After years of rumors and theories, the wait is over! The iPhone 4 launches on the Verizon network today and is available in stores and on the Verizon website. Last week’s pre-orders sold out in less than two hours.
As the new iPhones arrive, the big question on everyone’s mind is: What apps should I get? With over 300,000 apps to choose from, the options can seem intimidating.
I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 apps you absolutely must have on your phone. Whether you’re on Verizon or AT&T, this list will come in handy.
#1. Facebook (Free)
Update your status whenever you want. Are you traveling? Create an album and upload pictures of your trip as they happen. When you have time to kill, when you’re in the elevator or simply procrastinating, you will find yourself on the Facebook app. I guarantee it.
#2. Yelp (Free)
I must admit, before I got an iPhone I was not a Yelp user. Now I use the app at least 5 times a day. It’s the Yellow Pages for your smartphone. Find yourself in a new town and don’t know where to eat? Type “restaurant” and a list of places will pop up. Not sure about the dry cleaner down the street? Read the reviews. You can call a restaurant’s phone number or get driving directions directly through this app.
#3. Hipstamatic ($1.99)
Modeled after old-school toy cameras, the future never looked as retro as it does with this photo app. Choose from several lenses, flashes, and films to give your pictures character. Once you have the money shot, you can instantly upload it to Facebook, Flickr or Tumblr. A recent update even lets you order prints of your pictures. It doesn’t get any more retro than that!
#4. SoundHound (Free or $5.99)
Soundhound blows Shazam out of the water when it comes to identifying songs. You’re at a bar, rocking out to an awesome song but don’t know the artist. Load the app, point it at the speaker and let the app do its magic. In seconds, you’ll not only have the name of the song, artist and album, but you’ll also get the lyrics, be able to buy the song on iTunes, or watch the artist’s YouTube videos. I’ve tested both apps and Soundhound is more effective in loud bars. Plus, if you get the free version, you’re not limited to a certain number of tags a month like you are with Shazam.
#5. Netflix (Free)
I became a Netflix member because of this app. You can stream movies and manage your Watch Instant Queue right from your phone. All you need is a Netflix membership and a Wi-Fi network and in seconds you’ll be watching the entire first season of Weeds or “Sentimental Tearjerkers from the 1980s.” (Who knew there was a such a category?) You don’t even have to open your computer or deal with a DVD mailing envelope.
#6. Pandora Radio (Free)
This app lets you stream internet radio directly from your phone. Like the Pandora website, you can personalize your stations on the app by simply typing in the name of an artist or song. The best part is you can keep the app running in the background while you navigate other apps (it even works while you text). I use the Pandora app frequently when I’m in the car and need a break from top 40 radio.
#7. Words with Friends (Free or $0.99)
This is the “unofficial” Scrabble game and lets you challenge your friends to word games, chat within the app, and see who has the better vocabulary. Apparently I don’t, based on all the games I’ve lost. (See the screenshot below for proof).
#8. Groupon/Living Social (Free)
Are you addicted to Groupon and Living Social? I am! Every morning I look forward to checking out the latest deals with these modern day coupons. Whether you’re on the go or just waking up, check out the Groupon and Living Social apps to find deals in your city. You can even see your purchased deals, including their expiration dates. With these apps, you’ll never miss the opportunity to get a $15 Brazilian wax again. Phew.
#9. Skype (Free)
With Skype for the iPhone, you can make calls, instant message, and video chat with your friends and family around the world. No computer is needed. Calls are crystal clear and so is the video! Verizon users: this app will come in handy when you’re traveling abroad. Verizon runs on the CMDA network, so while you may not be able to use your phone, you can use this app on a Wi-Fi network. The best part is you won’t have to pay those hefty international rates to talk to family back home.
#10. Emoji Emoticons ($0.99)
Give your text messages character with these emoticons. When you install the app, it loads right onto your keyboard. Every time you type a text message, choose from hundreds of emoticons to help express what you want to say. From a happy face to a cactus, adding in emoticons is no longer cheesy, it’s fun!
Your favorite apps
Verizon users: Welcome to the iPhone family! Feel free to share your favorite apps, hopes and dreams for the iPhone by leaving a comment below.
Today’s post was written by West Coast Correspondent (and proud AT&T iPhone user) Martha Rivera. Stay tuned to Downtown Traveler for Martha’s reports on social media, food and travel. Follow Martha on Twitter at @babymarfy.