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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  • Downcast - The definitive podcast app - $1.99

    The Apple Podcasts app has a horrible UI, is buggy as hell and deserves to be Forestalled. After the novelty of the skeuomorphic reel-to-reel tape player (remember those?) wears off, you should sober up and purchase Downcast ($1.99, App Store) -- a real podcast app. Downcast features intelligent podcast discovery (instead of a counter-intuitive "store") and controls that let you auto-download podcast subscriptions according to network (i.e., Wi-Fi), location, or time. It even streams podcasts on demand freeing up precious local storage on your device. If you own an iPhone and an iPad Downcast syncs podcast subscriptions, playlists, settings and episode information via iCloud. Apple needs to acquire the developer then ask him to redesign iTunes. 

    [Downcast for OS X will enter private beta "soon after the new year" which means that I might new use iTunes again.]

  • 1Password 4.0 - A required password app - $7.99

    Ever since the invention of the password there have been hacks (just ask Mat Honan). It's an imperfect solution for security but the venerable password isn't going away any time soon. In order to protect your identity, financial/health data (and baby pictures) you need to a) stop using the same password on multiple websites, and b) stop storing all of your "strong" passwords in an Excel spreadsheet on your computer. 1Password ($7.99, App Store) solves this problem by storing your passwords in an encrypted database that's protected by, one password. When paired with the OS X app and synchronized over iCloud or DropBox it's an unbeatable combination. 1Password for OS X ($49.99) is what really ties it all together, giving you the ability to create and submit passwords directly from your browser toolbar. This is single piece of software that I probably recommend the most.

  • Chrome for iOS - Free

    I'm increasingly replacing Safari with Chrome (free, App Store) on my iPhone and iPad. Chrome has a modern UI with a unified search/URL field, unlimited tabs that you can flip through like a deck of cards and synchronization of tabs, bookmarks, passwords and omnibox data across devices that actually works. Mobile Safari on the other hand, feels like a relic of days gone by. It requires an extra touch to search, limits you to eight "pages" (no tabs), and iCloud bookmark syncing that is so broken that I leave it turned off.

    Chrome lacks the Nitro JavaScript engine -- which Apple restricts to Mobile Safari for "security reasons." And since there's no "default app" setting in iOS 6, touching links in Apple apps (like Mail, Messages, etc.) will open them in Safari. The alternative of course, it to switch to apps like Sparrow, Google Maps and Google+ which allow you to open links in Chrome.

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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