Top 10 Useful iPhone Apps | Fanboys Anonymous

Top 10 Useful iPhone Apps

Posted by Saliv Monday, September 2, 2013
Free iPhone Apps
With over 900,000 apps and growing, iPhone users have an extraordinary selection to choose from when it comes to apps to download, whether they be games, social networking, or just convenience things, like weather or a calculator. It can be mind-numbing trying to figure out what apps to download, especially when they aren't all free, and even the ones that are free, you may not know which ones are right for you. So, Fanboys and Fangirls, I bring you my Top 10 Useful iPhone Apps!

NOTE: This list was compiled excluding social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc) simply because I figured that these were apps that everyone would have, and are generally considered no-brainers to download in today's tech-based world. Although I won't go all hipster and be like "Yeah, download this app. You've probably never heard of it," I will try to bring apps to your attention that I think are great to have for consumers ranging from the teens to adulthood. Also, they're ranked according to either how I use them, or how I think others would use them. Doesn't make the list 100% accurate. Also, I didn't include the YouTube app, because almost everyone downloaded it after Apple decided to get rid of theirs.

10. The Adult Swim App
Watch Adult Swim shows for free
The Adult Swim App earns my #10 spot because it's literally the only thing I tend to watch on weekdays after 9-10pm. Signing in with your cable-provider (for which the list of options are very vast) allows you to watch Adult Swim GOLD episodes of some of their best shows, like Aqua Teen, Boondocks, Superjail!, Metalocalypse, Venture Bros, etc. Even without GOLD, you can still enjoy a few select episodes from different series, and it even provides a schedule line-up, news on new arrivals, and downloadable games like Robot Unicorn Attack 2 and Amateur Surgeon 3. Most of the games I've seen are compatible for iPhone and iPad, but this list will focus on iPhone apps only. If you're a fan of Adult Swim, this app is definitely a must have.

9. Xfinity TV Remote / Player App
Comcast Xfinity Customer Service Help
I've had a lot of fun changing the channel on my parents from my iPhone, but let's be honest: outside of that amusement, it's only pretty useful if you lose your TV remote. Now, this has happened to me before, and what was I supposed to do, get up and change the channel? I'm not a caveman, so the app was nifty. The Xfinity Player app is the real gold here. Only useful if your cable provider is Comcast though, but if it is, you have at your fingertips TV shows like Breaking Bad, Adult Swim programs, and Adventure Time, and even pretty cool movies, like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Austin Powers. With numerous genres, movies ranging from old to new, and pretty awesome TV shows, Xfinity has earned it's place at #9. Just don't piss others off with the Remote App.

8. GasBuddy App
Cheap local gas stations in my area
You're driving around, minding your own business, and what do you notice? You forgot to get gas. Blame the economy, blame your low-paying job, but that doesn't turn the gas light off. What can you do? There's a gas station right here, may as well pull in, right? haha WRONG! With the GasBuddy app, you can either type in the Zip Code of interest, or hit "Find Gas Near Me," and it'll locate you and give you options on listed gas stations. Just near me, I get price ranges of 13 cents. May not sound like a big deal, but it all depends on where you live. Giving you options on Regular, Midgrade, Premium, and Diesel, you should have no problem saving some money at the pump. And today it's 5 cents/gallon saved, but within a year? 5 years? It'll add up.

7. AMC Theatres App
Movie show times for AMC theaters
Honestly, there isn't much to this app that stands out. For us iPhone users, we can just ask Siri about movie times. Also, since it's an AMC app, it won't give you any info on Cinemark, Regal, UEC, etc. Pretty limited, right? Well since I live right down the road from an AMC, and considering it's the second-largest theater chain (behind Regal), it's a fair bet you've either been to an AMC or go to one semi-regularly. The special offers are okay, the ability to choose a favorite theater is useful, but what puts it at #7? AMC Stubs. For $12/year, you get discounts on popcorn and soda (pay for a small, get a medium, stuff like that), online fees are waived, and it saves your movie stubs online. Oh, and for every $100 spent, you get $10 on the card. Trust me, it adds up over time. Bonus? You can put it in Passbook, so you don't need the card taking up wallet space.

6. Starbucks App
Coupons or discounts for Starbucks Coffee
Okay, so I'm not a film student, drinking a caramel macchiato, while I type my next big screenplay on my macbook, but like millions of Americans, I enjoy a Starbucks frappuccino from time-to-time. So what puts this app at #6? Well if you have a family that loves you, or a good buddy that understands your coffee addiction, you've had a Starbucks gift card. Those gift cards can be registered on the app and used! Much like how the AMC app makes the Stubs card digital, your gift card can be added to Passbook as well. Benefit: It's reloadable! Also, if you sign up, you get free stuff on your birthday, a free song/app download daily (I enjoyed downloading Cut the Rope: Experiments), and the more you use the card, the more benefits you get, like free coffee refills and a free drink or food with every 12 uses, or "Stars" (they give you a Star per use, and more Stars gets you different benefit classes, like Green and Gold). Starbucks makes some cool food, and I love the Java Chip Frapps, so this app, and the card for Passbook, earns its place on my list.

