O'Grady's Best iOS apps of 2012

O'Grady's Best iOS apps of 2012

Summary: A lot of great iOS apps were released this year. Here's a list of my favorite apps of 2012.

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TOPICS: Apple, Apps, iOS, iPhone, iPad, Reviews
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  • Circa - Curated news you can use - Free

    Unlike other news apps which rely on you to input your favorite topics or social networks (so that they grok them for topics) Circa (free, App Store) takes a completely different approach to news. It delivers human curated news in four categories: Top Stories, United States, Politics and World. There's nothing to set up, it just displays the top news of the moment in a given category as collected by human editors. What makes Circa unique is that it distills the relevant parts of the story from several sources and aggregates the information into one metastory. But it's the Follow Story feature is what sets Circa apart. When you follow a story the app sends you a push notification when a new data point is available. Good stuff.

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  • 23snaps - Instagram for parents - Free

    If you have young kids and you take a lot of pictures of them 23snaps (free, App Store) is your app. I'm leery of sharing photos of my kids on sites like FaceBook/Instagram because I'm never quite sure when they might change their privacy policy and plaster my pics on a can of Budweiser -- and over-sharing can be annoying to your childless friends. 23snaps bridges the gap of not wanting to clog your feed with endless kid vids and grandparents and out-of-state relatives who can't get enough pictures of little junior. Just set up your profile, add your kids, then select who should see what they're up to and share away. Then copious photos and videos of your offspring can easily be shared with Nannie and Pop without scaring away your hipster friends. Ah, parenthood. Isn't it grand?

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  • Google Maps - The best get better - Free

    It's so easy that it's almost unfair. It's also such an obvious pick that I almost didn't include it, but here it is anyway. Google Maps for iOS (free, App Store) further solidifies the big G's position as the king of big data. Apple made a huge tactical mistake when it replaced Google Maps with its own inferior Maps app and it's still feeling the pain from the gaffe. Google Maps has over 7 years of map, street view, local and public transit data and is the undisputed champion in the space. Google Maps for iOS also includes voice guided turn-by-turn directions on the iPhone 4 -- a device that Apple has abandoned in a shameless act of planned obsolescence. Google Maps even turned up the notch in the UI department making most of Apple's first-party apps seem antiquated and lame in comparison. Google's Maps, Search, Chrome and Sparrow apps have now replaced the Apple equivalents on my home screen and Apple's going to need a major turnaround to reverse a very bad trend.

    Runners Up

    • Waze (free, App Store) Still my favorite social driving app. Fun but not enough to replace an app like Google Maps.
    • Grokr (free, App Store) Bills itself as a discovery app that learns from your searches and delivers personalized results based on your interests and location. Cool predictive traffic, but 1.0 version kills your battery.
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Topics: Apple, Apps, iOS, iPhone, iPad, Reviews

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9 comments
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  • Remote

    "What did I miss? What are your favorite iOS apps?"

    Perhaps the most useful for me has been Jump Desktop for remote connection to PC's either by VNC or RDP. So well written, stable, smooth, cleverly laid out on iPad (but especially on the small iPhone display) that you wish all apps were done by these guys.

    Support/responsiveness from developers top-notch.
    JohnrC
    • look at the next page link

      look at the next page link above. The site gives you a very small amount of text with many opportunities to click on an advertisement to the point of annoyance.
      Ken_SF
  • Jump Desktop - Remote Desktop Control

    "What did I miss? What are your favorite iOS apps?"

    Perhaps the most useful for me has been Jump Desktop for remote connection to PC's either by VNC or RDP. So well written, stable, smooth, cleverly laid out on iPad (but especially on the small iPhone display) that you wish all apps were done by these guys.

    Support/responsiveness from developers top-notch.
    JohnrC
  • Wow one man's best an other's worst

    Why anyone would use Chrome when you could use Safari is one click search so you can go to a page and give google info about where you go instead of a click? And most of the rest have already been delated off my phone.
    kpbpsw
  • MyBoxOffice

    If you're like me and have lots of movies try MyBoxOffice.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/myboxoffice/id317039484?mt=8

    It's saved me a few times from buying the same movie again.
    Arm A. Geddon
  • Really,fantastical

    Not being able to invite attendees ruins it for me. It may have a fancy interface but can't do the basics.
    elvisfan0108
  • Top New Years Countdown App is free today

    Top New Years Countdown App is free today, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/new-years-countdown-2013-hd/id485460856
    Mary Rogers
  • Sparrow? An e-mail app?

    My BB has native MSActiveSync, and POP3/HTML mail. I use it for outlook.com, att.net, and corporate email. All native. No apps to buy.
    bb_apptix
  • Calendar

    Considering that the iPhone native calendar hosed MS Echange servers, I'm not surprised that you find a need to buy a calendar.
    bb_apptix