My 15 favorite smartphone apps - From TweetDeck to Math Blaster

From the Twitterverse to the universe, the BlackBerry to the iPhone, here are the best apps for your fancy new phone.

I love gadgets, smartphones among them. The best part of today's mobile phones are all the cool apps. Here is my list of the smartphone apps that I can't live without. Have you got a favorite not on this list? Drop me comment or a tweet (@mitchellashley) and I'll check it out.

To quickly flip through this list, with screenshots of each app, check out the slideshow version of this article: 15 SmartPhone apps you shouldn't live without

TweetDeck

How will you keep up with all the tweets from your peeps while you’re mobile? TweetDeck. Watch all of your lists; tweets from all friends, favorites, groups you define, Twitter searches, your mentions, and direct messages with this very handy Twitter client app. TweetDeck also tells you how many Twitter API calls are remaining (so you don’t get caught without being able to Twitter until they reset.) Multiple Twitter accounts are also supported. If you like TweetDeck on your phone, you’ll also enjoy the desktop version which runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Other Twitter client apps receiving honorable mentions are Twitterific, Tweed, TweetGenius, and Pocketwit.

Price:

Free (in beta)

Smartphones:

iPhone

URL:

http://tweetdeck.com/beta/download/

Submitted by:

@danphilpott (honorable mentions submitted by @1stcarolinadjs and @MVOverdijk)


Red Laser

Standing in line at the store, wondering if you might get the product you’re ready to buy at an online website for a much better price? Red Laser shoots a picture of the product barcode up to a cloud service, returning a description of the product along with competitive pricing from Google product search results. There’s no better way to become an informed consumer.

Red Laser

Click to enlarge.

Price

$1.99

Smartphones

iPhone

URL

http://www.redlaser.com


Wall Street Journal

Many of us catch up on news, events and markets using our Smartphones and what better way to do that than with the Wall Street Journal Mobile Reader app. Check out the latest articles, market updates, tech news, videos, WSJ Radio and much more. Articles are formatted for easier reading using the WSJ Mobile Reader vs. WSJ’s online website.

Price:

Free

Smartphone:

Blackberry, iPhone

URL:

http://online.wsj.com/public/page/mobile.html


Memeo Share

Just as services like flickr helps you share photos with friends online, Memeo Share shares photos with your own network, or circle, of friends on the iPhone, PC and Mac. Keeping photos locally on each device, Memeo automatically synchronizes full quality photos with everyone you’re sharing photos. Memeo lets you establish different circles of friends, sharing the same or different photos with each group.

Price

Free (up to 1GB storage)

Smartphones

iPhone

URL

http://www.memeo.com/memeoshare.php


Guitar Toolkit

If you’re a guitar player, there’s an essential list of gear you always wish you had with you at every gig: a tuner, metronome with tap, and occasionally a chord dictionary. With Guitar Toolkit you can bring all of those things and more with you on your iPhone. Also included is a sample fretboard to electronic strum a few notes or chords. 6 string, 12 string, bass (4 and 5 string) setups are supported, as well as left/right hand and alternate tuning options. A Lite version is also available without the tuner.

Price

$9.99 (Guitar Lite $5.99)

Smartphones

iPhone

URL

http://guitartoolkit.com


Pocket Universe: Virtual Sky Astronomy

All of us have gazed at the night sky at one time or another wondering where Mars is located, if that constellation is Aquarius or Capricorn, or how the Big Dipper moves across the night sky over time. Thanks to Pocket Universe, you can have a virtual planetarium of information available at your fingertips. Filled with planet guides, meteor shower schedules, astronomy news, lunar phases and sky reports, Pocket Universe tailors its output based on your GPS location. A unique motion feature lets you hold up your iPhone to different parts of the night sky while Pocket Universescrolls the planetarium view to match your location.

Pocket Universe

Click to enlarge.

Price

$2.99

Smartphone

iPhone

URL

http://www.d1037549.cp.blacknight.com/


Pandora Radio

Pandora has long been considered a top music streaming service. If you already have an account, just long in and you’re ready to hear all those tunes you enjoy so much. Setup stations around the artists and music you like, and Pandora will create a stream of songs of a similar style and genre. Pandora is supported on four of the five major Smartphone platforms and via your web browser on the desktop.