5. Music D/L / Music D/L Pro App
Download music for free on the internet for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad
One reason I add the app pictures is so you know which app I'm talking about. There are TONS of apps that allow for "free downloads," but this one is by far my favorite. When my laptop broke and sent in for repairs, I had no way to put new music on my iPod, and because the laptop was new, I had very few songs transferred over. The free version gives you a limited number of downloads from any website you can find! Personally, I looked up a website called MP3Skull, which has a huge database of choices (YouTube is protected, unfortunately). The ability to play an mp3 before downloading it on the site lets you know the quality before a download, and the app itself is set up very similarly to the Apple Music App that comes standard. Now, the only app on my list that costs anything would be the Music D/L Pro version, which runs (if I remember correctly) for $1.99. Now, I had $16 in iTunes credit, so I didn't care, but I know most people like to pinch pennies as much as they can, so why am I suggesting a paid app? Because the free one only lets you download a set number of songs, and it'll keep asking you to upgrade every time you open it, which gets really annoying. The Pro version allows for unlimited downloads, no upgrade suggestions, and all the music is free. I'd say it's worth the price of 2 iTunes songs for 1 app. But, it only pays is you're cut off from a laptop like I was, otherwise you could go to a website on your laptop and download music. But, if you're like me and you have to have your laptop sent in for whatever reason, all the music you download onto the Music D/L app (Pro or Free) can transfer to your computer, so there is no wrong way to go with this app.

4. Flashlight App
Best free flashlight app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod
This one hits the #4 spot simply for how useful it is. From what I can tell, there's nothing special about this particular Flashlight app, considering there are a dozen others, most claiming to be the brightest one. This app lets you play with the brightness, allows for different strobe effects, and if you're a party girl on her way home alone in the dark, there is an SOS-flash feature. Not sure in what situation you could use that discretely, but hey, it's there if you need it. This app has come in handy whenever I had to go out into my car for something, look under my bed, check for monsters in my closet, etc, so I'd say it's a solid app that would be useful no matter who you are or what part of the world you're from. It's far better than when I used to use the screen's light to find stuff.

3. Bank Apps
Best bank credit cards for people with poor credit.
Now, I use the Wells Fargo App's picture simply because that's who I bank with, but here's some bank apps I found rather easily:
-Bank of America
-Chase Mobile
-Discover Mobile
-Citizens Bank
-First National of Omaha
-AMEX Mobile
Why would a bank app be at #3? No brainer: Almost everyone (I say almost) has a bank account with some major bank. I also threw in some credit card apps, since those of us that have one (or two, or three) don't always have to have it through a bank or store. On the go, you can make sure you have enough money to buy that new video game, afford that trip to Comic Con, or if you're like me, can afford the McDonald's dollar menu. You can also deposit checks on a lot of the bank apps by snapping pictures or scanning the check, although I'd advise against this, as it's a pain in the ass and either doesn't work or holds the funds for longer than I want to tolerate. But, it's definitely a great app to have, and it's good to know that even if you switch banks, others have their own mobile apps to assist you.

2. Netflix App
Get a free one month subscription to Netflix now
Okay, so maybe the Netflix app isn't as useful to some as the banking apps are, or the flashlight, but you know what? I don't care. Netflix has saved me from countless bored nights, and for only $7.99 a month? Wonderful. Now, that's only if you only want streaming, but I digress. The app works wonders if you're out and about, got some time to kill, and want to watch an episode of your favorite TV show (or like me, favorite childhood TV show). What's even nicer is if you're like me and have an iPhone 5, the longer screen provides, in my opinion, a better picture (not clearer, but like, you know, longer and 16:9 or whatever they call it? I'm not a tech guy, I don't pay attention to this stuff. But trust me, it's better to watch on the longer screen). And, when it's time for bed and you turn off your computer, shut the TV off, and yet can't get to sleep, I personally like watching Batman Beyond or the Justice League (like I said, childhood cartoons) to help lull me to sleep. However you cut it, the Netflix App is great to have, assuming you have Netflix. But seriously, get Netflix. It'll change your life. And probably take away whatever one you had before.

1. Google Chrome / Google Maps / Google Translate / Google Earth
Download Google Chrome for PC and Mac
Now, I included all of the Google apps that I have, but most people won't use Google Earth, and not many use Translate, although I like it since I don't speak every language on Earth, but the two that definitely deserve my #1 spot are Chrome and Maps. Now, much like the Marvel vs. DC debate, Fanboys and Fangirls the world over can argue which is better: Google Maps or the Maps app that comes on the device. I use Siri far more than the Google Maps app, but there have been many times where Google Maps has given me better directions when it comes to walking-distance locations (it shows buildings where Apple Maps doesn't always show me the layout), and there are times Siri doesn't understand the address I've given it, and Google Maps came through for me. But by far, my favorite app on this list has to be Google Chrome. FINALLY! Someone heard our prayers long ago and gave us an alternative to Safari. I'm a PC user, so I had never used Safari before the iPhone, and I was definitely not impressed. I used FireFox for years, but when it gave me issues, I took a friend's advice and downloaded Chrome onto my laptop. I took an instant liking to Chrome, and although we could argue what the better browser is, by most accounts, Chrome is at least considered a very good web browser. You can link your bookmarks between the desktop and iPhone Chromes, sign in to Chrome on the mobile app, and opening a new tab gives you a list of your most visited sites, rather than that blank 'Untitled' tab in Safari. Now, Safari has changed from its previously limited number of tabs you could have open, so I can't hold that against them anymore, but I usually have 10+ tabs open in Chrome at a time, so it was an initial draw to the app when I first got it. The only real drawback I can say the Chrome App has is that when you ask Siri to search the web, or you open some link that opens to a webpage, it automatically opens Safari, and as of yet, there is no way to redirect it to Chrome. But, where Safari is usually located on the iPhone, I have ceremoniously replaced it with the Google Chrome App, and I can't say I've ever looked back. Some of you Mac Fanboys may disagree with me, but I lock Google Chrome into my #1 spot because outside of Social Networking, it's my most used app, it's very simple to use, and come on, swiping tabs to close them is fun.

There you have it! We all have our own favorite apps, but hopefully I've introduced you to some new ones that you either didn't know about, or for some like the Music D/L App, gave you an island in that sea of crappy free music apps. Thanks for reading! My name is Sam Lascio, and I am a Fanboy!

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