My "Top 10" favourite iPhone apps

The iPhone has provided us with a whole new world of applications but how do you determine the good from the bad and the outright ugly. I essentially look for three important factors:

  1. Aligns to something you do
  2. Aligns to something you feel is fun / enjoyable
  3. Aligns to something you have never experience before or always wanted to see

Every now and then through relying on the 3rd factor I make a few mistakes (aka “Attack from the Dead” (game), “Darts” (game), “DataCase” (productivity)) but that is where the important 4th factor (the “X” factor) comes in – Price.

Always assess the price of the application along with your “alignments”. Your alignments may be different to mine but I seriously recommend you use some form of alignment to avoid some of my mistakes.

So, on to my top 10 iPhone applications:

  1. RunKeeper (Pro) – This meets all 4 of my requirements as I enjoy running (1 & 2) and the tracking of the runs is something I always wanted (3). In addition the price is well balanced to the quality of the product.
  2. NAB Banking – Although this technically is not an iPhone app it is a specifically designed iPhone web page for banking. This aligns big time with (1) and (2) and for free, clearly aligns with the cost factor.
  3. TweetDeck – For the twitter fans out there this is my favourite. It meets criteria (1) and (2) and is also free.
  4. Facebook – Exactly the same as TweetDeck but for Facebook and is also free.
  5. Shazam – Although not an application I use frequently, this is a cool app. Play it a song (ie. even if you are in a shop and can hear a tune you just can’t recognise) and it will tell you what it is and even help you buy it. I have the free version so it meets my price criteria but even at a few dollars (for the full version) it is worth it.
  6. Wikiamo – Great wikipedia app and meets my criteria (1) and (3). I even find myself on the bus just reading from this like a book. And it was free as well.
  7. Bejeweled 2 (now with Facebook integration) – Meets criteria (2) in a big way. You just get addicted to this little game – I just have to outscore my facebook friends!
  8. Muddled – Was my favourite past time whilst waiting for buses / trains. Overtaken by Bejeweled 2 but always there in my mind.
  9. Metro Melb – Meets criteria (1) and (3) and is perfect for the Melbourne public transport rider. A good price and very practical.
  10. PicBrowser – A great simple app that lets you just search for pictures. When you find the one you want, easy integration to save it to photos to then use later for that important presentation.

That’s my top 10 – for the moment. Like everyone, my top 10 changes over time and as new apps come out. My only comment on that is Apple needs to be careful of application overload, particularly of crappy apps. My view, get rid of apps that distribute pictures and a lot of that noise will go.


Scott North has extensive experience in enterprise risk management, internal audit, operational risk and compliance, risk strategy, scenario planning, technology risk, technology business analysis, systems design, financial accounting, and management accounting. Scott is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants with a Masters Degree from the University of Melbourne in Business and Information Technology. Scott is also a Fellow of the University of Melbourne.

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