Price:

Free

Smartphones:

Blackberry, Windows Mobile, iPhone, Palm Pre

URL:

http://www.pandora.com

Submitted by:

@mchwang


Paper Toss

From the ‘complete time waster’ category, we have the fun game Paper Toss. We’ve all pitched some wadded up trash at the waste paper basket attempting to score a three pointer. Paper Toss gives us the virtual equivalent of the office waste basket game, challenging you with short, medium and long ranges. A variable rate desk fan keeps things even more challenging giving you an office breeze to deal with.

Price

Free

Smartphone

iPhone

URL

http://www.backflipstudios.com


Fandango

Check movie listings, upcoming movies, theaters, show times and buy tickets with Fandango’s Smartphone app. Easily know what’s playing and where and avoid those long lines by purchasing your movie tickets ahead of time. Fandango is GPS location-aware, looking up theaters and movies playing near you. The only thing missing from the Fandango app is the carnival-esk phone announcer giving you the run down on movies.

Price

Free

Smartphones

iPhone, Palm Pre

URL

http://www.fandango.com/mobilemovietickets


TapDefense

A basic but very addictive simulation game that pits your arrow, bomb, water, magic, storm and ice towers against an onslaught of invaders destined to breach your gauntlet and make it into the pearly gates. Employ strategies to increase your gold earnings, research new technologies and upgrade your resources as the army of enemies gets tougher and more resilient. Prepare to engage and to get hooked on this fun game. TapDefense is supported by in game ads displayed between each game level.

Price

Free

Smartphones

iPhone

URL

http://www.tapjoy.com


Citrix Receiver

Run Microsoft Word, Excel PowerPoint, Solidworks, and other desktop apps right from within your iPhone using the Citrix Receiver app connected to the Citrix Cloud Center. Just as Citrix has virtualized desktops onto shared servers, Citrix Receiver brings many of those same capabilities to the Smartphone footprint, while the apps run on Citrix servers in the cloud.

Citrix Receiver

Click to enlarge.

Price

Free trial

Smartphones

iPhone

URL

http://www.citrixcloud.net


AT&T myWireless Mobile

No need to fret about how many minutes you have left on your AT&T wireless mobile plan. myWireless Mobile lets you check your minute balance, data usage, next billing date, review past bills and pay your bill right from your iPhone. Go green with myWireless Mobile by opting to receive electronic bills instead of paper bills.

Price

Free trial

Smartphones

iPhone

URL

http://att.com/wireless


Math Explosion

An intensely fun learning game, Math Explosion pits your math skills up against the clock of a ticking time bomb. Now, that’s pressure! Sure to improve your kids’ math skills, and maybe yours, Math Explosion proves why learning can be a lot of fun. Available in two versions: Multiplication and Division, and Addition and Subtraction.

Price

Free trial

Smartphones

iPhone

URL

http://www.fidgetware.com  

Brain Challenge

Time for that couch potato brain of yours to get back in shape with some mental exercise. Brain Challenge helps keep you mentally fit with different types of mental games. Reduce your stress and improve your mental acuity while having some fun at the same time. Brain Challenge tests your logic, math, memory, focus and visual skills. Track your progress in each area as your skills improve. While not the newest of the brain testing software genre, Brain Challenge has the added bonus of bringing back memories of the graphics, music and sounds from arcade games like California Speed Sega Outrun.

Price

Free (Lite version) or $4.99 (varies per platform)

Smartphones

Blackberry, Windows Mobile, iPhone, Android

URL

http://www.gameloft.com/mobile-games/brain-challenge


Zippo Lighter

While it won’t light up your cigar, the Zippo lighter app is essential for those moments when you want to impress your friends with silly but cool apps on your iPhone, or you find yourself in the middle of a rock concert, wanting to hold up your Zippo in a sign of solidarity for a band encore. Flick open the Zippo’s lid by flicking your iPhone, pull your finger across the lighter wheel, and enjoy the vibrant flame that appears on your virtual lighter. Impress your friends even more by blowing into your iPhone’s microphone to watch the flame jump and dance in the virtual breeze.

Price

Free

Smartphones

iPhone

URL

http://www.moderati.com/zippo.html

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