use applications that aren’t in uPhoneHome’s list (Apple’s web apps directory can be a great way to discover new iPhone applications), you can add them to uPhoneHome for easy access (albeit in a separate list that is indicated by a folder icon).

This information, as well as favorites information, is actually stored on your iPhone, so there is no need to create an account to use uPhoneHome.

All in all, uPhoneHome is a great combination of application launcher and directory.

Social Networking

Several iPhone applications are devoted to social networking sites. These collective applications are great for keeping in touch with friends, family members, and colleagues.

Because different people prefer different features in social networking tools, I don’t advocate any application or site over the others.

Instead, I’ll collectively identify the following social networking applications as part of the top 10 iPhone applications and let you decide which one(s) of the following best meet your needs.

Facebook, Multiply, and Twitter (via Pocket Tweets or Thin Cloud) are all traditional social networking sites that have dedicated iPhone application access.

There are also new social networking sites designed specifically for iPhone users, including iRovr, iPling, and iPhone Colony. Check out Apple’s web apps directory for additional social networking sites/apps for iPhone users.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020