It’s surprising sometimes, after accumulating so many apps, to see what we actually use on a regular basis. While setting up so many new iPhones recently, we really had to think - in a post iOS 5 world that rendered many staples obsolete - which of the dozens of utility apps we've stockpiled we still actually use. Here are our favorite four "classics" that we can’t get through most days without.
If you have an iPhone or iPod touch with a front-facing camera, no flashlight app we have seen is better or simpler than this one. The app uses the LED camera flash and a simple slider as a switch to provide bright reliable illumination in dark parking lots, while stumbling for door keys after a late night, or when trying to make a quiet escape from a dark room.
Mobile Mouse Pro
Many people use larger widescreen iMacs as TVs, alarm clocks or to manage urgent morning reminders. We've tried pricey wireless controllers that work with no flat surface, say from a bed, but none are more comfortable, much less so affordable - particularly for browsing and playing media - than Mobile Mouse Pro. Setup is so simple and the interface so intuitive, using it feels like something Apple would, or more aptly should, have made. The shake-to-toggle keyboard feature is wonderful, particularly when a locked screensaver kicks in after a period of inactivity. An iPad version is sold separately.
While not iPad native, we use Pastebot on all our Apple gear, and can’t imagine getting much done at all with out it. Aside from being a robust iOS clipboard manager, it integrates seamlessly with Macs so users can instantly send copied links, text or anything else including images, back and forth from pad to phone to 'puter with no effort after simple set-up.
We’ve all set up iCloud and like what we’ve seen, but when it comes to simple file sharing there is still no better app around than Evernote. The cloud storage app and its integration both into iOS and OS X are so smooth, users will forget it's not just part of their hard drive that they can share with anyone, anytime. For work, for sharing photos, or just to send notes to oneself, it’s still our go-to cloud app and the GUI is as gorgeous and intuitive as ever.