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O'Grady's Best iOS apps of 2012
2012 was not only the year of the app, it was the year that third-party apps eclipsed their Apple counterparts. For the first time the best email, calendar, notes, camera and messaging apps for iOS don't come from Cupertino. It's easy to say that Apple has lost a step or that the pace of innovation has slowed, but I'm more inclined to think that hungry developers increasingly see Apple's stagnant iOS apps as an opportunity and are capitalizing on it. So recharge your iTunes account balance, it's time to replace most (if not all) the apps on your home screen. Click on the "Next" link above for a gallery of my favorite iOS apps of 2012.
- Adrian Kingsley-Hughes' 12 superior replacements for default iOS 6 apps
Sparrow - Email for the masses - $2.99
Sparrow ($2.99, App Store) is an email client that lives up to the hype. I've been hearing about it for a while and mostly ignored it because I was too vested in Mail to even consider switching. When Google bought Sparrow this summer and I decided to take it for a spin and I haven't looked back. Sparrow has replaced Mail as one of the four icons on my iPhone dock. It features full IMAP and POP support so it works with most popular email services, but what makes it unique is its pane navigation UI. Instead of relying on button presses to switch between mailboxes (like Mail) Sparrow uses more natural feeling swipe gestures. There's a small learning curve, but it's worth it. Sparrow's well worth the $3 and I hope that Google keeps it alive.
App to watch
- Mailbox, due to arrive in 2013.
Fantasical - Calendar killer - $3.99
I've been using Fantastical for Mac ($14.99, Mac App Store) since it came out and was thrilled when I heard about the iPhone version ($3.99, App Store). It brings civility to my unruly calendars via the gorgeous DayTicker and makes creating new calendar events a breeze with natural language event creation. What takes 10 plus touches in Apple's calendar app can be accomplished by dictating (or typing) a sentence like "meet Ryan for wings on Monday at 8pm." Fantastical has the smarts to all the data into the right fields and looks great doing it. Apple's calendar app has barely changed in years and Fantastical roared by it like it was standing still. It could be a little faster on first launch and I can't wait for the iPad version, but overall the Fantastical is what Calendar aspires to be. Apple should acquire developer Flexbits to replace its tired iOS app, I know that I already have.